Your life changes from minute to minute and decade to decade – and your nutritional and wellness needs do too. No matter where you are on your journey, from the exciting milestones and big learnings of your 20s to the career growth and family building of your 30s to the world of retirement and pursuing your hobbies and passions past 60, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Whether you’re a frequent supplement user or a total newbie, one size doesn’t fit all in every decade of life. Your body needs different levels of certain nutrients in your 20s than it does in your 60s. If you’re wondering, “What are the best supplements for my 30s?” or “Which supplements should I take in my 40s?”, this helpful info straight from the experts may help guide your choices.
Set a solid foundation in your 20s
This isn’t a time to load up on tons of supplements; master the basics and get into a groove of taking them every day while doing the necessary legwork for your lifestyle.
You may have taken a multivitamin as a kid and then abandoned any supplement routine in your teens and early twenties, but this is the prime time to start laying a foundation for your future self. (Don’t worry – multi formulas have advanced a lot since your childhood, so you don’t have to only depend on chalky fruit chewables any longer!)
Take a look at your diet and lifestyle before starting a supplement and see where you can make adjustments. Are you eating the recommended amounts of dairy, fruits and veggies for your age group, sex, and nutritional needs? Could you cut down on take-out and processed foods or your evening cocktails? For starters, swap simple sugars for complex carbs like whole grain breads and brown rice and make exercise an essential part of your weekly routine. Just 20 to 30 minutes a day makes a huge difference. And if you smoke, stop now!
After you’ve done a thorough onceover of your diet and general health habits, connect with your healthcare professional. They’ll help you identify any gaps you may have and can recommend supplements if they’re needed. You may want to integrate vitamin D alongside a multivitamin, especially if you live in a colder climate that doesn’t get a lot of direct sun in the winter months.
“While all essential vitamins and minerals play a unique and vital role in keeping us healthy and age vibrantly, there are some nutrients that are not always easily obtained from the diet,” says nutrition scientist Dr. Eugenia Alfine. “Vitamin D, which plays an important role in bone health and in supporting the immune system, is found naturally only in a few foods — like oily fish and in dairy and fortified products in smaller amounts — so if those foods are not regularly consumed, it’s worth considering a supplement.*”
Consider life changes in your 30s and 40s
As you move into your 30s and 40s, you may be considering some big life changes: having children, advancing in your career, dealing with potential health issues, preparing for the next decades of life.
Stress tends to play a big role as you balance everything on your plate, and it can have major effects on your wellness, including sleep quality and mental health. If you deal with daily stress and are looking to complement lifestyle adjustments like exercise or self-care, you may want to consider adding a stress support supplement, like the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha or a specific blend designed to keep cortisol levels balanced, to your routine.*
If you’re thinking of starting a family, you’ll want to make sure you have adequate folate in your diet should you become pregnant. It can be difficult to hit the daily nutrient targets via food alone, though, so consider starting a prenatal multivitamin when visions of strollers and onesies start to feel more real.
Your 30s and 40s are also a great time to start taking an omega-3 and eating more salmon and other fatty fish. “The essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in oily fish, can help support heart and joint health,” says Alfine.* “Aiming for at least two to three portions a week or talking a supplement containing at least 250 mg of EPA+DHA will help maintain omega-3 levels in a healthy range.”
As the years continue to fly by, consider adding calcium and magnesium to your routine to support healthy bones and muscles — especially important for women, who are at higher risk of osteoporosis as they age. Keep up with your multivitamin, healthy diet, and exercise routine and keep enjoying the monumental moments of these decades.
The 50s, 60s, and beyond – making every day beautiful
They don’t call them some of the best years of your life for nothing. Your 50s, 60s, and beyond can be some of the most rewarding, enriching, and fun years of your life – but to live every moment to its fullest and conquer these new chapters, you may need extra support.
“As we get older, we may need to pay extra attention to some nutrients. For example, it is quite common for older adults to have suboptimal levels of vitamin B12,” shares Dr. Alfine. “This can happen despite consuming the recommended daily amounts, because the ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age due to changes in stomach acids and enzymes needed to process it.”
Vitamin D and calcium help support strong, healthy bones – a must if you want to stay active long past your 60s.* These two nutrients, alongside eating adequate amounts of protein and incorporating regular exercise, including strength training, will help you keep moving. (We love Alive!® Calcium + D3 Gummies.)
Dr. Alfine recommends post-menopausal women consider choline. “Lower estrogen levels during menopause decrease the body’s own choline production,” she shares. Choline is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and is crucial for brain function and other important biological processes.*
You’ll also want to continue taking a daily multivitamin to make sure you’re getting the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Specific multivitamin formulas for adults over 50 are formulated with more of the nutrients you need as you age. Women’s formulas may not contain iron, as it’s not always needed post-menopause. The best way to find a formula for you is to talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns and go from there.