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How Much Calcium Men Need and Why
by Peter Bua
How much calcium men need on a daily basis is pretty often not on most guys’ radar screens, but it should be. Whether you’re focused on being fit and strong in your 20s, 30s, and 40s or whether you’re focused on making sure you don’t end up with that ugly osteoporosis back hump or brittle, easy-to-break bones when you’re in midlife and beyond, calcium matters. Calcium is one of the most critical nutrients for the body in general. Responsible for helping to strengthen bones and teeth, it also helps keep muscles, nerves, and even the heart healthy.
Where Do We Get Calcium?Calcium is important, we now agree on that. So, where do we get the calcium the body needs to be strong and healthy? It may come as a surprise that the body does not make this nutrient. This means that in order to get the calcium your body needs on a daily basis, you have to get it from calcium-rich food sources or calcium supplements. Problem: Need Calcium. Solution: Figure out how much, then make sure you get it in the body. Now, let’s figure out the solution to figuring out how much calcium men need.
How Much Calcium Men NeedThe amount of calcium you need as a male depends on your age. You’ll find that as you get older—particularly when you turn 71—you need a little more calcium to maintain bone strength. That’s because with age, the cells in your bones are more likely to break down, meaning they have to rebuild—and that requires you to have calcium in your system first. But please, don’t think that you don’t need to worry about getting a daily dose of calcium until you’re 71—that could not be further from the truth. Here are the recommended dietary allowances for people at every age. Note that for adult men, you’re going to need on average 1,000 mg of calcium daily from your late teens up through your 70s, then once you hit those older years, you’re going to need to ramp up your calcium intake. This chart explains how much calcium men need (women too).
|0–6 months*||200 mg||200 mg|
|7–12 months*||260 mg||260 mg|
|1–3 years||700 mg||700 mg|
|4–8 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|9–13 years||1,300 mg||1,300 mg|
|14–18 years||1,300 mg||1,300 mg||1,300 mg||1,300 mg|
|19–50 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|51–70 years||1,000 mg||1,200 mg|
|71+ years||1,200 mg||1,200 mg|
The Health Benefits of Getting Enough CalciumMen who get sufficient calcium enjoy numerous benefits to their health. The most well-known advantages involve the bones, as the body needs to have enough calcium to build strong bones and maintain them for life. So in their youth and prime bone-building years, and especially from about the age of 9 until 18, boys need a significant amount of calcium. And men who want to keep their bones strong at any age need a significant amount of daily calcium as well. Of course, having strong bones also means having strong teeth, which men tend to appreciate more as they age. After all, who really wants to deal with the thought of dentures or a mouthful of missing teeth? But as I mentioned earlier, bones aren’t the only parts of the body that benefit from calcium. Your heart, muscles, and nervous system all need calcium to work properly. And getting enough calcium as you grow may even reduce your odds of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases you don’t want. Suffice it to say that it’s imperative that men get enough of this nutrient.
Sources of CalciumThe good news is there are plenty of calcium-rich foods for men to choose from. Some of the best calcium sources include milk, cheese, and yogurt. But if you don’t consume dairy on a regular basis, don’t worry. There are lots of dairy-free ways men can get more calcium! Here are just a few ideas if you’re looking for dairy-free calcium-rich meals and snacks:
- Leafy greens (such as kale, Bok choy, and mustard greens)
- Sesame seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Canned sardines with bones
- Canned salmon with bones
- Fortified cereal