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Another Bulk Powders supplement, this time it’s their ZMA (810mg).
Proud to offer the lowest prices in Europe, Bulk powders are growing into the mid-range market rapidly and they don’t skimp on the quality. They’re a big player in the UK supplement game so I’m looking forward to seeing their approach on the infamous ZMA.
If you’ve done some poking around into testosterone boosters, chances are you’ve come across ZMA. It’s a unique, patented formula of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Zinc) usually taken before bed, designed to maintain healthy test levels in the blood aid sleep and muscle recovery.
Although Bulk Powders don’t target the product specifically to men older than 30, ZMA is engineered for those men in mind. Around 30 is when testosterone levels can drop, and ZMA aims to counter this where it can.
Let’s find out how, and if Bulk Powders deliver.
B6, one of the three core ingredients of ZMA, plays a significant role in how the body uses and stores carbs and protein from food and it’s needed to form haemoglobin in red blood cells. But it’s benefit as a testosterone booster only relies on anecdotal evidence.
Most people who eat a normal diet do not need to supplement with B6. But, as with all vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body, if you’re deficient, then you’ll see some serious effects. B6 deficiency is pretty rare in the UK, but it does cause a drop in testosterone levels.
The NHS recommends 1.4mg B6 per day for adult men, and 1.2mg for adult women. Bulk Powders gives us 10.7mg per 3 capsules (male dose), and 7mg per 2 (female dose) which are both significantly higher than the RDA. But most research suggests an upper ceiling of 200mg a day — which you don’t want to aim for as there are complications involved — and you won’t go near with Bulk Powder’s ZMA 810mg.
It’s probably sound advice not to take more than 10mg for long periods as there’s insignificant evidence to prove this is safe.
Magnesium (Magnesium Citrate)
Magnesium is an essential mineral, it’s also the most common deficiency in developed countries after vitamin D —eat your greens and nuts!
Magnesium is responsible for a huge number of processes in the body, and supplementing it has shown to reduce blood pressure and blood glucose, boost insulin sensitivity and there’s a lone study that suggests it could be beneficial to physical performance.
Magnesium is also a powerful mineral when it comes to testosterone. One study on tae kwondo athletes showed a significant increase to both free and total testosterone levels after supplementing 10mg of magnesium per kg of bodyweight. This is due to testosterone in the blood binding to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), rendering it inert. But test prefers binding with magnesium and in this form it’s still active testosterone, effectively protecting free testosterone from SHBG.
Bulkpowders gives us a high quality form of magnesium — magnesium citrate. It has a decent bioavailability, around 25-30% due its water solubility and it’s actually 3 times more bioavailable than magnesium oxide.
At 450mg per 3 capsules (300mg per 2) this is at the top end of recommended dosage. It’s worth bearing in mind that magnesium only increases T-levels to normal when magnesium deficient.
Zinc (Zinc Mono-L-Methionine and Zinc Aspartate)
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a huge role in bodily function, including regulating enzymes and the immune system. It’s also highly researched across the board and it’s a seriously effective testosterone booster.
Zinc raises testosterone in two ways:
The first — is by acting on the amount of luteinising hormone which then stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain to produce more testosterone.
The second — Zinc inhibits the aromatisation of free testosterone in the blood. Aromatisation is the chemical conversion of test into oestrogen (which you don’t want if you’re low on testosterone already).
There are a number of significant studies that show Zinc’s potential at increasing levels of testosterone in those with deficiencies. When it boils down to dose: Bulk Powders offers us 30mg per 3 capsules (20mg per 2), which is pretty good. The low dose for Zinc is 5-10mg and the high dose is 25-45mg.
The interesting thing here is the Zinc Aspartate — the A in ZMA. Aspartate or Aspartic acid is an amino acid that increases the absorption of its combined mineral — in this case, Zinc — which gives us an impressive combination.
- Amazon’s Choice badge.
- 4 stars on Amazon and 5 stars on Bulkpowders.co.uk
- Patented and approved formula.
- Good value — expected price.
- High quality magnesium and Zinc
- Aspartic acid works synergistically to maintain T-levels
- Not clearly marketed as a testosterone maintainer.
- Not likely to be effective at all unless deficient in Magnesium, Zinc or B6
- Weak evidence of performance/ fatigue recovery enhancement
- May cause vivid dreams
Safety/ Side effects
None of the listed ingredients are shown to be dangerous at the stated doses, although as mentioned previously, the NHS warns of a lack of evidence for long-term supplementation of B6 above 10mg per day.
Sometimes supplementing high does of magnesium can lead to stomach upset.
There is also anecdotal evidence that ZMA can cause vivid dreams.
How to Take It?
Bulk Powders say for men to take 3 (and women to take 2) capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime on an empty stomach.
They also advise not to take with dairy or calcium-containing products as this inhibits absorption.
Who Takes It?
ZMA is for anyone looking to boost low levels of testosterone to normal levels. Specifically, people over 30 years old.
ZMA is a well-seasoned supplement in the T-boosting world, but there is controversy surrounding it.
Some people still swear by it, others say it really does nothing but provide you with strange dreams. Paring things back to research then it becomes clearer:
If you’re looking to improve sleep, you’re over the age of 30 or struggle with low testosterone, then this is a high-quality supplement that could really help you on all fronts and get those t-levels back up to normal. Especially if you know you suffer with deficiencies in B6, Zinc,or Magnesium.
If you’re not… but you’re seeking elevated levels of testosterone (and this is a common misunderstanding)… well this isn’t the supplement for you. And just for the record, I’m not aware of anything SAFE you can take that will elevate levels of testosterone in healthy people.
For obvious reasons this isn’t bringing anything new to the scene. But what Bulk powders does do is provide a quality, branded option to take patented ZMA that helps maintain testosterone. And the price isn’t bad at all.