Strengthen Your Immune System
1. What is it and where does it come from?
Zinc is classified as an essential mineral and with good reason. Many foods rich in trace minerals contain Zinc, including milk, oysters, red meat, spinach, nuts, oats, and beans.
2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Zinc does quite a bit for the body. First, Zinc is crucial for health because it strengthens the immune system. It is also essential to cell division, growth, and repair. Zinc plays an important role in the detoxification of alcohol in the liver, aids in digestion, and increases the production of protein. Second, it is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions, and aides the body in the actions of several hormones, such as growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, and oestrogen. It also maintains normal blood cholesterol levels in the body. Not meeting the recommended RDA for Zinc can adversely affect sex hormones and lead to muscle atrophy because protein synthesis will not be optimised in your body (according to rat studies). Recent studies show that people who work out and exercise are more likely to be Zinc deficient and, consequently, need more Zinc.
3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
In the quest for huge and lean mass, bodybuilders often look to a variety of well-known supplements. Names like HMB, Creatine Monohydrate, L-Glutamine, and Amino Acids comes to mind. However, a few supplements have been shown to achieve results that have not been highly publicised. Zinc is one such supplement. Many experts say that Zinc deficiency is widespread. Making sure you get your zinc is important to elevate your level of muscle building. Bodybuilders, especially, need Zinc! Since many don’t get enough Zinc in their diet, this also means their immune systems will not be as strong! Deficiencies also result in wounds healing slower because of Zinc’s role in cellular repair. Zinc deficiencies also lead to slower growth rates and lower ability to learn. Make sure you’re getting enough Zinc!
On the other hand, general supplementation with the mineral leads to an increased production of the hormone testosterone by the body. Good news! Individuals deficient in Zinc can raise their levels and benefit greatly from supplementation!
4. How much should be taken?
Are there any side effects?
The recommended RDA for Zinc is 15 mg/day for men and 12 mg/day for women. Research shows that supplementing to attain your RDA is beneficial and conducive to bodybuilding. The RDA levels are safe and effective to supplement at. Taking too much Zinc (25-100 mg/day) can lead to the non-absorption of other minerals such as iron and copper. So, stick to the recommendations and you’ll be well on your way to a bigger, healthier body!