Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Men’s Health and Stamina

For fitness, health, and sexual stamina get enough of these 10 essentials for men.

Health and fitness magazines, late-night infomercials, and the latest research offered up on the evening news often present conflicting messages about vitamin supplementation. Add locker room talk guys may hear while cleaning up after a workout, and you’ve got some real confusion brewing. And just as many women seem to have a craze for the next real beauty or weight loss product, men go nuts for vitamins and other formulations that promise to give them what they want.

What do they want? A strong, buff bod, complete with six pack and the ability to maintain their – ahemattention in the bedroom. OK, in all fairness, they also want to live healthier, longer lives. In a perfect world, both men and women would obtain all their nutritional needs through eating a healthy, balanced diet.

No perfect world here. Even the most committed healthy eaters seem to miss the mark in today’s super fast, high tech, artificially flavored world. Check out the most important supplements for men below:

  1. Creatine – for muscle growth and improved memory. Take about 5 grams (g) per day, mixed in a milk-based protein shake (no soy).
  2. Folic Acid – an important supplement for women as well, folic acid keeps levels of the amino acid, homocysteine, in check. Too much of it can lead to deadly blood clots and clogged arteries. Research indicates that the lower homocysteine levels may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Take about 500 micrograms (mcg) daily. Natural food sources include dark leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit, beans, and legumes.
  3. Omega-3S – a type of fatty acid thought to lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Omega-3 makes the blood slicker, reducing the chance of clotting and arthrosclerosis. Researchers believe these fatty acids achieve these heart benefits by reducing inflammation throughout the body. Take 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day if you don’t have any history of heart disease or other cardiac problems. If you have heart issues or associated conditions, you may need anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 mg daily. Fatty fish, like salmon or herring are natural food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant, vitamin e is thought to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage as well as reduce your risk of some types of eye disease, cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. You can take up to 400 international units (IU) per day. Eat more nuts and oils to get more vitamin e from natural sources. The body absorbs natural vitamin e formulations better than the synthetic e, so opt for the natural choice.
  5. Boron – studies have shown this supplement to reduce your risk of prostate cancer by up to 65 percent. Some research indicates that higher boron levels lead to better memory and concentration as well. Despite the abundance and variety of food choices in the US, American men consume nearly the lowest amounts of boron worldwide.
  6. Calcium – according to Dr. Todd B. Nippoldt, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, “Calcium is important for men of all ages for optimal bone health.” In addition to optimal bone health, men with higher intakes of the mineral were leaner than those consuming low levels of calcium. Many men don’t get enough calcium from dairy products and don’t eat much of the calcium-rich green leafy vegetables either. You need 1,000 mg of calcium per day, but when taking calcium citrate supplements, you’ll need a total of 1,200 mg daily. Don’t take it all at once; split your intake between morning and evening. If you already get enough calcium, three cups of milk or equivalent, you won’t need to supplement your intake. In fact, too much calcium puts men at risk.
  7.  Vitamin D – facilitates the proper absorption of calcium. Without it, your body can’t absorb and utilize your calcium supplements. You’ll need about 800 IUs daily and don’t exceed 4,000 IUs. Natural sources of D include egg yolks, salmon, and tuna.
  8. Coenzyme Q10 – the body produces this antioxidant-packed substance, but production decreases with age. Q10 helps cells manage the body’s energy stores and may reduce the risk for a number of debilitating diseases, such as Parkinson’s. To regain the energy and disease protection of your younger, wilder days, you’ll need to take a Q10 supplement. It doesn’t occur in adequate amounts in any food – a supplement is the only way. Take 100 mg per day, unless you take statins for cholesterol. Some statins can reduce Q10 levels, so those taking the drugs may try increasing the Q10 dosage to 200 mg daily.
  9. Chromium – chromium increases your sensitivity to insulin, helping your body to manage blood glucose levels more efficiently. This may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, especially if it runs in your family. Better management of glucose levels translates into better metabolism overall, which can facilitate your muscle building efforts.
  10. Glucosamine – this substance helps to alleviate joint pain, resulting from overuse and the natural effects of aging. Some studies suggest it may help slow, or event stop, the progression of osteoarthritis in the knee. Unless you want to eat crab and lobster shells, you won’t find this in a natural food source. Take a supplement of 1,500 mg per day. You should begin to feel results after 12 weeks of taking glucosamine.

Unless you eat a fastidiously healthy, well-balanced diet, you’ll still need a multi-vitamin in addition to these essentials for men. And remember, smart guys last longer – exercise regularly and talk to your doctor before beginning to take any dietary supplement.

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  1. #1 by hairymary on January 24, 2012 - 11:49 PM

    This is absolute rubbish, except in exceptional cases nobody in the western world needs to take vitamins or supplements with their diet and anybody who says differently should point to “proper” peer reviewed studies that say differently. This vitamin craze is a money making scam that plays on peoples health fears with the fear being supplied by the pill peddlers themselves.

