It’s never too late to start paying attention to calcium, but Ferira explains that earlier is definitely better. “Calcium needs increase steadily in childhood and max out in adolescence because your peak bone mass, aka your bone mineralization needs and actions in the body, are highest at that time.”
She goes on to explain that, “building your ‘bone bank’ early in life with essential, required nutrients like the macromineral calcium is a literal investment in your musculoskeletal future and overall longevity.”
Once you’ve arrived at adulthood, the daily calcium needs stay relatively constant for the majority of your life, but they’re still high. “The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults 19 to 50 years old is 1,000 milligrams a day, and then women (starting at age 51) and all people 71 years and over need 1,200 milligrams a day,” notes Hultin.
Ferira shares this pragmatic intel to put this level in context: “One serving of dairy, one of the best sources of this mineral, delivers about 300 milligrams of calcium. So depending on your age, you need the calcium equivalent of three to four servings of dairy a day.” She expounds, “This level of intake honestly takes real thought, daily intention, and in my opinion, a smart multi with bioavailable calcium.”
That being said, there is a limit to how much calcium your body needs each day. “The upper limit for calcium in adults 19 to 50 years of age is 2,500 milligrams a day and for those 51 years and older, it’s 2,000 milligrams,” Hultin adds. That, of course, might vary in a clinical setting for individualized nutrition regimens under the supervision of a health care professional.