4 Ways Men and Women’s Nutritional Requirements Differ
We come in all shapes and sizes. Naturally, the physical characteristics of our bodies affect our nutritional requirements. Throw gender into the mix and our nutrient intake becomes even more distinct. Especially when it comes to taking care of our health, making good decisions about our body never hurts.
Here are four ways men and women’s nutritional needs differ:
1. Men Require More Calories than Women
Most men have more muscle mass than women, and muscles require more calories to maintain than fat.i Thus, men tend have a higher calorie intake requirement than women. Beyond gender, you should keep in mind that your height and weight also affects your calorie needs.
Studies show that a moderately active 40-year-old female should consume around 2,000 calories per day while the figure increases to approximately 2,600 calories for her male counterpart.ii
2. Women Should Consume More Calcium
Calcium is important for strengthening bones and teeth. According to health experts, women face a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis than men.iii To reduce the risk of bone fractures, their diets require them to increase calcium and Vitamin D intake. Moreover, the importance of adequate calcium intake is also linked to regulating blood pressure.
It is recommended that women age 31 to 50 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day, while men of the same age group should consume 1,000 mg.iv
3. Ladies, Pump it up with Iron
Ladies, you need to monitor your iron intake. How else could you function when your bodies go through the monthly menstrual cycle? Iron deficiency can result in cramps, fatigue, an inability to focus and breathing difficulties. To combat these problems, it’s good to take stock of your health. The recommended daily iron intake for iron for females age 19 to 50 is 18mg, and 8mg for males of the same age group.v
However, it should be cautioned that an overload of iron in the body has been linked with Type 2 Diabetes in healthy women.vi
4. Men’s Protein Intake Higher than Women
On the flip side, blokes, because they are often bigger and heavier than women, need to consume a higher level of protein. But a word of caution: excess protein causes excessive calcium loss.vii This also applies to the ladies, who tend to run a higher risk of suffering osteoporosis.
Your health should be a constant reminder of what your body is capable of. When you’re not performing your best, it’s because your body is trying to tell you that something is not right. Therefore, taking care of your health is as good as being the best version of yourself. If you’re looking to fill any nutritional gaps, you can benefit from vitamins that are right for you.
iMiller AE, MacDougall JD, Tarnopolsky MA, Sale DG; Gender Differences in Strength and Muscle Fiber Characteristics; Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol; 1993;66(3):254-62
ivFood and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; 2010; http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/
vInstitute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc: a Report of the Panel on Micronutrients; Washington, DC; Science 2012;338:768-72
viRui Jiang, JoAnne E. Manson, James B. Meigs; Body Iron Stores in Relation to Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Apparently Healthy Women; JAMA, 2004;291(6):711-717
viiUriel S. Barzel, Linda K. Massey; Excess Dietary Protein Can Adversely Affect Bone, J. Nutr; June 1, 1998; Vol. 128 No. 6, 1051-1053