This post is dedicated to ZINC and the benefits it brings to Functional Training as well as your body and mind.
Zinc is a mineral that is found in almost each cell within the human body. Despite its importance, this mineral is usually taken for granted. A lot of people tend to remember zinc after they have a cold or sore throat as they took zinc dietary supplements and lozenges to deal with colds or sore throats. Note: Zinc won’t cure these ailments. The mineral, however, will help increase the immune system so the chilly won’t grow to be something more serious.
Zinc is so important because it is found in every tissue in the body and is directly involved in cell division. It is a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent cancer, but zinc also is directly involved in proper endocrine function and the maintenance of ideal hormone levels as well as lean muscle growth and stamina.
Being a naturally occurring ingredient, zinc is present in food comparable to oysters (one of the highest source of zinc), liver, red meat, chicken, greens such as cooked napa cabbage, as well as plenty more.
As with any supplement we need to know the right amount to take in relation to our body as well as our fitness and health goals. Too little or too excessive ranges of zinc could be harmful. Zinc deficiency can lead to impairment of taste, poor immune system, as well as pores and skin problems. Other signs might include diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, slowed wound healing, infertility, and decreased progress in infants. High ranges of zinc, then again, might trigger cramps, anemia, changes in cholesterol levels, loss of libido, impotence, and dizziness. Thus the appropriate levels of zinc does enhance mind function and accelerates the therapeutic of wounds.
Zinc is a compound made up of 300 different enzymes! It is a mineral that may not be as well known as bone healthy ‘calcium’ – which will change now – as Zinc offers many different health benefits for our body!
*Magic Wound Healer
Zinc is absolutely phenomenal when it comes to healing wounds! Zinc also enhances our natural infection fighters – that is, our white blood cells! Additionally, zinc also helps our body produce collagen. A connective tissue that allows our flesh to heal by supporting the enzymes! Zinc is used for the treatment for many wounds including; cold sores, bed sores, surgical incisions, skin ulcers and burns!
*Essential for Healthy Metabolism and Hormone Function
Zinc is a catalyst for numerous enzymes in the body, meaning without adequate zinc, your body’s regular functions such as metabolism may be hindered.
Zinc is needed for the healthy function of most hormones, including insulin. Adequate zinc plays at least three roles in insulin health. First, zinc binds to insulin so that insulin is adequately stored in the pancreas and released when glucose enters the blood stream.
Second, zinc improves cell health, making up a component of the enzymes necessary for insulin to bind to cells so that glucose can enter and be used as fuel. The process of insulin binding to the cell is what is referred to with the term “insulin sensitivity” and means that the cell is receptive to insulin. Once insulin binds to the cell, it “opens the door” so that the glucose can enter. If the cell is resistant to insulin, glucose will stay in the blood stream, cause high blood sugar, and ultimately lead to increased fat storage i.e. fat gain. When zinc concentration falls, there is a reduction in insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which if persistent, will lead to diabetes.
Third, zinc has anti-inflammatory effects via its role in abolishing inflammatory markers such as C-reactive proteins. Zinc also helps get rid of substances that cause inflammation in cells, helping to preserve cell health and insulin sensitivity.
A recent study of Spanish school children found a direct relationship between low zinc levels, greater body fat content, and insulin resistance. The children who were classified as zinc deficient had poorer insulin sensitivity and greater glucose intolerance (a related measurement of persistent blood sugar levels) than those whose level of zinc was adequate.
Zinc is an excellent antioxidant. Note: the purpose of an antioxidant is to get rid of free radicals that cause damage to cells in the body by bonding with them and neutralizing them. Zinc is particularly good at countering the damaging effect of high iron. Zinc also targets free radicals that cause inflammation and is especially effective at detoxifying heavy metals from the brain.
*Prevent Cancer and Boost Immune Function
Ananda Prasad is a leading researcher in the field of zinc and health, states that simply ensuring our zinc levels are adequate can help cure a number of the most severe health problems, especially cancer and poor immune function. Along with prostate cancer, low zinc plays a role in the development of most cancers since it is instrumental in healthy cell proliferation. To back this up – recent evidence links zinc deficiency to cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries, lungs, skin, and leukemia.
Zinc deficiency profoundly affects the immune system because low zinc produces a direct and rapid decline in T cell function. T cells elevate the body’s immune system when viruses, bacteria, or challenges to health arise. Older people are at greater risk of zinc deficiency, which is not thought to be solely due to poor dietary intake. There’s evidence that a need for more zinc may increase with age to counter inflammation, support the immune system, and ensure healthy cell repair and renewal functions.
BENEFITS FOR FUNCTIONAL TRAINING
Zinc also has a significant role in protein synthesis. Since muscles need protein for growth, zinc is needed to gain muscle. As we know zinc is an essential mineral which has important roles in the process of metabolism, immune system function as well as in exercise performance.
Zinc supplements are also popular, especially for people who want to gain lean muscle.
*Increased Exercise Performance
Zinc has been shown to improve exercise performance when supplemented, especially when supplemented by athletes whose dietary intake in zinc is low. Supplementing with zinc can allow a person to exercise harder and for a longer time period, which can mean muscular gains if the exercise involves weight training.
*Improved Athlete Performance as well as Muscle Strength & Growth
Adequate zinc directly affects athlete level performance and strength development from training because it plays a primary role in anabolic hormone production. Weight training is essential for gaining muscle. This is because weight lifting makes small tears in the muscle tissue which the body rebuilds with new growth. Supplementing with zinc and also weight training will maximize your muscle gain. Research shows having ample zinc available in the body allows for a more robust release of the three most important anabolic hormones, testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Without these, you’ll miss out on muscle and strength development from your hard work in the gym.
Summary of Benefits for guys and girls:
– Boost in sexual health and testosterone.
– Reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
– May prevent and treat baldness.
– Reduce menstruation and the effects of it, including PMS.
– Birth/Pregnancy, reduces the chances of a premature baby, low birth weight and complications during birth.
– Minimizes cold and flu symptoms.
– Helps fight off muscle ache and fatigue.
– The signs of eczema can be reduced as zinc it vital in the healing of infections and wounds.
– Weight loss, as zinc controls a persons appetite.
– Reduce the damage to your liver from alcohol consumption.
– Prevent cancer
– Excellent antioxidant
– Fire-up your immune system and promote the growth of white blood cells.
– Cell repair after strenuous exercise including cardiovascular and weight training.
– Mood, zinc may improve the mood and has been know to be used to treat some kinds of depression.
– Can reduce stress levels, which will reduce fluctuations in cortisol levels.
RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE
The recommended daily allowance for the average male adult is 11mg per day, and for the average female adult it is 8mg per day. If a person is unable to obtain the recommended daily allowance through diet alone, they should supplement zinc, especially if their goal is to gain muscle.
Do feel free to contact George or myself at Be Fit Hub to create your Nutrition Framework to ensure you achieve your optimum cellular health and fitness goals.
The bottom line is – if you want to maximise your results from training and eating a real foods diet you need to be taking a zinc supplement.
Who better to talk to about this right change for your cellular and fitness health than both George and myself ?!
Two awesome souls
WALKING THE TALK! xx