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10+ Top Supplements for Teens (2023 UPDATE)

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Supplements have become increasingly popular among teenagers as they look for ways to improve their physical and mental well-being. While a healthy diet and regular exercise are important for overall health, supplements can provide additional nutrients and support that may be lacking in their daily diet.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Teens

During adolescence, the body undergoes rapid growth and development, making it essential for teens to consume a healthy and balanced diet. However, many teenagers may not get all the necessary nutrients from their diet alone, which is where supplements can help.

The Benefits of Supplements for Teens

Supplements can provide a range of benefits for teenagers, including improved cognitive function, enhanced athletic performance, and stronger immune system. Additionally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D can support healthy brain development and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.

Choosing the Right Supplements for Teens

It's important for teenagers to choose supplements that are safe and effective. Before taking any supplement, teens should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it is appropriate for their individual needs. It's also important to choose supplements from reputable brands and avoid any that make exaggerated claims or contain harmful ingredients.

The Risks of Misusing Supplements

While supplements can provide benefits, it's important to use them responsibly. Misusing supplements can lead to adverse effects, including nausea, vomiting, and even liver damage. Teens should always follow the recommended dosage and never exceed it.

Supplements can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle for teenagers, but it's important to choose them carefully and use them responsibly. A balanced diet and regular exercise should remain the foundation of any teen's health routine, with supplements used to support and enhance their overall well-being.

Multivitamin Supplements for Teens

A multivitamin is a dietary supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals. It is designed to fill in any nutrient gaps that may exist in a teen's diet. Teens who have a limited diet or are picky eaters may not get all the nutrients they need from food alone, making a multivitamin a good option to ensure they are meeting their daily requirements. Multivitamins typically contain essential vitamins such as A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

While it is always best to get nutrients from whole foods, a multivitamin can be a helpful supplement for teens who may not have access to a balanced diet or who struggle to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Taking a daily multivitamin can also help prevent nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to various health problems, such as weak bones, anemia, and weakened immune system.

However, it is important for teens to not rely solely on multivitamins and to still try to consume a variety of healthy foods. Multivitamins should be considered as a supplement, not a replacement for a balanced diet. Teens should also be careful not to take more than the recommended dosage of vitamins and minerals, as excessive intake can be harmful.

When choosing a multivitamin supplement, teens should look for one that is specifically designed for their age group and gender, as nutrient needs can vary depending on age and gender. Additionally, teens with specific health conditions or taking medication should consult with a healthcare professional before taking a multivitamin or any other supplement.

Vitamin D Supplements for Teens

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also helps regulate the immune system and can prevent various health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. While the body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, many teens may not get enough vitamin D from sun exposure or their diet.

Teens who live in areas with limited sunlight or spend most of their time indoors may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, teens who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may not get enough vitamin D from their diet alone. Taking a vitamin D supplement can help ensure that teens are meeting their daily requirements.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for teens is 600 to 800 IU (international units) per day. However, it is important for teens to not exceed the recommended daily dosage, as excessive intake can lead to vitamin D toxicity.

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Vitamin D supplements come in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, and liquid drops. Teens should choose a supplement that contains vitamin D3, as it is more effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D than vitamin D2. They should also look for a supplement that is certified by a reputable third-party organization, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or ConsumerLab.com, to ensure quality and purity.

It is important to note that vitamin D supplements should not be taken in place of sun exposure, as sunlight provides other health benefits, such as the production of serotonin, a hormone that can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Teens should aim to get some sunlight exposure each day, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun's rays are less intense.

Iron Supplements for Teens

Iron is an essential mineral that is needed to produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron is particularly important for teens, as they are going through a period of rapid growth and development and need adequate amounts of iron to support their growing bodies.

Teens who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet may be at risk of iron deficiency, as iron from plant-based sources is not as easily absorbed by the body as iron from animal-based sources. Additionally, teen girls who have started menstruating may experience iron deficiency due to the loss of blood during their menstrual cycle.

