The end of your menstrual cycle and the start of menopausal symptoms (hello, night sweats and mood swings) marks major changes to your hormone levels, metabolism, energy, and lifestyle. This leads many to start searching for the best supplements for menopause weight gain.
Menopause—typically diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a period—can occur in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 for women in the United States.
For many women, menopausal weight gain is a real issue. The silver lining? It’s normal! But with the right diet, lifestyle, and menopause supplements, it doesn’t have to be.
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What Causes Weight Gain During Menopause?
There are various factors that contribute to menopause weight gain, including:
- Lifestyle (active vs. sedentary)
One of the big reasons for physical changes such as excess weight is the decrease in estrogen and progesterone that occurs. This creates metabolic changes in the body, including decreased muscle mass, leading to fewer calories burned. Of course, fewer calories burned means the potential for more body fat.
Another reason you may be noticing a few extra pounds during menopause relates to genetics. If your family members tend to carry more belly fat around menopause, you may be likely to do the same. Poor sleep habits, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, slower metabolism, and poor diet can also contribute to menopause weight gain.
Aside from a healthy diet and lifestyle changes (including more physical activity!), taking some of the right vitamins and dietary supplements can help combat the weight gain associated with menopause (along with all of those other pesky menopause symptoms).
We’ve rounded up the seven best supplements for menopause weight gain below:
The Best Supplements to Combat Menopause Weight Gain
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be absorbed in our bodies when we’re in the sunshine; however, it’s not the most reliable source since we need to protect our skin!
While great food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fatty fish, and milk, less than 10 percent of women over the age of 50 get the recommended amount through food.
Vitamin D comes with an array of benefits, including:
- Keeping your immune system healthy
- Maintaining strong bones and teeth
- Helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorus
- A decreased risk of colorectal and bladder cancer
Moreover, there is mounting research that vitamin D can aid in weight loss! Research shows that those with higher body fat tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin D compared with those of a healthier weight.
Decreased estrogen levels during menopause can also lead to vitamin D deficiency, so keeping up with your vitamin D intake is incredibly important!
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need After 50?
It is recommended for people 50 to 70 years old to get 15 micrograms daily (600 IU) daily, and those over 70 should get 20 micrograms daily (800 IU). That said, some take 5,000 IU or more per day depending on deficiency levels and how vitamin D is absorbed by their bodies, and there is research that confirms that larger doses appear to be safe.
Need a vitamin D supplement recommendation? Try Metagenics Vitamin D3 plus K2.
Tip: Vitamin K plays an essential role in blood coagulation (blood clots) and bone density, and research shows there are powerful bone and cardiovascular benefits to combining it with vitamin D.
Calcium is known as the bone health super vitamin. With age (and menopause) comes the breaking down of bone tissue faster than it can be built, which makes this mineral vital for maintaining the normal functioning of muscles and nerves.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that one in two women will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis, and the risk is greater than that of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined. Because menopause leads to increased bone loss, menopausal women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis.
Some good news? Research suggests that higher calcium intake in addition to vitamin D may be associated with lower body weight and better metabolic health. Therefore, menopause is a great time to start a calcium supplement if you need more in your diet!
How Much Calcium Do You Need After 50?
The daily recommended intake for those over 50 years of age is 1,000 milligrams for men and 1,200 milligrams for women.
Looking for a great calcium supplement? Try Pure Encapsulations Calcium Citrate.
Tip: Calcium and vitamin D is another powerful combination! In fact, calcium should always be taken along with vitamin D, since the body needs it in order to absorb calcium.
Do you suffer from leg cramps, fatigue, migraines, sleep issues, weakness, nausea, or loss of appetite? If you have one or more of these symptoms, you could be one of many Americans suffering from magnesium deficiency.
During menopause, magnesium helps keep your bones strong and combats your increased risk of osteoporosis. It can also improve sleep, support heart health, and reduce your risk of depression.
Three of the most common types of magnesium taken as supplements include:
- Magnesium Glycinate: Helps with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, migraines, bone health, serotonin levels, and depression
- Magnesium Oxide: Can be used for heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and constipation
- Magnesium Citrate: Commonly used as a short-term laxative
There is also research that shows higher magnesium intake helps better control insulin resistance and glucose blood levels—two factors that can contribute to weight gain.
The type of magnesium supplement you choose depends on your personal needs. For example, taking magnesium glycinate at night may help improve your sleep and ease anxiety.
Alternatively, magnesium oxide is often used as a laxative and can help with digestive issues. (Thus, not the best choice for a nighttime supplement!)
How Much Magnesium Do You Need After 50?
The recommended daily intake of magnesium over 50 years of age is 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women.
Need a magnesium supplement? Try Magnesium Glycinate Complex.
4. B Vitamins
B vitamins are water-soluble, incredibly powerful, and full of health benefits—especially during menopause!
For menopausal women, studies have shown great benefits from vitamin B intake. Here are some of the findings:
- Vitamins B6 and B12 may help support cognitive function, decrease your risk of dementia, and improve bone mineral density.
- Vitamin B6 may lower the risk of depression in older adults, including those going through menopause.
