Chapter 23: Athletes Need More Copper

Lifting weights creates a need for extra copper. I realized this because lifters complain about “central nervous system fatigue” from lifting heavy.  Copper is needed for “fatigue” and for “nerves”.  Copper is needed by the nerves in at least 15 different ways. Lifters also often suffer from neuropathy in the hands. They blame swollen biceps, but it could be low copper.

  1. Copper gets used up, and is needed for ATP production for energy.
  2. Copper gets used up to make collagen, and 30% of muscle is collagen.
  3. Copper is lost in sweat; up to 1 mg copper per day, which is higher than we get from food.
  4. Lifting heavy means more copper is needed by the nerves. 5. Spending time in the sun or tanning booth? You need more copper to make melanin.
  5. Copper is needed to make DHEA, the master hormone that is converted to testosterone. So as lifting boosts testosterone production, that uses up more copper.
    7.  Rapid growth can deplete copper, such as from testosterone taken as a drug.  “elevated requirements induced by rapid growth” from
    Essentiality of copper in humans

(chickens are also grown very rapidly by industry these days, suggesting that chicken meat is likely low copper.  Chickens are also fed up to 130 ppm of fluoride by their industry as an antibiotic, which could further deplete copper from chicken meat.)

I ate 4 small pieces of chicken this week.  And a day later, I got a zit, and acne is from fluoride.

As we have seen, copper is needed for red and white blood cells.  I have a case report from a friend who started taking plenty more copper:

His red and white blood cell counts were then tested.  They tested “high”.  Of course, doctors think everything “abnormal” is “pathology” or a “symptom of disease”.  No, he’s healthy.

Athletes engage in “high altitude training”, which results in a higher red blood cell count.  This creates great endurance.  I used to live in Mammoth Lakes, CA for a year.  The elevation was over 7,881 feet.  Athletes from aroundthe world would come to Mammoth Lakes to train at altitude.  The ski hill on Mammoth Mountain goes up to 11,053 feet.

“Blood doping is the misuse of certain techniques and/or substances to increase one’s red blood cell mass, which allows the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and therefore increase stamina and performance.”

Another thing bodybuilders get is stretch marks.

I have stretch marks on my hips in both directions.  First from growing tall.  Second, from filling out.  It is said these are from rapid growth.  But babies grow more rapidly than adults do.  Babies are not covered in stretch marks.  Babies also have 5 times more copper than adults.  I think copper could prevent stretch marks.  I think this is a correlation that is too rare on both ends to find support for in the research, and I can’t imagine doing a study to even study the effectiveness of this.  How could it even be done?  Maybe bodybuilders tend to get stretch marks when they do steroids because they get testosterone without the precursor of copper, and maybe the lifting and sweating depletes copper in so many other ways.   Bodybuilders also often get enlarged hearts and tend to suffer from heart attacks, also both signs of copper deficiency.