The Best Supplements for Men, According to a Dietitian

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Supplements for Men

Verywell Fit / Kevin Liang

If you consume a balanced and varied diet and do not have any health conditions, you may not need dietary supplements; however, there are certain situations in which you may benefit from a supplement. If you have dietary restrictions resulting in inadequate intakes, malabsorption disorders, or take medications that deplete certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may help prevent or correct deficiencies. If you are an active male, depending on your goals, you might also consider using research-backed supplements that support endurance, strength, or recovery.

According to the 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, many adults do not consume enough potassium, fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, D, E, and C. If you suspect a deficiency, we recommend talking to a healthcare provider before deciding to supplement. Supplements should not take the place of a nutritious diet, so you should aim to consume your nutrients from food first when possible.

According to Allison Koch, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, "Consider safety, expense, and effectiveness when looking for a supplement. Supplements do not have the same level of scrutiny and restrictions when it comes to labeling as food does. That means they may or may not contain what they say they do, or they may be contaminated with other ingredients that you want to steer clear of.” When deciding on a supplement, it is important to consider your nutritional needs, third-party testing, ingredients, dose, and athletic goals.

Verywell Fit Approved Supplements for Men

  • Best Multivitamin: Nature Made Multi for Him is our top choice for a multivitamin because it contains vitamins important for men’s health, is free from artificial flavors and is USP verified. 
  • Best Creatine: Thorne Creatine is an NSF Certified for Sport creatine supplement that can support short-duration, high-intensity exercises, contributing to improved muscle mass and strength.

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

Be wary of supplements on the market geared toward men that may promise sexual enhancement, muscle building, or weight loss. These types of supplements are most likely likely to be contaminated with potentially dangerous ingredients. While research demonstrates that a few specific supplements may support muscle building when used in combination with resistance training, we only recommend a few specific products in specific doses for this purpose. We do not recommend supplements for sexual enhancement or weight loss.

Are Supplements Beneficial for Men?

If you consume a balanced diet, are generally healthy without medical conditions, and have not been diagnosed with a nutrient deficiency, you likely do not need to spend money on a supplement. Vitamin D may be an exception, as many people do not get enough of it from their diets or enough sun exposure from the winter months. While the supplement is more widely recommended, it is recommended to have a healthcare professional check your vitamin D levels first. There are certain situations in which other supplements may be beneficial.

Men who may benefit from supplements include:

  • Those with dietary restrictions: If you have dietary restrictions and cut out certain food groups, such as meat or dairy, you may be at increased risk of deficiencies. We do not recommend supplementing vitamins or minerals on your own because certain nutrients can be toxic at high doses. Rather, you should consult with a healthcare provider to determine if you have any deficiencies. 
  • Those with malabsorption disorders: If you have a malabsorptive disorder such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or had bariatric surgery, your body may not be absorbing certain nutrients. A healthcare provider can recommend the appropriate supplements and dosages to meet your individual needs.
  • Those taking medications that deplete nutrients: Certain medications can impact nutrient absorption. If you are taking medications, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if a supplement might be appropriate.
  • Active individuals: There are many supplements on the market geared towards athletes. Certain supplements, such as creatine and protein powders, are backed by peer-reviewed research, while others are not. It is important to check for third-party testing and to review the ingredient list to be sure a given supplement is safe and effective.
  • Older adults: As we age, our risk for nutritional deficiencies can increase due to various factors such as changes in appetite, sensory functioning, physiological changes, and decreased absorption rates of certain nutrients. This can increase risk of chronic diseases and contribute to health deterioration. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine what kinds of supplements might be appropriate for you.

Who May Not Benefit from Supplements 

There are certain groups that should avoid particular supplements and some that may not benefit from them. These groups include:

  • Those without a diagnosed deficiency: If you consume a balanced diet and do not have dietary restrictions or malabsorptive conditions, you likely do not need supplements (aside from vitamin D, which is more widely recommended). Certain nutrients, such as iron, can cause side effects or be toxic in large doses, so it is important to avoid supplementing unnecessarily. It is best to meet your needs through food first unless otherwise indicated by a healthcare professional. 
  • Those taking certain medications: If you are taking medications, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements. Supplements can impact absorption and efficacy of certain medications.

