As a guy in 2021, it takes commitment to properly care for your body and mind. From following the right fitness routine to wearing the optimal underwear style, it can be confusing to know what you need, and what is just being marketed at you. And this goes double for the multivitamin game. Some brands claim to be designed for men, but how important is that really? It can be hard to know, especially when a “men’s multi” can come at a higher price point than vitamins marked for everyone.
There has been some recent backlash about the whole industry, casting doubt on the efficacy of multivitamins in general, and leaving us with some questions. Do men and women have different vitamin needs, and do multivitamins supply those needs?
Food as Fuel?
A lot has been made of searching out nutrient-dense food and maintaining a diet with diverse fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes. If you are interested in your fitness, chances are you already have some strategy about eating. And you may feel like you are giving your body all it needs, but you may also be in for a surprise.
A recent study found that an average man would have to eat 350% more vegetables and 150% more fruit to reach healthy vitamin levels for the day. Paying attention to what you eat, and where it comes from, is a great practice that will undoubtedly enrich and lengthen your life. However, you may still not be getting all the nutrients you need.
Knowing what’s Necessary
The best way to understand what your personalized vitamin levels are is to get a blood test with your GP or at a local lab. The male body does have specific needs to maintain itself, but also specific risks that certain vitamins and minerals can help safeguard against.
Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals for men:
- Vitamin D - good for immune system
- Folic Acid - creates healthy red blood cells and sperm
- Iodine - regulating male hormones
- Zinc - producing testosterone
- Vitamin C - reduces risk of enlarged prostate
- Vitamin A - reduces risk of prostate cancer
- Vitamin E - protects cells
- Selenium - protects against heart and thyroid diseases
Why choose a Men’s Multivitamin
The bottom line is that you most likely need some supplements to help cover your nutritional needs. Along with a smart diet, a daily pill can help keep you in fighting shape. The main reasons for selecting a specifically male diet is the highlighting of the things you need and the absence of things you do not. For example, men need a lot more potassium everyday than women and, while still important, calcium is something men need less help getting in their diets.
While studies are mixed on how important multivitamins really are, there was recently some encouraging news from a Harvard health study: it found that men who took multivitamins had a slightly lower risk of developing cancer and a lower risk of developing cataracts. Another study, from the same university, found that ingesting B-complex and folic acid helped reduce the risk of strokes in men.