These 9 Micro-Nutrients will help you build muscle faster and more efficiently. Being deficient in any one of a number of vitamins and minerals can impair muscle growth. Make sure you’re eating these foods or supplementing with the correct vitamins to maximize muscle gains.
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We all know that you need to eat protein to build muscle, and carbs and fats help provide the energy needed to fuel your physical activities. But these are just the macronutrients most people are completely unaware of the powerful effects that certain vitamins and minerals or micronutrients have on your capacity to build more muscle, recover faster, and see better results. So today I want to highlight the key nutrients that you need to build muscle aside from the surface-level protein carbs and fats.
And first is a nutrient that’ll probably surprise you, cholesterol. Now I know doctors, trainers, and dieticians have been demonizing cholesterol for years now forits supposed negative effect on heart health.
However, research now indicates that there’s no link between cholesterol intake and the risk of heart disease. (1) Even though we have this evidence, many people and professionals still cling to the belief that cholesterol and high-cholesterol foods like eggs are bad. If that happens to be you, and you’re trying to build muscle you should know that reducing your cholesterol intake can significantly impair muscle growth. For example in a 12-week-long strength training study In one the scientists observed a dose-response relationship between dietary cholesterol and gains in lean mass.” (2) They also mentioned that this link held up even when the data was controlled for protein intake. (3)In other words, the more cholesterol theparticipants ate, the more muscle they gained in response to resistance training, regardless of how much protein they ate.So, don’t feel like you have to follow a low cholesterol diet. It’s not necessary for heart health and it can actually significantly blunt your muscle growth progress.
Next is a nutrient that I’ve talked quite a bit about zinc because it’s so important for athletes, zinc.It’s well-known that zinc is a crucial mineral for your immune system. But very few people realize that it also plays a crucial role in maintaining and gaining muscle mass.In fact, research shows that a zinc deficiency directly causes lean body mass losses and these muscle losses can be restored with zinc consumption. (4) Research also shows that even a small zinc deficiency can stunt growth and human development. (5)One reason not getting enough zinc can impair muscle growth is that it significantly lowers levels of the primary male sex hormone testosterone, which is obviously important for muscle growth. The problem is, according to the World Health Organization, 31% of people worldwide have a zinc deficiency, and in some parts of the world that number is as high as 73 percent. (6) This becomes an even bigger issue for athletes since they need more zinc than the average person because zinc gets lost through sweat, which is why people that train hard are especially likely to be zinc deficient.So, make sure that you’re eating foods that score high in zinc, such as oysters, beef, beef liver, chicken, shrimp, pork, legumes, and nuts. Or you can also take a zinc supplement.
Another very important vitamin for muscle growth is Vitamin D3. This vitamin is produced naturally by the skin after exposure to ultraviolet radiation, particularly UVB, like what you get from sunlight. Vitamin Dis important for people that want to improve their strength levels because it’s required for optimal bone strength, immune function, mineral metabolism, neuromuscular functioning, and testosterone synthesis.That’s why your vitamin D levels influence strength development. (7) And, interestingly enough, your vitamin D levels also impact how resistant you are to injuries. (8) One majorproblem is that public health authorities have significantly underestimated how much vitamin D you actually need for optimal health and well-being.For a long period, it was recommended to have a vitamin D level of around 20-30 Nanomoles per liter.But nowadays, large meta-analytic research shows that all-cause mortality decreases with vitamin d3 but requires a minimum of 50 Nanomoles per liter. (9) And some evidence even suggests that it’s better to have levels around 100 to 115Nanomoles per liter.It’s hard to say exactly how much sun exposure or supplementation you need per day to reach the optimal amount of vitamin D because a number of factors influence that, including the climate you live in and even your skin pigmentation. But during the winter months, or if you experience low amounts of sun exposure in general, a vitamin D3 supplement will most likely prove to be beneficial. If you really…