Here’s a research-backed list of the best bodybuilding supplements in 2022 for men over 50 to benefit muscle growth and overall health – including five nutrients mature males often lack.
Achieving muscle mass in older adults isn’t always easy, but the best supplements will help. And there’s science to back that up. What follows are the best bodybuilding supplements for men over 50 to inspire protein synthesis, improve blood flow, raise testosterone levels and create muscle growth.
Near the bottom of this article, you’ll find links to scientific studies that establish these supplements as beneficial, in case you want to dive deeply into the research.
Creatine Is Among the Most Researched Bodybuilding Supplements
Creatine monohydrate is the gold standard and among the best bodybuilding supplements for men over 50. It has been researched more than most other workout supplements on the market. Creatine improves your muscular control and strength. It helps muscles perform better under pressure, so you have better workouts.
In some men, creatine powder can force your kidneys to work harder (which is not good), so ask your doctor first.
Nitrates (Nitric Oxide) Provides a Better Pump for Men Over 50
Nitrate supplementation powers your muscle cells, improving aerobic and anaerobic endurance, blood flow, power output, and muscle recovery.
You can help meet your muscles’ nitric oxide nutritional needs by consuming spinach and beets.
I add spinach to my blended green smoothies and beet extract powder to my workout water.
Quality Protein Is Among the Most Important Bodybuilding Supplements
Generally, if you’re already at a healthy weight and want to build muscle, you can try for 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
My favorite sources of protein are:
- Ground turkey, grass-fed beef (7% fat), cage-free eggs, and bison.
- I make a special unsweetened protein powder blend that combines sprouted rice protein, hemp protein, marine collagen, and whey isolate protein powder (in my case, I don’t usually have a protein shake, but I do add a heaping tablespoon or two of a protein powder mix to my blended green tea and black tea lattes.)
- Finally, I also have essential amino acids in pill form to help fill in any missing gaps in my protein intake (not BCAA supplements, but the whole spectrum of amino).
I like white rice made in the Instant Pot.
I also do a classic bodybuilder trick: to have a small handful of old-fashioned, traditional-flavor Sweetarts on my way home from the gym. The dextrose is reputed to help turn off stress hormones – “the cortisol dump” – that can happen after a hard training session.
Beta-alanine has been proven to help sports performance, and the dosage doesn’t have to be high.
Testosterone Boosters for Men Over 50
The best testosterone booster you can get is actual testosterone itself. Suppose you’re over 50 and have low testosterone. In that case, your doctor might establish through blood work that you are eligible for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), including time-release DHEA pills and some bioidentical testosterone yam cream.
Powder Blends: Pre-Workouts, Intra-Workouts, and Post-Workouts
You can likely find a reputable manufacturer who combines quality versions of the above muscle-building supplements into an easy-to-take pre-workout, intra-workout, or post-workout blend.
Oh, And Don’t Forget the Actual Bodybuilding
Best Bodybuilding Supplements for Men Over 50 – Runners Up
Getting the vast majority of nutrients you need from the foods you eat is a smart nutritional strategy. However, it’s also important to recognize that other bodybuilding supplements for men over 50 can be an effective way to fill in any possible missing gaps in your diet.
What follows are specific nutritional supplement ideas for you to consider – and discuss with your doctor at your next annual physical.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are like an insurance policy. You take them to make certain that there are no trace nutrients in which you might be deficient – because, in the long term, small nutritional deficiencies might create big problems.
Should Male Bodybuilders Over 50 Take Vitamins?
You may be wondering whether you should take vitamins or what kind and amount of each nutrient you need to supplement.
Here are some important considerations:
- No law says you have to take a supplement every single day (there are many bodybuilding supplements that I only take every other day; also, some supplements I cycle 8-weeks-on and 4-weeks-off).
- Food-based supplements are generally believed to be better than synthetic ones.
- Taking too many supps can be as bad (or worse) as not taking enough.
As you get more advanced with your supplementation, you’ll discover that some supps are better on an empty stomach while others are better with food.
Some bodybuilding supplements are better as a pill you swallow, while others are better in liquid form or sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets.
Do Your Research on Quality Bodybuilding Supplements – Here’s How
It makes a difference what supplement brands you choose.
Here are some resources that I have found helpful (more sources below this article):
- Examine.com: an independent, unbiased organization that does not sell any bodybuilding supplements – they focus on the actual scientific evidence of what works and what doesn’t.
- LabDoor.com: they purchase supplements at the store, send them to the best labs for testing, then rank them for quality, efficacy, and value.
