Calcium is the most found mineral in the human body. And while taking calcium supplements seems to be a trend, you need to be aware of how much calcium you consume.
The average amount of calcium intake depends on the age and other such biological factors. According to experts, children as well as pregnant women are encouraged to eat food that is rich in calcium. Such food products include milk and dairy products, along with leafy green vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Essential for the human body
Calcium, as supported by countless research, is known to play an important role when to comes muscle contraction as well as transmitting messages through the nerves. It also helps with the normal release of hormones.
Now, if an individual isn't getting enough calcium from their diet, the body starts to take calcium from the bones because it needs to ensure normal cell function. This can lead to weakened bones.
Our bodies happen to store more than 99% of overall calcium in our bones and teeth to give them strength. The rest of the calcium content is present throughout the body and found in blood, muscle and the fluid between cells.
Take not that your body needs calcium to help your muscles and blood vessels contract and expand. It is also needed to secrete hormones and enzymes as well as to send messages through the nervous system. Calcium also plays a role in the normal functioning of the heart, nerves, muscles, and other body systems.
When should you start taking Calcium Supplements?
- To prevent Osteoporosis
Taking a diet full of the recommended amount of calcium, getting proper exercise and not smoking reduce your chances of experiencing osteoporosis. You can't change many of the things that raise your chances of developing osteoporosis, such as your genetic code, age, and your sex. But that doesn't mean you can't take steps to prevent the disease.
Taking calcium at an early age will be beneficial to stay away from osteoporosis down the road. If you’re at risk of such a condition, consult your doctor about taking calcium supplements.
- While Pregnant
When you're pregnant, your developing baby requires calcium to help build strong bones and teeth. Calcium also tends to help your baby grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles as well as develops a normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities. Calcium can also reduce your risk of hypertension during pregnancy.
To get the recommended adequate amounts of calcium during pregnancy, drink three 8-ounce glasses of milk each day, or eat a variety of other calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens, almonds and calcium-fortified orange juice.
You can also take calcium supplements. But consult your doctor first.
- Exercise Related Bone Loss
Calcium supplements have shown to reduce exercise related bone loss. Consuming the supplement before hitting the gym aids in the recovery period.
How much calcium is required?
The Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for women who happen to be younger than 50 years of age. The same amount is recommended for men who are younger as well as older than 50. Also, a total of 1,200 mg is recommended for women over the age of 50.
Children that are aged between four to eight need about 800 mg, or three, eight-ounce glasses of milk daily. Also, for those aged between nine to eighteen, they need about 1,300 mg, or four glasses of milk.
Normally, your required calcium intake can be met through a proper diet. But if you think you require calcium supplements, do consult your doctor as too much calcium in the body can lead to fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, and even kidney problems.
Also, split your daily dose. Take half of it in the morning and the rest at night. You should also take the supplement with food to aid in absorption.