I wanted to take an opportunity to examine why zinc is important for men as part of a complete approach to overall health. Before you begin a supplement regimen adding zinc to your daily intake there are a few key things you should know.
Many people are surprised to learn that oysters are considered one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs. Some people scoff at this idea, but in fact science has found a reason for oysters’ libido-boosting powers: Zinc!
Not only are oysters chock full of zinc, but they have more zinc than virtually any other food. You can easily meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) with just a few oysters, and if you binge on them you’ll know why they’re an aphrodisiac.
So what is it about zinc that makes it a testosterone -boosting substance? It’s because the role of zinc in the body is associated with raising libido and inhibiting estrogen buildup in the body. Some people even argue that zinc is the most important mineral for men. Guys who are deficient in zinc will notice massive changes in their sex drive when consuming a zinc supplement. And although overt zinc deficiency is rare in developed countries it’s safe to say most guys aren’t getting anywhere near the amount they need. On top of that, up to 5mg of zinc is lost in an average ejaculation. So for guys ‘expending’ themselves too often, they can easily fall short of the 11mg needed daily.
What is Zinc? And Why does it Boost Testosterone?
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for human health. Health experts have noted that it is of major importance in regards to human development and growth. It also plays an important role in basic human functions such as helping to promote a healthy immune system.
Although scientists are still learning more about the relationship between zinc and testosterone levels, one thing we do know for sure is the effect it has on estrogen levels. The way it works is by inhibiting aromatase, an enzyme that works to synthesize estrogen. With less estrogen in the system, men’s libido’s can flourish.
Signs and Consequences of Low Zinc
If you don’t get enough zinc in your diet as a male, you can expect the following:
- Frequent Illness due to a weakened immune system.
- Weakened sense of smell and taste.
- Hypogonadism or improper function of the testicles.
- Poor recovery and slow growth, if any, from the gym.
- Lack of mental energy and focus.
In terms of hormones, studies have shown that a deficiency in zinc is well-linked to a decreased level of testosterone. One study showed that men who avoided zinc in their diets for 5 months experienced a drop of testosterone levels of more than 50 percent! This is a massive drop—something that must be avoided for men looking to maximize their hormone levels.
Therefore, normalizing this deficiency will certainly lead to increased levels of T and related hormones. With a supplemental intake of 15-45mg consumed daily, individuals have been able to boost Testosterone significantly.
In addition to heightening testosterone and libido, zinc has the ability to influence:
- Supports reproductive health and fertility: Not only does it boost testosterone levels, but it helps keep the prostate healthy. It is also associated closely with sperm quality (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19285597) and volume.
- Cell and Muscle Repair: The more active you are the more stress you are putting on your body. This means that your body will need time to recover and repair that broken down tissue. Speeding up this recovery time is associated with quicker gains in the gym, and zinc can help to facilitate that.
Boosting both of those are definitely in the interest of active men. And because zinc is lost through sweat, athletes must pay extra attention to zinc and other vital minerals.
How to Consume Zinc Through Diet
As previously mentioned, oysters are chock full of zinc. If oysters aren’t your thing, or like most people you don’t dine on them daily, here are a few other options:
- Meats: Beef, Lamb, Shrimp and Turkey
- Seeds and Nuts: Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cashews
- Legumes: Lentils and Garbanzo Beans
You’ll notice that most high-protein foods like meat and nuts contain plenty of zinc. This is just another reason why you should definitely look to get most of your protein from whole foods, as opposed to powders, in order to get vital minerals like zinc.
And though fruits and vegetables are great foods for overall health, they are not good sources of zinc. Plant protein just simply does not have the amount of bioavailable zinc as meat does.
If you’d prefer to not eat the foods above, or just want to guarantee high levels of zinc consumption, then taking a zinc supplement is a great idea. There are a number of options out there, however, you want to make sure that you’re getting a high-quality zinc product that is highly bioavailable, not a form of zinc like zinc oxide, which doesn’t get absorbed well. An excellent choice is L-OptiZinc from any reputable brand. OptiZinc is a type of zinc that is highly bioavailable and the type of zinc to stick with.
Most zinc supplements come in a dosage of 30-50mg. 50mg is really the upper limit of what you’d want to consume daily, including food consumption, so starting out with a 30mg supplement is a smart choice.
You should also make sure that your zinc supplement contains a small amount of copper. This is because the two have a synergistic relationship and too much or too little can cause physiological issues. If you buy a supplement like L-OptiZinc this balance is already taken into account.
And if you’re looking to take your results to the next level, consider additionally supplementing with Magnesium and Vitamin B6. This combination, known available as ZMA, is often raved about in bodybuilding circles. It is well-known to have a powerful impact on libido as well as giving users a deep, calm sleep for maximum recovery.
Zinc is a must-have mineral for all men—period! To start you can add some of the foods to your regular diet. An easy way to do this is to buy a bag of pumpkin seeds. Plus they’re a great snack. If you still want to further you zinc intake purchase a zinc supplement with the parameters laid out above.
Within a short period of time you’ll start to notice better sleep and some drastic changes in the bedroom. Over time, your testosterone levels will have likely risen (Although you’ll need a test to know for sure). And while any testosterone-boosting regimen should be multi-faceted, supplementing with zinc is a great way to see powerful results.