- FoundMyFitness.com: Dr. Rhonda Patrick is a scientist who conducts her own lab research on nutrients that enhance fitness.
Reputable Brands of Bodybuilding Supplements for Men Over 50
These are my current favorite brands of supplements:
- Standard Process
- New Chapter
I tailor my daily supplementation based on how I feel and what workout session I have planned.
However, for most people, logistical constraints make that unrealistic.
Therefore, many men will benefit from having a once-a-week prep day, where they sort all their bodybuilding supplements for the week ahead in one fell swoop.
Tip: one of the best and fastest ways to organize your once-a-week supplement is to use cupcake trays to sort pills quickly. Then when you’re finished, you can simply take the pills from each tin and store them in an individual snack baggie… and you’re good to go.
The State of Health for Bodybuilders Over 50 Today
We seem to understand as a culture that our health needs improving, but individually we are in denial:
- Almost everyone thinks they’re healthier than their neighbor, even though only 3% of Americans live a healthy lifestyle.
- Parents of obese children list their children as “very healthy” on survey forms, even though the epidemic of childhood obesity is being openly discussed in the media.
Ideally, one receives all the needed nutrients from foods eaten.
But we don’t live in an ideal world.
We are indoors too much and too sedentary.
The state of our food (oceans, soil, air, and water) is different now than it was three hundred years ago.
Save Money, Get Tested
Below, I share the bodybuilding supplements that are most often needed and where to find them – either by supplementation or food.
However, it might be easier if (once each year) you get yourself tested (via blood lab work with your doctor) to see what – among all the nutrients – you are deficient in.
Your insurance might cover the cost of the test, but even if you have to kick in a couple of hundred dollars, you still can save money in the long run because you won’t be wasting money on bodybuilding supplements you don’t need.
Here are five nutrients that many mature adults find themselves lacking:
- Vitamin D
Additionally, for specific muscular support, these bodybuilding supplements have been helpful for many men:
- Nitric Oxide
For those who train intensely and frequently, it can be beneficial to supplement with quality protein (such as a pre-workout powder blend) before a workout and quality carbohydrates after (such as a post-workout powder blend).
A low-dosage, food-based multi-vitamin, multi-mineral capsule can be an additional way to cover any other possible trace nutrients that might be missing.
Additional supplements might be warranted to provide specific organ or mitochondrial support – such as for the heart, the brain, immunity, digestion, inflammation, or longevity.
Finally, adequate hydration is essential for mature athletes to thrive.
Supplements act like an insurance policy. You take them to make certain that there are no trace nutrients in which you might be deficient – because, in the long-term, small nutritional deficiencies might create big problems.
Benefits of CoQ10 as a Bodybuilding Supplement
CoQ10 is a nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from damage caused by harmful molecules.
It helps with cell growth and maintenance and may be beneficial in protecting the heart and reducing the risk of cancer.
CoQ10 is high in foods many I don’t normally eat – organ meats, sardines, and mackerel. Until my next physical, I’ll take a CoQ10 supplement three times a week. CoQ10 is found in soy and peanuts, but soy and peanuts are sometimes not considered a healthy part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Vitamin D Might Play Key Role in Cancer Prevention
Health and longevity are more directly impacted by Vitamin D than many realize.
Though it has long been established that Vitamin D can be helpful in the reduction of inflammation and pain, it now appears that this might be only the tip of the iceberg concerning Vitamin D.
Many experts believe that Vitamin D is among the most important nutrients to supplement in your daily diet.
Dr. Cedric F. Garland, a cancer prevention specialist, conducted a study and estimated that 250,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 350,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented each year worldwide by increasing the intake of vitamin D3.
“..for the first time, we are saying that 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancer could be prevented each year worldwide, including nearly 150,000 in the United States alone.” – Dr. Cedric Garland
The amount of new research on the benefits of Vitamin D makes it easy for me to say that almost everyone should be on a daily dose of Vitamin D. This research shows that low blood levels of Vitamin D can be associated with:
This list is just the beginning because I can add:
Vitamin D has been shown to:
- improve survival with lung cancer
- increase athletic performance
- increase cognitive performance in adults
The dried version of shitake mushrooms is high in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D should be part of any pain treatment protocol.
How is it that Vitamin D supplements can have such far-reaching effects?
All of your body organs and cells have receptor sites for Vitamin D.
This means that Vitamin D communicates throughout your body.
The vast majority of people in the US who feel suboptimal also have overly acidic body chemistry – which is a potential breeding ground for disease/illness.
On the other hand, being too alkaline presents its problems.
