Updated: May 8
In trainer circles, zinc has developed a reputation as one of the primary "healing" nutrients and one of the prime contributors to male fertility. Zinc has many important metabolic roles in the body, and is part of various metalloenzymes that play roles in growth, testosterone production, DNA synthesis, cell replication, fertility, reproduction, and prostate gland function.
Zinc functions as a free ion in cells, as a part of the synthesis of biomolecules, and as a part of enzymes. For the performance horse, maintaining proper zinc intake is vital, especially for the growth and repair of muscle tissue to meet the recovery demands of training.
Dietary surveys on horses report that low zinc intake is common. This occurs especially in endurance horses, horses on low-calorie diets, strength type of activities, and female horses. Several studies show increased muscle endurance with zinc-supplemented athletes. But, be advised that too much zinc may impair performance. The role that zinc plays in healing and testosterone production should not lead you to think that more is better; it's not.
There are many supplements in the market today that will guide a trainer in choosing a performance-fitness zinc supplement.