Iron supplements can be a helpful way for teens to ensure they are meeting their daily iron requirements. The recommended daily intake of iron for teens is 11 to 15 mg per day. However, it is important for teens to not exceed the recommended dosage, as excessive intake can be harmful and may cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

Iron supplements come in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, and liquid drops. Teens should choose a supplement that contains ferrous iron, as it is the most easily absorbed form of iron. They should also take their iron supplement with vitamin C, as it can enhance the absorption of iron in the body. However, teens should avoid taking their iron supplement with calcium, as it can interfere with iron absorption.

Teens who are experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency, such as fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath, should consult with a healthcare professional before taking an iron supplement. Iron supplements may also interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics and antacids, so it is important for teens to speak with their healthcare provider before taking an iron supplement.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements for Teens

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are important for overall health and wellbeing. They play a critical role in brain function, mood regulation, and heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, as well as in plant-based sources, such as flaxseeds and walnuts.

However, many teens may not be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. This is especially true for teens who do not consume fatty fish or plant-based sources of omega-3s. Omega-3 supplements can help ensure that teens are meeting their daily requirements.

The two most important types of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are found primarily in fatty fish, while alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), another type of omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant-based sources.

The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids for teens is 250 to 500 mg per day. However, teens who have certain health conditions, such as high triglycerides or depression, may require higher doses of omega-3s under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Omega-3 supplements come in different forms, such as capsules, gummies, and liquid drops. Teens should choose a supplement that contains both EPA and DHA, as they are the most beneficial types of omega-3s. They should also look for a supplement that is certified by a reputable third-party organization, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or ConsumerLab.com, to ensure quality and purity.

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It is important to note that while omega-3 supplements can be beneficial for overall health, they should not be used as a replacement for a healthy diet. Teens should aim to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, in addition to taking an omega-3 supplement.

Probiotic Supplements for Teens

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for gut health. They help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion and boost the immune system. Probiotics can be found in certain foods, such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in supplement form.

Teens who experience digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and constipation, may benefit from taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics can also be helpful for teens who have recently taken antibiotics, as antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut.

When choosing a probiotic supplement, teens should look for a product that contains a variety of different strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They should also choose a supplement that has a high number of colony-forming units (CFUs), which indicates the number of live bacteria in the supplement. The recommended CFU count for teens is between 5 and 10 billion per day.

Probiotic supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, and powders. Teens should choose a supplement that is specifically formulated for their age group, as the amount and type of bacteria needed can vary depending on age. It is also important for teens to follow the recommended dosage on the supplement label and to store their probiotics in a cool, dry place to maintain their potency.

While probiotics are generally safe for teens to take, those with weakened immune systems or serious health conditions should speak with their healthcare provider before taking a probiotic supplement. Additionally, it is important for teens to continue to consume a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, as well as to stay hydrated, in order to support overall gut health.

B-Complex Vitamin Supplements for Teens

B-complex vitamins are a group of eight essential vitamins that play a crucial role in the body's overall health and wellbeing. They help to support the nervous system, boost energy levels, and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. B-complex vitamins are found in a variety of foods, such as whole grains, meat, fish, and dairy, but may be lacking in the diets of some teens.

Teens who follow a restrictive diet, such as a vegan or vegetarian diet, may be at a higher risk for B-vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, teens who are athletes or are physically active may require higher levels of B vitamins to support energy production and recovery.

B-complex vitamin supplements typically contain all eight B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid. The recommended daily intake of B-complex vitamins for teens varies depending on age and gender, but typically ranges from 1.2 to 2.4 mg per day.

Teens should look for a B-complex vitamin supplement that provides at least 100% of the daily value for each B vitamin. It is also important to choose a supplement that is high-quality and free from harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors. B-complex vitamin supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, and gummies.

While B-complex vitamin supplements can be beneficial for overall health, it is important for teens to also consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods. This can help to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their growth and development.

Zinc Supplements for Teens

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in a wide range of bodily functions, including immune system health, wound healing, and protein synthesis. Zinc can be found in a variety of foods, such as meat, seafood, nuts, and seeds, but some teens may not consume enough zinc through their diet.

