Zinc (Zn) deficiencies are at the highest levels ever in the post industrialized world.  In the United States, research shows over 95% of us do not get enough to sustain basic cellular functions, much less support optimal health and performance.

Zn aids the immune system, supports the endocrine system, maintains male and female fertility, and is required for athletic performance and body composition.  With intense exercise, zinc increases Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) and Growth Hormone (GH) in both males and females.  In males, it also increases the conversion rates of androstenedione to testosterone making it a no brainer for athletes.

Zn aids in both male and female reproductive health by providing antioxidant relief to the testes and regulating estrogen levels.  Men, if you are deficient in Zn you will not make all the testosterone you could be.  Women, if you are low in Zn, your estrogen will be too high (especially if on birth control), increasing your risk of all cancers predominately found in women.

Zn is also important for brain function.  Persons with low Zn levels have a difficult time focusing.  Studies have shown children with ADHD almost always have lower Zn levels than “normal” children.  Even in adults, symptoms of ADHD completely go away if Zn levels are brought up to optimum levels.  If you add DHA (from fish oil) and eat no processed sugars, your focus and productivity will increase.

Zinc has also been proven to reduce the ongoing issues of depression, especially in women.  The female hormone, estrogen, is used in serotonin production.  Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that improves mood.  Depression is the absence of serotonin.  Zinc improves serotonin levels and also repairs serotonin receptors in the brain.  Now you can ask yourself this…  “did my doctor test my zinc levels before putting me on that SSRI?”.  I’m guessing no, he/she didn’t.  It is really kind of sad.  You may have been able to get out of your “rut” by simple, natural methods.

It is not prudent to simply take a bunch of zinc.  Zn toxicity can be just as unhealthy as low Zn levels.  As with any deficiency, the best thing to do is get tested for it.  There are three tests you should do.  The taste test, blood serum, and blood plasma.  The taste test is easy and is typically done before blood work is taken.  It is simply sipping a distilled water / zinc combination.  If you can taste the unpleasant, metallic taste of zinc you are not deficient and you can keep doing what you are doing.  We provide this test to all our BioSig clients as part of the initial consult.

Blood serum tests for zinc, just like magnesium, can be skewed by a meal high in Zn and are typically not reliable.   Blood plasma tests only indicate extreme deficiencies.  Hence, all three Zn tests need to be done to get a better idea of your Zn levels.

In the last week I’ve posted articles on the supplements we refer to as the “The Five”, or better, the five supplements everyone needs.  Needs is not an exaggeration of terms.  If you did not gather, each of the five have been shown to improve health in numerous different ways.  Together, they work synergistically to improve all the issues I discussed and more.  I don’t really consider them five separate supplements. They are all important…  as one group.  Hence, we call them “the Five”.

Remedying you body’s deficiencies and maintain optimum levels of the HCL, DHA/EPA, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and Zinc will improve your health, strengthen your immune system, and reduce your risk of disease.  Not to mention aid you in losing fat and increase your gains in the gym.  All this at just over the cost of a cup of Starbucks or a beer.

If you are interested in getting truly healthy, schedule a consult with Tanner or I.  We offer 8 week, 12 week, and 16 week BioSignature programs, but also single consultations with follow up visits as needed.

Chip B demonstrates the correct position at the bottom of a squat. Chest up with the heels firmly on the ground.

Hang Clean skill work then work up to a heavy triple
50 pull ups for time
Row 1,000m for time
Post times for both pull ups and row individually

Olympic Weightlifting
2 Position Snatch x 3 @ 70% (floor and below the knee)
Clean x3  no heavier than (95/65)
Snatch Pulls 3 x 3 @ 90%
Back Squat- work up to a heavy single, then  3 x 5 @ 75%

9 thoughts on “Last But Not Least… #5 of “The Five” Supplements Everyone Needs

  1. Andrew says:

    Everyone take a second and look at the link for Will Kuenzel’s Lifting Seminar. For those that haven’t signed up yet, you are most certainly missing out. He does a great job relaying the information and has a great eye with regards to correcting form. If you’ve noticed your squat, bench or DL hasn’t felt as smooth lately, or you simply want to learn from one of the best in the country, I suggest you sign up. There are still spots available.

  2. Sensei says:


    Thank you for the warm wishes and congratulations on the new baby Quinn!!

    Oly class, Ya’ll are a bunch of beautiful traitors! What a strange thing to have most of the OTHER side of the gym full of people. ha ha! One thing that it reminded me of however is that “good” athletes stay working on their craft as a whole and really work hard at what they are good at. They practice “until they get it right”. HOWEVER, EXCEPTIONAL ATHLETES practice and train at what they need work on “until they CANT GET IT WRONG!” So this says a lot about the quality of humans, leadership, and personalities in the gym. I AM IMPRESSED!

    Also huge CONGRATS to Taylor who easily beasted a 365 back squat as a PR. I believe he said by 40lbs!!! Awesome stuff brother.

  3. Albert Steed says:

    Taylor is my new hero. That was some awesome lifting this morning. I think you had another 20 or 30 pounds in you by how easy you were knocking the singles out. 🙂

  4. Eric says:

    If anyone is interested in joining a four-man team for mud run on Saturday let me know. One of our team members fractured his foot and can’t run. Either contact Eric Wallen (Ericwallen25@gmail.com) or Scott Stalls. We already paid so the fee is waived.

  5. t. says:

    Cangrats Taylor.

    Tanner posted the pic of Chip. When I saw it and read the caption laughed.

    I laughed for a couple of reasons. First, at the Durham Challenge last December, I had a CrossFit affiliate owner tell me that Zach “Zay-tah” Brock had a bad squat because his knees pushed past his toes… at the bottom of a 315lbs clean. I laughed about that too.

    I don’t anyone that front squats over 300lbs at full range (ass to ankles) with the knees pressing forward of the toes.

    I also laughed at the pic last night because I had just come from a learning/lifting session at Next Level with Jrod. We had just discussed squat pass parallel and were doing lunges pushing the knee as far forward of the toes as it will go… in other words, in the full range of motion of hip, knee, and ankle.

    Anyone that says the knee shouldn’t go past the toe is living in the past. A past with future injuries.

    As long as the heel gets the load, the knee can and should press forward.

  6. Jrod says:

    Yes, t and I couldn’t recall any sport where the knee does not go past the toes! You then have to question the Universities and so called experts claiming it to be a risk factor and yet Olympic lifting has the lowest risk of knee injuries. . .hmm? It makes perfect sense to trash travel the knee at full range of motion in a controlled fashion (like in strength training) in order for the knee to be protected later while participating in unpredictable environments.

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