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Mineral Guide

Article care of hardcorebodybuilding.com

INTRODUCTION
CALCIUM
MAGNESIUM
ZINC
ELECTROLYTES

INTRODUCTION:

Minerals, there are two types of minerals (not really types, but classifications), minerals and trace minerals. A mineral is an inorganic chemical element. The classification "mineral" is given to seven such elements that your body needs at least 100mgs of daily. The classification "trace mineral" is given to fourteen such elements that your body needs less than 100mgs of daily. The minerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The trace minerals are boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silicon, tin, vanadium, and zinc. Actually, aluminum and lithium are trace elements too, but little is known about them and why or how much we need them.

What vitamins and minerals do in our bodies is very important to know. Vitamins and minerals are the reasons we function on the cellular level. Vitamins make enzymes and hormones, the essential parts of our living. Enzymes are compounds your body makes from vitamins, minerals, and proteins and combinations of them. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions in your body. One very important one is the anti-oxidant enzyme and I will get into it in detail later. Hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do. Hormones regulate your growth, sexual characteristics, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, and many other functions. Vitamins and minerals have no calories and do not give you energy, but lead to the processes that can cause energy, like oxygen increase in the blood, more red blood cells, more protein conversion, etc.. and must be eaten in your food for you to get them, as well as taking supplements, which is a good idea even while on a good nutritious diet. I don't think any of us could truly eat a good diet every day and even if we did, some vitamins and minerals would not be counted for or not in a sufficient amount.

The amounts of vitamins and minerals we should take is of much controversy. The recommended daily allowances are there for the purpose of preventing any deficiency diseases and are not enough for many people, in fact, they are just enough for prevention.  The fact is, we should consume twice that amount of certain vitamins and minerals, but not all of them. With water soluble vitamins, you could safely take much larger doses than the RDA and your body will just wash out the excess in your fluids, but fat soluble vitamins like I said are stored, so you could  actually build an over supply and potentially cause problems.

Once you start eating properly and taking in all of your vitamins and minerals you will be on your way to a healthier mind and body, but this will not happen right away.  After some months of a healthy diet, you will begin to fell more energetic, happier, more optimistic, fewer illness problems, and just a better sense of being.

Here is a list of safe dosages for a healthy adult.

Vitamins

Vitamin A: 5,000 - 25,000 IU's
Vitamins B: Thiamin 2-100 mgs
Riboflavin 50-100 mgs
Niacin 20-100 mgs
Pyridoxine 3-50 mgs
Folic acid 800 mcgs - 2 mgs
Cobalamin 500-1,000 mcgs
Pantothenic acid 4-7 mgs
Biotin 30-100 mcgs
Vitamin C: 500-2,000 mgs
Vitamin D: 400-600 IU's
Vitamin E: 200-400 IU's
Vitamin K: 160-300 mcgs

Minerals

Calcium: 1,000-1,500 mgs
Copper: 1.5-3.0 mgs
Chromium: 50-200 mcgs
Iron: 15-30 mgs
Magnesium: 300-500 mgs
Manganese: 2.5-5.0 mgs
Molybdenum: 75-250 mcgs
Potassium: 2,000-3,500 mgs
Selenium: 70-200 mcgs
Zinc: 15-50 mgs


You may have noticed that some are missing, this is because the amount is nothing to worry about, as you will easily consume it in your diet, in fact, even if you weren?t trying.

CALCIUM:

Why you should drink your milk.  This is a "no-brainer", Calcium builds strong bones and teeth.  You may not know it, but Calcium makes up about 2% of your total body weight.  That's 2 - 3 pounds for an average adult.  98% of it is in your bones, 1% is in your teeth, and the last percent circulates in your bloodstream.  Calcium also regulates your heartbeat, blood pressure, blood clotting (important for people on steroids), contracting your muscles, and sending messages down your nerves. It also makes several different hormones and enzymes, like the ones that control your digestive system and how you use and make energy from fats.

