If you have any experience with athletic supplements you may have heard of the product ZMA, which stands for Zinc, Magnesium, and vitamin B-6. The recommended dose of three capsules per day (for men) provides a total of 30 milligrams of zinc, 450 milligrams of magnesium, and 10.5 milligrams of vitamin B-6. Companies that manufacture ZMA claim that supplementation can increase testosterone production, and therefore increase strength and performance. This sounds great, right? It would be if these claims were true. Unfortunately, they are not.
When ZMA first came out it came with a research backed guarantee that it was effective. Little did the public know that the research was done by the manufacturer, so it was far from a credible study. The manufacturer also claimed that the study had been published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, which was actually untrue. Both these claims led to a huge generation of interest among prospective bodybuilders and athletes alike, and the dude’s revenue skyrocketed. A quick warning, many people in the supplement industry will do anything for a quick buck, so don’t be quick to trust companies “guarantees”.
A few years later some legitimate companies studied the effectiveness of certain ZMA supplements and guess what they found? ZMA does nothing. Zilch. Nada. Nothing, except, put a dent in your wallet. One group of researchers published a study that had their subjects ingest the exact dosage recommendation of ZMA and then monitored the concentration of androgen’s (which includes testosterone) in their subjects for 56 days. When compared to a placebo group, they found no difference. So as to the effects? It’s pretty clear that there are none.
You may wonder how companies can make such ludicrous claims that contain no inclination of truth to them. This can happen because the FDA does not review or authorize claims, so there is no one to regulate the myriad supplement on the market. The creator of ZMA saw an opportunity to start a lucrative business, and he took advantage of it. This is the way the supplement industry operates. So no, ZMA does not raise testosterone. And no, most supplements do not provide the benefits they claim. So if your going to invest in a supplement, first invest time into researching it and making sure that it can actually provide some potential benefits.