Is ZMA a Testosterone Booster? A comprehensive analysis of facts & fiction

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Does ZMA increase testosterone?

We have all heard this one in gyms at some point in working out. Some people claim ZMA boosts testosterone levels, while others say it doesn’t.

There are a lot of articles doing the rounds on the internet, each with their own opinions. You are bound to get lost in all of the information that ultimately doesn’t help you in any way.

Today, we decided to get to the truth for once and all. In this post, we will see what science and research have to say on ZMA and testosterone levels. You will have all the data to decide for yourself whether zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6 can really increase testosterone. 

The Role of Testosterone in Building Muscles

The research on testosterone and muscle-building is conclusive. Testosterone increases protein synthesis and directly increases lean muscle mass. You can say testosterone stimulates muscle growth.

People with low testosterone often find it difficult to put on muscles, no matter how much they exercise. Consequently, testosterone therapy helps them increase muscle mass. Some people even report an increase in strength, though individual experiences may vary. 

However, there is no doubt that testosterone has strong anabolic effects and helps build muscles.  

Now, comes the interesting part, does ZMA increases testosterone? 

Let’s find out!

Does ZMA Increase Blood Testosterone Levels?

ZMA is made of zinc aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. The combination helps you build muscles, develop strength, and aid recovery. In many studies, the supplement has also been found to increase testosterone levels. But is that the truth?

The Relation of Zinc and Magnesium with Testosterone

Let’s take one thing at a time. Vitamin B6 in ZMA does not have any role in testosterone production. So, let’s take it out of our equation. Now, that leaves us to zinc and magnesium. 

According to Healthline, both minerals have a direct relationship with testosterone. They can either-

  1. Raise testosterone levels
  2. Limit the depletion of testosterone (after exercise)

We have many studies to prove the fact. You can even click on the link above and read a few studies yourself. 

Alright! So, we have got one thing clear. Zinc and magnesium can increase testosterone levels. But does that mean zinc + magnesium supplement provide the same results?

Effect of ZMA on Testosterone

The zinc and magnesium aspartate supplement has been found to increase testosterone levels. At least, that is what some studies claim!

Even we cited a study where participants taking ZMA increases testosterone levels. You will also find some other studies with the same claim. 

However, Healthline cites other studies that didn’t find any increase in testosterone when participants took ZMA. What is the truth then? Does it really affect testosterone?

Let us provide our opinion here to make things a bit clear. 

ZMA may increase your testosterone levels. However, that doesn’t make it a testosterone booster! Why?

The reason is, the supplement doesn’t directly affect testosterone levels. It just provides you with an extra dose of zinc and magnesium. Now it’s a different question whether our bodies can use the minerals to produce more testosterone. 

Don’t worry! We will also come to that.

Here’s the thing- you need to be deficient in zinc and magnesium to increase testosterone with ZMA. Healthy people can only take their testosterone levels to normal human testosterone levels, and not anything over that. 

So, if you have zinc and magnesium deficit, then go for it! You may be able to increase your testosterone. However, if you have healthy levels of zinc and magnesium, ZMA may not do much for you. Your testosterone levels will remain more or less similar. 

If you really want to boost testosterone, try eating foods that boost the male hormone. We will leave you some hints at the end of the article to help you out. 

Otherwise, you can also try our recommended testosterone boosters

Why ZMA is Still Meaningful to Athletes

We really have no doubts that the zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 supplement builds muscles. It also improves endurance, muscle strength, and recovery.

Now, most athletes and bodybuilders are deficient in zinc and minerals. They lose the minerals increasingly through sweat and urine (as they drink more water).

As a result, their muscle-building goals can go for a toss! 

ZMA serves as a ready solution to make up your nutritional requirements. You get to increase your zinc and magnesium stores that our bodies use to build muscles and strength. The supplement also increases testosterone, but only if you lack the minerals to facilitate it.  

The lesson?

Don’t go for ZMA expecting to increase testosterone. Rather, use the supplement to build muscle and strength. 

Foods to Boost Testosterone Naturally

Here is a list of foods that can increase your testosterone levels scientifically and naturally. You will be able to find most of the foods in the Indian market without any hassles. So keep a note of the following food items-

  • Ginger has increased testosterone levels close to 17.7% in studies. Add ginger to your diet as much as you can. Luckily, we Indians have a lot of way to consumer ginger. The easiest? – make ginger tea!

  • Red meat, poultry, shellfish, nuts, and beans are rich sources of zinc. And as you know, zinc can directly affect your testosterone levels. 

  • Pomegranates or anar can also increase testosterone. Research also says the same about the positive effects of pomegranates.

  • Eat foods that contain vitamin D like flax, soy, almonds, and dairy products. Also, get enough sun to refuel your vitamin D stores.

  • Include a lot of leafy green vegetables in your diet. Just visit the market and grab anything green and leafy you see!

  • Eat a lot of fatty fish and fish oil. Omega 3 is known to increase testosterone levels. 

Final Thoughts

ZMA increases testosterone in people who are deficient in zinc and mineral. However, people with healthy zinc and magnesium levels will have no difference in their testosterone levels. We suggest you eat foods that boost testosterone or pick our recommended testosterone boosters. 

Take our advice and use ZMA to build muscle and strength. Don’t expect it to boost testosterone. And if any ZMA supplement claims to increase testosterone, you better put it aside!


Is ZMA a testosterone booster?

ZMA can increase testosterone only if you lack healthy levels of zinc and magnesium. ZMA will not boost testosterone for healthy people.

Does ZMA make you harder?

ZMA may help in erectile dysfunction only if you are deficient in zinc. If you have healthy levels of zinc, ZMA will not do much for your erection.

What are the disadvantages of ZMA?

The side effects of ZMA may be called the disadvantages of ZMA. They include loss of appetite, dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness. You may also feel numb or pain in your hands and feet.

Does ZMA help in muscle growth?

ZMA can stimulate protein synthesis and lead to hypertrophy. It also increases the levels of growth hormones and helps you recover better. So, ZMA can help in your muscle-building goals.

Can ZMA help in muscle recovery?

ZMA may help you boost growth hormones and testosterone. Plus, you may experience improvement in recovery. You may also sleep better to heal your muscles.

When is the best time to take ZMA for bodybuilding?

The best time to take ZMA is an hour or two before bedtime. You will sleep better and help your muscles grow and heal. 

How much zinc should bodybuilders take?

Bodybuilders or athletes may take 30mg zinc every day to enjoy all its benefits. However, you may need more based on your activity levels. Ask your dietician or doctor for a dose fit for your needs.

Can zinc make you sleepy?

Healthy levels of zinc can help you fall asleep quicker. It can even improve sleep quality and duration. So, yes, zinc can be behind those yawns you are having.

Why does ZMA smell bad?

The smell in your ZMA may be due to the presence of B vitamins. They have a reputation for having an unpleasant odor. However, your ZMA is fine, and there is no need for concern. 

Can I take zinc and magnesium together?

Zinc and magnesium may work together to provide a range of benefits. You may take them together for better sleep, more muscles, and improved recoveries.