The main focus in the supplement industry has always been creating the perfect anabolic environment. The key factors include supplying the nutrients we need to grow, and obtaining the maximum of our natural hormone levels. As far as hormones go, to bodybuilders, athletes and those trying to maximize muscle mass and increase recovery, testosterone is still the most important hormone.
If you are an over 25 year old trainee who wishes to increase Testosterone levels and wants to push their training to the maximum, some of the following supplements may be beneficial to try. There is no need to take all of these at the same time. You could get great benefit from doing 6 weeks of one, 6 weeks of another and so on. But if you have the finances to use them all, there are no adverse effects in doing so.
ZMA is the patented abbreviation for Zinc-monomethionine-aspartate, a mixture of 30 mg of the above mentioned mineral, 450 mg of magnesium aspartate and 10.5 mg of Vitamin B6 (pyrodoxine). Zinc is important to anyone who works out regularly and has been well researched and proven. The science behind it is that strenuous exercise tends to deplete body levels of zinc. Magnesium is an essential, and often neglected, mineral that is second only to potassium in the body, and ranks fourth among minerals in terms of needed intake. A dose of 400 mg is considered essential and most ZMA supplements have well over 450 mg. It is needed in bone, protein and fatty acid formation. The formation of protein increases muscle synthesis and the formation of fatty acids facilitates the formation of steroid hormones. Magnesium also is very important because it manufactures new red blood cells to enable more oxygen uptake, allows muscles to relax to avoid cramping and forms ATP for energy, as well as enabling insulin secretion and function. It is used in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, including several in the Krebs cycle (the cycle that allows the recycling of ATP) to complete long intense physical activity.
Tribulus works by stimulating the anterior pituitary to produce Leutinizing Hormone. Tribulus is a first choice addition to many testosterone boosting formulas because it could keep natural levels testosterone not having any negative effects on its long term production. It is a well-documented risk to introduce exogenous hormonal substances (like steroids) that shut down the endogenous production of testosterone. As the use of these products tapers down, it is essential that the endogenous production kicks back in as soon as possible because normal levels of these hormones are needed to maintain much of the gains made while taking them., therefore tribulus becomes a valuable addition to any hormone boosting stack.
Avena Sativa, better known as wild oat, is an annual grass, which is cultivated for its edible grain. It has the effect of increasing free testosterone levels (the testosterone that can be used by the body). While the mechanism under which it exerts this benefit is not clear, it is suspected that it occurs through an increase in LH levels, just like Tribulus. Because there seems to be a synergism between Tribulus and Avena Sativa, many supplement companies have formulated them together in their products.
Natural ant-estrogens can increase bioavailable testosterone higher (over 400%) within 2 weeks according to some label claims. They also can be effective in combating estrogen, the primary female hormone responsible for water retention, and excess body fat. These products can be a very helpful natural vehicle to trigger a potent anabolic response in order to help gain lean mass, strength and endurance while also helping to reduce body fat.