There are 206 bones in the human body, you need all of them to be strong, especially if you are training with weights and strength.  Not only this, but your bones get weaker as you get older, after about 35 years old.  Now, if you are training, you need a lot of Calcium.  If you are training and taking steroids, you need even more Calcium.  Now, If you are training, taking steroids, and taking thyroid medicine (Synthroid for instance), you need even more Calcium.  You see, steroids and thyroid meds rob your body of Calcium.  Alcohol will also do this, so you need to really watch your intake of vitamins and minerals, alcohol will rob you of most every vitamin and mineral in fact.

The daily intake should be around 1,000 mgs.  I myself, drink 3 - 4 gallons of milk per week, I am quite sure I am getting my RDI, but if you do not like milk or cannot drink it (can't imagine that!!!), then you need to get it elsewhere.  If you like yogurt, it has more Calcium than milk does, so make that smoothie every morning for breakfast.

I am only going to give you 12 foods to get calcium from since it is found in many foods.  All of these servings have 100mgs or more

CALCIUM IN FOOD AMOUNT CALCIUM IN MGS
Milk 8 oz 300
Yogurt, plain low fat 8 oz 415
American Cheese 1 oz 124
Cheddar Cheese 1 oz 204
Colby Cheese 1 oz 194
Cottage Cheese 1 cup 138
Mozzarella Cheese 1 oz 147
Swiss Cheese, processed 1 oz 272
Ricotta Cheese, part skim 1/2 cup 337
Pudding, instant choc. 1/2 cup 149
Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 122
Salmon, with bones 3 oz 203

MAGNESIUM:

This little mineral works with calcium in keeping your bones strong.  It also helps keep your blood pressure down by making your muscles relax, thus relaxing your heart and keeping the beat at the right pace.  It has also been noted to make a difference in people with migraines, asthma, and diabetes.  Other vitamins work better when you have plenty of Magnesium; Calcium and Vitamin C for instance do their jobs better with it.  Magnesium and Calcium both are absorbed in your bones and teeth, but like Calcium, some Magnesium is left to circulate in your blood.  This amount of Calcium and Magnesium in your blood is very important.  As I said, calcium makes your muscles "contract", Magnesium makes them "relax" again, this signal comes from your blood, otherwise, if that is insufficient, your body will take it from your bones as needed, thus weakening them.  This is also why it is very important to have plenty of the other vitamins that promote good blood cells and oxygen in your blood, as it carries these vital substances where they need to go more efficiently.

The amount of Magnesium you should take in per day is around 400mgs - 600mgs.  The DRI says 400mg, but the extra will help to keep your BP down among other things.  Remember, when you are working out, your metabolism is higher and you are burning, converting, and processing a lot more and faster, so you need more.

MAGNESIUM IN FOOD AMOUNT MAGNESIUM IN MGS
Almonds, dry roasted 1 oz 84
Banana  1 medium 33
Black Beans 1 cup 121
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 23
Broccoli, cooked 1/2 cup 19
Bread, white 1 slice 5
Cashews, dry roasted 1 oz 72
Chick peas 1 cup 78
Flounder 3 oz 50
Kidney beans 1 cup 80
Lentils 1 cup 71
Lima beans 1 cup 82
Milk, low fat 8 oz 34
Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup 56
Okra 1/2 cup 46
Peanut butter 2 tablespoons 51
Peanuts 1 oz 52
Peas 1/2 cup 31
Potato, baked w/ skins 1 medium 55
Shrimp 3 oz 29
Soy milk 1 cup 45
spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 79
Yogurt 8 oz 40
White beans 1 cup 113

If you take too much, you will only get diarrhea, nothing bad.  Magnesium is an ingredient in laxatives and also in antacids.    

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ZINC:

Zinc is essential for making the hormones that control growth and for the important male hormone testosterone. 

