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Daily Nutrition Needs for Women and Men (And How They Differ)

The daily balance of protein, carbs and fats our bodies need is pretty gender-neutral, but sometimes men and women have different nutritional needs. Learn more about the difference.

May 10, 2022
Man and woman wearing exercise gear sit at base of tree while holding beverages.

Daily Nutrition Needs for Women and Men (And How They Differ)

The daily balance of protein, carbs and fats our bodies need is pretty gender-neutral, but sometimes men and women have different nutritional needs. Learn more about the difference.

May 10, 2022
Man and woman wearing exercise gear sit at base of tree while holding beverages.

Daily Nutrition Needs for Women and Men (And How They Differ)

The daily balance of protein, carbs and fats our bodies need is pretty gender-neutral, but sometimes men and women have different nutritional needs. Learn more about the difference.

May 10, 2022

But there are times when men and women have different daily nutritional needs. Understanding these differences will go a long way toward helping people understand what nutrition is and how they can get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need, both from food and nutritional supplements. 

So, what is nutrition? And, why is nutrition important? To help us explore this, we turned to our expert team of research scientists and clinical investigators for Nutrilite™ for some top nutrition tips and information.

When it comes to selecting the right supplements for our gender and stage of life, don’t assume a blanket approach will work for you. From general dietary guidelines to the differences between men and women’s nutrition, here’s everything you should know. 

Adult Daily Nutrition Needs  

While each of us may require a unique combination of calories and nutrients to be our best, the U.S. government has compiled general dietary recommendations based on scientific evidence to help ensure the population gets appropriate nutrition. These guidelines are broken down into micronutrients and macronutrients.

Daily Nutrition Needs for Micronutrients  

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that your body may not naturally produce on its own, such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. They’re an essential part of your daily nutrition needs. Micronutrients get their name from the idea that your body doesn’t need very much of them to thrive – hence “micro”. Not sure which nutrients to focus on first? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important vitamins and minerals along with their daily recommended values below:

Daily Recommended Value of Vitamins:

Daily Recommended Value of Minerals:

  • Calcium: 1,000 mg
  • Iron: 18 mg (women) or 8 mg (men)
  • Phosphorus: 700 mg
  • Sodium: 2,300 mg
  • Zinc: 8 mg (women) or 11 mg (men)
  • Copper: 900 mcg
  • Manganese: 1.8 mg (women) or 2.3 mg (men)
  • Selenium: 55 mcg

Daily Nutrition Needs for Macronutrients  

While your body only needs small amounts of micronutrients to thrive, it requires large amounts of macronutrients. Macros consist of proteins, fat, and carbs. While each of them has their own unique benefits, macronutrients can all help provide your body with energy. We’re not just talking about the energy you need to get out of bed or go to the gym. We’re referring to the cellular energy you need to perform basic daily functions – like breathing, repairing cells, and moving blood throughout your body. While macronutrients are a critical part of both men and women’s nutrition, they’re already in the foods you know and love. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three major macronutrients:

  • Proteins: Think meat, poultry and dairy as well as soy-based products – like tempeh and tofu. Protein assists your body during growth cycles – like adolescence, puberty, and pregnancy – but it can also help repair cells and create new ones, which can be especially helpful for those who workout or are active.
  • Fats: From olive oil to avocadoes and nuts, healthy fats help support cell function in your body. This macronutrient is an essential part of your daily caloric intake but be sure to reach for options that are void of saturated or trans fats.
  • Carbohydrates: These are your vegetables, fruits, fibers, and grains – like oats, quinoa, wheat and rice. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which the body can use as energy to support your cells, tissues, and organs. 

Women’s Daily Nutritional Needs

When it comes to women’s nutrition, it’s important make sure there’s plenty of calcium and vitamin K to support bone health—at least 1,000 mg a day. And a regular supply of iron is critical to resupply what’s lost during menstruation. Experts recommend up to 18 mg a day. 

While these minerals are key for supporting women’s health, they are widely under-consumed in their regular diets, Associate Research Scientist Becky Bender said. 

“This behavior is observed particularly in young female adults,” she said.  “Therefore, a beneficial way to help close the nutrient gap is by taking dietary supplements.” 

Pregnancy Nutrition 

Another major difference, of course, is the ability to have children. Women’s nutritional needs change with every stage—before, during, and after pregnancy. 

“Women’s nutrient needs are very different during pre-conception, pregnancy, and the postpartum period than for a woman not in these life stages,” said Holiday Zanetti, a senior research scientist and clinical investigator for Nutrilite. “Requirements for folate, iron, omega-3, vitamin B6, iodine, and choline are particularly important during this time.” 

That’s why prenatal supplements are specially-tailored for women, and why a woman’s nutritional needs are different during that time of her life compared to later years. 

If you’re expecting, or even planning on getting pregnant soon, talk to your doctor about what nutritional changes and supplements you will need, Holiday recommended.

Men’s Daily Nutritional Needs

Just as women have their own daily nutrition needs, so do men.

Protein recommendations are based on weight. Because men generally weigh more than women, they generally require more protein than women. It’s not surprising since they are genetically designed to have a higher percentage of muscle and less fat than women. The essential amino acids in protein are key nutrients to developing muscle, supporting energy, and controlling hunger. One way to make sure you are getting enough healthy proteins is to use a supplement, like the Nutrilite™ Organics Plant Protein Powder, which is sourced from brown rice, peas, and chia.

Men need more B vitamins 

For the same reason, men can benefit from more B vitamins, particularly thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. 

“Those B vitamins are essential to support the energy metabolism, helping the conversion of foods – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – to energy to sustain the human body,” Principle Research Scientist Charles Hu said. 

Daily nutrition needs for men include 1.2mg of thiamin, 1.3mg of riboflavin, and 16mg of niacin. For women it’s slightly lower: 1.1mgs each of thiamin and riboflavin and 14mg of niacin. 

Men need more fiber 

Healthy carbs are a crucial source of fiber. When it comes to men’s nutrition, dietary fiber plays an important role in helping maintain both healthy weight and blood sugar levels. 

On the whole, because they generally weigh more, men need more fiber than women—about 38 grams per day compared to 25 grams for women ages 19-50. 

How to Meet Your Daily Nutrition Needs

Paying attention to your changing daily nutrition needs as you go through each stage of life will help you get the nutrients you need through your food or supplements. 

Need some help? Look for supplements that are designed for your age and gender, such as the Nutrilite™ Men’s Daily Multivitamin and Nutrilite™ Women’s Daily Multivitamin. The Men’s Daily is tailored specifically to provide nutrients to fill dietary gaps and support men’s immunity, energy, muscle, and heart health needs, while the Women’s Daily targets a woman’s immunity, energy, eye, and bone health needs.† 

Both multivitamins help round out daily nutrition needs with more than 21 essential vitamins and minerals as well as 200 mg of organic plant nutrients. 

Want even more nutrients? Choose pre-sorted packs tailored for you like the Nutrilite™ Men’s Pack and the Nutrilite™ Women’s Pack, each with extra nutrients targeting men’s and women’s nutrition needs. 

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.