    • #2 by Michael Schmid on January 25, 2012 - 7:12 PM

      I just realized I could have commented directly here. I mention your comment in mine below, Mary. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I can’t agree that nutrient deficiencies don’t exist and can’t be treated (as my doctor did mine) with vitamins, etc.

    • #3 by Nick Campos on February 7, 2012 - 5:01 AM

      Plenty of research exists for those that truly want to know. I find that the people that take this position are the least likely to search for studies confirming or refuting–they generally want others to do the work for them, or they rely on the opinions they hear elsewhere. If you really want to know, hairymary, look it up. Simple as that.

      • #4 by Samantha Gluck on February 7, 2012 - 5:08 AM

        Thanks, Dr. Nick, for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts! I’m honored to have you here. Yes, I’ve read countless studies from authoritative sources on the topic and all indicate that some supplementation is needed to top off even the most carefully planned and seemingly nutritionally balanced American diet. Thanks again for your time and for sharing with us.

        Samantha

  2. #5 by amy shoultz, phd on January 25, 2012 - 12:50 AM

    I found this post refreshing!…as well as entertaining & information-packed. Too often traditional publications are quick to point to the inadequacies of women, um, *in the bedroom* when each one of us is individually responsible for our overall mind/body health–physical, sexual & emotional. Additionally, many first-worlders–male and female–can benefit from judiciously administered supplements (like vitamin D or the Omegas) given the very real lifestyle changes that prevent our ideal intake of these essential nutrients. I say we can all use a little boost..in, or out, of the boudoir*-).

  3. #6 by Michael Schmid on January 25, 2012 - 5:54 PM

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with your first commenter. Nutritional supplementation is clearly warranted in many cases. Sure, lots of people are literally pissing their money down the drain with supplements they don’t need, but as recently as last week my physician (an M.D., not a witch doctor) said my blood tests showed, among other things, that I was significantly deficient in vitamin D. The idea that our food provides all the nutrition we need in today’s world is what is rubbish. I’m not a real doctor, though I play one on TV… okay, not really… so my opinion is worth what you paid for it. With that disclaimer, I must strongly side with the author.

    • #7 by Samantha Gluck on January 25, 2012 - 6:11 PM

      Thank you, Michael, for stopping by and sharing your personal experience with the Medtopicwriter team and our readers. I love that you said you’re not a real doctor, but play one on t.v.! I say that all the time. I’m so glad that your doctor discovered your vitamin D deficiency. D deficits can build up and cause serious damage if not remedied. Have a great week and thanks again for stopping by.

  4. #8 by Nellie on January 25, 2012 - 7:32 PM

    Wow! What a great article! I’m going to print it out and send hubby to the health food store with it. I STRONGLY disagree that no one needs supplements. It’s impossible to know exactly what nutrients you are taking in, which ones your body absorbs the best (or does not absorb well at all), and what nutritional insufficiencies you may have built up due to lifestyle and environmental factors. I just found out my vitamin D level is drastically low. In the US it’s unusual to have an actual deficiency, but borderline levels are common and can be helped!

    • #9 by Samantha Gluck on January 25, 2012 - 8:28 PM

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nellie. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and that you know about your D deficiency and are doing something about it. That’s personal engagement in your own health care, an example I hope more Americans follow in the near future. XO

  5. #10 by Sara on January 25, 2012 - 10:51 PM

    I have discovered the powerful antioxident properties and the benefits it brings to your diet, check it out here http://resveratrolinformation.net

    • #11 by Samantha Gluck on January 26, 2012 - 8:14 PM

      Sara,

      I’ve heard the buzz about this substance and even heard positive things about it from fairly trusted sources, but cannot recommend it until there’s more of the same type of sources who give it credibility, or even one empirical study that does so. Thanks for sharing!

  6. #12 by Fish Oil Gal on January 26, 2012 - 6:32 AM

    My doctor put me on fish oil recently when I was diagnosed with high triglycerides. I feel better taking something natural and it’s doing the job.
    – Rach

    • #13 by Samantha Gluck on January 26, 2012 - 8:13 PM

      Hi Rachel,

      Fish oil is proven to benefit both men and women for much the same reason and in much the same way. Men may benefit from it slightly more, due to their higher propensity (exceptions notwithstanding) for issues with the CV system.

  7. #14 by kdijewirwqdghe on January 26, 2012 - 7:06 AM

    Vitamin-C2 is needed for: Metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine, and phenylalanine Vitamin-C2 helps protect against: Pollution, diseases, and infection. Since the body does not manufacture vitamin C.

    http://www.supplement-vitamin.com

    • #15 by Samantha Gluck on January 26, 2012 - 8:11 PM

      You’re right, that vitamin C is essential, but basically equally so for the genders. In writing this story, I tried to concentrate on supplements for men’s health only, like boron, or those where men needed the supplement for different reasons. Thanks for sharing!

