Zinc, a very important water-soluble trace mineral, is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions and even more proteins. Zinc regulates neurotransmitters, behavior, learning & memory, neural development, fuel metabolism, RNA/DNA synthesis, muscle protein synthesis (increase mTOR), growth, hormone production, insulin (involved in the synthesis, storage and release of insulin), fatty acid oxidation, improve hypertension (by lowering angiotensin) etc… (1, 2, 3)
Zinc aids in muscle growth and exercise performance
1): It also lowers lactate by inhibiting the lactic dehydrogenase enzyme, which can lead to higher CO2 and ATP production and less fatigue during exercise (R).
2) Zinc administration at doses between 25-50mg acutely inhibits cortisol secretion (R). Cortisol in catabolic and keeping it low will help with hypertrophy.
3) A zinc deficiency lowers growth hormone secretion (R).
5) Zinc supplementation boosts the metabolism, resting metabolic rate by increasing thyroid function. It does so by increasing thyroid hormone production. Zinc supplementation increases, total T4 and T3 and also free T3 (41, 42). Thyroid hormones are essential for hypertrophy. More on thyroid and muscle growth here.
6) eNOS (the enzyme that creates nitric oxide (NO)) is zinc dependent and NO helps with tissue oxygenation and blood flow. Increased blood flow will help transport nutrients to the muscles and speed up recovery and muscle growth.