[Updated January, 2019]
“What Vitamins Should I Take?”
It’s a common question I get from guys all the time.
No matter what your age or fitness level, if you’re a man wanting to optimize your overall health, choosing the right multivitamins for men is a smart choice.
Sure, exercise and a decent diet can help you feel a little better, but getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – a critical part of feeling your best – can be easier said than done.
When diet alone isn’t making a difference, it may be time to change up your routine.
By adding multivitamins for men to your regimen, you can do right by your body, boost your immunity, and even put the brakes on some of the most common signs of aging.
Do I Really Need Multivitamins?
Simply put, vitamins are organic compounds required by the body in limited quantities to function properly.
Some vitamins are an essential part of maintaining healthy organs, like Vitamins A and B, while others are less critical.
Regardless, without adequate consumption, you may noticed marked declines in performance and attitude that you can’t quite explain.
From Vitamin C for skin and tissue regeneration to iron for properly oxygenated blood, vitamins have a lot of benefits.
Taking a pill once, twice, or even three times a day may seem like a burden, but the health effects of taking multivitamins far outweigh the minor inconvenience of supplementation.
Whether you like it or not – or like planning your diet around vitamin intake – you need vitamins to stay healthy.
Without adequate consumption, you may suffer metabolism and immune system deficiencies, muscle weakness, fatigue, compromised body systems, and so much more.
The Most Important Vitamins for Overall Wellness
While some multivitamins are more geared toward men, especially later on in life, many vitamins are equally vital for everyone, no matter age or gender.
- Vitamin A: An important part of general health, Vitamin A is best known for its effects on skin, eyes, and teeth
- Vitamin B: Vitamin B is among the most important components of good health and contributes to immune function, energy, and iron absorption. Vitamin B deficiency can be a serious condition, with symptoms including gastritis, anemia, and digestive issues like IBS or Crohn’s Disease. Further, a lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to brain volume loss at a rate of five times faster than older adults with healthy B12 levels.
- Vitamin C: A big part of maintaining healthy skin, Vitamin C is important to promoting skin elasticity, strong blood vessels, iron absorption, and antioxidant function.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a key component of maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D can also play a role in reducing arterial inflammation; those deficient in Vitamin D may be up to 80% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
- Vitamin E: A vitamin with antioxidant properties, Vitamin E supports a healthy immune system and blood circulation.
- Vitamin K: A critical component of coagulation, or blood clotting, Vitamin K is essential for proper healing after injury.
- Calcium: Best known for healthy teeth and bones, calcium is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Folic Acid: Folic acid stimulates healthy cell renewal and prevents anemia, helping support your body through the aging process.
- Iron: A big part of muscle-building and blood flow, iron plays a role in hemoglobin, a component of the blood stream that promotes oxygenation and healthy blood flow.
- Zinc: Zinc is a critical component of the immune system, facilitating cell division, cell growth, wound healing.
A majority of all multivitamins include most or all of these components, helping adults to access all necessary elements to maintain organs and body systems.
However, it’s important to evaluate vitamin intake in terms of your own diet to best determine which supplements are the most valuable.
Vitamins Vs. Diet
It’s easy to assume that you’re getting all the vitamins you need from food, but in reality, this likely isn’t the case.
While most of us do well enough, eating at least some of the major vitamins on a regular basis, getting adequate nutrients from food takes a significant amount of planning and effort.
Without a strong knowledge of what vitamins can be found in which foods and a diet planned around them, it’s a challenge to check every last box.
Even those with a commitment to an all-natural, whole foods-oriented lifestyle often struggle to fulfill a day’s requirements.
Substantial research backs up the idea that most men fail to take a positive approach to healthy eating.
One study found that 77% of men are deficient in magnesium, and most are also neglecting to take in enough Vitamin D or Vitamin B.
Younger men are also unlikely to consume the proper amount of potassium or iodine as well, causing issues with muscle tone, heart rate, and weight loss.
Most experts agree that obtaining vitamins from food is ostensibly the best option, but doing so isn’t easy.
Just a few regular meals lacking in substance, like Taco Bell or other fast food a few times a week, can be enough to throw your vitamin levels out of balance.
As such, supplementation is a vital way to ensure all missing elements are available and accounted for.
Choosing the Right Multivitamins For Men
Multivitamins clearly play a huge role in your health and well-being, but knowing where to start is often the hardest part.
Most men don’t know what kinds of vitamins they do and don’t need – or what kind of vitamins can stimulate the results they wish to see.
While a lot of men simply settle for a generic “one-a-day” multivitamin tablet, it’s very important to select nutritional supplements that are specifically engineered for the nutritive requirements of the male body.
For example, a multivitamin for men might include things like saw palmetto and lycopene for prostate support, or extra zinc and magnesium, which have been clinically proven to significantly increase muscle strength and maintain healthy testosterone levels, among other things.
At the same time, a multivitamin for men will typically omit the addition of iron.
Unlike women (who need the extra iron due to menstruation), iron can accumulate in men’s bodies since there’s no way to get rid of the excess build-up – potentially reaching toxic levels.
These high levels of iron may be responsible for an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, cancer and heart attack.