Best Multivitamin

Nature Made Multi for Him

Nature Made Multi for Him

Vitacost

Pros
  • USP Verified

  • No artificial colors or flavors

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Contains gelatin, which is not vegetarian or vegan-friendly

Nature Made is a trusted brand in the world of supplements. If you are looking for a multivitamin to help fill potential gaps in your diet, Nature Made Multi for Him will provide you with 22 nutrients that are key to men’s health. This includes vitamin A to support your immune system and your vision, vitamin D3 for healthy bones, muscles, and immune health, and zinc for immune function.    

Nature Made Multi for Him multivitamins is verified by USP, one of our top third-party testers. These supplements come in tablet form, with the recommended dose being one tablet taken daily with water and a meal. While iron deficiency is not a common deficiency in non-menstruating men without dietary restrictions, if you are iron deficient, you should note that these multivitamins do not contain iron.

Price at time of publication: $13 ($0.14 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Multivitamin | Form: Tablet | To use: Take 1 tablet daily with water and a meal

Best Creatine

Thorne Creatine Powder

Thorne Research Creatine Powder

Amazon

Pros
  • NSF Certified for Sport

  • No artificial colorings or flavors

Cons
  • Unflavored

If you engage in strength training, play sports with intermittent sprinting, or are a vegan or vegetarian, you might benefit from a creatine supplement. Creatine may also be helpful for older adults experiencing age-related muscle loss. Creatine is one of the most well-researched performance-enhancing supplements on the market, which may help to delay fatigue during high-intensity, short exercises and contribute to improved muscle mass and strength. Creatine can also help with recovery and injury prevention and is safe to take for longer periods of time.

Thorne Creatine provides 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per dose, the most studied and widely used form of creatine. While the use of creatine is considered safe for healthy adults, it can cause side effects, including weight gain from increased water retention.

You can mix the unflavored powder into water or any liquid of your choice. This product is also NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it has been tested for substances banned by sports organizations.

Price at time of publication: $36 ($0.40 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Creatine | Form: Powder | To use: Mix 1 scoop into 8 ounces of water or liquid of choice and take with carbohydrate containing food or beverage

Best Protein Powder

Momentous Essential Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Vanilla

Momentous Essential Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Vanilla

Amazon

Pros
  • NSF and Informed Sport Certified

  • Whey isolate form is easily digested

Cons
  • Expensive

If you are an active individual and struggling to meet your protein needs from diet alone, a protein powder may be a convenient option. Individual protein needs for men vary based on activity level; if your goal is to gain muscle mass, you may have higher needs, around 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Momentous Essential Grass-Fed Whey Protein is an NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Sport Certified protein powder made with whey protein isolate, a form of whey that is typically easy to digest. Whey isolate is considered a quality protein source due to its absorbability and optimal amino acid profile, containing all essential amino acids. 

Each scoop contains 20 grains of protein in addition to 2.3 grams of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid that supports muscle growth. If you are using this protein powder post-exercise, we recommend pairing it with carbohydrate-rich foods for a more complete recovery.

Price at time of publication: $60 ($2.50 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Protein powder | Form: Powder | To use: Mix 1 scoop into 12 ounces liquid of choice

Best for Men 50+

Equate Complete Multivitamin 50+

Equate Complete Multivitamin 50+

Amazon

Pros
  • ConsumerLab.com top pick

  • Budget-friendly

  • Many servings per bottle, will last a long time

Cons
  • Lower amounts of certain nutrients

With age, men face increased risk of deficiency for particular nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Equate Complete Multivitamin 50+ provides the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for most required nutrients, including 1042% of the Daily Value of vitamin B12 and 125% of the Daily Value of vitamin D. As a bonus, this multivitamin is also budget-friendly.

Equate does not contain large amounts of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, or potassium, and it does not contain iron. However, if you do not have any dietary restrictions, these nutrients are typically not difficult to obtain from the diet. Equate Complete Multivitamin 50+ is ConsumerLab.com approved (and one of their top picks!) and does not contain any artificial flavors.