The challenge is to find the pH “sweet spot.”
Calcium is a major buffer in our body to reduce acidity, and Vitamin D consumption causes increased calcium absorption to supply a reservoir of buffering agents for the acidic body. Better health comes with better body chemistry.
My experience is that not all Vitamin D supplements are equal. I recommend to my clients a specific Vitamin D with nano-sized particles in an oil emulsion that is absorbed directly into the lymph system.
A safe dose is 2000IU for children and 4000IU for adults. You should evaluate your Vitamin D dosage with a yearly blood test for 25 (hydroxyl) Vitamin D. Your goal should be a reading of at least 50 ng/ml.
How Much Iodine Should I Take?
Iodine is among the most misunderstood and deficient of all nutrients. Here’s the best way to get the iodine your body needs.
Iodine is found in each cell in your body – without it, life is impossible.
David Browstein M.D. explains in his book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It that of all the elements known so far to be essential for human health, iodine is the most misunderstood and the most feared.
Yet iodine is the safest of all the essential trace elements — provided it is in the inorganic, non-radioactive form. In the correct form, it can be taken daily and for long periods, according to Dr. Brownstein.
Nourishing the Cells of Your Body with Iodine?
Over 80% of people tested in the Midwest are iodine-deficient (the Midwest is considered the goiter belt of America due to this deficiency), making it one of the most deficient nutrients!
Iodine is essential to life and is responsible for the production of all the hormones of the body.
The proper immune function requires adequate levels of iodine for warding off parasites, bacteria, viruses, and maybe even cancer.
Iodine helps to alkalize the body’s PH (it’s known that acidic body chemistry is a factor in many diseases).
It is essential to the health of every cell in the body:
- women might find it helpful to know that high concentrations of iodine can be found in healthy thyroid glands, healthy ovaries, and healthy breast tissue.
- men might find it helpful to know that high testosterone levels depend on ample amounts of iodine.
How Much Iodine Does a Healthy Human Body Need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150 mcg. per day for disease prevention. So that’s probably a good place to start, to make sure you’re getting at least that in your daily diet via food sources (preferably) or supplementation.
Interestingly, Dr. Brownstein believes 150 mcg is still too low and points out that:
- the Japanese, on average, ingest 86 times more than the suggested RDA amount of iodine.
- the U.S. has the highest incidence of breast cancer while Japan’s is the lowest in the world.
- life expectancy for Americans is 48th of 226 counties, while Japan ranks 6th.
- Japan’s infant mortality rate is the lowest at 3.5 per 1000 births, while America is double that, at 7 per 1000.
- when Japanese immigrate to America, they quickly join the U.S. statistics (there is more to this than just iodine, it should make you stop and think about your daily intake of this essential nutrient!)
Don’t Interfere with my Iodine
There is more to the lack of iodine than just not ingesting enough. Let’s look at a little chemistry and the periodic table of elements.
The elements at the top of the table will displace elements that are below them on the table.
Reading from the top of the table to the bottom with the halogen family of elements, we have fluorine at the top, then chlorine, then bromine, and finally, at the very bottom and most easily displaced is iodine:
- Fluorine will then displace iodine and can be found in municipal drinking water.
- Fluorine is also found in pharmaceutical drugs like Cipro, Lipitor, Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor.
- Fluorine is an ingredient in the sweetener Splenda.
Chlorine will also displace iodine, and it is also found in our drinking water and drugs such as Zoloft and Wellbutrin.
Bromine also displaces it, and since the 1980s, bromine has replaced iodine as the anti-caking agent used in baked goods in America.
Therefore, the iodine we ingest can be displaced by these other, more aggressive elements – which many Americans easily ingest daily.
Enzyme Supplements Can Extend Life Expectancy
New research suggests that resveratrol is a nutrient that can increase human life expectancy. But which kind should you take, and at what dosage?
One of the ultimate fables of human history concerns the desire to extend life expectancy.
The myth has been an oral tradition in many cultures worldwide and tells the tale of someone enthusiastically searching for a remote and mysterious location where there will exist waters with such miraculous curative powers that any person who bathes in them will regain his or her youth.
The odds of you discovering the fountain of youth are unlikely.
Would you settle for a longer-than-average life expectancy, with quality in those added years?
Scientists today believe we can modify the aging process by extending life expectancy – providing a higher quality of life by reducing the diseases people typically get when they age.
There is a class of enzymes called sirtuins that exhibit anti-aging properties.
The sirtuins enzymes are universal regulators of aging and life expectancy in all living organisms.
