Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but in supplement science circles it's usually a sure sign of second-rate quality. When it comes to the ingredients that make up our bodybuilding supplements, you'll find that there's very often one manufacturer who leads the way ... and a bunch of followers trying to capitalize on the goodwill created by the pioneer in the category. Thus, when buying a creatine supplement, you should always look for the CreaPure trademark. Protein content? Glanbia Nutritionals is legendary for its quality control standards. GlycoCarn, Svetol, Ajinomoto Labs in Japan ... we could go on.
The point is, the gulf between best and second-best is sometimes enormous in terms of purity, potency, and power. Indeed, it's not uncommon to see copycat manufacturers who are literally guessing at the ratios of ingredients in proprietary formulations brought to market by ground-breaking companies. This is certainly the case with the industry-standard testosterone-boosting ZMA formulation created by SNAC System Inc. over a decade ago. As a result, when it was time to add a maximally effective ZMA product to our ProSource line, we knew right where to go for the absolute-best, ultra-premium grade zinc-magnesium aspartate. Our best-selling ProSource ZMA product has been outpolling expensive mega-hyped brand-name mass builders in our "Best of the Best" ProSource polls for years. And we know why. It's all about the SNAC.
A quick browse through the SNAC (Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning) website will reveal one consistent theme: clinical research. This should not be surprising given the fact that SNAC pioneered, formulated and introduced the very first ZMA product. In keeping with its research criteria, SNAC uses only the best zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6 in the exact ratios shown to be effective in clinical trials.
This is especially important because strenuous physical exercise causes significant increases in the loss of zinc in the urine, and studies have shown that even small deficiencies in zinc can lead to reductions in testosterone production. There is also evidence that zinc has antioxidant activity, so it may help fight free radicals generated during exercise that can hinder recovery. Finally, there is evidence that zinc deficiency is related to production of insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a potent anabolic hormone.
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The most well-known research on ZMA's anabolic benefits is a study performed at Western Washington University in which researchers had NCAA football players take ZMA or a placebo nightly during an eight-week spring-training program. They discovered that the athletes taking the ZMA supplement experienced a greater than 30% increase in both free and total testosterone levels, and about a 4% increase in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels, while those taking placebo had a 10% decrease in both free and total testosterone levels and a 22% decrease in IGF-1 levels. In addition to improvements in anabolic hormone levels and sleep quality, the ZMA athletes made significantly greater gains in strength and power compared to the placebo group. These benefits occured despite the fact that analysis of the athlete's diets found that they were all consuming well over the recommended intake for zinc.
In another test, a 2007 study conducted at Selcuk University in Turkey, it was reported that four weeks of zinc supplementation in men increased both free and total testosterone levels at rest and after exercise. Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture reported that zinc depletion decreased muscle endurance in the lower and upper body of subjects. Meanwhile, as for magnesium, the Western Washington University researchers discovered in an earlier study that subjects taking a magnesium supplement following a seven-week leg-training program increased their leg strength by 20% compared to those taking placebo.
Both zinc and magnesium have been shown to significantly decrease levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol. A study conducted by researchers at Justus Liebig University in Germany revealed that triathlon athletes taking a magnesium supplement for 4 weeks had significantly lower cortisol at rest and after a marathon, compared to athletes taking a placebo. Brazilian researchers also reported that subjects given a single dose of zinc experienced a significant drop in blood cortisol levels within two hours. Keeping cortisol levels low can be critical for muscle and strength gains, as cortisol competes with testosterone, decreasing anabolism and enhancing muscle breakdown. Collectively these studies point to an important role for zinc and magnesium in regulating anabolic hormone levels.
While other manufacturers often use inferior grade ingredients to increase their profit margins, the original SNAC brand still offers the highest quality ZMA product that consistently maintains its deserved place as the most effective anabolic enhancer of its kind. This is why ProSource ZMA uses only SNAC System ZMA, the original and unchallenged best.
This potent steroidal saponin is a constituent of the herb Tribulus terrestris and is the primary compound responsible for enhancing the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which helps raise testosterone levels in the body. Without a doubt, protodioscin is the single most essential natural component for effective testosterone increases, but very few products contain it in high enough percentages to make a real difference.
This specialized proprietary extract of Eurycoma longifolia is standardized for 28% bioactive glycopeptides, which is known to produce significant increases in both free and total testosterone levels. In fact, studies have shown LJ-100 to increase average testosterone levels by 50% after one month's use. With such impressive results, it's no wonder LJ-100 has become a must-have compound for any serious T-boosting formula.
Another clinically studied proprietary ingredient, Testofen is a fenugreek extract standardized for 50% fenusides that contains steroidal saponins, sapogenins and furostanol saponins. At a daily dosage of 600 mg, Testofen increased free testosterone levels by 98.81% after 8 weeks in a major clinical study. That's proof positive that this remarkable extract represents one of the most essential difference-makers in the T-boosting category.
Many bodybuilders will recognize these three unprecedented T-boosting compounds as the precise formula found in AndroTest Extreme. This category leader contains a higher percentage of protodisocin (a minimum of 40%) than any other product of its kind. It also provides the exact dosages of LJ-100 and Testofen cited in the studies. In other words, AndroTest Extreme stands far apart from the competition as the most potent and powerful, all-natural testosterone enhancement technology available industry-wide. Combine it with ZMA, which is best taken at night, and you have the most powerful one-two punch imaginable.