- Vitamin B9 (also known as folate) may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
As for menopausal weight gain? There are some studies that suggest adequate vitamin B12 levels may be associated with a lower risk of weight gain and obesity.
What is the Recommended B Vitamin Intake After 50?
The daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 after age 50 is 2.4 micrograms for men and 2.4 micrograms for women.
Chris’s Tip: I take my AG1 in the morning for my daily vitamin B and overall foundational nutrition.
One of the main building blocks of the body, collagen makes up about 30 percent of your total body protein and 70 to 80 percent of your skin. Collagen supports skin elasticity while keeping it supple and firm. It also makes your nails strong and shiny.
After age 20, you begin to produce about 1 percent less collagen in your skin each year, and it continues to decline as you age—especially after menopause! This can cause wrinkled or saggy skin and hollowing around your eyes.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that your skin loses about 30 percent of its collagen during the first five years of menopause. Finding the best collagen supplements for women over 50 is a great way to counter this loss.
And here’s the kicker: collagen may help provide joint pain relief (thus keeping you more active) and help you feel fuller and eat less—two essential ways to improve weight loss.
How Much Collagen Do You Need After 50?
Your daily collagen intake ranges from 2.5 grams to 15 grams, depending on which supplement you’re taking. It is important to pay careful attention to the instructions and recommendations on your supplement label.
Collagen supplements can also be taken in the form of powder, which can be added to drinks such as smoothies.
Need collagen recommendations? Here are two:
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is one of the best collagen powders for women over 50 because it is sourced from grass-fed pasture-raised cows which means it’s sustainable and clean.
NeoCell Collagen pills are also a great option for women over 50 because it has very few extra ingredients like soy, corn, starch, or yeast. These types of additives can wreak havoc on hormones and even exacerbate belly weight.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for regulating blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke and may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most importantly, Omega-3s have been said to keep your heart rate steady, thus avoiding atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart arrhythmia. They also aid in lowering blood pressure and improving blood vessel function.
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in meat (beef, lamb, and mutton), fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines) fortified foods (eggs, yogurt, and milk), plant-based sources (flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and edamame.)
There are three main types of Omega 3 fatty acids:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): A “marine omega-3” found in fish
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): Another marine omega-3 found in fish
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): A form of omega-3 found in plants
Omega-3s are also thought to specifically help with menopause! According to one study, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the symptoms of major depressive disorders and hot flashes in menopausal women.
Although more studies are needed, there is research that suggests that fish oil, a type of omega-3 supplement, may also help burn fat and help with weight loss—thus helping with menopausal weight gain.
How Much Omega-3 Do You Need After 50?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake of omega-3s for those 19 years and older is 1.6 grams (1600 milligrams) for men and 1.1 grams (1100 milligrams) for women.
Looking for an omega-3 supplement? Try Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega.
7. Vitamin C
It’s not a list of the best supplements for menopause weight gain without vitamin C!
Vitamin C may be the most well-known supplement people take—and for good reason!
Some of the benefits provided by vitamin C include:
- Boosting your immune system and energy levels
- Reducing inflammation
- Decreasing the severity of cold symptoms
- Supporting brain cell functions
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
Vitamin C is water-soluble (meaning your body uses the amount it needs and rids itself of any excess through urine), and it also aids in collagen production—which we previously learned decreases significantly during menopause.
How much vitamin C should you take over 50?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is at least 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
If you’re in need of a good vitamin C supplement, try Pure Encapsulations Vitamin C Chewables.
Best Multivitamins For Menopause Weight Gain
Now that we’ve covered the best supplements for menopause weight gain, what about multivitamins?
For a lot of people, taking a single pill or powder might be easier than taking various different supplements separately—this is where a multivitamin comes in handy!
For women over the age of 50, and those going through menopause, it is important to focus on the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for their hormones and bodily functions to perform properly. (As your body changes, so too do your nutrient requirements!)
The best multivitamin for women over 50 (and those dealing with menopausal weight gain) is one that covers several bases. Typically, vitamin D and omega-3s are not included in multivitamins, so taking those in addition to your multivitamin can be helpful.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy multivitamin, AG1 powder provides a multivitamin, probiotic, and superfood source all in one!
AG1 promotes gut health, supports immunity, boosts energy, and helps aid in recovery.
Age and lifestyle play significant roles in menopause weight gain. As you age, your metabolism slows, and when combined with changing hormones and a lack of exercise, you’re more likely to gain extra weight during menopause.
Yes, menopausal weight gain may affect your body shape. Research shows that weight gain during menopause can cause significant shifts in body composition. You are also more likely to gain belly fat, leading some women to transition from a “pear shape” to an “apple-shaped” figure.
Yes! You can get rid of menopause weight gain by focusing on a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Incorporating cardio exercise, strength training, and vitamin supplements (when necessary) can also help you combat menopause weight gain.
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”UeF5pNfV” upload-date=”2019-06-06T21:45:01.000Z” name=”8 Amazing Strength Training Moves for Women Over 50 May 2018″ description=”Let’s explore some benefits of strength training and then the specific strength training moves women over 50 should do.”]