- Take ZMA half an hour before bed
- Most effective on an empty stomach
- Take once a day
- Avoid taking ZMA with other supplements
Benefits of ZMA
ZMA is a blend of three ingredients –Zinc Monomethionine, Magnesium Aspartate, and Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyroxidine. Each ingredient in ZMA has benefit individually.
Zinc is one of the most important trace elements in the human body, and it is involved as a cofactor in many reactions. Zinc is necessary for a strong immune system, and because zinc deficiency has been implicated in low testosterone levels in men, supplementation has the potential to increase the production of testosterone in men who are not taking in sufficient amounts of this mineral, or depleting their zinc levels through strenuous exercise.
Magnesium is known as the muscle mineral, and studies have shown supplementation may increase strength along with testosterone levels. Magnesium plays a role in the maintenance of healthy bones, and magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance. There are hundreds of enzymes and proteins in the human body that rely on magnesium as a cofactor, and it is considered essential for general health.
Both aspartate, to which magnesium is attached, and vitamin B6 enhance the absorption of these two minerals. In addition, vitamin B6 is essential for our bodies to efficiently metabolise dietary protein and glucose and build muscle. Because it is involved in the reaction that converts tryptophan and serotonin into sleep hormone melatonin, B6 can also help promote a restful sleep.
Together, the ZMA complex claims to enhance strength, boost testosterone levels, and encourage sleep, enabling muscle growth to take place.
How to take ZMA
ZMA is usually packaged as a capsule, tablet, or powder, and the proprietary form of this supplement contains 30mg of zinc, 450mg magnesium aspartate and 10.5mg of vitamin B6 per dose, which is taken once a day. The presence of other minerals, like copper, iron and calcium, can compete with the body's uptake of magnesium and zinc. Because of this, ZMA is best taken on an empty stomach. Wait at least an hour between eating food or taking other supplements, including calcium-rich dairy proteins, before taking ZMA.
Best time to take ZMA
ZMA is designed to promote sleep, and is best taken half an hour before bed. If you use a night time protein, take the ZMA first and ideally leave a gap of an hour before taking the protein.