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Minerals May Help Boost Workout for Women

We don’t usually think of minerals as workout supplements, but recent research may change that perception. A recent study suggests that taking three mineral supplements — three mineral chelates, carnitine, and phosphatidylserine — may help boost aerobic exercise performance for women.


The study had two parts. Participants in the first part of the study included 42 aerobically fit young women who were given one of three interventions. The first was a generic mineral complex containing 36 mg ferrous sulfate, 2 mg copper gluconate, 15 mg zinc glutonate, 2 g tartrate, and 400 mg phosphatidylserine. The second was the same combination, but with glycinate minerals added, including 36 mg iron biglycinate, 2 mg copper glycinate, and 15 mg zinc glysinate. The third was cornstarch, and acted as a placebo.


The second part of the study included 34 participants with the same requirements as those in first part. However, they were given either a glycinate mineral combination similar to the ones in the first part, but with half the amount of carnitine, or a cornstarch placebo.


For both parts of the study, all of the participants perforemd an aerobic exercise in the form of stationary running and cycling in the first clinical visit. That was followed by a month of supplementation, and then another clinic visit performing the same aerobic exercises.


The researchers found that the participants who took the glycinate mineral combination ran three miles faster following supplementation, compared with the placebo. The mean reduction in time was 54 seconds. Both the supplement group and the placebo group increased distance covered during cycling, but the glycinate mineral group had the greatest increase.


Researchers from Ohio State University led the study. It was published on November 13, 2017, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine.


Carnitine is an amino acid that can be found in red meat, pork, seafood, chicken, and dairy. Previous studies suggest that it may help with weight loss and working out. The body produces carnitine naturally.


Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that helps build healthy cell membranes. Previous studies suggest that it may help ease Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, slow down age-related cognitive decline, fight depression, and help with ADHD. Phosphatidylserine can be found in soy lectichin, herring, tuna, chicken leg, and white beans, among other foods. It can also be taken in supplement form.

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