Zinc is very important for your immune system. In fact, if you have a bad cold, taking extra zinc could get you back on your feet several days sooner. Zinc also helps you heal quickly from wounds, keeps your skin healthy, helps preserve your eyesight, and might even improve your memory. It's no surprise that today many doctors and nutritionists tell their patients to "think zinc!"

Over 200 different enzymes in your body depend on zinc to work properly. Here's just one example: You need zinc to make the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol. If you're deficient in zinc, your body can't process alcohol and you get very drunk on just a small amount. You also need zinc to make many hormones, including the ones that tell your immune system what to do when you're under attack from germs. Zinc is essential for making the hormones that control growth and for the important male hormone testosterone. You have some zinc in every one of your body's cells, but most of it is in your skin, hair, nails, and eyes-and in your prostate gland if you're male. All told, your body contains just over 2.2 grams of zinc.

The RDA for Zinc; Even though you use zinc in many important body processes, you don't need to eat much of it. Technically speaking, zinc is a trace element, a mineral you need in only very small amounts. The adult RDA for zinc is 15 mg a day or less, an amount that most everybody easily gets from food. The first hint that zinc is an important nutrient came almost a century ago in Egypt, when doctors noticed that poor young boys who ate almost nothing but unleavened bread (bread without yeast, it was originally stated to eat "unleavened" bread in the time when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.  They were to eat unleavened bread for 7 days during which time the Passover took place. No longer necessary since the birth of Jesus Christ.  Book of Exodus) were very short and underdeveloped. It turned out that their diet had very little zinc. Once they got more zinc in their diet, they started growing normally again.

In our modern society, such a serious zinc deficiency is very rare. A slight deficiency in zinc isn't that uncommon. Surveys show that many women get only about half the RDA. You might be on the low side for zinc if: - You're a strict vegetarian or vegan. Animal foods such as fish and meat are the the best dietary sources of zinc. Fruits have virtually none. Children who don't eat animal foods are more at risk for zinc deficiency. - You eat a very high-fiber diet. The fiber, especially fiber from whole grains, binds up the zinc in your diet and keeps you from absorbing it. - You're pregnant or breastfeeding. You're passing a lot of your zinc on to your baby. If your diet is on the low side for zinc to begin with, you might be deficient. Talk to your doctor about supplements. -You're over age 50. Your ability to absorb zinc from your food drops as you get older. - You abuse alcohol. Alcohol abusers don't eat very well in general. Even moderate amounts of alcohol flush out the zinc stored in your liver and make you excrete the
zinc stored in your liver.

Zinc deficiency has a number of symptoms: slowed growth in children, slow wound healing, frequent infections, skin irritations, hair loss, and loss of your sense of taste. Generally speaking, you don't have to worry much about being deficient in this mineral. Anyone who eats a reasonably- well-balanced diet will get plenty of zinc.

The best food source of zinc by far is oysters. There are about 12 mg in a single raw oyster. Other foods that are good sources of zinc are lean meat, poultry, and organ meats. You only absorb about ten percent of the zinc you get from animal foods, and you absorb even less from the zinc in plant foods. There's a fair amount of zinc in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, but your body can't use it very well. That's because these foods also have a lot of fiber. A substance called phytic acid in the fiber combines with zinc and keeps a lot of it from being absorbed. 

If you're over the age of 40, your thymus may have naturally shrunk quite a bit, so it's not producing the hormones it used to-and those hormones stimulate your body to produce infection-fighting blood cells. Getting a little extra zinc-just 15 to 30 mg-every day may get your thymus moving again. That means your immune system will work better and fight off illness faster.

