ZMA is a natural boosting testosterone supplement; therefore it is not
banned by any athletic organizations and is preferred by athletes in
all sports who want to improve performance.
Research suggests that ZMA has significant anabolic benefits. A study
performed at Western Washington University (Bellingham) had NCAA football
players take ZMA or a placebo every night during an eight-week spring
training program. They reported that the athletes taking the ZMA supplement
experienced more than a 30-percent increase in testosterone levels, and
about a 5-percent increase in levels of the insulin-like growth factor 1
(IGF-1).* Those taking a placebo had a 10-percent decrease in testosterone
levels and a greater than 20-percent decrease in levels of IGF-1.
A 2007 study from Selcuk University (Konya, Turkey) reported that four
weeks of zinc supplementation in men increased testosterone levels at rest
and after exercise.* The same researchers also found similar results for
zinc supplementation on testosterone levels in a prior study with
competitive wrestlers. Researchers from the USDA reported that zinc
depletion decreased muscle endurance in subjects. This means that
maintaining optimal zinc levels is critical for your ability to complete a
number of reps with a given weight.
The same Western Washington University research team that did the ZMA
research also discovered in an earlier study that when subjects
supplemented with magnesium while following a 7-week leg training program,
their leg strength increased by 20-percent more than those taking a
Both zinc and magnesium are also suggested to blunt cortisol, a catabolic
hormone. German researchers found that triathletes taking a magnesium
supplement for four weeks maintained healthy cortisol levels at rest and
after a triathlon, as compared to athletes taking a placebo.* And Brazilian
researchers also reported that subjects supplementing with zinc maintained
healthy cortisol balance.*
ZMA may also boost growth hormone (GH) levels, albeit indirectly. ZMA
enhances sleep quality due to magnesium's ability to normalize and extend
stage 3 and stage 4 slow-wave sleep. This is critical, as deeper sleep can
help to raise GH levels, which peak during the night.
Research has confirmed that athletes are often deficient in both zinc and
magnesium. This is most likely due to several factors, such as zinc lost
through sweat during training, increased use of zinc by the body for
recovery and protein synthesis following training, and an increased loss of
zinc through urine. There may also be dietary factors involved.
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