ZMA is a vitamin and mineral supplement composed of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B-6. ZMA helps replace zinc and magnesium that is often deficient in athletes. The vitamin B-6 in ZMA helps the body properly absorb both zinc and magnesium. Thought to be one of the safest supplements on th...
ZMA is a vitamin and mineral supplement composed of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B-6. ZMA helps replace zinc and magnesium that is often deficient in athletes. The vitamin B-6 in ZMA helps the body properly absorb both zinc and magnesium. Thought to be one of the safest supplements on the market; ZMA has been shown to have multiple benefits for athletes including increased muscle mass, testosterone, and improved sleep.
Zinc and magnesium are frequently below optimal levels in athletes. Lost through sweat or testosterone supplementation a deficiency in both minerals leads to reduced endurance and strength. The USDA reports that more than 68% of people lack adequate amounts of Zinc, and 39% consume less than two thirds of the recommended magnesium amount in their diets.
Another possible benefit of ZMA supplementation is improved sleep. Any serious athlete recognizes the importance of rest as part of an effective workout program. After you break down muscle in the weight room, sleep is prime time for the body to rebuild and grow. If an athlete isn’t getting enough sleep, they can be preventing themselves from reaching their physical potential. By properly resting and recovering the athlete can ensure that each workout is as efficient as possible.
Not only can ZMA help prevent fatigue and improve sleep, it has also been shown to naturally increase testosterone and IGF-1 levels in the body. For males this can be especially important since testosterone leads to increases in strength, muscle mass, libido, and also improves the ability to loss body fat. IGF-1 is a substance similar to insulin that is also produced in the pancreas. It plays a role in repairing and building muscle in adults. ZMA can be a natural way to increase both testosterone and IGF-1 in athletes competing in drug tested sports. While ZMA doesn’t have enormous amounts of studies completed on it, the major studies on ZMA have been performed with college and professional football athletes. Since few people train harder than professional athletes these studies show that the positive effects found can be directly translated to hard training athletes of all types.
Sources and Dosage
Zinc is found in red meats and fortified cereals while magnesium is found in leafy green vegetables, some nuts, and quinoa. With some diligence an athlete can get enough zinc and magnesium through his or her normal diet. For hard training athletes, or people not able to consume enough of these foods, a ZMA supplement is a great alternative to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. ZMA is often taken before bed due to its potential effects on sleep.
Some ZMA products here at MFN are:
-Cyclin GF by MHP
-ZMA Max by Muscle Pharm
Brilla, L., & Conte, V. (n.d.). Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. Retrieved from http://www.nutrabio.com/Products/zma_references.htm
Food sources for vitamins and minerals. (2012, October 6). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamins-and-minerals-good-food-sources
Quinn, E. (2011, September 18). What is igf-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). Retrieved from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/performanceenhancingdrugs/a/Igf-1.htm
Zma. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/Supplements/ZMA.html