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  • Top 3 Supplements to Help You Sleep, Boost Your Recovery

    Sleep: You know it's really important so then why does it seem so difficult to get in your 7 to 9 hours each night? The average person only gets between 5 and 6 hours of sleep. While it may not seem like a big difference, those missing hours add up. This may result in fatigue, slower recovery or a weakened immune response. It may also make you more susceptible to over training.

     

    If you have a hard time getting to sleep AND staying asleep, there are a few all natural supplements that may be able to help. Let's take a look at the top 3 supplements to help you sleep and boost your recovery.

     

    ZMA

    ZMA is marketed as a sports recovery supplement but it's no coincidence that you are directed to take it just before bed. ZMA is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. You'll often see ZMA associated with bodybuilding and athletics but make no mistake about it: ZMA can be a valuable supplement for anyone looking to improve their sleep.

     

    Each individual ingredient in ZMA has been shown to promote sleep and when combined, the supplement has had incredible results. ZMA has been shown in numerous studies to improve deep sleep. This is when the body's heavy duty recovery happens. (1-4)

     

    Take the ZMA as directed. Just be sure not to take ZMA with a protein shake as protein will interfere with the absorption of Zinc.

     

    Want to pick up a high quality ZMA supplement? Click here to check out our ZMA collection.

     

    GABA

    When you wake up in the morning and that sunlight hits your face, your body immediately begins producing hormones that make you alert and ready to start the day. As you prepare for sleep, your body does just the opposite. It prepares to shut down. This is where GABA comes into play. GABA is short for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid. GABA is an inhibitor neurotransmitter that naturally helps you prepare for sleep AND helps you stay asleep during the night. It's no surprise that many nighttime recovery supplements have GABA as their number one ingredient.

     

    Looking for an excellent GABA supplement? Check out our collection of GABA here.

     

    VALERIAN ROOT

    Valerian root has been used a natural sleep aid for many years. The subject of a variety of sleep-focused studies, valerian root may be able to help promote restful sleep. What's more, it may help you stay asleep longer. How does it do this? It's all about GABA.

     

    Studies suggest that valerian root helps to promote the release of GABA, the compound we discussed above. Once released, valerian root helps to protect GABA from breakdown. This means it will stay in your system longer, allowing you to sleep better.

     

    Click here to check out our valerian root collection.

     

    Conclusion

    Getting more and better quality sleep is simple when you try one of these all natural herbal supplements. Taken as directed, these supplements may help to promote healthy sleep patterns.

     

    References

    1. Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jan;59(1):82-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03232.x.
    1. Kordas K, Siegel EH, Olney DK, Katz J, Tielsch JM, Kariger PK, Khalfan SS, LeClerq SC, Khatry SK, Stoltzfus RJ. The effects of iron and/or zinc supplementation on maternal reports of sleep in infants from Nepal and Zanzibar. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Apr;30(2):131-9. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31819e6a48.
    1. Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H. Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res. 2010 Dec;23(4):158-68. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2010.0220. Epub 2011 Jan 4.
    1. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.
    1. Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-9.
    1. Lindahl O, Lindwall L. Double blind study of a valerian preparation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 Apr;32(4):1065-6.
  • 4 Ingredients Proven to Boost Your Testosterone Levels

     

    When men reach the age of 30, their testosterone levels peak and from there, these levels slowly begin to decline each year. The average guy loses 1% of his total testosterone each year. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, this number may be higher. If you're pursuing weight lifting and eating a balanced diet, this number may be lower. One thing that every man can do is supplement. Supplements are a safe way to increase natural testosterone levels but not all ingredients work. Let's take a look at the top 4 scientifically proven testosterone boosters.

     

    1. Tongkat Ali

     

    Eurycoma Longifolia Jack is most commonly referred to as Tongkat Ali and sometimes sold as Malaysian Ginseng. Regardless of the name, this herbal remedy is from the rain forests of Malaysia and it's been used in traditional medicinal practices for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. At one time, it was used as an overall health aid. Once it was brought into the West, it was used primarily for increasing sex drive and libido. Eventually researchers discovered it had a positive impact on men's testosterone levels. (1)

     

    How much to take:

    • Extract form: 200 to 300mg (Based on 100:1 extract)

     

    1. Ashwagandha

     

    Another herbal remedy from ancient times, Ashwagandha has played a part in primarily Indian alternative medicine for many years. At one time, Ashwagandha was used as an overall health and well-being supplement. Modern medicine has discovered that Ashwagandha has many benefits outside of the fitness world including being an anti-inflammatory and a cancer fighter.

     

    When it comes to men's health, Ashwagandha has been shown to improve the quality of your sleep, lower cortisol (catabolic hormone) levels, and increase testosterone (anabolic hormone) levels. (2)

     

    How much to take:

    • Extract form: 300 to 400 mg

     

    1. Vitamin D

     

    The same essential vitamin found in dairy products is, indeed, a testosterone booster. Vitamin D has been shown time and time again in scientific studies to be one of the most effective ways to support testosterone production. Ideally, you're getting in whole food-based Vitamin D and spending some time in the sun. However, supplementing with a high quality Vitamin D3 product is also an excellent way to hit your daily recommended serving. (3)

     

    How much to take:

    • Vitamin D3 – One serving per day with a meal

     

    1. ZMA

     

    ZMA has been a staple in the bodybuilding world since that ground-breaking study was released to the public. Used primarily for sports recovery and to improve healthy sleeping patterns, ZMA is also a highly effective testosterone booster. ZMA is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. On their own, these ingredients have ALL been shown to have a positive response on your testosterone levels. Together, they are unstoppable. Studies show that when men supplement with ZMA, they see a boost in testosterone as well as growth hormone. (4-6)

     

    How much to take:

    • One serving 30 minutes before bed on an empty stomach.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Whether you are approaching the big 3-0 or you passed it long ago, it's never too late to start a healthy regimen to increase the thing that makes you a man: testosterone. Healthy testosterone levels result in an improved quality of life. If you want to naturally and safely boost your testosterone production, these four supplements are the best of the best.

     

    References

     

    1 Shawn M Talbott, Julie A Talbott, Annie George, and Mike Pugh. Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 28. Published online 2013 May 26. doi:  10.1186/1550-2783-10-28. PMCID: PMC3669033

     

    1. Vijay R. Ambiye, Deepak Langade, Swati Dongre, Pradnya Aptikar, Madhura Kulkarni, Atul Dongre. Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 571420.

     

    1. Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1269854. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

     

    1. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.

     

    1. Cinar V, Polat Y, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R.Biol. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Trace Elem Res. 2011 Apr;140(1):18-23. doi: 10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

     

    1. Symes EK, Bender DA, Bowden JF, Coulson WF. Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. J Steroid Biochem. 1984 May;20(5):1089-93.
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