Our bodies need calcium to build strong bones; unfortunately, that process doesn’t occur naturally. You need to be mindful of the foods you eat to get your daily dose of this vital mineral. If you don’t get enough, you develop the risk of getting osteoporosis. This disease occurs when your bones lose density and become more fragile, which causes them to be prone to fractures. The amount of calcium you need and how you support your body varies based on your lifestyle and health. Read on to learn more about choosing the best calcium supplements.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
The amount of calcium you need to build strong bones will vary depending on your age and gender. Whether or not you should incorporate a calcium supplements into your diet will depend on where you’re currently getting calcium and how much you receive from those sources. For example, men aged 19-70 need 1,000 mg per day and 1,200 mg if they’re 71 and older. Women aged 19-50 need 1,000 mg per day and 1,200 mg if they’re 51 and older. This is because of the menopause process that can cause women to decrease bone density faster than men.
You can have up to 2,000 mg of calcium daily, but meeting the bare minimum is a place to start. Before you jump to a calcium supplements, you’ll want to assess how much calcium you already consume. Where can you find calcium in your diet?
Where to find calcium for strong bones
Calcium comes from foods and beverages, but you’ll also want to be mindful of other helpful vitamins that give you an effective boost. For example, vitamin D helps you absorb calcium in the first place. Most adults need 600 IUs (international units).
It’s not a good idea to pack all of your daily calcium consumption into one meal. You should only have 500 mg per meal, as your body can’t absorb more at one time. Some great sources include:
- Calcium-fortified foods and beverages include juice, cereals, soy products, or milk substitutes.
- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Dark leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach.
- Sardines or salmon (specifically with bones, usually found in canned portions).
For those who have a dairy intolerance, are vegan, or have certain bowel or digestive problems that affect your calcium absorption, you should speak with your doctor about using a calcium supplement to maintain strong bones. There are several types of calcium supplements you’ll want to consider, and you should always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements or medications.
How To Find the Right Calcium Supplement
There are a few different factors to consider when looking for a calcium supplement that is right for you. Some include different compounds, which will vary in how much calcium is actually in there. Two popular forms are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is the easiest to find and the cheapest. Calcium citrate is better for those with digestive problems and low stomach acid levels. Here are the most important factors to consider.
Your total-health picture.
Not every calcium supplement is suitable for everyone. Your body needs to be able to absorb the calcium in your diet or from your supplement. A calcium carbonate supplement may not be the best choice if you have inflammatory bowel disease. A calcium citrate option may be better since it can be taken with or without food and is easier on the stomach.
Everybody has a different tolerance as well. Some supplements may cause side effects such as gas, bloating, and constipation. You’ll want to explore other brand options with your doctor to find the best option that fits your health.
The supplement form.
If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, you’ll want to consider another form, such as liquids, powders, or chewable supplements. Capsules are more popular, but you should be able to find other options that suit you.
Amount of calcium in the supplement.
There’s an important label you’ll want to read on your calcium supplement - it’s called elemental calcium. This measures how much calcium is actually in the supplement. For example, a calcium carbonate may have 40% elemental calcium. That means if it’s 1,250 mg, you get 500mg of actual calcium your body needs. Depending on how much calcium you’re getting from your diet, you’ll want to calculate the right amount so you’re not overdoing it.
Along with your diet, your lifestyle plays a big part in maintaining strong bones. However, incorporating adequate exercise can be tough if you have other medical conditions, trouble scheduling activities, an injury, or chronic pain. You’re not out of options - there is a non-invasive treatment that you can use at home, developed with support by NASA. The Marodyne LiV solution is a device that can be tucked away in your closet and used in any room of your home. Standing on the Marodyne Low-intensity Vibration (LiV) for just 10 minutes will help you improve bone health, build muscle strength, and speed up bone growth after an operation or surgery. Contact us to learn more about how this device can support your health.
Do you pay attention to how much calcium you consume? What are your next steps if you’re not getting enough? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments below.