While supplements may give you certain amino acids and vitamins are great for you, the question remains: Where do you get your minerals from?
As a bodybuilder, weightlifter, or Athletic Muscle athlete, minerals are more important than you may give them credit for.
One such mineral – the king of all minerals from a bodybuilding perspective – is boron.
For a quick look, here are the:
Best Boron Supplements
In this article, we’re diving deep into why boron is so damn important for your workouts, what it’s used for, the benefits, proper dosage, and side effects.
Plus, we’ll give you an inside look at the top boron supplements on the market today.
Time to get into the science!
What is Boron?
In a nutshell, boron is a chemical element. It has the atomic number 5, right behind hydrogen, helium, lithium, and beryllium.
A nonmetallic solid, boron is low in abundance and can be found in the Earth’s crust.
For the gym-goers, though, boron is a mineral found in our food and environment.
It has many uses for us as humans, and through foods like peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, seaweed, cocoa, wine, raisins, prunes, apples, peaches, and parsley, you should get a decent amount.
These fruits, nuts, and vegetables show clear evidence that boron is an essential element for plants.
In its purest form, boron takes the shape of crystals, colored either a clear red or black. Boron crystals, depending on their structure, can be as hard as diamonds.
What is Boron Used For?
For plants, boron is essential. For humans, it’s used for numerous purposes.
Throughout our history, boron has been used as a flux to work gold in Babylonia and as a preservative for food during both World Wars.
Boron is also an ingredient in glass, fiberglass, washing products, fertilizer, insecticide, rodent repellent, and microbicides.
Boron in the medical field takes on the form of boric acid.
It can be an astringent, anti-infective, and eyewash, not to mention sodium borate is used in mouthwashes and cold creams.
Another thing boron does is it absorbs neutrons when used in nuclear chemistry.
The biggest bang boron has, however, is when it’s used as a supplement. Improving joint and bone health is one of the many benefits boron has when ingested by the human body…
Boron Supplement Benefits
This mineral can potentially be extremely important (so far as recent studies show). Here’s the long list of amazing feats boron supplements can accomplish for you:
- Decreases boron deficiency: This is borderline intuitive, but here’s a stat for you: “although rare, boron deficiency can contribute to osteoarthritis-like symptoms in joints and bones, along with other symptoms.” It is very uncommon, yet better safe than sorry.
- Improves joint health: Probably the biggest advantage to taking boron supplements is the fact that boron is an essential nutrient for healthy cartilage and joints. Boron works with other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D (it can actually eliminate vitamin D deficiencies).
- Boosts bone health (and prevents arthritis): Of course, in-line with your joints is bone health. Boron is one of the most important elements for your skeletal system. Combined with vitamin D, boron stimulates bone mineralization. In short, it makes bones stronger. Plus, it’s an effective arthritis treatment option due to the increased calcium integration.
- Reduces estrogen levels: This is extremely vital for males. There is evidence to suggest that boron reduces estrogen levels, which potentially could increase free testosterone. The elevated bioavailability of vitamin D and magnesium – building blocks of testosterone – is only enhanced more with boron converting your current T amount into free T. Perhaps the biggest benefit for people who peruse this site, the science is still out on whether or not additional boron is effective in boosting testosterone.
- Increases half-life of useful estrogens: In complete contrast, boron does improve the use of estrogen within the body by protecting the useful enzymes. For example, the reason why boron effectively unlocks vitamin D is because it blocks the enzyme that breaks it down. That same enzyme breaks down helpful estrogens, including 17B-estradiol. In women, this helps alleviate menopause, difficult menstrual periods, and may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Enhances mental cognition: Brain function, hand-eye coordination, short term memory, concentration and attention span. All of these can be greatly affected from the use of boron supplements. While most of the research has been done on rats – due to the underrating of boron as a “minor mineral” – there are a few studies that have shown that boron deficiency can cause the brain’s electrical signals to misfire.
- Maintains cellular function: Because of boron’s hormone-boosting function, it’s no surprise that it plays a role in cell membranes. This helps boron stabilize hormone receptors and lets bodily processes happen without a hitch.
- Lowers plasma lipid levels: Lipids accumulation leads to added cholesterol, which leads to multiple heart conditions and diseases. Boron fights back, allowing the body to remove cholesterol through numerous ways.
- Reduces fungal infections: Somewhat random, but boron keeps you safe from a bunch of parasitic attacks on your body.
- Inhibits enzymes that are harmful: As we said previously, it deters the enzymes that break down vitamin D and the estrogen in women that helps with normal hormonal functions.
Also, for the ladies, boron supplements help avoid serious period pain (as stated earlier), treat vaginal infections, and prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis.
However, that last one has only been studied with boric acid, not necessarily boron supplementation.
Nevertheless, it’s pretty obvious that boron could be your new best friend in the weight room.
Boron Supplement Dosage
While there are various benefits to boron, it’s only fantastic at certain amounts.
Here’s how to dose out boron, from the daily recommendation to types of food to timing and length of time until results.
Daily Boron Recommendation
For general well being, the recommended daily allowance of boron is between 3 mg and 6 mg.
The full oral range is between 1 mg and 20 mg, with the 20 mg being an upper limit for people aged 19 and over. (Younger shouldn’t exceed 17 mg).
The 3-6 range will give you the optimal sense of well-being, mental cognition, and bone support.
If you need to rebalance your hormones, it’s better to go with a 10-15 mg range. If you go over the 20 mg limit, that amount of boron could prove toxic.
For a weightlifting, body composition standpoint, the ideal range is from the top of the general health range and the top of the hormonal rebalance range: 6 mg to 15 mg.
What Foods Have Boron?
