With a plentiful supply of food at our fingertips, it may be surprising to hear that many men still fall short of some key vitamins and minerals which are essential for your health. No matter how you consume these vitamins, it’s important to keep your levels topped up – not just for your overall health, but for your running health too.

Runners are more likely to deplete their vitamin and mineral levels much quicker than sedentary individuals because of the extra energy they burn from running, especially if they sweat a lot. Maintaining these levels helps to keep their immune system strong and supports the body in recovering quickly and efficiently.

While the supplement market can be a pretty confusing place, Primal Living has done the research to help you understand the four key supplements that can help men maintain their essential vitamin and mineral levels that many are commonly low in. If you want to perform well, look your best and be your best, the following supplements will help you do just that.

Vitamin D for healthy bones in men
Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is produced in the body when we’re exposed to ultraviolet rays. If you don’t get enough sun exposure – let’s face it, we all don’t in the UK – then you may find yourself with low vitamin D levels. According to national surveys in the UK, 1 in 5 people have low vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D not only helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy bones, but it also plays a vital role in muscle and nerve health and helps to support our immune system.

But that’s not just it, vitamin D levels are also linked to testosterone levels. In this study men who were overweight and deficient in vitamin D saw increases in their testosterone levels after taking 3,333 IU of vitamin D each day for a whole year – not just during the colder months. While it’s not entirely clear why vitamin D and testosterone levels are linked, it’s still important to keep your levels topped up all year round.

The Primal Living Vitamin D3 formula contains a whopping 2000iu which is 10x the Nutritional Reference Value. This equates to 10 days’ worth of the sunshine vitamin in one powerful tablet. Take a look here.

Magnesium for overall health in men
Magnesium contributes to the normal function of healthy bones and the nervous system. It also helps to regulate muscle function, including the heart, while also reducing tiredness and fatigue. Most men don’t get the recommended daily intake and signs of magnesium deficiency may include muscle spasms (including cramping), increased anxiety, poor sleep quality and irregular heart patterns.

Many runners often associate muscle cramping with injury, over-training or the use of incorrect shoes, but actually, looking at your magnesium levels might be a great place to start. Research has also shown that magnesium can also help support testosterone levels, especially with regular exercise.

The Primal Living Magnesium supplement has been formulated from high potency bisglycinate which means it’s highly bioavailable to help maximise absorption.

Omega 3 for healthy fats in men
Omega 3 is naturally found in fish oil and there are two main ingredients (EFA’s). EPA (eicosepanteanoic acid) and DHA (docohexaenoic acid) are essential fatty acids, both of which the human body cannot produce by itself. DHA is particularly important to us as human beings because it’s a remarkable fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain.

This means the only way to get this vital nutrition is through our diet alone which many of us are lacking thanks to a diet high in processed foods or sugary snacks. As omega 3 is naturally found in fish oil, it becomes difficult to consume from what you would normally eat alone.

Omega 3 has been shown to help support cardiovascular health, joint health and brain health.

Due to the fact that most men consume more omega-6 fatty acids, it’s incredibly important that men also consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to balance out the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) suggests that everyone should try to eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish. However, if you are not including omega 3 foods in your diet, supplementation should be considered.

The Primal Living high-concentration Omega 3 formula means you only have to take one tablet per day, to get the level of EPA and DHA you need.

Calcium to help support healthy bones and vitamin D in men
As vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, it’s likely that if you have low vitamin D levels your calcium levels may be suffering too, especially those who are lactose intolerant or choose to avoid dairy products.

Many people know calcium is essential for healthy bone development, but what they may not be aware of is the fact that even after your bones have stopped developing after 30, you’re still at risk of bone breakdown if your calcium levels are too low. Which isn’t good news for runners.

So why are you still at risk? Well, when you’re not taking in the calcium needed for things like cardiovascular function, muscle function, and hormone secretion, your body will pull the calcium it needs from your bones. This is why runners who train hard and under fuel often end up with aches and pains that eventually lead to injuries and brittle bones.

Of course, calcium can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurts but it can also be found in vegetables like kale and broccoli.

For those who struggle to fill in the gaps, the Primal Living Multivitamin has been specifically formulated for men and contains a healthy dose of calcium as well as some of the other essential vitamins mentioned above. Find out more here.

Please note, supplements are only ever recommended when you cannot meet your NRV through your diet alone and as a runner and regular gym-goer, it’s important to replace any extra vitamins, minerals or energy you’ll deplete regularly.

To find out more about Primal Living, pop on over to their website here.