T Nation

ZMA For Us Older Folks

Been taking a 1/2 capsule of ZMA for the past 2 weeks and noticed a few things.

  1. Much better sleep
  2. The need to take a wicked piss half way through the night.
  3. A raging hard-on around said time AND upon waking up in the morning almost everytime.
  4. Noticed more breakouts (zits, pimples, etc.)
  5. Slightly elevated heartbeat.

I’ve scoured many of the posts on the subject and have come across the all effects i’ve listed, in one post or another. I basically wanted the input from the guys in the over 35 forum (that have lagging test and/or libido)as to their experiences or opinions. There’s been studies cited as to it’s effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of raising testosterone. As to my own “symptoms”, I have to believe there’s been some benefit w/ regards to increase in testosterone. Anybody’s 2 cents welcome.

Why are you only taking 1/2 capsule, when the recommended dose is 3 capsules?
I’ve been taking 2 capsules every night for the past 2 years, and I do get better sleep.

But then again, I’m a woman, and I would be really worried if I had any of the effects that you have listed.

With most supplements I try, I start small, then ramp up to recommended dosage. In this case, just taking 1/2 capsule worked great. I’m not sure what the purpose would be for me to increase it when i’m already reaping the benefits now. But yeah, I never would have thought a miniscule amount would work in the first place. Go figure.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Definitely the placebo effect. Relax man, it’s just ZMA. Consult PubMed about the true efficacy of the supplement, not the website that sells it.

true dat:


and unfortunatly only a study on rats:

and cattle:

So feel free to make conclusions, but I think the general consensus is that ZMA benefits are only apparent when the person has a deficiency of either zinc or magnesium.


edit: honestly though, if you have percieved benefits, regardless if they are real or not, I think it’s better to just go along with it. Placebo can be used to your advantage!

You’re right, i’m chalking it up as a placebo effect or being severely deficient, I guess. I figured with the multivitamin and all the red meat I eat, I was getting enough zinc and magnesium. Thanks guys.

I’ve been using ZMA for several years and I take 3 capsules with no sides. Mostly on an empty stomach. Works better for me. I have my protein drink an hour later and I sleep great.

I recommended it to a over 60 friend of mine to try. He said he slept better, but he wasn’t chasing the wife around the house like he’d hoped. Of course he is over 60…

I believe it is also important to look at who the test subjects were in the study that showed no benefits to zinc supplementation:

“Subjects:Fourteen healthy, regularly exercising men aged 22-33 years with a baseline zinc intake between 11.9 and 23.2 mg day(-1) prior to the study.”

I don’t believe this tells us much about older men who may have low testosterone levels to start with.

Also as regards to multivitamins, calcium interferes with the uptake of zinc, so if your multivitamin has both, the zinc it has may not be getting absorbed. That’s why you should take ZMA on an empty stomach and not in combination with foods or other supplements that may have calcium.

I’ve taken it now for about 3 months at recommended 3 caps per night. I can tell you that while it doesn’t make me “sleepy”, I seem to get better quality sleep and have some strange, longer dreams.

Now that you mention it, I’ve noticed I’ve been waking up more times with more lead in the pencil. Hmmmm…

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

As I’ve read, with some users, the nocturnal wood subsided after a bit. and i’ve noticed the same thing just within the past few days. Regarding most supplements, i’m a skeptic. I started taking it because I’ve read so many cases of people having a deeper sleep and vivid/weird dreams to boot. I can’t remember the last time I dreamt.

My post wasn’t meant to suggest anything. Just merely for you guys to disect what the hell might be going on. At this point, i’ll take it as a placebo effect, nothing more. I appreciate all the opinions.

bought a bottle of zma,can’t sleep at all.what’s up with that?

ZMA keeps me awake and gives me a restless night.
Diff strokes for diff folks I guess.

[quote]Duke wrote:
ZMA keeps me awake and gives me a restless night.
Diff strokes for diff folks I guess.[/quote]

…glad to see that I wasn’t the only one. I unsuccessfully experimented with different evening doses ranging from one to three capsules/night. In the end it always made me extremely restless and wired, I’d wake up with all of the sheets on the floor and the pillows thrown halfway across the room…Hebs

ps…and then there was the funky dreams that I’d have, WOW!

just an update. still taking the same dosage (1/2 capsule) and nocturnal wood has lessened. vivid dreams still in full effect.

[quote]toejam wrote:
bought a bottle of zma,can’t sleep at all.what’s up with that?[/quote]

I had the same issue with taking 3 capsules…plus the WEIRD dreams. So…I backed down to 2, plus took melatonin on top of it, which seemed to correct the problem.

I’m 36 and been taking 3 capsules a night for a few years.

I ran out of ZMA a few months ago and just got back on this week, and it reminded me of how good ZMA is: I immediately started waking up with morning wood again, and my intensity in the gym picked up.

The morning wood can’t be a placebo effect. The gym intensity may be imagined, but my strength and intensity definitely surged this week after my 2-month hiatus.

I strongly recommend it: it’s natural, it’s fairly inexpensive, and it works.

[quote]poophead wrote:
just an update. still taking the same dosage (1/2 capsule) and nocturnal wood has lessened. vivid dreams still in full effect.[/quote]

Nocturnal wood, not morning wood? Nocturnal wood (according to lots of previous posts on this site) suggests the beginning of Estrogen dominance in a man’s system. Seeing as how you are sensitive to ZMA, have you had your E2 levels done? You might be elevating your free T levels, only to have them convert to E. Estrogen sensitivity will cause the loss of morning wood too.