Zinc (ZMA) Increases Testosterone Levels in Multiple Studies


What is Zinc (ZMA)?

Zinc is a trace mineral essential to testosterone production and ZMA is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and B6 often used by athletes to boost strength.

Zinc has a direct effect on testosterone levels as it is necessary for androstenedione to be converted to testosterone.

A deficiency in zinc will decrease the androgen receptors (bad) while increasing estrogen receptors (really bad) and may even increase aromatization of testosterone to estrogen!

It also plays a direct role in your immune system and cell division so as you can probably gather, being even mildly deficient can have a serious impact on your health.

Zinc Deficiency is Common

Imperative to both overall health and healthy T levels, deficiency is unfortunately one of the more common problems facing men today.

In fact, it’s estimated more than 2 billion people worldwide are marginally deficient. (1)

Even if you eat a diet typically rich in Zinc, the odds of you getting enough every single day to keep your testosterone levels maxed out is pretty slim since the body does not have the ability to store it.

One off day with your diet has the potential to send your testosterone tanking harder then a Clayton Kershaw playoff game.

Does Zinc (ZMA) Boost Testosterone Levels?

Zinc Increases TestosteroneWestern Washington University ran a study where they gave varsity college football players a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 also known as ZMA.

They found an “improved anabolic hormone profile and muscle function” in these athletes.

That’s incredibly impressive because we are talking about strength trained males in their prime which don’t typically see a significant statistical boost with supplementation. (2)

In a different study, wrestlers who were given a zinc supplement every day for a month, were proven to have significantly higher testosterone levels vs a placebo group.

Because of the heavy training workload on wrestlers, the placebo group actually saw a decrease in their testosterone. (3)

This shows Zinc may actually keep your testosterone levels higher even with an extremely strenuous workload which is a huge plus if you lift weights, run, bike, work a construction job or do any kind of hardcore physical activity.

It also apparently boosts testosterone even if you are lazy!

A group of voluntary males who lived a more sedentary lifestyle were subjected to “fatiguing bicycle exercise” for 4 weeks. These males were able to increase both total and free testosterone levels vs the placebo group. (4)

Protects Against Exercise Induced Stress and SHBG

Zinc seems to be able to not only raise testosterone levels but also protect men from decreased levels due to the stress of exercise and high physical work loads.

It may also lower SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin) levels which inhibits testosterone function. (5)

Supplementing with Zinc (ZMA)

If you want to maximize your testosterone, supplement with 10 – 20 mg of Zinc daily, preferably along with magnesium and B6 to form the ZMA complex.


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  1. Linus Pauling Institute » Micronutrient Information Center – Link
  2. Effects of a Novel Z Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength L.R. Brilla AND V. Conte – Link
  3. The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral Z. Kilic M, Baltaci AK, Gunay M, Gökbel H, Okudan N, Cicioglu I. – Link
  4. Effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on thyroid hormone and T levels in sedentary males supplemented with oral zinc. Kilic M. – Link
  5. Sex Steroid Hormone Receptor Expression Affects Ovarian Cancer Survival. Jenny-Maria Jönsson, Nicolai Skovbjerg Arildsen, Susanne Malander, Anna Måsbäck, Linda Hartman, Mef Nilbert, and Ingrid Hedenfalk – Link