I've been using ZMA off and on for some time (maybe 5 years). I have no idea as to whether it has increased my T levels or not as I never have had those tested. I like the benefit of more restful sleep that I get from it. When I take it, I sleep like a rock. Dreams are noticeably more vivid for me, so if your prone to nightmares, it might not be the best idea.
Luckily I'm not really prone to nightmares. I'm looking for a little T boost without going to the doctor and possibly getting on some shot or rub on. I want to help my body produce the testosterone, not inject it.
The T boost might simply come from getting sleep. I got concerned about sleep a while ago when two of my friends both told me they were having terrible sleep issues then both ended up screwing up their lives (one in Federal prison). So, I started taking it seriously. It might simply be the Mg as I drink "Calm" now and it just really helps (for me).
There is always a "Rest of the Story" when I tell you things. I strongly prefer something inexpensive and as cheap as ZMA versus a bunch of other stuff.
Well, after reviewing the nutrients in my Alive! multis, I saw that I was already getting a solid amount of B12 and Zinc, so I picked up some Magnesium. Thought I'd try that out and see how I feel in 3-4 weeks. While I am looking for a T boost, I'd imagine good restful sleep, as Coach Dan said, would go a long way, along with good diet and training, toward getting me there.
I've been using Magnesium Oil for the last 3 years. It definitely helps you sleep and get vivid dreams. It helps with muscle soreness as well. I like the oil better than oral because you don't need as much and I have trouble swallowing pills.
Tried ZMA, a couple of times, didn't see a difference. Tried Mahler's T-Booster, for me it was a waste of money.
Your T levels are good if you wake up a little stiff, if you catch my drift.
I've been using ZMA since the late 1990's for myself and clients. It clearly speeds recovery from all kinds of stress. It seems to help people not get clods and flu, or to recover quickly form colds or flu. It is one of the few supplements I recommend, the other two being fish oil and Dr, Schulze's superfood. ZMA provides a great bang for the buck. I only take it in time of stress or in the days leading up to times of stress, if possible. Also the dose is usually 3 capsules, but you can develop a sense of when you need only two or one. This way one jar can last a long time. Evan Strong, my athlete headed for the Olympics is taking ZMA and he reports he can feel a powerful improvement in recovery from races and training on the slopes. Evan is always experimenting with fancy and expensive, organic and natural superfoods, plant medicines and adaptogenic herbs. He is an expert on the subject. He really appreciates the cheap, simple effectiveness of ZMA. I always tell people, why not try it? It's super cheap. If you don't like I'll buy it off you and use it myself. One thing to watch for: Certain brands see the supplement as a sleep aid and add valerian. These versions do not seem to work. Maybe the valerian throws it off, or the product has some other quality problem. NOW brand has proven to be my favorite.
I take a RAW form of Zinc. Magnesium I take in a citrate form. The reason is that many zma products package their minerals as an oxide. A lot of people have trouble absorbing mineral oxides and they are cheapest way a company can manufacture them. Citrates, at least for me, are more readily absorbable.
Something that is very interesting about them together is the effect on flexibility. Specifically with lots of neural tone and summer training or multiple training sessions a day with lots of sweat/stress your body will shed the minerals stores rapidly. Muscles get too tight, things get pulled or injury more likely to occur.
Nutritionally aware doctors can give you a mineral taste test to see what/if you are deficient. Mag deficiency is very hard to detect because the body will pull it out of the bones to keep levels "normal" so the heart doesn't get agitated. Over time, obviously depleting the bones leads to less density. This is a huge bane for the health of any hard man.
I think zinc and mag (mineral supps in general WITH a multi vitamin, quality ones) are integral to counter depletion from stress that our bodies and minds are sieged by day to day. Yes, I take them. Yes, I noticed a huge difference in my ability to recover after hard sparring or resistance training. Specially over time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.