Zinc is an essential mineral for athletes, and it’s important to always keep close tabs on the daily intake. It's crucial for athletes due to its role in immune function and testosterone production.
As a personal fitness coach, I make sure that my clients take a targeted approach to all vitamins and minerals, but zinc deficiency is the one that could hold them back the most in their fitness goals.
So, our team got together with a few clients to test out dozens of products from different supplement companies over the course of a couple of months.
The result is this list of the best zinc supplements that we recommend to readers and clients.
The Best Zinc Supplements
- Best Overall Zinc Supplement: Thorne Zinc Picolinate
- Cheapest Zinc Supplement: Nature Made Zinc
- Best Zinc Softgel for Active Men: NOW Foods Zinc Glycinate Softgels
- Best Zinc Supplement In Liquid Form: NutraChamps Liquid Zinc
- Best Vegan Zinc Supplement: Solgar Chelated Zinc
- Best Zinc Lozenges: Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges
- Best Zinc Supplement for Immune System: Garden of Life Vitamin
- Best Non-GMO Zinc Supplement: NOW Foods Zinc Glycinate Softgels
- Best Supplement for Zinc Deficiency: Thorne Zinc Picolinate
- Best Chelated Zinc Supplement: Garden of Life Vitamin
Our Top Zinc Supplements (December 2023)
1 - Thorne Zinc Picolinate (Best Overall & for Zinc Deficiency)
Top of our list of best zinc supplements is this one from Thorne Research. My dietitian recommended it, and after using it, I felt more energized and noticed fewer colds. Plus, zinc picolinate has been shown to be the faster and easier type to absorb .
And I can confirm from personal experience that this supplement works because within just a few weeks, I had my blood zink checked, and the levels improved noticeably.
I also like that it comes in smaller capsules that are easy to swallow. It might not have the highest dose per capsule, but that's an advantage, as it makes it easier to get an exact amount and not take too much zinc in one go.
Also, the organic zinc supplement price tag is very reasonable, especially when you bulk order or sign up for a subscription.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Picolinate, Dose: 30mg
- Comes in small capsules that are easy to swallow
- Dosage is ideal for taking a precise amount for your zinc deficiency
- Contains zinc picolinate that seems to be easier to absorb
- Available in large bulk order bottles and subscription discounts
- International shipping is a bit slow
2 - Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc Supplement (Best Chelated & for Immune System)
I tried this supplement on a friend's recommendation. I liked that it includes more than just zinc. The added vitamin C and probiotics genuinely made my digestion smoother and boosted my immunity.
The small capsules also make it easy to adjust your dosage on a daily basis and avoid taking too much zinc.
Overall I found it was easy on the stomach, and it seemed to work well for my immune and skin health while also boosting my testosterone levels . My skin was less dry, and I also confirmed the boosted T-levels with a blood test.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Chelate, Dose: 30mg
- Allows you to spread out two small capsules per day
- Comes with added vitamin C for your immune system
- Also contains probiotics and antioxidants for digestive support
- Not available in larger bulk order bottles
3 - Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges (Best Lozenges)
These Life Extension enhanced zinc lozenges came recommended by another dietitian due to the zinc being positively charged. Studies have shown that this is a better type for your immune cells .
After a month, I felt they were not just convenient but also effective in keeping my energy levels up.
Moreover, our whole team also agreed that it was nice to have lozenges for a change to avoid having to add another capsule to the daily supplement stack.
I don't like that it contains sugar, which could interfere with normal blood sugar levels for diabetics and low-carb dieters.
- Quick Facts: Zinc Acetate, Dose: 18.75mg
- Claims that positively charged zinc ions are best suited for immune health
- Tasty zinc lozenges are easy to take at different times of day while on the go
- The small dosage makes it easy to take a precise recommended amount
- It's not a sugar-free product
4 - NutraChamps Liquid Ionic Zinc Supplement (Best Liquid Option)
I was skeptical about liquid supplements, but this one changed my mind. It was easy to adjust the dosage, and I felt its effects faster than with tablets.
