Nothing can stand in the way of aging. Sooner or later, you’ll start to see the signs: fatigue, crow’s feet, wrinkles – and of course, workouts that aren’t quite as effective as they used to be.
The sensation of hitting the gym and getting nowhere can be extremely frustrating for guys over 40, especially for those seeking gains that just aren’t happening. Is it time to give up and give in to old age? Hell no!
If your body isn’t giving you the results you want, you just need to take a different approach. Proper supplementation can help you improve any workout, shaving years off the performance of your body.
Supplements for Men Over 40
With so many so-called “workout boosters” on the market, most men new to the supplement game have more questions than answers in the vitamin aisle. Should I take everything I can find? Nothing? Play supplement roulette until something works?
On top of that, if you’re a guy over 40, you’ll find it difficult pinpointing which workout supplements are best suited for you, and most of the products offered aren’t targeted to your specific needs. Luckily, a little self-schooling can go a long way.
Supplements are designed as a way to enhance or replace what the body can’t do naturally. As a man over 40, it’s important to focus on the reasons behind muscle loss and the improvements you want to see.
In general, loss of muscle mass is driven by three changes in the body:
- Sarcopenia, a form of age-related muscle loss that’s related to anabolic resistance. This muscle loss starts occurring at around age 40, resulting in up to 8% decrease in muscle mass per decade after age 40. This causes a noticeable decrease in both muscle size and strength, as well as metabolic rate (see below). (1)
- Fat gain associated with a lower metabolism. This decrease in muscle size caused by sarcopenia leads to diminshed strength PLUS a lower metabolic rate. As a consequence, increased body fat is inevitable.
- A natural loss of testosterone, commonly referred to as andropause, is a major contributor to age-related muscular atrophy. This drop in testosterone starts at around age 30, and continues at a rate of about 10-20% per decade thereafter. (2)
An ideal supplement regimen will target these factors, helping to boost testosterone, speed up metabolic rate, and improve anabolic resistance for safe, effective muscle gain. Accordingly, men over 40 who work out are encouraged to take supplements like creatine, protein, nitric oxide supplements, testosterone boosters, and HGH supplements.
See Also: The Basics of Bodybuilding Supplements
A nitrogenous amino acid that occurs naturally within the body, creatine is popular among professional athletes for its ability to promote muscle growth, increase strength, and boost athletic performance in high-intensity, anaerobic activities.
When consumed, creatine supplements transform into creatine phosphate in the body. This is a key part of creatine’s effectiveness; creatine phosphate supports the production of adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, a source of energy important in muscle contractions.
The good news for men over 40 is that creatine supplementation might actually offer greater benefits for older guys than younger guys. Research indicates that with age, the body’s ability to utilize creatine only increases, resulting in even better results from your workouts. (3)
Creatine is widely accessible in pill and powder form and is intended to be consumed right before, after, or during a workout. I highly recommend using BioCreatine, in my opinion it’s the best option out there.
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, no matter your age. However, increased quantities of protein can also be useful for your gym routine as well.
For men in middle age, whey protein, a derivative of the cheese production process, is often suggested. Rich in amino acids including those known for promoting the growth of new muscle tissue, like leucine, whey protein can play a key role in muscle building and may also have connections to faster muscle recovery.
Protein, including whey protein, is often available in a powder form that should be consumed immediately before a workout.
Nitric oxide is a naturally-occurring substance in the body that is formed from the breakdown of the amino acid L-arginine. Used as a form of communication between cells, nitric oxide facilitates circulation of the blood and serves as a regulator for elements of the cardiovascular system.
When taken as a supplement, however, nitric oxide can stimulate vasodilation, or dilation of the blood vessels that allows for an increase in oxygenated blood. This process can also lead to an increase in anaerobic threshold over time, leading to improved performance in the gym.
Unlike supplements that are intended to be consumed mid-workout, nitric oxide should be ingested 20 to 30 minutes before your gym session. Two pre-workout products I recommend that increase nitric oxide levels are Nitrocut and 4-Gauge.
For men suffering from clinically-diagnosed low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy as prescribed by a doctor is the most effective path forward. For those who simply notice symptoms associated with a natural decrease in testosterone, however, a supplement that can boost the release of free testosterone can help you regulate T levels for better results in the gym.
Contrary to what many may believe, natural testosterone boosters do not introduce additional amounts of testosterone into the body. Rather, they free up testosterone that is already in the body that has become neutralized. These products come in all shapes and sizes, but most effective products will include ingredients like:
When evaluating products, look for those that contain all-natural components and are free from untested chemical compounds. I would definitely recommend taking something like Test Stack 17 or Prime Male.
For more in-depth information about these products, check out my Testosterone Booster guide.
Besides testosterone, HGH, or human growth hormone, is another major contributor to the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, among other issues. This hormone is an anabolic agent that is manufactured in the pituitary gland.
It’s a stress hormone overseeing cell reproduction and regeneration responsible for growth in children and adolescents. After the body ceases growing taller, growth hormone starts to quickly decrease and normally drops significantly in adulthood.
Similar to testosterone, HGH levels begin to diminish after age 30, but at a far greater rate. Restoring HGH levels has been shown to offer several benefits to health, including an increase in lean muscle mass and a reduction in body fat, among others.
Because this hormone is only available legally in the US with a prescription, HGH is typically very difficult to obtain, and its use is associated with various health risks. The hormone must be injected on a regular basis, and is very expensive.
Luckily, you can stimulate your body’s own production of growth hormone naturally by taking HGH supplements. These products contain a wide assortment of ingredients, but typically you’ll find components included like amino acids, vitamins, herbal extracts, bovine colostrum, and pituitary extract, to name just a few.
Many of these supplements tend to be ineffective, since they’re taken orally where the ingredients become destroyed during digestion. The more effective products are offered as either time-released capsules, as an oral spray, or both. Two of the better brands that have shown great results are HyperGH 14x and Pituitary Growth Hormone.
For more in-depth information about these products, check out my HGH supplements buyer’s guide.
See Gains With Supplements
Unfortunately, there’s no true way to regain your youth, but proper supplementation can help you get part of the way there. Of course, maintaining a proper diet also plays an equally important role, but by adding a supplement regimen to your training schedule, it’s possible to see the gains that have long been eluding you since middle age set in.
See Also: The Best Workout Supplements Ranked