Zinc is a mineral essential for optimum health. It is required for many functions in the body including anti-oxidant activities, immune properties, cancer prevention and hormone regulation. These properties are what make it an obvious addition many post-workout supplements.
Following an intense workout or athletic event, the body’s immune system will often be weakened due to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol which can be harmful not only to muscle gains but the body’s overall health. These same stress hormones can lead to oxidative action in the body’s cells which can damage soft connective tissues in joints and be harmful to cellular functions. This can have lasting, negative consequences if the issue goes unaddressed. The addition to zinc in post-workout formulas is to combat these exact problems.
However, that is not the only purpose for the addition of zinc. While anti-oxidant activity and immune boosting functions are essential to good health and improvements in both strength and cardiovascular performance, there are other factors to consider.
Testosterone is another important element that must be considered when an individual, particularly a male, is looking to improve strength, muscle volume and bone density. Recent studies have found that zinc supplementation has a positive effect on testosterone levels. Interestingly, this is a dose dependent effect, meaning the more zinc that is taken, the higher the circulating levels of testosterone.
Not only does zinc combat negative side effects of rigorous training but it also promotes positive health and fitness factors such as testosterone.