  8. #16 by austix on January 26, 2012 - 6:12 PM

    Impressed you let the naysayers through– vitamin D might be the only one we need. Lack of credible research is the issue. Most claims just aren’t valid. Placebo works often as well. It’s in the mind at best.

    • #17 by Samantha Gluck on January 26, 2012 - 7:27 PM

      I always allow negative comments through, especially those that directly disagree with my main point — unless they include personal attacks or foul language. I’m all about hearing the other side. All I ask is they disagree with respect and tact. The other commenter was not too tactful or classy, but at least she didn’t use foul language or overtly attack me.

      That said, there’s plenty of empirical evidence available that shows even the affluent in this country could use vitamin supplementation to their diets.

  9. #18 by tomblogue on January 27, 2012 - 5:26 AM

    I think it’s critical to understand not only the individual benefits of these supplements but the interrelationships as well. All the calcium in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t have the Vitamin D to help absorb it (as you pointed out). Unfortunately, there’s so much confusion about what is or isn’t necessary, and so much seemingly contradictory information about how supplements contribute to overall health, that I can’t blame people like your first commenter for throwing up their hands and thinking it’s all a load of hooey. Sometimes I’m jealous of the dog — one bowl of kibble a day and his needs are met.

    Thanks for such a well laid out list with sound reasoning behind it!

    • #19 by Samantha Gluck on January 27, 2012 - 4:23 PM

      Tom,

      As always, it’s a pleasure to hear your thoughts on the things we throw up here on Medtopicwriter. And you’re right, there is an abundance of contradictory and misinformation that’s readily available to the lay public. But people can get reliable information from their board certified medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO). They can also look at nim.gov and other sites with properly conducted and vetted studies to learn facts from authoritative sources. Throwing your hands up and just saying it’s all bologna, is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. It’s a cliche for a reason — because it’s true!

      As responsible citizens, we all need to take a personal interest and responsibility in our own health care, especially with the coming storm that will accompany a fully implemented health care reform act (as it now stands).

      Thank you for coming by, Tom. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and always value your thoughts.

      Sam

  10. #20 by Michael on January 29, 2012 - 11:56 PM

    This article is one of the best I read in awhile. I was always afraid of vitamin deficiancy for myself, due to the line of work I do.. I work in a restaurant and due to the fact I work so many hours a day, leaving me with a not so great diet, the fear of what I have been eating the past 6 years and what I have been doing to my body is scary. I used to workout regularly, at least 5 days of the week, but for the past 3 years I
    have not even walked a great distance. I have noticed lately that my eyes get really blood shot
    red after I consume fried food, leaving me to believe that I might have high blood pressure.
    Taking vitamins might just be the answer since my diet is really bad. I used to take vitamins back when I was working out, I had a decent diet and let me tell you, I felt great. So take your vitamins daily.. it is the one good thing one can do for themselves.
    diet
    Ian
    addition I feel very week and periodically I have
    had anxiety attacks. Due to the fact I can’t go get checked up

    • #21 by Samantha Gluck on January 30, 2012 - 1:31 AM

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us and for your kind words about the story. You may indeed have a vitamin deficiency. It’s best if you visit a physician first (perhaps a friend can drive you). At the very least, please get some sort of medical advice before beginning to take supplements. I’d appreciate it if you’d keep us posted on your progress and let us know if the vitamins help, once you start them (if you do). Take care and be happy.

      Samantha

  11. #22 by JE Health Care Solutions -- Andy Edley on February 10, 2012 - 6:28 PM

    The key is making sure any supplements you take are as natural as possible. I agree that there are scams out their and a lot of them are taking advantage of people’s fears, but if you look for natural supplements instead of man made you will get the help you need. This was a great post and should be looked at as knowledge that everybody needs to be getting. Not something to be torn apart.

    • #23 by Samantha Gluck on February 10, 2012 - 6:45 PM

      Thanks, Andy, for your kind words and support. And you’re absolutely correct — scams abound everywhere in the markets (not just in the supplement niche). It’s important to use good judgement, seek wise counsel, and do your homework before adding a battery of supplements to your diet.

      • #24 by JE Health Care Solutions -- Andy Edley on February 10, 2012 - 9:21 PM

        Your are welcome. The point I was trying to make is we need to take control of our own healthcare. Thanks for re-tweeting my blog post.

        Andy

        • #25 by Samantha Gluck on February 10, 2012 - 9:50 PM

          I got your point, Andy…it’s something that we need to encourage people to do, using various platforms and formats, so as to propagate it among diverse groups. Personal health literacy and responsibility will drive satisfaction with health care services up. That’s the theme we need to get across with the message, I think.

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