Chromium is one of those important trace minerals that many of us fail to consume the recommended minimum daily amount. The problem is worsened for many from high sugar consumption and exercise as these increase our bodies demand for chromium. If we do not consume enough chromium it may result in serious problems such as your body’s ability to control its weight, your muscle building ability may be impaired, you may lack energy and stamina and the list goes on as chromium does many things within our body.
Importance of Chromium
Insulin is an important hormone which regulates carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Being an essential cofactor for the production of insulin means adequate chromium levels will help insulin do its job. People who suffer from diabetes or hypoglycemia will benefit. Chromium is also a vital component for the synthesis of fats, proteins and cholesterol (good cholesterol whilst lowering bad cholesterol). It may play a role in the reduction of high blood pressure. Chromium also activates many enzymes, which means it is important for a multitude of vital chemical processes that are necessary for life.
The Role of Chromium in Weight Loss
Chromium picolinate is of great benefit when it comes to losing fat weight. Many people who go on a diet to lose weight will generally lose overall body weight, including valuable muscle mass, which is of value, as well as detrimentally affecting vital body organs. Chromium picolinate will target the fat and not the muscle making it an ideal mineral for healthy weight loss. Another factor which affects weight loss is your metabolic rate. Chromium picolinate will help weight loss by increasing your metabolic rate and essentially will improve the metabolism of fats. Additionally, chromium has been shown to help suppress sugar cravings and appetite.
The Role of Chromium on Energy Levels
We get the majority of our energy from blood sugar. Insulin and chromium combined will ensure the uptake of blood sugar is carried out efficiently along with a swift conversion into glycogen. When your glycogen reserves are depleted, your body will then have to switch over to burning protein and fat for its energy (a much less efficient energy source). It is this uptake of blood sugar along with its conversion to glycogen that chromium plays a vital role in which consequently leads to improved stamina, energy and endurance.
The Role of Chromium on Muscle Size and Strength
Studies on chromium picolinate have proven it has the ability to increase muscle growth. It achieves this with the help of insulin. Chromium and insulin allow proteins to efficiently be removed from the blood and move into the cells. Once inside the cells it will be able to be reformed into new muscle tissues (as well as new liver, heart and kidney tissue). Chromium has the ability to help reduce fat and build muscle as well as aid the lowering of cholesterol and improve blood sugar metabolism.
Sources of Chromium
Chromium is found in many foods, but in particular some abundant sources are brown rice, brewer’s yeast (a very rich source of chromium), meat, cheese, eggs, dried beans, cereals, mushrooms and broccoli.