T Nation

ZMA and Elevated T Levels


I just started supplementing with ZMA and wanted to start a post on the use of ZMA and increasing natural Testosterone levels.

What type of experiences has anyone else had while using ZMA with regard to:
- Incraesed energy?
- Increased sex drive?
- Increased strength?
- Increased mood?

Please share your experiences.


Helps me with sleep - sometimes. Thats about it as far as I could tell.


I agree with swerven, it helps me sleep. It also gives me dreams. For some reason i never had or remembered my dreams, but on ZMA I remember them frequently. And occasionally they are very weird. That might just be me, just thought i'd offer it up.


I'm just getting ready to start my 3rd bottle (one bottle lasts me about a month). The main benefit I've found is that it helps me sleep.

I fall asleep faster and if I get up in the middle of the night, I fall back asleep pretty fast (something I used to struggle with).

The improved sleep has helped me with recovery and I'm not cranky like a 2 year old at work all day anymore.


Some good info - didn't realize the sleep benefit.

What about benefits relating to increased T levels? I am presuming that a positive effect on T levels relating to ZMA will only be seen if there is a zinc and/or magnesium deficency to begin with.


That's how I understood it after reading a few articles about it (a while ago).

I also remember that it's more common for a weight lifter or other athletes to be more deficient in either zinc or magnesium (I think it was mag. but it could have been both).

Anyway, with my own experiences, I too have noticed better, quicker sleep where I remember my dreams vividly.


Each time you ejaculate you lose 1/3 of your recommended daily dose of zinc.

Aren't T levels raised during sleep? That would be a T level benefit by way of ZMA allowing you to sleep better.


T-levels are higher in the morning and taper off as the day goes on. But I don't think there are any studies that show a linear type relation with sleep and T, i.e. the more the sleep you get, the more T you have if that's waht you're asking. However, from what I've read, getting too little sleep has been shown to lower T-levels (as does stress and the body treats lack of sleep as a stressor).

But common sense tells you that more, good quality sleep should increase T-levels as, at the end I believe, of each REM cycle your body squirts out some T...

Why someone hasn't done a study on this I don't know. Maybe because the quality of sleep is as important as the amount of time...


I went through a 60 day supply a few months ago just to try it. Frankly, I noticed nothing from it. Everything else is in tact. Diet, workout etc. I didn't even notice the common effect that people mention such as better sleep, dreams etc. Yep, for me it was pretty much like taking a sugar pill, and a complete waste of money.

Live and learn I guess.


Can anyone comment as to why ZMA supposedly helps sleep? I know that the body is pumping out T at night and Zn is needed for T, but is that really what is doing it?


I just started taking ZMA a week ago and notice a huge difference in sleep. I get to sleep faster and sleep MUCH better. I've gotten up before my alarm more times this week than I have over the last year. I woud like to know if it does raise test levels in non-deficient people. Anyone?


The magnesium is a relaxant and helps you get deeper sleep. The zinc is absorbed better in the presence of magnesium.


I covered this a bit in an old column:





What about increasing T-levels with supplemention of ZMA within Zinc and/or Magnesium deficient body?

From what I've read many people are in the low range of Zinc who use anti-perspirants. More specifically, the aluminum in many brands of anti-perspirants can block the obsorption of other minerals (like Zinc/Magnesium) from being obsorbed by the body.

Heard anything or seen any studies relating to the topic?


Dude, tell me you have a link or something to the zinc loss theory.

And I've noticed the same sort of sleep enhancement from taking B complex vitamens. Actually when I take a B complex before bed I had sleep heavier than I ever did with ZMA and don't have to worry about not drinking milk before bed like you do with ZMA.


I originally read it in a magazine. It was a short article by Elizabeth Lipski, Phd, CCN. Doing a quick search online I found this link:



I've heard that Mg is deficient in our diets because it's deficient in our soils from years of farming the same lands. It's not replaced through fertilization to any large extent. Maybe we'd all sleep better and, as a result, dream more just from getting this nutrient.

I was told that the B6 helps with absorption. Zinc can be toxic so you don't want to overdo that one.


Wierd I tried to take it before bed and it kept me awake! Took very long to get to sleep, but I am over 60 so it may be age. I now take it in the daytime.


I gave it to my wife to see if it would help her sleep and it did the same thing... kept her awake. She's 57.