Are the guys just kidding around when they tell you to eat oysters for a better sex life? Believe it or not, they're right. Oysters are by far the food highest in zinc-and you need plenty of zinc to make testosterone and other male hormones. You also need zinc to make healthy sperm and semen, so getting more zinc in your diet could help solve male infertility. In one study, men with low sperm counts took zinc supplements for six weeks. Their testosterone levels and sperm counts went up, and nearly half of them had pregnant wives before the study was over.
Zinc can also be very helpful for treating and possibly even preventing prostate problems. Your prostate gland is a small organ that wraps around the urethra at the neck of the bladder. As you get older, your prostate often naturally gets bigger, a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
The enlarged gland squeezes the urethra and causes a need to go frequently (and also other urination problems).  Sometimes the problems get so bad that medication or even surgery is needed.

Finally, guys, despite rumors to the contrary, zinc doesn't
stop balding or restore lost hair.

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ELECTROLYTES: 

Potassium, Sodium, and Chloride.  These do many things, but most of all, they control your blood pressure.  Too much sodium and too little Potassium and you could get an unhealthy high blood pressure level.  On the same note, too much Potassium and too little Sodium and your levels could go way too low.  Sodium, Potassium, and chloride are Electrolytes.  Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve in water and are electrically charged.  Remember, our bodies are about 95% water, so that means these Electrolytes travel or conduct throughout your entire body, in the cells, in the spaces between the cells, your blood, lymph, and everywhere.  Potassium and Sodium particles have a positive charge and Chloride particles are negatively charged. These carry nutrients in and waste and excess water out of your cells.

All of these Electrolytes maintain a balance of water in your body, carry messages along your nerves, help your muscles contract and relax, and keep your PH levels under control.  Most of all, they are important in controlling your blood pressure.

The daily intake (there is no RDA for them) is about 2,000mgs of Potassium, 500mgs of Sodium, and 750mgs of Chloride. These Electrolytes work together, keeping your water level what it should be (in your cells, blood, etc..).  For example, women, during their menstrual period get extra hormone levels and thus get bloated and hold extra water.  People on steroids are getting extra high hormone levels and do the same.  To remedy this, they take diuretics and herbs like buchu and uva ursi.  Doing this makes you excrete water in your urine to reduce the amount in your body, but the Electrolyte loss is directly proportionate.  Some diuretics are Dyrenium and Lasix.  Dyrenium will not effect your Potassium levels, but Lasix will.  Remember, too little Potassium and your blood pressure could go up and if you are taking steroids, your BP may already be high.  So, if you take Lasix (it is one of the most common diuretics taken by steroid users), then you should eat foods that are Potassium rich.

Potassium is found in almost everything you eat.  Here is a chart:

AVOCADO 1/2 MEDIUM  550
BANANA 1 MEDIUM 451
GROUND BEEF 3 OUNCES 205
BLACK BEANS 1 CUP 801
BROCCOLI, COOKED 1/2 CUP 228
CANTALOUPE 1 CUP 494
CARROT, RAW 1 MEDIUM 233
CHICKEN 3 OUNCES 195
CORN 1/2 CUP 204
KIWI 1 MEDIUM 252
MILK 8 OUNCES 381
ORANGE 1 MEDIUM 250
ORANGE JUICE 8 OUNCES 474
BAKED POTATO W/SKIN 1 MEDIUM 844
PRUNE JUICE 8 OUNCES 706
SPINACH, COOKED 1/2 CUP 419
STRAWBERRIES 1 CUP 247
TOMATO 1 MEDIUM 273
WATERMELON 1 CUP 186
WHEAT GERM 1/4 CUP 259

You should not need to take Potassium supplements unless your doctor has said to do so.  

Sodium is a touchy subject, take it, don't take it, blah, blah, blah.  The claim is that sodium will raise your BP too high, but remember, there is a balance between sodium and Potassium.  So if you are eating a lot of Sodium in your food and not enough Potassium, that just might happen.  We probably do eat too much salt, there is enough in food naturally to give us all we need, but we add it to everything we eat.  The balance we should maintain is thus; five or six parts Potassium to one part Sodium.  Our normal diet is probably around 1:2 right now.  This tells us we eat too much Sodium.  Keeping a good balance of Electrolytes will give you a healthier life, heart, and less stress and tension.

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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