ZMA is a nutritional supplement that combines the zinc and magnesium. There has been a lot of research conducted on both zinc and magnesium with regards to testosterone boosting in the body.
ZMA has received a considerable amount of attention within the testosterone boosting supplement market due to the fact that independently, zinc and magnesium do have a positive influence on the levels of free and total testosterone in the body.
Some research indicates that ZMA does have a significant impact on both boosting anabolic hormone levels within the body and helping athletes boost muscle strength. For men who are over the age of 25, they will begin to experience lower testosterone levels in the body. This is a natural part of aging, but that doesn’t mean that the individual has to accept this.
Testosterone boosting supplements may help to increase the levels of total and free testosterone in the body by either influencing the increased production of this male hormone or reducing the amount of SHBG, otherwise known as Sex Hormone Binding Globulin.
What is the Foundation of ZMA?
As noted, ZMA is essentially a combination of zinc and magnesium combined in one supplement. Zinc is a vital ingredient for a variety of chemical reactions within the body. It is responsible for protein synthesis as well as cellular energy. It also offers protection for the liver which helps to support prostate health. This, in turn, is responsible for maintaining strong reproductive organ health and vitality.
Magnesium, on the other hand, is essential for strong heart function and for helping neurochemicals move throughout the body. It is neurochemicals that help boost must muscle functions. Magnesium is also crucial in creating a balance of sodium and potassium within the cells of our body.
Together, these two ingredients could potentially have a significant impact on boosting overall testosterone levels. The goal is to increase the level of free testosterone.
Does ZMA Work?
As there has been numerous research studies independently that looked into the effectiveness of both zinc and magnesium on boosting testosterone levels in the body, there also has been several research studies conducted around the world on ZMA.
Early indications would suggest that ZMA should be effective at helping to boost testosterone levels. We have pulled out three specific research studies to look at regarding ZMA and its effect on nutrient levels in the body.
Conducted in 2009 by Koehler, Parr, et al. at the Institute of Biochemistry, German Research Centre of Elite Sport, German Sport University in Cologne, Germany, this was a placebo-controlled, double-blind study that aimed to determine whether ZMA would have an impact on serum testosterone as well as steroid hormone metabolites in the body. The study consisted of 14 healthy, regularly exercising male subjects between the ages of 22 to 23 years. They had a baseline zinc intake that ranged between 11.9 mg per day to 23.2 mg per day.
These subjects were not considered to be zinc deficient. Seven of the subjects were placed in the control group and seven were in the test group. They were given three capsules per day of ZMA or a placebo for a period of time of 56 days.
The researchers found that there was no significant change in serum total or serum free testosterone levels in the test group. Serum refers to measurements within the bloodstream, which could be different than what is found through other bodily fluids.
The levels of serum zinc that the researchers found was significantly increased. This study had only a limited number of participants, which could have affected the results.
(Read more about this study at Nature.com.)
In this study conducted by Richard Kreider through Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab at Baylor University, Texas in 2004, Mr. Kreider wanted to determine whether Zinc Magnesium Aspartame (ZMA) supplementation would have an effect on anabolism and catabolism in the body. He conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 42 resistance trained male subjects. These male subjects average 27 years of age with a range of plus or minus 9 years. They had an average of 18.6% body fat.
Each of the test subjects not in the placebo control group received four capsules of ZMA every day approximately 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep for eight weeks. Researchers found that there was no significant difference between total and free testosterone levels between the control and test group.
He concluded that ZMA supplementation did not significantly increase overall serum zinc levels in the body, either. He concluded that ZMA supplementation during training does not appear to impact overall testosterone levels.
For the average male individual over the age of 25, he may not be exercising on a regular basis so it is unclear whether this study would support other findings that indicate zinc as well as magnesium could positively influence testosterone levels.
(Read more about this study at JISSN.)
Conducted by Brilla and Conte at the Exercise and Sports Science Laboratory, Western Washington University, in Washington, the United States in the year 2000, these researchers sought to determine the impact that ZMA would have on hormones as well as strength.
They used 57 varsity football players for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial were they provided the test subjects with 30 mg zinc monomethoinine aspartate, 450 mg magnesium aspartate, and 10.5 mg of vitamin B6. It is unclear how long they conducted this study for.
The researchers discovered an increase in the concentrations of total testosterone, free testosterone, and IGF-I. Free testosterone levels increased with ZMA from 132.1 to 176.3 pg/mL, compared to the placebo controlled group, which saw a decrease (141.0 to 126.6 pg/mL).
Researchers found that the addition of vitamin B6 helps to enhance the absorption of both zinc and magnesium. An increase in absorption rates of ZMA may account for the increase in total and free testosterone levels in the body.
(Read more about this study at ASEP.org.)
Scouring for more research studies highlights that there are mixed results with regard to testing ZMA on its effectiveness that boosting overall total and free testosterone levels in the body. One particular research study found that ZMA did have a positive influence on free testosterone levels in the body, however that research study was conducted by the manufacturer of a specific supplement containing ZMA. This research study was claimed to have been published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, but that was proven to not be the case.
When looking at the various findings with regard to ZMA, it may very well be effective at boosting testosterone levels because of the research that is been conducted on zinc as well as magnesium. Looking at the third study listed here, the addition of vitamin B6 may be an important factor at helping the body to absorb zinc and magnesium, which could have a direct impact on helping the body increase its production of testosterone.
We will continue to look for other research studies and post them as they are published.