Best Vitamins for Hair Growth
Hair loss is a reality millions of men face, regardless of age. By age 35, 66% of men will experience appreciable hair loss, and 80% of men will display some level of baldness by age 50.
As such, it’s no surprise that the hair loss industry is worth billions, encompassing everything from supplements to prevent further damage to medications designed to stimulate regrowth.
Vitamins aren’t a magic cure and can’t stop hair loss for good, but the right cocktail of supplements can be highly beneficial.
Healthy hair growth is intrinsically linked to healthy body functions, demonstrating a solid connection between proper nutrition and a full head of hair.
- Iron – As stated before, most guys won’t need extra iron, but for those who actually are deficient, iron supplementation may restore the loss of hair. Though not definitive, scientists are currently studying the connections between iron deficiency and the development of conditions like alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and telogen effluvium. Another study found that of nine patients observed, eight showed signs of telogen hair loss.
- Zinc – Zinc directly affects health of hair follicles, aiding in the growth of hair. Further, one study examining different forms of hair loss, including male pattern baldness, found that zinc serum levels were far lower in affected patients than in the control group.
- B-Complex Vitamins – B-complex vitamins, like Biotin and B5, have both been used for years as alternative remedies for hair loss. Biotin is known to rebuild damaged hair shingles, while Vitamin B5 targets the adrenal glands, stimulating growth.
- Vitamin D – Hormones can play a big role in hair loss. As a compound that acts as a hormone within the body, Vitamin D can have a significant effect on hair. Vitamin D deficiency has proven links to numerous forms of baldness, including alopecia areata.
Vitamins for Weight Loss
For aging men, weight loss becomes all the more important.
Unlike women, who show a decline in metabolism in the mid-20s, most men are able to retain their figure longer, leading to the development of poor habits that can carry into the 30s and beyond.
By this point, unhealthy eating is often ingrained, leading to a rapid weight gain in men in middle age.
Nothing beats a healthy diet and regular exercise, but vitamin consumption can certainly facilitate an easier experience in shedding the pounds.
A fat-soluble vitamin linked to thyroid health, Vitamin A has notable benefits for those looking to lose weight.
The thyroid plays a role in how your body uses energy, which in turn contributes to metabolism.
Accordingly, higher levels of Vitamin A result in a faster metabolism, making it easier to keep away the weight.
Vitamin B also plays a role in metabolism, helping to turn the food you consume into energy to be used.
Ingesting more B vitamins than is appropriate won’t do much to help you, but maintaining proper levels can help with controlling appetite and keeping energy levels high enough to accommodate regular exercise.
Vitamin C and excess weight are often inversely correlated, with low levels present in many of those who are obese.
One study found that higher Vitamin C levels can lead to higher calorie usage, with moderate exercise contributing to a 30% increase in calories burned as compared to those with lower levels.
While the links between Vitamin D and obesity aren’t proven, research does demonstrate that D serum levels are usually low in those who are overweight.
One study also hypothesizes that Vitamin D may play a role in regulating fat mass.
Vitamins for Testosterone Support
The perils of low testosterone are feared by virtually every man, especially when it comes to performance in the bedroom.
With effects on everything from muscle mass to erection strength, testosterone is highly prized in traditional concepts on masculinity.
Levels drop normally as time goes on, leading to erectile dysfunction and muscle loss.
However, proper supplementation can address these issues, helping to keep natural production as high as possible.
- Zinc – Zinc contributes strongly to the overall endocrine system, testosterone included. One of the most important nutrients for testosterone health, zinc is required for maintaining normal levels, with deficiency even resulting in a significant boost in estrogen production in men.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D can be critical to testosterone production, and increased use can lead to a huge rise in levels within the body. In one research study, a patient who took Vitamin D supplements for a year showed a 25% increase in testosterone.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is stored in the testicles, among other areas of the body, and is strongly connected to testosterone levels. In fact, one study found that when Vitamin A levels in the testes drop to zero, testosterone plummets and estrogen increases.
- Magnesium – With amazing benefits to testosterone serum, magnesium is a critical part of maintaining healthy levels. In one study, improved magnesium supplementation showed a 24% increase in free testosterone production.
Making Multivitamins Easy
Whether you want to last longer in bed or simply want to maintain your luscious locks as long as possible, multivitamins for men have a lot to offer.
In addition to serving as a critical component of a healthy diet, proper supplementation can also help you withstand the aging process as best as possible, keeping you feeling years younger than the numbers on your birth certificate.
The right approach to health, however, can make a huge difference.
Taking a quality multivitamin for men – even while otherwise practicing healthy eating habits – ensures that you are achieving optimal nutrient levels, rather than just having enough to be considered “non-deficient”.
Best Multivitamins For Men
For those who want to take their nutritional supplementation to the fullest potential, using vitamin packs is a great way to ensure you’re getting everything you need to maintain peak performance.
To see what a high-performance nutritional supplement looks like, be sure to check out my review for what I’ve found to be the best-performing men’s multivitamin brand.
If you’re a guy and you’re not taking a good multivitamin for men you should definitely consider doing so.
Making this one change to your routine can greatly elevate your overall health and make it easier to achieve your long-term fitness goals.