Zinc is one of the most common ingredients in testosterone boosters today.
Bodybuilders have been using standalone zinc supplements to increase testosterone for decades. The classic testosterone-boosting stack is Zinc, Magnesium and B6, and guys have long talked about the libido-boosting effects of zinc-rich foods like oysters and mussels.
All of the best testosterone boosters today contain large doses of zinc. Top quality testosterone boosters will also provide a decent serving of magnesium, some B6, and some BioPerine to enhance absorbability.
But just how good is zinc as a testosterone booster?
Does this simple mineral really increase free testosterone in men?
What is the best way to use zinc to boost testosterone?
Do you need supplements, or can you get enough zinc from food?
In this article, I’ll discuss the ways that you can use zinc for testosterone boosting purposes. I will explain how zinc influences testosterone, what kind of an effect increased consumption can have, and the potential risks.
I’ll also tell you the best way to get more zinc, and how to use it for maximum testosterone-boosting effects!
If you have any questions, please just post them in the comments section at the end.
How Does Zinc Increase Testosterone?
Zinc and testosterone serum levels are tightly correlated.
Clinical trials have found that the amount of zinc in your blood is a good predictor of the amount of free and total testosterone in your blood.
In other words, a zinc deficiency invariably leads to a steady decline in testosterone levels. If you have a chronic zinc deficiency, then it is highly likely that you will have low testosterone too.
We also know that simply increasing zinc intake can quickly rectify a zinc deficiency.
Zinc is not like B12, DHA or calcium; a deficiency does not take a long time to fix. You can just start consuming a lot more zinc and the deficiency – and its associated side effects – will quickly disappear.
So the main way zinc increases testosterone is by rectifying a zinc deficiency, which we know to cause low testosterone.
Is this a big deal?
The vast majority of men in developed countries today are deficient in zinc.
Our diets have changed a lot over the last few decades, and not for the better. Few men regularly eat foods rich in zinc; things like oysters, seeds, nuts, and whole grains have been replaced by processed meat, refined grains and sugar.
We generally get enough zinc from our diets to carry out basic functions.
But if you’re looking to maximize testosterone levels, you don’t want to simply be consuming enough zinc. You want to ensure that the body has all the zinc it needs to make as much testosterone as it can.
How Effective Is Zinc At Increasing Testosterone?
So just how powerful is the effect of zinc supplementation?
For such a basic substance, I think the effect of zinc on testosterone is pretty enormous.
For starters, let’s look at the evidence showing that zinc deficiencies cause low testosterone.
In a 1992 clinical trial, researchers found that even short term dietary zinc restriction is enough to cause low testosterone (source). Interestingly, the men on the zinc-restricted diet exhibited a massive drop in seminal volume (3.30 vs 2.40mL) and testosterone (26.9 vs 21.7 nmol/L). The study only lasted for 28 days – LESS THAN A MONTH!
So eating a diet low in zinc for just 4 weeks is enough to reduce both testosterone and seminal volume in otherwise healthy men.
In another study, published in 2010, researchers found that 250mg of zinc sulfate was sufficient to increase total testosterone in men with an apparent zinc deficiency. Importantly, the researchers noted that the increase in testosterone was “significant” after just 6 weeks of zinc supplementation (source).
Zinc is not just a supporting mineral.
If you’re deficient, increasing zinc consumption can have a massive effect on your testosterone levels.
More worryingly, failing to eat enough zinc for just one month is enough to see your testosterone levels plummet.
Are Zinc’s Effects Limited To People With Deficiency?
Most people focus on zinc deficiencies and how they relate to testosterone.
A zinc deficiency is definitely something you want to sort out if you are looking to maximize testosterone levels.
However, avoiding deficiency isn’t the only way that zinc supplements can help increase testosterone.
A study published in 2006 found that zinc supplementation was able to prevent the decline in testosterone and thyroid hormone levels associated with repeated exhaustion exercises (source).
This means that zinc might be an extremely powerful tool for athletes looking to enhance training, performance and recovery.
If you constantly subject your body to intensive weight training, then you will steadily be depleting your testosterone levels.
There are numerous substances known to prevent – or at least slow down – this effect. These include Mucuna Pruriens, D-Aspartic Acid, and Ashwagandha.
While more study is needed, it looks as though zinc might be the latest addition to the list of testosterone-protecting agents.
Best Sources Of Zinc
So where can you get extra zinc?
It is important to note that most of the studies looking at zinc and testosterone used powerful zinc supplements.
If you’re looking to see a dramatic increase in testosterone levels – or you think you might have a zinc deficiency – then a potent zinc supplement is probably a good way to go.
However, you can get plenty of zinc from food; you just have to be disciplined with your diet.
The foods highest in zinc are:
- Red meat
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Hemp seeds
As one of the studies cited above shows, failing to eat some of these foods on a fairly regular basis is enough to see your testosterone (and semen) levels decline.
You should strive to eat these foods on a regular basis.
If you can’t – whether because of where you live or a restricted diet – then zinc supplements are fine to use instead.
Stacking Zinc For Testosterone
If you want to have the biggest possible impact on testosterone levels, then I strongly recommend stacking it with other testosterone boosters.
Zinc works well with the following substances:
- Mucuna Pruriens
- Korean Ginseng
- D-Aspartic Acid
A stack containing these ingredients will attack low testosterone along multiple different lines, ensuring that you see a significant increase in free and total testosterone levels.
The best testosterone boosters all provide these ingredients in some combination.