Price at time of publication: $17 ($0.04 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Multivitamin | Form: Tablet | To use: Take 1 tablet daily with food

Best Vitamin D

Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops

Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops 2000 iu Supports Bone & Immune Health - 4 Fluid oz

Amazon

Pros
  • ConsumerLab.com top pick

  • Can add customizable amount to drinks

  • Budget-friendly

  • Many servings per bottle, will last a long time

Cons
  • Liquid drops are harder to measure dosages

Vitamin D is critical for bone health, immune function, and recovery from exercise. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for males ages 19 to 60 is 600 IU. However, Vitamin D can be only found in a few foods, such as fatty fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks. Most people in the United States consume less than recommended amounts; a 2015-2016 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey showed that men’s average daily consumption of vitamin D was only 204 IU. Those with limited sun exposure are also more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.

If a healthcare provider determines you are deficient in vitamin D, a supplement may come in handy. Source Natural Vitamin D3 Liquid Drops is a ConsumerLab.com top pick, and it's a budget-friendly option that is easy to use. Nine drops provide you with 2000 IU of vitamin D, so you can adjust this amount based on your required dose. Plus, you can add the drops to a liquid of choice, making these a convenient option.

Price at time of publication: $15 ($0.02 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Vitamin D | Form: Liquid | To use: 9 drops once daily in a drink

Best Fiber Supplement

Konsyl Daily Psyllium Fiber

Konsyl Daily Psyllium Fiber

Source: Konsyl

Pros
  • Convenient source of soluble fiber

  • Single ingredient

  • No additives or sweeteners

Cons
  • Must be taken with fluids

  • Not third-party tested

Dietary fiber, or indigestible carbohydrates from plants, provides us with many health benefits. Fiber supports digestive health, can help lower cholesterol, and can contribute to satiety. The recommended intake of fiber for men aged 19 to 50 is 31 to 34 grams, yet according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 97% of men do not meet these intakes.

Konsyl Organic Psyllium Fiber is a convenient way to add a fiber boost to your day. Psyllium husk is a mainly soluble fiber, a form of fiber that supports digestive regularity, blood sugar control, and healthy cholesterol levels. One teaspoon of Konsyl contains 5 grams of fiber, so you can mix this flavorless powder into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or other baked items.

Price at time of publication: $28 ($0.49 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Fiber | Form: Powder | To use: Mix 1 tsp into 8 oz of liquid of choice 1 to 3 times daily

Best for Plant Based

Garden of Life mykind Organics Men's Once Daily Multi

Garden of Life, MyKind Organics, Men's Once Daily, 60 Vegan Tablets

Courtesy of iHerb

  • Contains nutrients important for plant based eaters

  • USDA Organic and gluten free

  • Made from whole food ingredients

  • Expensive

If you follow a vegan, vegetarian, or largely plant-based diet, you are at increased risk of certain deficiencies. This includes vitamin B12 and vitamin D in particular since there are few plant foods with high levels of these nutrients.

Garden of Life mykind Organic Men’s Once Daily takes these needs into consideration with their organic multivitamin. This multivitamin, which is made from organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs, contains 125% of the Daily Value of vitamin D and 300% of the Daily Value of vitamin B12. In addition to being organic, they are gluten-free and non-GMO verified. However, it should be noted this multi is not a good source of iron, calcium, or omega 3's—nutrients vegans or vegetarians may also need to supplement in their diet.

Given the extensive ingredient list, be sure to read the label closely if you have any intolerances or are taking medications to ensure you avoid potential interactions.

Price at time of publication: $37 ($0.62 per serving)

Key Specs:
Supplement:
Multivitamin | Form: Tablet | To use: Take 1 tablet daily with food

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here. 

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com. 

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

What to Look For in Supplements for Men

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  • Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  • Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  • The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  • Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  • Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Form

Supplements for men come in many forms, depending on the supplement of choice. Typical forms include powders, pills, gummies, capsules, liquid, and chewables. Choosing a form may depend on factors such as convenience, personal preference, and the particular supplement.

