"Your blog is for girls." ... Ok, those weren't his exact words, but I recently had a friend highlight the fact that a good bit of the Well Labs material leans female. With two young female cofounders, surrounded by pregnancy, babies, and female patients -- we do tend to go girl a bit more than bro. HOWEVER, we have some very important men in our lives that need our good-intentioned (occasionally overbearing?) care and advice when it comes to nutrition. Our men have been good sports as we regularly run labs, ask them questions, poke, prod, and swap their candy for vegetables. Do they sound like lab experiments? I swear they're our best friends and family, and we cherish them like the gold they are. So here, I'll divulge what we've found works best when it comes to nutrition for men. Here's what (most) guys really need and why:
... and all people need building blocks (nutrition) to create energy, repair their body, and boost their immune system. Here's where to start:
It's true, guys need more calories than girls (about 20-30%, actually). Those calories however, need to be from fats and proteins rather than carbs. Avoid trans fats (the fats typically in fried food and chinese takeout... unfortunate, I know). How much protein do you really need? We covered that here, so calculate away! Also, men tend to have more red blood cells circulating in their body which also require more nutrients. Generally, if you're a guy out to eat with your favorite girl counterpart, it's acceptable and maybe even necessary to order 1/3 more food. Exceptions include if said girl is pregnant, nursing, or an elite athlete... then BACK OFF! (For safety.) Keep in mind that calorie needs typically decrease as you age, so eating like a 17 year old after age 30 often leads to total dad bod.
I hate to inform you that gummy vitamins, Flintstones, or even that cheap vitaMAN blend you yanked off the shelf while grocery shopping, is simply not cutting it. I know we just talked about food, and I don't want to stereotype, but my husband's (brother's, father's, friend's...) track records with food leave me to believe that when faced with cooking a meal at home, would rather grab something from a restaurant (DARE I SAY, A DRIVE-THRU?). Convenience is key for most guys I know, but convenient foods are less nutritious. I can imagine if I left my house for a long period of time my stuffed-to-the-brim refrigerator would slowly become a bachelor fridge filled with a lonesome ketchup bottle, and some sliced cheese... because, #health. In order to fill in the gaps of a less-than-pefect diet, guys need to cover their bases with a high quality multivitamin.
Here's what a GOOD multivitamin will have (at a minimum!):
These fatty acids are the saviors of heart and brain health. Worried about heart disease or dementia down the road? Do they run in your family? Start preventing them now! Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, meaning they heal the hot, red, irritated, burning, swollen feelings everywhere from your blood vessels to your joints. You can get omega 3's in a fish oil supplement (this one is pure enough that you won't get weird fish oil burps!) or by adding flaxseed/flax oil/walnuts to your daily menu. Not to mention, with a fully fed brain you can come up with a lot snappier one-liners, and dare I say, pick up lines?
About once a week I get a male patient that walks in with a very big secret... and that secret usually involves pooping. Guys are embarrassed to talks about their gut stuff! Stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, etc. So here's me, waving a big flag that says "IT'S OK TO ASK FOR HELP." Doctors are not uncomfortable talking about your stomach aches and poop. It's practically water cooler talk for us. It's often said that more women experience irritable bowel syndrome, but that's most likely due to men under-reporting their symptoms. So to prevent or help stomach troubles we highly suggest adding a potent probiotic to your arsenal. Also, since a healthy gut makes for a healthier body in general (read here about the widespread benefits of probiotics), taking a daily probiotic can mean a stronger immune system! Better gut health = less sick days... and you should really be saving those sick days just to do fun stuff.
5. Special Support
You beautiful, manly, snowflakes are not all the same! Some of you have special circumstances that might require a little bonus here and there. Here's some suggestions if you fit one of the following profiles:
Like we said before, we know convenience is HUGE when it comes to men's health. So CONVENIENTLY, everything you need to get started on the right path (a high quality multivitamin + probiotic + omega 3) is all wrapped up in one nice bundle from Well Labs! Get this wellness starter pack all at the same time and save 20%. These are the foundations, and the answer to WHERE DO I START?!?! Look for this when you're shopping through Well Labs products:
Guy or girl, your body is happier when it's well fed, and nourished. If you've got a guy in mind that needs a health boost, or is looking for long term prevention, send them here! And it's alright if that 'guy in mind' is you. Take care of yourself!