Testosterone Boosting Minerals: Zinc, Magnesium, Boron and Selenium
We all know the importance of dietary vitamins and minerals, and many of you out there are currently taking a multivitamin. You know the stuff is good for you but do you really know how or if it is improving your health?
Many people buy into the hype of multivitamins and the promises of improved health, but have you really ever noticed a difference? What if I told you that by only including some extra seafood, chocolate and a handful of nuts every day you could see real results and even increase your testosterone levels, all without buying into those crappy pills in the first place.
Let us show you what these magic minerals can do for your manliness.
Zinc is often touted as the number one mineral amongst man minerals. Casanova, the famous 18th-century lover (or what you might today call pickup artist) swore by the aphrodisiac properties of oysters (one of the highest zinc containing foods) and routinely had about 50 of them every day for breakfast. Intrigued? Let’s get into the details:
The human body cannot create its zinc, and since it is needed by numerous functions of the body such as cellular metabolism, tissue growth as well as reproductive health, it needs to be consumed in adequate amounts through our food.
Zinc has the ability to boost testosterone by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme from converting it into estrogen. This is very favourable for keeping balanced male hormone levels and is ideally what you should aim for always; more testosterone and no excess estrogen.
Zinc can also easily be supplemented to reap these benefits. For example, the combination of zinc and magnesium is included as ZMA in our product Fade Out, which can help optimize your testosterone levels even while you sleep!
Other good dietary sources of Zinc are:
- Meat (especially veal)
- Raw Cacao & Dark Chocolate
- Egg Yolks
This essential mineral has been talked about a lot in recent years, especially since it is involved in more than 300 bodily functions. Also considered an electrolyte, Magnesium provides cells with energy, maintains fluid balance, is critical for healthy heart function, helps improve sleep quality as well as increasing your amount of bioavailable testosterone.
The reason why Magnesium has become such a popular supplement is because almost 70% of all adults in the US are deficient in this mineral. It is not that the mineral in itself has these powerful effects when supplemented, it is simply that since most people are deficient, they will see significant benefits from supplementing.
Magnesium is excreted through sweat, and intense exercise will deplete Magnesium levels faster, sometimes resulting in cramps or muscle twitches, which is something many people experience but have no clue why. If you are serious about your training as well as health, we highly recommend you supplement with Magnesium or at least include a good source of it in your diet such as plenty of dark chocolate or cacao powder in your protein shake. The benefits of getting enough of this mineral are many and since modern diets are so often deficient in it, its a small cost for big payoffs.
Good dietary sources of Magnesium are:
- Raw Cacao & Dark Chocolate (by far one of the best and most tasty sources of the mineral)
- Mineral salts such as sea salt, Himalayan salt and Celtic salt
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Boron what? Yes, this is about the least popular mineral out there but low and behold, it might just be the best one to boost those testosterone levels naturally. It is believed that because of modern day farming, we are quickly depleting our soils of minerals, one that is growing harder and harder to find in our diets other than magnesium is boron.
Even though boron might be the mineral you have heard the least about, it is one of the most interesting. Only about 0.001% of the earth’s crust is made up of boron, and it arrived here as emitted particles and meteorites from the big bang. Boron is not considered an essential mineral necessary for human survival, but it does pack a punch and supplementation comes with many interesting benefits:
- Increases free testosterone levels (28%)
- Increases DHT levels (10%)
- Decreases estrogen levels (-39%)
When it comes to supplements for athletes, boron supplementation covers almost all the bases and is a crazy cheap supplement for the benefits you can get from it. It has been shown to be safe as a supplement, and you have to go beyond 25mg per day to start experiencing any toxicity from it. Most supplements on the market come in a dosage of 3mg per day. We recommend a dosage of 10mg per day as this is what was used in the previously mentioned study results. Along with supplements, you can also increase your boron intake by including more of the following foods in your diet:
- Raisins & Grapes
The best natural source of selenium is Brazil nuts, what we also like to call the nut which is good for your nuts! High selenium levels are not only necessary for healthy testosterone production but have also been shown in many studies to be correlated with improved sperm quality and fertility in men.
Tim Ferris, the author of the 4 Hour Body, showed it best in his testosterone boosting protocol where he consumed three brazil nuts in the morning and 3 in the evening, which lead to a significant increase in testosterone as well as sex drive. Keep in mind though that only two nuts are actually needed to meet the daily requirements for selenium since they contain an amazing 1917mcg selenium (3485% RDA) per 100 grams of nuts! Don’t go crazy, though, prolonged overdosing of selenium has been implicated in increasing risks of prostate cancer.
Selenium is also a potent antioxidant and is a nutrient that is required for the production of the bodies own master antioxidant, glutathione. Brazil Nuts also contain plenty of Vitamin E which further adds to this nuts antioxidant superpower, capable of preventing unhealthy reactions and radicals in your cells which can contribute to premature aging and in the worst case, even cancer.
As you probably figured out already, we are huge fans of Brazil nuts, and if all of the above was enough to seal the deal, there is even more! Brazil nuts contain plenty of healthy fatty acids (which are also implicated in hormone production) as well as being loaded with the amino acid L-arginine. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know L-arginine as an ingredient in many pre-workout formulas as well as male enhancement products since it is a natural vasodilator that increases levels of nitric oxide for more pump (and also boners!).
An interesting anecdote is that many species of monkeys are also fans of Brazil nuts, and the alpha male monkey is always the one who eats most of them. Brazil nuts being nuts, they also are an excellent source of ALL the previously mentioned minerals such as zinc, magnesium and boron. Do we even have to give you any more reasons to eat these epic nuts?
Do yourself a favour, pack some brazil nuts for your nuts!
Not a fan of nuts? Bummer, here are some other foods high in selenium:
- Egg Yolks
Keep in mind that a not so known reason that can contribute to many people getting deficient in essential minerals is a high dietary intake of grains. Grains contains many anti-nutrients that can block mineral absorption in the gut. This is why it is complete insanity to be recommending whole grains as a nutrient source for someone who is mineral deficient (something many doctors do unknowingly).
While multivitamins and supplements might be a good idea for people that suffer from a high degree of mineral deficiency, proper nutrition is often all you need to get performance enhancing effects. Just by including more of the above-mentioned foods as well as throwing in a boron supplement can give you some very impressive results when it comes to increasing your testosterone levels naturally.