T Nation

Melatonin, Not Just For Sleep

I was reading “Wake Up to Big Gains” in this month’s Flex magazine (so sue me - I read other stuff). They reference several studies about melatonin though never specifically name them (always a red flag). Their claim is that, taken before a workout,it “Promotes higher GH levels, protects against free radicals and increases bodyfat usage while sparing muscle glycogen levels.”

Has anyone else read it and if so, how legit do you think it is? I am not the smartest guy in the world (obviously because I still read Flex) so I am hoping someone with some actual knowledge can shed some light on this. Thanks in advance.

Well, it’s a powerful anti-oxidant.

The connection to growth hormone seems sketchy. It looks like they fall together as we age. And obviously if melatonin helps you sleep, you’ll see a rise in growth hormone secretion. But the idea that supplementation with melatonin raises growth hormone levels seems like a bit of magical thinking.

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[quote]pushharder wrote:
I’ve read on this site that it can lower T levels. Anyone have the details?[/quote]

I don’t know about that, but:

  1. I’m usually in a less than ideal mood when I wake up after a melatonin-helped sleep
  2. I also feel sort of not at 100% strength

Valerian root is a powerful diuretic so it wakes me up in the middle of the night. It sucks.
So that leaves only kava-kava in the game. Not really a sleeping pill, but pretty close and it also elevates the mood.

A melatonin / kava-kava stack is quite powerful and doesn’t suffer from problem #1 (see above). It definitely has problem #2 thou’.

Just keep the usage at very casual levels and it should be fine.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
I’ve read on this site that it can lower T levels. Anyone have the details?[/quote]

I don’t have specific details or references, but I know of a group of guys that I used to work with took it to help sleep after working a rotation of dogs. They praised at how good it worked and how good they felt after waking, but after being on it for so long they had problems with their “manhood”. Those problems corrected themselves after having stopped taking it.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
I’ve read on this site that it can lower T levels. Anyone have the details?[/quote]

i’ve read the same while googling it. apparantly it has resulted in gynecomastia in some men and sexual dysfunction problems in others. i don’t remember the web addresses but i’m sure you can find similar info.

most people don’t suggest taking melatonin every night for extended periods of time though.

it is usually recommended to take it if you travel so you can mediate the effects of jet lag.

and, if you have trouble falling asleep at night, you should take it for only a few nights while getting on a schedule.

take it at the same time every night, go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time.

it helps reset your circadian rythm. once you have a schedule, you should be able to wean yourself off the melatonin supplement and go to bed naturally.

the key is a schedule though. if you stay up late one night, go to bed early the next, wake up late/early etc, your body can never fully adjust to a schedule and you won’t be sleepy.