Dr. Asif Khan
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When it comes to building muscle and just generally trying to get our bodies in shape, it simply cannot be denied that, whilst training is still hugely important, what we should ideally be focusing on instead is diet, nutrition, and supplementation. That isn’t to say that training isn’t important, because we all know that it is, but the truth of the matter is that without putting the right nutrients inside of our bodies, we simply won’t make any real progress, leaving our bodies remaining largely the same. As far as supplements go, from a muscle building perspective, zinc has been up there with some of the all-time bests, yet for some reason this mineral is still incredibly underrated. Zinc has been proven to provide a number of health benefits to the human body, but recent evidence has also pointed to the fact that, from a bodybuilding perspective, it could be ideal as it looks as though zinc could provide numerous anabolic qualities deemed essential for muscle growth and repair. Here’s a more in-depth look at zinc and exactly how it could help benefit people trying to build muscle.

What is Zinc?
First off, before we go any further, we need to take a look at exactly what zinc is. Zinc is a trace element and essential mineral that our bodies cannot naturally synthesize. As it is referred to as essential, this means that our bodies still need it, and as we cannot naturally synthesize it, we need it from dietary sources instead I.E food, drink, and supplements. Zinc plays a number of crucial roles within the human body, with some great examples including the fact that it boosts immunity, it helps to facilitate the enzyme activity, it helps to heal wounds, it helps increase natural testosterone levels, and it helps assist with protein synthesis. Experts recommend consuming at least 11 mg of zinc each day, though for bodybuilding/muscle building benefits, you may wish to increase this amount.

Relationship between Zinc and Testosterone
Along with the fact that zinc helps assist with protein synthesis, it is the fact that zinc has been proven to naturally increase testosterone levels internally that has gotten experts so excited about the muscle building potential of this mineral. Testosterone is the dominant male sexual hormone that is responsible for muscle growth, size, function, definition, strength, and repair, so naturally the more testosterone we can get into our bodies, the more muscle we will be able to build naturally. zinc anabolic mineral

Zinc to Create An Anabolic Environment For Your Muscles
The main reason in which zinc is able to help create an anabolic (muscle building) environment for your muscles is all down to the fact that zinc helps boost testosterone, plus the fact that it helps increase protein synthesis. It has been understood for nearly two decades now, that zinc is able to increase testosterone levels yet it is only over the last few years that we’ve been able to understand exactly how much testosterone the zinc is able to help produce. Studies have also found that zinc supplementation can help to promote a good night’s sleep, which again is ideal because not only does getting the right amount of sleep help to boost natural testosterone production, it also helps with post-workout recovery because we do most of our growing when we sleep, as our bodies begin to repair and strengthen our muscles to be bigger and stronger than they were previously. So combine all of the above factors together and you have the perfect environment for muscle growth and repair.

As mentioned, zinc is an essential mineral that we must get from dietary sources. Here’s a look at a few examples of the top sources of zinc:

Zinc Supplements
starting with the most obvious example, we have zinc supplements. For individuals looking to instantly increase their zinc consumption, zinc supplements are absolutely ideal and can easily allow you to reach your recommended daily intake.

Zinc Anabolic Mineral
Oysters: Oysters are an absolutely fantastic source of zinc, and are ideal for bodybuilders for many reasons. To begin with, oysters are low in calories and are packed full of protein and amino acids. As far as the zinc content goes, 3 ounces of oysters will provide you with a whopping 74mg, so the next time you head to your local seafood restaurant, you may wish to give oysters a try.

Red Meat: Red meat such as beef or lamb is another great source of zinc, not to mention of iron as well. 100g of red meat such as beef, for example, contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake, coming in at just shy of 13mg of zinc on average. Red meat is also a great source of protein and it tastes pretty great as well.

Spinach: Spinach is incredibly healthy as it is packed full of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc. One cup of cooked spinach contains around 1.5mg of zinc, which may not sound like much, but in actual fact it is around 15% of your recommended daily intake.

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