Zinc and Magnesium are two of the most frequently diminished vitamins in the athletes body. In the 90's, ZMA was one of the most successful supplements on the market, because wonder of wonders, it actually worked!
Without getting into the soil of today vs the soil of our grand parents, thus making today's produce less vitamin loaded. Lets just look at the facts, today's athletes have been shown to be zinc and magnesium deficient.
This is why it's important.
Zinc is needed for about 70 different enzymatic reactions in the body that we know of. Two of the ones that really pop out are the productions of Growth Hormone and insulin like growth factor (IGF-1). These are big time important for physical growth.
Magnesium has over 300 different functions in the body. Deficiency can result in decreased physical output. It has been shown to increase oxygen consumption 15% in intense training athletes with the athlete increasing his/her heart rate 9 bpm. Think about that for a second.
Athletes that supplement with magnesium have been shown to increase training times, decrease white blood cell count, lower cortisol levels and report overall physiological stress go down.
One of the cool side effects of athletes that supplemented with zinc/magnesium, was their sleep was much deeper. This makes sense as magnesium deficiency leads to insomnia.
Magnesium is being researched right now for how it can help migraines. Both magnesium and zinc have been shown to be low in people that are under a lot of stress. Physical or emotional.
There is the rundown on how zinc/mag can be harmful to your health and training. Now you know and like every GI JOE cartoon ended when I was a kid, knowing is half the battle.