Luckily, you may not have to supplement as much as you think. The foods you currently eat in your diet contains a decent amount of boron. Some of these foods include:
- Fruits – apples, oranges, red grapes, pears, plums, kiwis, apricots, raisins, peaches, cherries, berries, and dates
- Vegetables – broccoli, tomatoes, olives, onions, artichokes, sweet potatoes
- Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts
- Beans – soy beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, borlotti beans, and lentils
- Cocoa and coffee
Most legumes and plants have trace amounts of boron. Also, wine and beer have their fair share of boron. (Though, this isn’t an excuse to drink in excess.)
However, the dietary intake is roughly around 1-2 mg throughout a single day. So you’ll want to supplement boron still to get the optimal benefits.
When To Take Boron
There seems to be a lack of scientific evidence to suggest boron timing is even a thing. Perhaps simply getting 6-15 mg daily – whenever, wherever – is ideal enough for the desired effects.
If you want to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your boron buck, take it an hour before and 30 minutes after a workout.
This may or may not help recovery and other processes. Most companies pair boron with amino acids anyways, so it can act as a potential win-win before a gruelling workout.
How Long Does It Take To Work?
This is a tricky question, because there is little to no research on the time effectiveness of boron.
Truthfully, if you are deficient in this mineral, adding more of it will begin to give you positive effects almost immediately (as soon as it enters the bloodstream).
As for bodybuilding or weightlifting purposes, it may vary from person to person. See whether you see changes in your performance, physique, or recovery within the first 2-3 weeks.
Does Boron Need To Be Cycled?
An interesting long-term study found that if you go longer than four weeks on a boron supplement, your serum estradiol levels increase (a.k.a. it ups your female sex hormones, not a good thing).
With this in mind, it makes sense to cycle boron supplements in a shorter time frame. Two weeks on, one week off seems to be a stable cycle that will let you reap all of the rewards without risking any adverse effects.
Boron Supplement Side Effects
There aren’t many side effects if you stay within the healthy range of boron intake. However, if you do accidentally take large doses of boron orally, it can cause poisoning. This can be shown in numerous ways:
- Skin inflammation and peeling
Also, as special precautions, avoid taking boron supplements altogether if you have any of these issues:
- Pregnant and breastfeeding: For the ladies out there, it’s okay to take up to 20 mg, or the normal upper limit. However, if you orally take boron in large doses, you could end up endangering your unborn child to birth defects.
- Hormone-sensitive condition: If you have a disease that can be made worse to heightened estrogen exposure, don’t take boron supplements. (Boron can act like estrogen in the body.)
- Kidney disease: The kidneys are the workhorses that have to flush out boron from the body. Give it a break if you have decreased liver function by avoiding supplementation.
Top Boron Supplement Reviews
First up on our list comes from the bros over at BRI Nutrition.
Named Testrone, it’s a natural testosterone supplement that also has a decent amount of boron chelate, the supplement form of boron.
Their serving size of two capsules (30 servings total) nets you 100 mg of a boron chelate that’s actually 5% boron.
What this means is to get the boron into the capsule in a bioavailable form (a.k.a. chelate), they could only fit so much boron into the compound itself.
This results in 5 mg of boron, a perfect supplement amount.
Testrone also includes zinc citrate, tongkat ali, tribulus terrestris, magnesium sulfate anhydrous, and diindolylmethane.
These are all for boosting your testosterone naturally.
Seeing as this is a supplement that should be cycled anyways, this makes it easy to get your cycle of boron while cycling testosterone simultaneously.
If you want a solid source of boron combined with a testosterone booster so you don’t have to worry about it, BRI Nutrition’s Testrone is your best bet.
Just like the name, this boron supplement is as pure as it gets. Pure Encapsulations pulls no punches with their simple supplement that’s all about boron.
This capsule has zero added testosterone boosters, a decent serving, and minimal extra ingredients.
The version of boron Pure Encapsulations uses is boron glycinate, with a recommended dose of 1-3 capsules a day in divided doses.
Each pill holds 2 mg of boron, so they suggest 2-6 mg daily, which is ideal for most people, lifters included.
Other ingredients include hypoallergenic plant fiber and a vegetarian capsule made of cellulose and water. That’s it.
If you want simple and straightforward boron, go with Pure Encapsulations.
Lastly, we have one of the most trusted supplement companies in the industry, NOW Foods.
Their boron supplement is also super simple, giving you pure boron and few other ingredients. That means no added supplements, no testosterone boosters, only boron.
Actually, the boron in NOW’s product is calcium borogluconate, which is a mineral supplement that is used as “treatment of parturient paresis (milk fever) in animals.”
Milk fever is when female bovines and goats have a calcium deficiency after giving birth. Similarly, it will help humans who also have a calcium deficiency, which is on-par with boron deficiency.
One capsule nets you 3 mg, so one to two capsules daily is plenty for anybody’s purposes.
Other ingredients include rice flour, gelatin for the capsule, and stearic acid (thickening agent).
While it might seem interesting that a boron supplement is derived from something that helps female cows and goats, it may be worth experimenting with.
Not to mention, NOW is a verified brand that’s been around forever. If you trust NOW and their products, give their boron a try.
While boron is incredibly important to your overall wellbeing, you don’t need much of it. A simple mineral you need a finite amount of, boron has a slew of benefits, the biggest of which is bone and joint health. For bodybuilders and powerlifters, this is vital for optimal recovery.
Follow the label dosing recommendations, look at the side effects to see if you should supplement or not, then choose your boron supplement weapon from our list above. It’s the #1 mineral for our bodies; get in a healthy dose and you’ll experience amazing changes in your recovery and lifts.