When Do Women Need More Calcium and Why?

by Shelly Kramer
When Do Women Need More Calcium and Why?
As a woman, you can expect your body to go through physical changes during certain milestones in life. And that means you need to adjust the nutrients you’re getting—with calcium being a priority. After all, calcium is what helps keep your bones and muscles strong, your heart healthy, and your nervous system working properly, so you can’t risk a deficiency. So when do women need more calcium and why? Let’s find out. Take a look at why it’s so important for women to get calcium: Why Do Women Need More Calcium Than Men?

As You Age

Women need more calcium early on, during childhood, because that’s when bones begin soaking up this nutrient in preparation for adulthood. According to the National Institutes of Health, infants need about 200 to 260 mg per day. Then your calcium needs climb to more than triple that amount, as you require 700 mg per day when you’re 1 to 3 years old. That increases to 1,000 mg between ages 4 and 8, and by the time you’re between 9 and 18 years old, you need 1,300 mg of calcium per day! If you’re raising girls and are having trouble meeting their calcium needs, these tips can help: How to Make Sure Your Child Is Getting Enough Calcium Girls who get enough calcium during childhood are setting themselves up for strong bones—and teeth!—while also keeping their muscles, nerves, and heart as healthy as possible. Note that at age 19, the amount of calcium needed for women decreases slightly, to 1,000 mg per day. But there are certain life stages when women need more calcium—or at least when calcium is more important than ever!

During Pregnancy

So when do women need more calcium, and when is this nutrient most important? During pregnancy! When you’re growing a human, you need to keep two bodies healthy and strong, and calcium helps. Not only do your own bones need calcium during this stage of life, but your growing baby does, too. Plus, calcium can reduce your chance of developing preeclampsia. So if you want to stay healthy during pregnancy, make sure you get the recommended amount of calcium for women during this phase of life. For most pregnant women between 19 and 50 years, that’s 1,000 mg per day. Pregnant women under the age of 18 need 1,300 mg per day.

During Menopause

It’s no surprise that women need more calcium during menopause. This is because your body makes less estrogen as you approach menopause, and there may be a significant loss of bone mass. At this point, you’re at high risk of developing osteoporosis. Sounds scary, right? Luckily you can try to prevent this by getting all the calcium needed for women at this stage of life. Clearly women need more calcium during menopause, but how much more? Well, after age 50, you need 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Of course, you shouldn’t wait until you’re 50 to start paying attention to your calcium needs. The earlier you start, the better equipped you’ll be to handle milestones like pregnancy and menopause, which is why it’s best to get enough calcium when you’re young. Now that you know when women need more calcium, you should know how to get it. Start with dairy foods—such as milk, yogurt, and cheese—every day. You should also incorporate calcium-rich fruits, vegetables, and meats in your diet—such as oranges, leafy greens, and canned salmon. And of course, you can add calcium powder to just about any food or drink to ensure you get at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Order your first box of FitFormula Calcium + Vitamin D today for an easy way to keep up with the calcium needs for women at any stage of life! Get inspired with five calcium-rich recipes when you read: How Women Can Get the Calcium They Need to Maintain Bone Health More sources explaining why and when women need more calcium: Bone Friendly Recipes Menopause & Osteoporosis Calcium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals