As the primary male hormone, testosterone plays a huge role in the overall health of men, as well as a smaller role in the health of women. Higher testosterone levels in men are associated with a number of health benefits, including:
- Muscle growth
- Bone strength
- Increased sex drive
- Faster beard growth
- Energetic and outgoing attitude
- Memory and mental acuity
As you might guess from the title of this article, zinc and magnesium are commonly believed to raise testosterone levels. Is this true? We will now look to the evidence and find out.
Testosterone And Magnesium
Although it might not be the first mineral that comes to mind, magnesium is extremely important to your health. It is involved in over 300 different bodily processes, including the production of testosterone.
There have been several key scientific studies on this subject. This one tells us that magnesium supplementation increases both free and total bodily testosterone in men of all activity levels. The study tested men with a wide range of activity levels from sedentary to athlete.
Perhaps the most important fact contained in this study is the fact that the athletes experienced much greater testosterone increases than anyone else. This evidence suggests that there may be something about the combination of exercise and magnesium that gives testosterone production an even greater boost.
Testosterone And Zinc
Because zinc is present in many foods, the majority of people get enough zinc in their diet to maintain basic health. From a fitness perspective, zinc becomes more important because it seems to play a pivotal role in certain types of protein synthesis. As such, anyone who is trying to achieve maximum fitness should at least consider this supplement.
There is pretty strong evidence for the fact that zinc also affects testosterone production. This study found that zinc supplementation could produce a very large increase in the testosterone levels of various men. If you look at the numbers, you can see that the increase is pretty significant.
Another study on zinc and testosterone may shed light on our earlier findings. This study was conducted on elite-level athletes, and it found that when the athletes exercised to total exhaustion, there was a temporary decrease in testosterone production and thyroid hormone production until recovery was complete. However, it was found that zinc supplementation was able to prevent this temporary T-drop. Not only does zinc help with our T-levels, but it also helps with recovery.
Ways To Supplement Magnesium
There is nothing complicated about this aspect of today’s lesson. You can use either food or commercial supplements to increase your dietary magnesium. Let’s take a look at both.
Foods That Contain High Levels Of Magnesium:
- Collard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Most Types Of Fish
- Most Types Of Nuts
- Pumpkin And Sunflower Seeds
- Most Types Of Beans
- Grapes And Raisins
Using a supplement is a little bit easier, and it might be a little cheaper when you consider the cost of most meat. If you do this, you can get the dosage a little more precise. By following the link that we already provided, you can find out exactly how many milligrams of zinc per day you should be consuming. Your age will be one of the determining factors. Here is an example of one good magnesium supplement.
Ways To Supplement Zinc
There is nothing complicated about this aspect of the lesson, either. Your choices are either commercial supplements or foods that contain lots of zinc. Let’s take a look at both.
Foods That Contain High Levels Of Zinc:
- All Shellfish
- All Dairy Products
- Most Legumes (Beans And Nuts)
- Most commonly eaten seeds
As before, you might find it easier to use a supplement than to stock these foods. Consult this handy little table from the U.S. Government to find out exactly how much zinc per day (in milligrams) that you should be consuming. By looking carefully at the label on your supplement and comparing it to this table, you should be able to figure out your ideal dosage. Here is an example of a good zinc supplement.
Are There Any Risks Associated With These Supplements?
It is possible to overdose on virtually anything, so yes, there is a risk of overdose. However, you would have to take quite a bit of magnesium or zinc to experience any real problems.
Zinc can actually become toxic if taken in large quantities. Magnesium can cause a large number of negative side effects if taken in excessive amounts. This is why you should never exceed the recommended daily dosage for either of these supplements.
Should Women Use This Supplement?
Because this issue is somewhat specific to the health of men, it is fair to ask if women should avoid zinc or magnesium. We can get a clue to this question by looking at the recommended zinc supplementation amounts for men and women. We can see that 11 mg per day is recommended for men, while 8 mg per day is the recommended amount for women. This actually isn’t all that big of a difference.
When we look at the recommended amounts of magnesium for men and women, we see a similar pattern. Depending on age, women are supposed to get 320-360 mg per day, while men are supposed to get 410-420 mg per day. Once again, a significant difference but not a huge one. Therefore, both of these supplements should be safe for women if used is slightly lower dosages.
If you are looking to get an extra edge by increasing your competitive spirit, increasing your testosterone levels can really help. However, supplementing with testosterone itself has been known to cause some strange hormonal side effects, and should, therefore, be avoided.
The use of zinc or magnesium gives us an indirect way of accomplishing a higher T-level and all its accompanying benefits. We hope that this article has been helpful, and we invite you to fill out the contact form below to receive more essential health and fitness information like this.