ZMA is a stack consisting of Zinc Monomethionine, Magnesium Aspartate, and often Vitamin B6, or Pyroxidine. When supplemented correctly it can lead to increases in strength, boost testosterone levels and is used as a sleep aid.
ZMA Benefits inside the Body
The components in ZMA – Zinc, Magnesium, Aspartate and B6 – all have health benefits individually. Zinc is an essential trace element with a role in maintaining the health of the immune system, and it is also necessary for the functioning of over 100 different enzymes. Magnesium is also classified as an essential trace element, is required for healthy bones and teeth, and participates in a huge number of chemical reactions in the body. Aspartate is an amino acid which enhances the absorption of zinc and magnesium, and B6 is important in amino acid and glucose metabolism.
ZMA for Weight Training or Exercise
ZINC – Zinc deficiency, even at marginal levels, can cause hypogonadism, and a drop-in testosterone levels. It has been shown that Zinc supplementation can reverse this, and correcting a deficiency can cause testosterone levels to rise. Zinc also has antioxidant properties that can protect the muscles from damage.
MAGNESIUM – There is evidence that low magnesium levels are connected to insulin resistance, and supplementation may result in better utilisation of glucose by the body if these levels are low. Studies have shown an increase in strength with magnesium supplementation and raised testosterone levels.
VITAMIN B6 – It is known that B6 plays a role in the metabolism of dietary protein. Without sufficient B6, the body can be inefficient in utilising nitrogen and performing many reactions involving conversions of amino acids. B6 affects the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and melatonin, which can promote healthy sleep. B6 also promotes absorption of the other two ingredients (Zinc and Magnesium).
ZMA recommended dosage and timing
The best time to take ZMA is an hour before bed, as it is used to promote sleep and it can cause drowsiness. It is best to take it on an empty stomach. The dosages in which ZMA has seen to work best are: 30mg zinc, 450mg magnesium aspartate, and 10.5mg of vitamin B6 per dose.
AS ZMA promotes sleep and testosterone production, it is often stacked with other ingredients to form different formulas. DO NOT stack ZMA with anything containing calcium, like whey or casein, as the calcium will impede the absorption of magnesium and zinc.