Copper is a chemical element (symbol CU in periodic table), which can mostly be found in our bones, muscle and liver. Since it is a key constituent of the respiratory enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, it is one of the most important elements that the body needs to function correctly.
Naturally, we get copper from certain foods such as nuts, seeds, liver, beef, lentils, blackstrap mollasses and shellfish; besides that, copper can be chelated to improve absorption and used as part of supplemental stacks. As a matter of fact, these supplements are very popular among people with copper deficiencies and athletes who need more of this element. Since it is precisely the chelated version that is used in supplements, we will discuss this form of copper.
Table of Contents
How it Works
Copper is found in the human body at around 2 milligrams (mgs) per kilogram (kg) of body mass, and we should get in 1-3mg total, be it the copper we get from foods or from supplementation. When taken, copper is absorbed in the gut and then transported to blood albumin.
This element is so important because it is involved in many functions, including the formation of bones, hemoglobin, and red blood cells. Moreover, it works in combination with zinc and vitamin C to form elastin. Elastin is an elastic protein in connective tissues that allows them to recover their shape after contracting or stretching and helps skin return to position after being pinched or poked.
Use for Bodybuilders
Copper has different benefits for athletes, including: strengthening bones, heart health, nerve function, and immune system boosting.
Unfortunately, poor diet can result in copper insufficiency disorders and can penalize the athlete from reaching their goals. Furthermore, the problem isn't just not getting in enough foods that contain copper, but also acidic foods and drinks that we consume, such as sugars and dairy products, which deplete the body of essential minerals. Studies have shown that those with low copper can have anemia-like symptoms, bone problems, recovery issues, impaired growth and glucose abnormalities. Typically, mineral deficiencies lead to low red blood cell (RBC) count; which can be catastrophic for injury recovery, endurance in the gym, and general well being.
Therefore, it is important for athletes to eat plenty of foods that contain copper and other minerals, together with chelated copper as part of their supplemental stack. As a result, getting in proper amounts of copper daily will help the athlete recover from injuries, strengthen bones and tissues, and balance glucose issues. Hence, athletes with nagging injuries that don't seem to go away are prime candidates to use copper supplementation because their bodies need the extra help.
When used correctly, side effects should not occur. Copper overdose can result in stomach problems and cause an imbalance in zinc. Also, children should avoid any copper supplementation.
It is important to eat foods that contain copper as mentioned above, and it's important to use chelated copper to get in extra minerals. The recommended amount to get in is 1-3mgs per day total, and a certain part of this amount should come from supplementation in order to make sure that enough copper is being absorbed.
Where to find Chelated copper
Copper is found over the counter in vitamin shops and health food stores, and it is not expensive at all. As stated beforehand, it works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack. Therefore, it would make more sense to buy one supplement that contains chelated copper plus more than a dozen ingredients. N2JointRx contains 100 micrograms (mcg) per serving of copper plus zinc, selenium, chromium, vitamin C, and more ingredients that work together.
- Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues
- Copper: Toxicological relevance and mechanisms
- Copper Deficiency: Causes, Manifestations, and Treatment
- Physiological Role of Copper
- Copper deficiency anemia: review article
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