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Teens who are vegetarians or vegans, as well as those who consume a high amount of processed foods, may be at a higher risk for zinc deficiency. Additionally, teens who are physically active may require higher levels of zinc to support muscle recovery and growth.

Zinc supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, and lozenges, and typically contain between 5 and 30 mg of zinc per dose. Teens should choose a zinc supplement that provides no more than the recommended daily intake of 11 mg for males and 9 mg for females aged 14-18.

It is important for teens to choose a high-quality zinc supplement that is free from harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors. Zinc supplements can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics and diuretics, so teens should speak with their healthcare provider before taking a zinc supplement if they are currently taking any medications.

Zinc supplements can be beneficial for teens who are not getting enough zinc through their diet, but it is important for them to also consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of zinc-rich foods. This can help to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their overall health and wellbeing.

Vitamin C Supplements for Teens

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin that plays a role in immune system function, wound healing, and collagen synthesis. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, and broccoli, but some teens may not consume enough vitamin C through their diet.

Teens who smoke, as well as those who consume a high amount of processed foods, may be at a higher risk for vitamin C deficiency. Additionally, teens who are physically active may require higher levels of vitamin C to support muscle recovery and growth.

Vitamin C supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, chewables, and gummies, and typically contain between 500 and 1000 mg of vitamin C per dose. Teens should choose a vitamin C supplement that provides no more than the recommended daily intake of 90 mg for males and 75 mg for females aged 14-18.

It is important for teens to choose a high-quality vitamin C supplement that is free from harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors. Vitamin C supplements can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and chemotherapy drugs, so teens should speak with their healthcare provider before taking a vitamin C supplement if they are currently taking any medications.

Vitamin C supplements can be beneficial for teens who are not getting enough vitamin C through their diet, but it is important for them to also consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of vitamin C-rich foods. This can help to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their overall health and wellbeing.

Magnesium Supplements for Teens

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions, including nerve function, muscle contraction, and heart health. Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, but some teens may not consume enough magnesium through their diet.

Teens who consume a high amount of processed foods or have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, may be at a higher risk for magnesium deficiency. Additionally, teens who are physically active may require higher levels of magnesium to support muscle function and recovery.

Magnesium supplements come in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, and powders, and typically contain between 200 and 400 mg of magnesium per dose. Teens should choose a magnesium supplement that provides no more than the recommended daily intake of 410 mg for males and 360 mg for females aged 14-18.

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It is important for teens to choose a high-quality magnesium supplement that is free from harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors. Magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics and blood pressure medications, so teens should speak with their healthcare provider before taking a magnesium supplement if they are currently taking any medications.

Magnesium supplements can be beneficial for teens who are not getting enough magnesium through their diet, but it is important for them to also consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of magnesium-rich foods. This can help to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their overall health and wellbeing.

Calcium Supplements for Teens

Calcium is a mineral that is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as for muscle function, nerve function, and blood clotting. Calcium can be found in a variety of foods, such as dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods, but some teens may not consume enough calcium through their diet.

Teens who consume a low amount of dairy products or have certain medical conditions, such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease, may be at a higher risk for calcium deficiency. Additionally, teens who are physically active may require higher levels of calcium to support bone health and prevent stress fractures.

Calcium supplements come in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, and chewable tablets, and typically contain between 500 and 1000 mg of calcium per dose. Teens should choose a calcium supplement that provides no more than the recommended daily intake of 1300 mg for males and females aged 14-18.

It is important for teens to choose a high-quality calcium supplement that is free from harmful additives, such as artificial colors and flavors. Calcium supplements can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics and blood pressure medications, so teens should speak with their healthcare provider before taking a calcium supplement if they are currently taking any medications.

Calcium supplements can be beneficial for teens who are not getting enough calcium through their diet, but it is important for them to also consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of calcium-rich foods. This can help to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their overall health and wellbeing.

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