The company also claims that liquid elemental zinc absorption rates are faster. It does seem intuitive, but we couldn't find studies to support this.
Compared to other certified vegan products, this vegan zinc supplement’s price tag is also very reasonable.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Sulfate, Dose: 15mg
- Comes as a liquid supplement that makes it easy to mix with food or smoothies
- Suitable for vegans and most common allergies
- Has some added vitamin C to further boost immunity
- It's difficult to get the full dose drawn with the included dropper
5 - Nutrigold Zinc Gold
I've always leaned towards natural ingredients and this is one of the few zinc supplements I could find that relies entirely on a natural plant blend to provide 15 mg of zinc in each dose.
I felt a gentle boost without any side effects, probably due to its plant-based composition.
Not only does that make it suitable for vegans, but the plants included in this product all seem to support your gut health.
I just wish the capsules were a bit smaller to make the swallowing easier.
- Quick Facts: Type: Organic Food Zinc, Dose: 15mg
- Sourced from a blend of plants for a natural form of zinc
- The organic plant blend also supports your gut health
- Certified organic supplement and free from genetically modified organisms
- I found the capsules are a bit larger than others and not as easy to swallow
6 - NOW Foods Zinc Glycinate Softgels (Best Non-GMO & for Active Men)
Here is another one of the zinc supplements that adds some extra ingredients. This one comes with pumpkin seed oil that has been shown to help with heart health .
After using it, not only did I feel the zinc's benefits, but my heart health metrics also improved during my regular check-ups.
And because it contains nothing artificial or allergenic, it should be suitable for all types of athletes with unique dietary requirements.
I also like taking dietary supplements as soft gels because they tend to be a bit easier to swallow.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Glycinate, Dose: 30mg
- Added pumpkin seed oil could help with heart health
- GMO, Gluten, and artificial ingredient free for a clean supplement
- Comes as soft gels that are easier to swallow without getting stuck
- Some people find this type of zinc causes bloating
7 - MegaFood Zinc Supplement
I've trusted MegaFood for other supplements, so I gave this a shot. The results? Better sleep and a more robust immune response during flu season. I liked that it had a decent dose of bisglycinate zinc which should also help protect muscle mass .
And the company also claims that the added plant extracts deliver nutrients to support your immune and gut health more.
Just keep in mind that you might need to halve the tablets to make them easier to swallow.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Biglycinate, Dose: 22.5mg
- The dose of 22.5mg may suit people trying to get a higher daily dose
- Added trace mineral content through natural plant extracts
- Available in large bottles to bulk order
- The tablets are larger than most others, so you might need to break them in half
8 - Pure Encapsulations Zinc
If you're looking for zinc supplements with a simple formula and a guarantee that every batch is tested for contaminants, then Pure Encapsulation could be a great option.
I value purity in my supplements, which is why I decided to try Pure Encapsulations. I felt assured with each dose, and over time, my skin health improved.
I like that it focuses on delivering only zinc, making stacking with other dietary supplement products that much easier.
I just wish you could order it in larger bottles with a bulk discount.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Picolinate, Dose: 15mg
- The capsules are small enough to easily swallow
- Has a simple and affordable formula for a pure zinc delivery
- The company tests all batches for contaminants and heavy metals
- Currently not available in bulk order bottles
9 - Solgar Chelated Zinc (Best Chelated)
I was curious about the chelated form Solgar offered. The company says this would speed up the absorption rate. While I couldn’t find studies to confirm this, I did find that my testosterone levels improved within a few weeks. My recovery post-workouts also felt faster, and I attribute it to this zinc supplement.
The chelated zinc supplement price tag is also reasonable, especially when you order the large bottle that should keep you going for almost a year.