Ingredients and Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

You should be aware of added ingredients contained in supplements. This can include caffeine, herbal and probiotic blends, added sugars, and varying amounts of vitamins and minerals. If you are taking medications, pay particular attention to ingredient labels to ensure you can safely use that supplement.

Supplement Dosage

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and to understand which dosage to take.

The dosage required will depend on the supplement you are taking. 

For protein powders, you should follow the instructions on your supplement of choice. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, adults should aim for 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. If you are an active individual, the recommended range is 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, depending on factors such as your gender, activity and intensity level, and total calorie needs.

For supplements such as creatine, general recommendations are to take around 5 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight for five to seven days, four times daily. After that, creatine stores can be maintained by taking 3 to 5 grams per day.

When it comes to vitamin D, the RDA for adult men ages 19 to 70 is 600 IU, while the recommended fiber intake for men ages 19 to 30 is 34 grams, for ages 31 to 50 the recommendation is 31 grams, and for ages 51 and up it is 28 grams per day.

In general, it is recommended to follow the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for all vitamins and minerals outlined by the National Institutes of Health.

If you are unsure about what dose to take of a given supplement, particularly as it relates to vitamins and minerals, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider.

How Much is Too Much?

You should be sure to follow a healthcare provider’s recommendations when it comes to taking supplements. Supplements like creatine are generally safe for healthy adults to use for weeks or months and potentially for years. Other supplements, such as vitamin D, have an upper limit. The upper limit for vitamin D for males ages 9 and up is 4000 IU, although toxicity is rare. For supplements such as protein powders, there may be side effects such as bloating or GI distress, but this response may vary between individuals and between brands. 

In general, it is recommended to not exceed the ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for any vitamin and mineral unless otherwise indicated by a healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there any must-take supplements for men?

    Individual supplement needs will vary, and there is no single supplement every man should take. While certain deficiencies may be more common, this will differ for each person. For example, vitamin D can be a common deficiency for those with limited sun exposure, and vitamin B12 deficiency can be common in vegans and in older adults. You should consider your overall diet and goals to determine whether a supplement is appropriate for you.

  • Are there any supplements men should generally avoid?

    Men should avoid supplementing with nutrients in which they are not deficient. This can result in toxicities or unwanted side effects. You should also avoid supplements with proprietary blends on the label because you do not know how much of the ingredient the supplement contains.

    Many performance-enhancing and weight-loss supplements are not well studied and could cause negative side effects, so they should generally be avoided unless deemed safe by the NIH. You should always consult with a healthcare provider before supplementing.

  • Do transgender men have different supplement needs than cisgender men?

    There are no current guidelines on nutrition assessments for transgender or gender non-conforming individuals. Some transgender individuals medically transition using hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries, which can impact nutrition parameters such as cholesterol and red blood cell measurements. You should consult with a healthcare provider to determine your individual requirements.

  • Should men take different supplements depending on their age?

    Supplement needs will vary based on age, lifestyle, and other factors such as medication use, environment, and diet. As men age, their risk for inadequate intake and particular deficiencies increases. This includes an increased risk of deficiencies in vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and iron.

  • Are pre-workout supplements beneficial?

    Certain pre-workout supplements may be beneficial depending on your goals and the type of exercise you are doing, although research is limited. Ingredients such as caffeine or nitrate (often in the form of beetroot juice) in moderate dosages may improve exercise performance, while creatine has been shown to support strength. But you should be cautious when using pre-workout supplements as they may contain contaminants or high levels of caffeine which can result in side effects in some people.

    They may also contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols which can cause GI upset. Pre-workout supplements typically are not necessary and focusing on carbohydrate, electrolyte, and protein consumption around activity is likely more beneficial.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Tamar Kane, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and marathon runner. She is the founder of Tamar Kane Nutrition, a virtual practice that focuses on helping runners learn to fuel their running and their lives.

Tamar has her master's degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College Columbia University and specializes in working with plant-based athletes. Her goal is to help people understand how to properly fuel their bodies (and supplement if needed!) to optimize performance and well-being.

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