Bodybuilding is a time process, nothing ever comes overnight except maybe for your package that you ordered from Amazon.
Bodybuilding creates patience in anyone who lives the lifestyle. While we know that training plays a vital part in growing bigger and stronger, nutrition and supplementation also have their place in the process.
Walk into any supplement store and you’ll be bombarded with products that promise you unrealistic results within 6 weeks. When I started lifting, I was suckered by a big supplement company who promised that I would gain 26 pounds in 6 weeks. If anything, I just got leaner.
I don’t know who’s to blame — my naivety or the scumbag supplement company?
With the myriad of supplements to choose from there are only a handful that truly stand out as a product that you would benefit from taking if adding muscle was your goal; these supplements could almost be named on one hand.
Protein, creatine, amino acids, and zinc.
Today, however, we’ll only be focusing on zinc.
What is Zinc?
As far as all-round muscle-building supplements go, zinc could very well be sitting at the top of the podium. Zinc provides many benefits for bodybuilding goals by increasing testosterone production, which in turn induces many other benefits.
Before we move on, let’s take a deeper look at what zinc is.
Zinc is a mineral and trace element that our bodies can’t synthesize, meaning that our bodies can’t produce it on their own. Therefore, we get our zinc dosages in from the food that we eat or alternatively, from supplementation.
The benefits of taking zinc are nearly innumerable. The benefits range from speeding up the healing process of a wound, boosts the immune system, increases protein synthesis and of course, increases testosterone production.
Zinc and Testosterone
As stated above, zinc has the ability to increase testosterone production, which is why it’s such a wonder product for bodybuilders. As we all know, testosterone is essential for making all kinds of gains — without it, we might as well not even go work out.
However, with these benefits of zinc, bodybuilders and athletes all around the world can experience the byproduct of zinc supplementation, which in turn will increase their lean muscle tissue and ultimately, their performance.
Using Zinc for Bodybuilding
The anabolic environment created by supplementing with zinc or by increasing your zinc intake through your diet, is what appeals most to bodybuilders who are looking to increase lean muscle tissue as much as they can.
However, not only does zinc increase testosterone production and protein synthesis, but it also has the benefit of improving your sleep.
A crucial element for muscle recovery is sleep. Without getting adequate sleep, your gains will suffer for it and you might as well not even train as hard as you do at the gym.
Getting your sleep in also helps with testosterone production, which is a double whammy when supplementing with zinc. So, not only do you get increased levels of testosterone by using zinc, but you get more increased testosterone by getting better sleep form using zinc.
The Best Sources of Zinc
There’s literally no easier way to get your daily dose of zinc in than to use a zinc supplement. The benefit that a supplement has over food is that it’s convenient and ready for use and that the dosages are already mapped out without you needing to weigh anything.
On the other hand, it could end up costing you more than it would to head over to the grocery store.
When you think of spinach, you think of Popeye. And what do we all remember about him? That he was a badass sailor who had tattoos, smoked a pipe, and whooped some ass after having a serving of spinach.
I wonder if the creators low-key knew about the benefits of zinc and that spinach was a good source of it?
Not only does spinach contain a hearty dose of zinc, it also contains many other minerals and vitamins that are essential for our everyday bodily functions such as calcium, potassium, and iron.
Ever wondered why all the old men in your life (your father, uncle, granddad) all say that you should eat beef if you want to grow stronger or bigger? Well, they were certainly on to something.
During the 70s, bodybuilders used to get most of their protein from red meats such as beef. One bodybuilder in particular, Serge Nubret, used to eat a few pounds of horse meat a day during his career as a professional bodybuilder.
I’m not saying to ask your local butcher if he has some prime race horse meat laying around, I’m just trying to illustrate that read meat is what’s up.
But what makes red meat so special is that it is a rich source of zinc. Just to illustrate, around 100 grams of red meat contains more than 100% of the RDI for normal adults which is around 13mg. So, bodybuilders should have a little more for a little more sweet gains.
Apart form being an aphrodisiac, oysters are also a solid source of zinc. Not only do oysters contain a good amount of zinc but it also has a fair serving of protein.
Oysters may be slimy and pretty darn nasty to put in your mouth, but 3 ounces of oysters contains around 74mg of zinc. Let that sink in real quick.
So, if 13mg is equal to the daily RDI, then what is 74mg equal to? Testosterone overload!
Other Benefits of Zinc
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
As we know, insulin is an anabolic hormone. Many praise it for its muscle-building qualities by transporting nutrients from the blood stream into the muscle cells.
Some people struggle a little with their insulin sensitivity and can’t enjoy the full benefits thereof. Therefore, by increasing your zinc intake, you may be able to improve your insulin sensitivity.
However, I’m not a doctor nor am I a nutritionist, so don’t just take my word for it. If you do struggle with insulin sensitivity, consult your doctor first before making any drastic changes.
Works as an Antioxidant
Zinc has the ability to prevent certain forms of cancer. It also helps with healthy cell function and health. Not only that, but it helps the body to get rid of any damaging toxins that may be doing its thing within your system.
Zinc aids melatonin metabolism, which is important if you want to get a good night’s worth of sleep in.
As mentioned earlier, getting your sleep in aids with recovery. And recovery from a hard workout session in the gym equals more gains.
Zinc is basically a legal steroid. It’s no wonder why it’s the main ingredient for the majority of testosterone boosting supplements out there.
Unfortunately for us humans, zinc is something that we need to ingest through our diets. But on the upside, there are quite a few ways of getting our fair share of zinc in through using supplements and by adding or eating more foods that are rich in this mineral.
The use of zinc for bodybuilding purposes is amazing. It’s as if zinc was made for bodybuilding.
At the end of the day, is there any reason to not use zinc for bodybuilding or the general health benefits that it offers?