- Quick Facts: Type: Zinc Glycinate, Dose: 22mg
- Claims to use patented chelated zinc for faster absorption
- Suitable for vegans and people with the most common allergies
- Available in a large bottle of 250 tablets
- The tablets are quite large, but you can break them in half
10 - Nature Made Zinc (Cheapest Option)
The final one of our best zinc supplements comes from Nature Made. I'ts a brand I'd heard about a lot, and saw a lot of dietitians recommend. It's a clean formula and USP-verified for quality manufacturing standards.
After trying it, I understood the hype. My mood was more stable, and I felt more resilient health-wise.
I also like that the tablets are small and easy to swallow without getting stuck in your throat.
- Quick Facts: Zinc Gluconate, Dose: 30mg
- Simple formula with no additives or fillers, making it a clean supplement
- The tablets are small and easy to swallow without breaking in half
- Has a USP verified manufacturing process for higher quality standard
- A few of my clients said that they felt bloated with this form of zinc
Type Of Zinc Supplement
When comparing products, one thing to keep in mind is that not every zinc supplement is the same.
There are quite a lot of different forms of zinc, with these being the most common ones:
- Zinc picolinate
- Zinc sulfate
- Zinc gluconate
- Zinc acetate
- Zinc citrate
- Zinc glycinate
How to Choose the Best Zinc Supplement for You?
Here's how to choose the best zinc supplement based on your needs:
- Mental health: Choose picolinate. It has a superior absorption rate. Adequate zinc levels are linked to improved mood, cognitive function, and reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
- Hormonal balance: Choose gluconate. It plays a crucial role in supporting testosterone levels, menstrual health, and thyroid function.
- Skin health: Choose oxide. It's a common ingredient in skincare products, including sunscreens. It helps in treating acne, reducing inflammation, and protecting the skin from UV damage.
- Immune support: Choose acetate. It's effective in boosting the immune system and reducing the duration of common colds.
- Digestive Health: Choose carnosine. It's specifically formulated to provide relief from gastrointestinal issues, promoting a healthy gut lining and aiding in digestion.
Related Articles: Best Testosterone Boosters
How We Picked and Tested Best Zinc Supplements
Here's how we chose the best zinc supplements:
The primary focus of our testing was on the ingredients used in each zinc supplement. We meticulously examined the source of the zinc, whether it was zinc picolinate, zinc gluconate, or another form.
We also looked for any additional beneficial ingredients that might enhance absorption, such as vitamin C or magnesium.
Furthermore, we ensured that the supplements were free from harmful additives, fillers, and artificial preservatives that could compromise the quality and safety of the product.
We considered the form of the supplement, whether it was in pill, capsule, liquid, or powder form. The ease of consumption, the recommended dosage, and the frequency of intake were also taken into account.
Supplements that required fewer doses per day or those that were easier to incorporate into daily routines scored higher in this category.
We compared the cost per serving of each zinc supplement to ensure that users were getting value for their money. While we did not compromise on quality, we aimed to identify products that offered a balance between cost and effectiveness.
Supplements that provided a higher zinc concentration at a reasonable price point were ranked higher on our list.
Should You Take Zinc Supplements Every Day?
You should consider taking zinc supplements every day, especially if your diet lacks it. Zinc is an essential nutrient for immune function and testosterone levels, and maintaining those is vital for a healthy life.
What Is the Best Form of Zinc Supplement to Take?
The best form of zinc supplement to take is zinc picolinate because it's one of the easiest and fastest for your body to absorb. With a daily dose spread out over two tablets, you would have the best chance of preventing zinc deficiency.
Our Verdict on the Best Zinc Supplements
We tested many zinc supplements, and a lot of them either had a lower quality or the dose was too strong to adjust and avoid stomach issues.
While all of the above products are good options, the one I take and recommend to readers and clients as the best zinc supplement is Thorne Research.
We have found from using this product that the dose is just right for most people's daily immune function boost, but you can also quickly adapt it to take more or less. It’s also based on zinc picolinate, which seems to make it easier and faster for the body to absorb, and my testosterone blood test results confirmed this.
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