T Nation

Zinc / ZMA


Hi all,

I was diagnosed recently with very low T 6.2 n/mol after having it tested due to a non existant libido.

Have been referred to see an endo but not until October.

Obviously I wanted to try and fix things myself and started taking ZMA and increasing the amount of sat fat I was taking in through coconut oil mainly, along with pounding down broccolli!

I found that within a week or so my 'member' was back to normal flacid size, my balls were bigger and I was waking up with morning wood again for the first time in ages. All good so far, but I also found I actually had trouble sleeping during the night and read the post on here about the B6 vitamins keeping some people awake.

I have since switched to NOWs Zinc Picolinate 50mg and have been taking that for about 5 days.

Increased libido is still there, which I and my girlfriend are loving, and I am sleeping like a log with really vivid dreams.

The issue is that over the past few days I have been starting to feel increasingly groggy and lethargical; I am a keen runner and was barely able to manage a 3 mile run yesteray, legs felt like lead etc

Today I could barely get out of bed and have a constant 'fog' over my eyes that even coffee is not shifting! Definitely no energy to train today.

I have read on a few forums that some people experience that grogginess for a while when starting with ZMA supplementation, but this tiredness seems pretty extreme.

I came across this post which talks about it being to do with negatively affecting cortisol


Is that accurate?

My dillema is that I don't want to lose my new found libido but this lethargy is extreme. Will it pass with time as some suggest or should I adjust the Zinc dosage?

How much Zinc is too much?

Hope someone is able to shed some light on this for me!:slightly_smiling:


Are you up all night having relations with your girlfriend?
The simplest solution is often the correct one.

If you switched from ZMA to just zinc I wouldn't know what the problem would be.
I have read it is the Magnesium that actually relaxes the muscles and helps you sleep.

Hopefully someone smarter will help you.

Good luck.


haha if only that was the solution!

no, when i have gone to sleep I sleep soundly for 8-9 hours.

It is just the day is spent in a lethargic daze.

Thanks for the suggestion though


more than 50mg of zinc is too much (if i recall correctly from a webmd article i read). i would experiment with food instead. your body will absorb what it needs.

eat up some oysters or clams (the latter go excellent on a vinegar salad) twice a week and you'll get a whopping zinc dose. get a handful or so of walnuts and almonds daily to take care of your mag.

you could feel like shit because your t level is still subpar? good luck with everything!


ive been running 25mg of zinc morning and night, plus 30mg from my multivitamin, for as long as i can remember and i have no lethargy issues besides being groggy in the morning until i have a cup of coffee and some tyrosine.


"Running a cycle of zinc".

It's a bloody supplement, if there are any adverse effects they'd be at much higher doses.

I'm taking around 150 mg a day and my libido has never been better. Feel a lot stronger and fresher, too.


Running a cycle of zinc does sound corny.

But to disagree with Dre here I have read several times that you are not suppose to take over 50mg of zinc from supplements. This does not mean you can not eat a diet that contains plenty of foods known to be high in zinc plus a 50mg tablet as you get ready for bed. They say that too much zinc can suppress your immune system. Again, never heard of narcolepsy problems.

To be honest though I take a multi vitamin during the day and a 50mg tablet before bed so I don't follow this advice either. My reasoning for this is that I weigh over 2-bills and the recommendations are the same across the board. Any recommendation that doesn't take into account LBM and activity level was not meant for me. IMO.


well I didn't take it last night so I will report back if my energy levels start to come back. It is odd though because it is the only variable that has changed. My rest, training, schedule and diet are all constant.

Prior to starting ZMA / Zinc supplementation, aside from having no libido, everything else was good. Energy levels, high, hitting PRs etc

Start the supplementation and although the libido has sprung back, the energy levels have crashed.

Will post back in a few days, cheers for the advice / opinions so far


You're basically saying it yourself: The RDV's are complete bullshit; especially for heavier athletes who go through many weekly hours of strenuous exercise. We are pretty much mineral- and electrolyte depleted at all times.
50 grams of Protein are obviously not enough for recovery, we all know that. 60 or 80 mg of Vitamin C? Try 3-4 grams and we're talking! Stops these annoying head-flu's dead in it's tracks and maybe it's just me but taking it all in one scoop (powder) kinda gets me amped and ready to crush some weights. Same goes for the neon-green-piss B-Vitamins, which start helping with performance in the 1000-2000% RDV-range.
Hence I'd think it's safe to say that the RDV of 15 mg Zinc will be ineffective and a much higher dose warranted.
There is bunk research saying protein is bad for your kidneys, meat gives you the canxxorz, would it surprise you if "they" are wrong about Zinc, too...?


We are agreeing on the same issue. I was merely pointing out a lower limit of zinc than 150mg. In "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" NOT the RDV they talk about the upper limit of zinc at 50mg for the average adult male which is still 160 pounds in America.

Since I weigh 205 I am 28% larger then the average male so take 50mg of zinc and multiple it by 1.28 and you get 64mg of zinc for a male of my size. My multi vitamin contains 15mg of zinc plus my nightly 50mg tab for a total of 65mg of zinc per day.

People will always use vitamin C or B when they want to disregard vitamin recommendations but that is apples and oranges. Water soluble vitamins are easily eliminated from the body if you take to much which makes overdosing almost impossible. Fat soluble vitamins and minerals are sometime only excreted when used. One example of this would be Iron which is deadly to males in high doses.


just an update.

after reading round the subject I found this article:


I began supplementing with copper and dropped the zinc intake. Lo and behold I started to feel better within the day of doing so.

I then forgot to take the copper with me on a business trip and went two days without it. I started to get the fatigue, brain fog, strange black specs in front of my eyes.

Here is the really weird thing though, I took the copper as soon as I arrived home and within 20 mins, I was feeling instantly better, like night and day better.

Going to go and talk to my GP about it on Monday but thought I'd update for anyone interested.