You will have seen many promotional campaigns and advertisements for ZMA supplements that claim they increase testosterone levels. It does make one wonder, how true are these claims? Will consuming this supplement really help boost testosterone levels? Does it have any side-effects? But before getting to these questions, it is best to know what ZMA is.
What does ZMA stand for?
ZMA is an acronym for Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate. Most ZMA supplements contain additional Magnesium Aspartame as well as vitamin B6 in their composition. This supplement is primarily consumed by athletes and body builder as a recuperation and revitalizing aid. Studies have shown that it regulates the body’s sleeping pattern and rejuvenates it so that such sportsmen can continue their activities without a burnout.
ZMA and testosterone
The use of ZMA as a testosterone boosting aid became popular only when independent researches conducted in Washington and California had suggested a link between regular consumption of ZMA and increase in muscle mass as well as increase testosterone levels. The Washington study was performed on football players. About 30 % percent of the participants in the study showed increased hormone levels.
After these studies were published, the manufacturers of ZMA promoted it as a testosterone boosting aid.
Does ZMA have any side effects?
No known side effects are attributed to the regular consumption of ZMA. Its constituents are a B-complex vitamin and two minerals. These are unlikely to create any adverse effects. But it should be taken into account that zinc and magnesium are micro-nutrients and hence consuming them at higher than recommended doses can lead to physical and physiological disorders.
So does ZMA really increase testosterone?
The initial studies in Washington showed only a 30 % success rate. This could have been due to other unaccounted for factors. But the fact remains, very little research has been conducted on the matter. So it is quite possible that these claims may just be true. In the meanwhile, it should be fine to take ZMA, but it is best to supplement it with other lifestyle changes as well to boost testosterone.