Major Minerals

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Vitamins often get more play than minerals, but minerals are also crucial nutrients when it comes to putting on quality mass, particularly because minerals are easily lost through sweat. This means bodybuilders and other athletes may be deficient in certain minerals even if they are plentiful in their diet. To prevent this, consider adding the following three minerals to your regular supplement regimen.

• Magnesium Magnesium is found in many foods, but it is not rich in any particular food, making it a good choice to add as a supplement. This essential mineral is involved in numerous reactions in the body. It’s important for maintaining cardiovascular health, preserving bone health and keeping the metabolic rate turned up. It’s even important for muscle strength. In addition, it helps reduce cortisol, the harmful hormone that increases with exercise. Magnesium also has been found to enhance sleep quality, which is important for recovery.

Dose: Take 450 milligrams of magnesium by itself or with a zinc supplement like ZMA on an empty stomach before bedtime. Calcium interferes with magnesium absorption, so avoid taking calcium or dairy products at the same time.

• Zinc This is a crucial mineral for those who train hard because zinc is easily lost via sweat. Zinc supports testosterone and insulin-like growth factor production, making it highly beneficial for those seeking to add or maintain muscle mass. It also helps elevate the metabolic rate, meaning that those with reduced levels of zinc store more fat.

Dose: Take 30 milligrams of zinc on an empty stomach just before bedtime.

• Selenium This trace mineral helps elevate the metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more stored fat when it’s active. It also assists with the maintenance of muscle mass because the body will be preferentially burning fat. Selenium encourages the thyroid hormone T4 to convert to thyroid hormone T3, which encourages body-fat burning. Plus, Italian scientists have discovered that selenium levels may be critical for muscle strength.

Dose:Take200 to 400 micrograms of selenium per day with food.