Sirtuins play a role in gene repair, increased cell survival, energy metabolism, and the body’s positive response to stress.
Undoubtedly pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to find a patentable drug to enhance sirtuin function.
Fortunately, a natural substance will increase sirtuin activity, and that substance is resveratrol.
So far, the results from the research are astounding:
- yeast treated with resveratrol survive 60% longer than untreated yeast
- resveratrol increased the lifespan of worms and flies by nearly 30%
- the lifespan of resveratrol-treated fish increased by almost 60%
- mice fed a high caloric diet, and resveratrol have less damage to their livers
- resveratrol treated mice can run twice as far as those with no resveratrol
Research has given us plenty of data on the clinical benefits of resveratrol:
- reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- inhibits plaque formation in the arteries
- aids in blood clot prevention
- normalizes blood pressure
- regulates blood sugar
- enhances the body’s antioxidant pool
As many of you will know, resveratrol naturally occurs in red wine.
To put this into perspective, one bottle of high-quality Pinot Noir contains about 5 mg. of resveratrol.
I take a 250 mg. capsule of resveratrol each day which would be the equivalent of drinking 25 bottles of Pinot Noir daily. So if you plan on getting your total resveratrol from red wine, you should reconsider your choices.
Before you purchase resveratrol, you need to understand that not all forms of resveratrol are biologically active. This puts you at the mercy of the manufacturer and their suppliers.
As a consumer, you must determine that your source of resveratrol is well-tested and documented to be biologically active.
By keeping a watchful eye on our potential accidental intake of fluoride and chlorine and ingesting good natural sources of iodine such as sushi, California rolls (the outer seaweed wrap is a good source), and marinated seaweed salad (see top photo), our health could be well-served.
Good Fats and Omega 3 Supplements Help Skin Look Younger
When I consulted with my naturopath for the first time, I told him I was having an issue with my skin.
My skin had seemed overly sensitive and often looked blotchy and dull.
He replied, “Skin problems often are related to the quality of fats in your diet. You might need more good fats.”
While fried foods are an example of unhealthy fats, I explained that other fats could be beneficial.
One of the bodybuilding supplements I began taking intermittently was Omega-3 fatty acids. I also replaced some of the carbohydrates I was eating (from flour) with foods that contain healthy fats, such as coconut oil and raw, organic, pasture-raised butter from a favorite local farm. My skin has improved.
How can a busy person fit omega-3 into their typical daily diet?
Omega-3 has been a popular supplement in the health food community for some time now. Walk down the aisle of even conventional grocery stores, and you’ll see it listed front-and-center labels for fish, eggs, flaxseed, chia seed meal, walnuts, and capsules.
I now try to get my omegas from a variety of sources.
Health Magazine reports that Omega 3 has properties to “greatly benefit the skin by regulating oil production to boost hydration, prevent acne, and delay the skin’s aging process to stave off wrinkles. A 2005 Journal of Lipid Research study discovered that EPA can help block the release of the UV-induced enzymes that eat away at our collagen, causing lines and sagging skin. Because EPA is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, it can protect against sun damage and help repair it.”
In my morning smoothie, I have for several years been adding a teaspoon of flaxseed meal (make sure you get the meal, not the whole seeds – unless you want to grind it yourself in your coffee bean grinder).
Next, I started adding krill oil capsules to my regimen. Whales live on krill in the ocean. I understand that krill cannot be over-farmed, which is not good from an ecology standpoint.
I still take cold-water fish oil capsules or krill supplements as needed to augment my diet (krill oil smells a bit funky – like the low tide – so you don’t want to take a deep inhalation right after you open the bottle). But now, I try to get the bulk of my omega from my food.
Essential Fatty Acids Are Among Best Male Bodybuilding Supplements
Omega 3 in a man’s diet can help with:
- and prostate health
Furthermore, though its benefits to a man’s cardiovascular health date back to research done in the 1970s, new studies have shown that Omega-3s are good for his heart and his head.
DHA and EPA (two specific kinds of omega 3’s) contribute importantly to brain structure and function they make up nearly 8% of the human brain.
Doctors are now employing DHA and EPA in therapies for brain-related issues from depression to Alzheimer’s.
Our body’s neurological pathways require Omega 3 to function optimally.
Studies have also shown that these vital fatty acids increase brain volume and stop or reverse age-related brain shrinkage and nerve cell death.
Though DHA and EPA are critical to maintaining a healthy mind, our bodies cannot synthesize or build them from other substances, they must be obtained in their complete forms from the foods we eat.
