Getting Sick Puts a Damper on Your Workout; Zinc Helps
We’ve always been told the cardinal rules of immunity: wash your hands frequently, stay away from others who are ill, and take Vitamin C…but are these enough?
Preventing sickness is more than scaring away germs; it requires upping your immunity. Attempting to simply improve this system is tough for most people, though. Because it’s a system, it contains a multitude of moving parts that desperately require balance and harmony. Luckily, we know just the supplement.
Zinc and Your Immune Cells
Zinc is a mineral that aids the body in a multitude of ways, and science has shown its role in the immune system is integral. Zinc mediates multiple facets of your immunity, including innate immunity, neutrophils, and NK cells. It also functions as an antioxidant. This hot-button term means that Zinc profoundly reduces harmful free radicals in your body, which increase in number especially during the workout recovery process. Zinc stabilizes cell membranes, preventing free radicals from inflicting damage.
T cells are the special lymphocytes that hunt down and destroy infected, cancerous, or sick cells. The mounted immune response triggered by your body when sick cells are found can be enhanced by Zinc. This goes for viral and bacterial infections especially.
What a Zinc Deficiency Looks Like
A Zinc deficiency may manifest in a few ways, many of which are nearly unnoticeable to you but affect the immune system greatly. For one, your body simply has a harder time fighting off sickness, due to macrophages that are affected by a lack of Zinc. There’s intracellular killing and lower cytokine production. A lack of Zinc may also adversely affect the growth and function of T and B cells, where T cells are not activated and IL-2 is not produced. While the plasma level of Zinc, or that found in your blood, is unaffected, immune cells feel the effects of low Zinc almost immediately.
Zinc’s Clear Role
What’s evident is Zinc’s importance body-wide. Over 2,000 transcription factors rely on Zinc, all of which keep the body capable of building bodily cells, including immune ones. With it, your body can quickly and more efficiently fight off sickness. In addition, Zinc counteracts high levels of other substances that enter the body, keeping your body safe from molecules only harmful at increased concentrations.
Outside the immune system, Zinc can be found in every cell in the body. It’s needed most when cells divide, which includes your body’s growth and adaptation during exercise and hard workouts. It’s necessary for strength training and supporting lean muscle mass, controlling hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. Additionally, Zinc even plays a role in insulin sensitivity, optimizing athletic performance and increasing glucose uptake in muscle cells.
Who Needs Zinc for Their Immune System?
If you find your workouts being impaired by the common cold, it might be time to add Zinc. It can be found in red meat, poultry, oysters, beans, dairy, and peas, all of which make up a healthy diet. However, Zinc can be used topically, like in MZM Recovery Lotion. It naturally soothes damaged and irritated skin, treats many skin issues, and regenerates cells, making lotion one of the most effective methods of application.
This article doesn’t constitute as medical advice, and you should always contact your doctor before adding vitamins to your diet.