We all know that calcium is essential for healthy bones, teeth, cells, and muscles. As we get older, the amount of calcium we need increases, as our natural stores of calcium decline. That’s why, in order to get the recommended daily amount of calcium per day, finding the best calcium supplement for you is a must.
How much calcium do women really need?
It’s long been said that adult women under 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, and women over 50 need to increase that amount to 1,200 milligrams per day. However, there is some debate about that number: Harvard Medical School experts say half that amount might be enough. However, it’s still a good idea to take a calcium supplement, as it can be difficult to get even 500-600 milligrams of calcium into your diet every day.
What are the best sources of calcium?
It’s a well-known fact that calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. But consuming these foods might not actually be the best way to get the recommended daily allowance of calcium. That’s because eating a diet high in animal protein can prevent your body from properly absorbing calcium, as the Journal of Nutrition explains. For this reason, many nutritionists encourage women to get calcium from non-dairy sources, including canned fish with edible bones, salmon or sardines, almonds, and fruits and vegetables like oranges, kale, okra, bok choy, collards, and spinach (which you can make into a delicious spanakopita!). You can also get calcium from legumes like soybeans, white beans, and black-eyed peas, plus other foods like dried figs, blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, and seaweed.
However, if you’re like most women, the amount of calcium you consume through these foods may not be enough to fulfill your body’s daily needs. One portion of a calcium-rich food typically provides around 300 milligrams of calcium, but in our busy lives, it’s hard to make sure we’ve eaten enough of the right foods each day. Taking the best calcium supplement for you will put your mind at ease and keep your bones healthy!
What is the best calcium supplement for women over 50?
Our bodies can’t process more than around 500 milligrams of calcium in one go, so the best calcium supplement will give you that amount or less. It will also contain vitamin D. Why? Well, vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut, and it is absolutely vital for strong bones.
As always, be sure you talk to your doctor before using any supplement to make sure they’re right for you. But if you’re ready for try one today, we’ve rounded up the best calcium supplements to help keep you strong and healthy. Keep scrolling to find the best calcium supplement for you!
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Garden of Life Mykind Organic Plant Calcium
Where to buy: $28.94, Amazon
Garden of Life’s Mykind Organic Plant Calcium is organic, vegan, gluten-free, easy to digest, and made from over 20 fruits and vegetables. Unlike many calcium supplements, its 800 milligrams of calcium is derived from organic algae, and it only uses whole food ingredients. There are no synthetic binders or fillers, either.
It's also beloved by doctors, as this Amazon reviewer shared. “This calcium is a more bio-available option compared to the typical carbonate or citrate that you will usually find. Many patients can't absorb calcium well and have cramping when taking the recommended daily dose. Also, there is concern that typical calcium supplements are actually contributing to calcification of blood vessels. This is now my go to calcium for my own use and for patients.”
Pure Micronutrients Calcium Complex
Where to buy: $33.60, Amazon
This easy-to-absorb calcium supplement from Pure Micronutrients includes essential calcium co-factors, such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin K2, vitamin D3, vitamin C, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. One serving contains 500 milligrams of calcium citrate and 500 milligrams of calcium hydroxyapatite, which is the type of calcium found in bones and teeth.
Satisfied customer Annie wrote, "Being at risk for osteoporosis, I need to take a regular calcium supplement. I've often bought the cheapest version available, but I've realized that this Bone Support formula is a much more well thought out formulation. It includes calcium CITRATE, which is better absorbed and has multiple other vitamins and minerals which act to make it more effective and keep your body in balance. I like that this is very allergen and artificial ingredient free as I feel better about taking it."
Caltrate Bone Health Minis
Where to buy: $49.93, Amazon
This easy-to-swallow mini supplement from Caltrate is made up of calcium and minerals for bone strength and flexibility. It has vitamin D3 to help maximize calcium absorption, and essential minerals like zinc, copper, and manganese to help support collagen production for strong, resilient bones. (And if you're looking to specifically add collagen to your diet, check out the best collagen supplements!)
According to many reviewers, these mini tablets are perfect for those who struggle with swallowing pills. One satisfied customer wrote, "These are my favorite Calcium and D3 tablets. I have a hard time swallowing pills, and have traditionally not been consistent at taking my calcium when the pills are too large. These are perfect for someone with this issue. You can take both at once without issue, I am finding. The shape, size, and smoothness of the tablets make it easy to swallow."
Nature's Bounty Calcium 600
Where to buy: $11.15, Amazon
In addition to calcium and vitamin D3, Nature’s Bounty's Calcium 600 supplement also contains magnesium, which is necessary for menopausal women.
One happy buyer wrote, “Really helping me sleep taking the magnesium before bed. Always want to get enough daily zinc which is lacking in some other multis I have. Tablets are easy enough to take, they are small and don't have much of a taste. All in all, I would buy this again when I run out.”
Garden of Life Raw Calcium Supplement
Where to buy: $33.94, Amazon
New from Garden of Life, this supplement is packed with raw, organic, whole food, and plant-form calcium, using a patented form of marine algae that is ecologically harvested in South America. In addition, this formula contains 386 milligrams of magnesium per serving. Studies indicate that increasing magnesium might help improve bone density in postmenopausal women.
Vitamin Code Raw Calcium also includes a patented RAW probiotic and enzyme blend to aid digestive support. As you probably know, probiotic supplements have a ton of benefits! (If you consistently have an upset stomach, you might also consider one of the best fiber supplements for women over 50.)
Caltrate Gummy Bites
Where to buy: $21.99, Amazon
These Gummy Bites from Caltrate are a delicious way to get your calcium and vitamin D3 intake every day. They come in black cherry, strawberry, and orange flavors, offering 500 milligrams of calcium per serving. The best part? You won’t feel like you’re taking a vitamin at all, but rather, just enjoying some candy! This is also a great option if you have difficulty swallowing pills.
Amazon reviewer Loaves and Fishes wrote, "I have tried various other gummy calcium products and they always had a distinct 'chemical' taste and they upset my stomach. After speaking with a pharmacist this is the gummy that she recommended and I have definitely not been disappointed. The flavors are all great and they are easy to digest with no 'chemical' aftertaste."
Viactiv Calcium Plus D Vitamin Chews
Where to buy: $18.86, Amazon
Getting the recommended daily amount of calcium from chocolate sounds right up our alley! If you have a hard time swallowing tablets and love chocolate, you'll appreciate these milk chocolate-flavored vitamin chews, which contain 500 milligrams of calcium carbonate and 500 milligrams of vitamin D per serving.
“These work very well,” wrote Amazon buyer Bob. “Last year my wife's bone density was low and they wanted her to have a shot for it. We read about all the side effects of the shot and decided not to have it. She was on these Viactiv for a year and the last test showed her bone density improved!”