They are, in a sense, the basic building blocks our body uses to construct the neurological pathways in our brains and throughout our bodies! So, omega-3 can help to sharpen your mind and keep your brain youthful.
Omega-3s are an important component of a nutritious diet, and designing a balanced diet to promote a vital and extended existence is right at the core of the longevity lifestyle.
What Foods Contain Omega-3?
Ultra Marathoner Rich Roll has extolled the virtues of a health-improving diet:
“…PlantPower is not fat-free. Nor, in my opinion, should it be. Fat associated with the typical American diet is your enemy. But PlantPower fat, in modest amounts, is your friend. There’s this confusing business of EFAs — the essential fatty acids which must be obtained from food and are crucial to a wide array of bodily functions. And yet many people suffer from a deficiency caused by an imbalance of these crucial fats, which leads to unhealthy skin conditions. Reduce your omega-6 and increase your omega-3 intake.” – Rich Roll, Finding Ultra
A well-rounded diet includes plant-based foods high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Here is a list of some of the food sources I consume to get my Omega-3s:
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds
- winter squash
- organic butter from pasture-raised cows
- organic, free-range eggs
If you want to know if you’re getting enough omegas and in the optimal ratios, you can ask your medical doctor. They have blood tests available now that can determine the success of your omega supplements, offering a complete breakdown of fatty acids by weight, including the AA/EPA ratio and the Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio.
NAD: Newest Among Bodybuilding Supplements for Improved Longevity
Recent research developments have presented us with a new supplementation opportunity in the form of NAD (nicotinamide riboside chloride), a coenzyme proven to help improve cell repair and metabolism.
Like resveratrol (see above), NAD+ is a pricier supplement connected to a healthier lifespan.
Those who feel passionately about healthy aging might consider taking one 300mg capsule a day. Ask the opinion of your medical doctor first.
Other Bodybuilding Supplements for Men Over 50 to Consider
The founder of modern holistic medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, visited Doctor Oz to share anti-aging strategies – easy tips that might help people to look and feel their best.
The two doctors discussed natural ways to lose body fat and how to make anti-cancer super meals.
Dr. Oz revealed simple tips to improve the brain, the heart, the digestive system, immunity, and how to live life in better balance.
The Brain ~ Huperzine A & Phosphatidyl are compounds that can help improve memory (consult your doctor first — Huperzine A can arguably be classified as a drug instead of a supplement).
The Heart ~ Red Yeast Rice Extract and Niacin can be helpful with cholesterol. Niacin is a smart supplement (it’s akin to B3 but significantly higher than a vitamin dose). This can be much healthier for the muscles and liver than the pharmaceutical alternatives. Use under your doctor’s direction (not everyone has high cholesterol).
Digestion ~ Having great digestion can help you to feel better. Diet is the best way to get your fiber, but Dr. Weil suggests a whopping 40 grams/day. So you can supplement your high-fiber diet with Psyllium Husk fiber if necessary (mix with plenty of water).
Immunity ~ Dr. Weil recommends Vitamin A (mixed carotenoids), Vitamin C (low dosage), Vitamin E, and Selenium.
Here’s the thing. You shouldn’t have to take a hundred pills a day. Many food-based multivitamins can help you feel better over the long term as they contain most of the nutrients you need – check the ingredients to be sure.
Better still, you can receive nutrients from your food if you know what foods to eat.
For example, freshly made green smoothies are among the most effective ways I know to easily increase vegetable and fiber intake.
Additional Sources about Best Bodybuilding Supplements for Men Over 50:
What Supplements Are Proven to Help – http://examine.com/
Bodybuilding Supplements that Contain What The Manufacturers Say They Contain – https://labdoor.com/rankings
Nutrient Deficiencies and Cancer Fact Sheet – http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/vitamin-D
Eating Your Vitamin D Naturally – http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-foods-containing-vitamin-d/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_mushroom
Connection Between Brain Volume and Omega-3 Intake – http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2010/aug2010_Omega-3-Fatty-Acids-Increase-Brain-Volume_01.htm
Therapies Using DHA and EPA – http://www.dhaomega3.org/
About Iodine and Its Importance – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine
Biotics Highly Regarded Resveratrol Bodybuilding Supplements – http://www.bioticsresearch.com/node/1605
Too Many Modern Humans Deficient in Iodine – http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=14524
NAD: Benefits and Supporting Research – https://selfhacked.com/blog/nad-important-increase/
Latest Scientific Research on What Is Known About Human Nutrient Needs – http://www.foundmyfitness.com/vitamin-d