Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 Most Important Supplements for People 40 and Over

Image Courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul |

Anyone over 40 will tell you your body changes once you hit a certain age.

Maybe it’s because responsibilities pile up. Maybe it’s because when you’re younger, exercise was easy and nutrition didn’t merit a high priority. But the fact is, after 40, time starts to catch up with you. Vitamin deficiencies and a sedentary lifestyle take their toll more quickly on a post-peak body.

You don’t have to submit to a fate of flab. To fight against health decline, use these 5 supplements to boost your body back into shape.

After 40, metabolism decelerates 5% for every decade afterward. To maintain weight, 40-year-olds need to eat 100 fewer calories per day than their 30-year-old selves could. The extra 100 calories leads to 10 pounds of weight gain per year. [1]

Instead of allowing fat to creep on your body, build muscle by supplementing your diet with protein.
The amount of protein varies by age, sex, weight, and activity level. Sedentary people can follow the FDA’s nutritional guidelines, but if you’re going to start weight training and cardio, you should kick it up a notch. A 210-pound person needs 95 g protein each day with moderate exercise to gain muscle mass. [2]

To ensure you’re getting lean protein, we recommend using a protein supplement. Pizza with pepperoni on top won’t cut it when building muscle.

Image Courtesy of Maggie Smith |

Vitamin D
Calcium loss is a sad reality for those over 40. Women bear the brunt of this age-related burden, but men should also take care of their bones. While most people know calcium is key to building strong bones, they often forget vitamin D, which facilitates calcium absorption. [3]

Vitamin D provides a host of other benefits as well. Dr. Shalamar Sibley discovered a connection between vitamin D and obesity in her 2009 study. When the body has adequate vitamin D levels, the body releases more hormones to the brain that recognize fullness. Vitamin D also slows fat storage. [4]

Many people over 40 don’t enjoy the stamina they had when they were younger. To improve energy, increase ribose intake. Ribose is a carbohydrate produced naturally by the body.

In one ribose study, scientists gave participants 5 g ribose each day. The patients experienced increased energy, restfulness during sleep, and mental clarity by an average of 45%. [5]

Another study found doses as low as 500 mg helped muscles salvage energy after exercise. Scientists found ribose increased energy salvage even during exercise. The gains were impressive; muscles salvaged up to 340% energy depending on the dose. [6]

Green Tea
Green tea is a healthful drink for people of any age. Thousands of scientific studies confirm green tea’s health benefits. Dr. Christopher Ochner, a research scientist at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, calls it “beyond a super food.”

Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that prevent cell damage. These catechins improve blood flow, which leads to a healthier heart, smarter brain, better stress relief, and improved blood sugar balance. [7]

Green tea also supports weight loss. The catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) stimulates thermogenesis, or fat burning. In one study, participants who drank green tea used an average 183 kJ more per day than those who used a placebo. Green tea drinkers lost about 7 pounds more than the control group after 8 weeks of trial. [8]

Essential Fatty Acids
Over time, the body produces fewer natural oils, which leads to dry skin, inflamed joints, and a host of other health problems. A daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids does wonders to decreasing discomfort. It lubricates joints, decreases inflammation, improves heart health, protects vision, boosts brain function, and plumps skin (making you look and feel younger). [9]

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil, and of course, fish oil supplements. Doctors recommend a daily dose of about a gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day to take advantage of its benefits. [10]

Staying healthy over 40 doesn’t have to be a chore. With proper nutrition, you can continue to enjoy life without weight gain, muscle loss, or pain.

Lindsay is a supplement specialist and regular contributor to

[1] Osterweil, Neil. “Fighting 40s Flab.” WebMD. 12 May 2004. Available from:
[2] “Protein.” UCLA Student Development Health Education.
[3] “Vitamin D.” MedlinePlus. Available from:
[4] Bowman, Alisa. “Feed Your Fat Burner.” Men’s Health. 3 Aug 2011. Available from:
[5]Teitelbaum JE, Johnson C, St Cyr J. “The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Nov 2006; 12(9):857-62. Available from:
[6] Zarzeczny R, Brault JJ, Abraham KA, Hancock CR, Terjung RL. “Influence of ribose on adenine salvage after intense muscle contractions.” Journal of Applied Physiology. Oct 2001; 91(4):1775-81. Available from:
[7] Edgar, Julie. “Health Benefits of Green Tea.” WebMD. 2013. Available from:
[8] Auvichayapat P, Prapochanung M, Tunkamnerdthai O, Sripanidkulchai BO, Auvichayapat N, Thinkhamrop B, Kunhasura S, Wongpratoom S, Sinawat S, Hongprapas P. “Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial.” Physiology and Behavior. 27 Feb 2008; 93(3):486-91. Available from:
[9] Oz, Mehmet. “Daily Dose: Omega 3.” 3 Jun 2010. Available from:
[10] “Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet.” WebMD. Available from:


  1. Hmmm.. you've got me thinking on the green tea. I just don't like it that much, and I avoid caffeine. Would decaf provide the same benefits? I am a believer on Omega 3, Vitamin D (which I take with my calcium) and protein. I think fiber is important too, and I am also a firm believer in water. That's not a supplement, but something many people miss.

  2. Green Tea is something that I've come to enjoy but I don't drink it often. :( I'm going to have to start drinking it daily. Thanks for the info!

  3. Wow! What a great article, Cassie! I'm working hard on getting my protein up as I really need to develop my muscles. I don't know about the ribose and green tea. I'm not sure that I eat anything that would contain those and I'm not a supplement taker.

  4. Good information! Ribose is new to me. Is it found in food or does our body make it from food we eat? I have been giving vitamin D a lot of thought lately. I've been inside all winter, and I can really feel a difference in my body. Warmer temperatures can't come soon enough.I really need to get out and get some sun.

  5. Thanks so much for this information. I had never heard of Ribose before.