ZMA is a popular nutritional supplement preferred by bodybuilders, athletes and fitness lovers. It is primarily taken to amplify muscle growth, recovery, gain endurance, and improve sleep quality. ZMA full form is Zinc Magnesium Aspartate, and the supplement contains a combination of three nutrients – zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6.
Each nutrient present in ZMA plays several critical roles in the body.
- Zinc: Zinc is a vital mineral needed for the smooth functioning of more than 300 enzymatic reactions. It plays an influential antioxidant role, protects against free radical damage, and is required for protein synthesis and tissue growth. In ZMA supplements, zinc is usually present in oxide, monomethionine or sulphate form. Zinc deficiency is quite common among people who train; hence it is necessary to maintain the adequacy. Moreover, testosterone levels also fall if you are zinc deficient.
- Magnesium: This mineral plays a fundamental role in various cellular reactions like energy, protein and fat metabolism by acting as a cofactor. Low magnesium levels are often linked with poor immune health and increased insulin resistance. We need magnesium to regulate cardiovascular, neurovascular, hormonal and immune function.
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 regulates our mood and sleep. Vitamin B6 deficiency in the body is directly associated with depression and poor sleep health.
ZMA is not merely a supplement with three nutrients. The nutrients present in specific forms enhance absorption, bioavailability, and uptake.
What does ZMA do for your body?
Here are some of the advantages that one can expect from this power-packed nutrients combo.
- May boost testosterone levels: ZMA supplements may aid in hormonal balance and increase testosterone levels. To examine this, a group of football players took the ZMA supplement for eight weeks, and by the end of the study, there was a significant increase in their testosterone levels.
- Enhance athletic performance: Studies have shown that many athletes have low zinc and magnesium levels. These minerals are vital to reduce muscle fatigue, build muscle and prevent a fall in testosterone levels. Hence, you can expect a significant increase in muscle strength, functional powder and energy levels on taking the ZMA supplement.
- May support immune health: All three nutrients present in ZMA are essential for the development and function of our immune cells. Supplementing with ZMA might help combat infections and inflammation in the body. Zinc supplements are often administered to people with weak immune health.
- May help control blood sugar level: Zinc and magnesium might aid in managing blood glucose levels. Both the minerals support the body’s ability to use insulin and reduce HbA1c levels, reducing diabetes risk.
- Improve sleep quality: Research suggests that magnesium helps activate the nervous system, making our body feel calm and relaxed. A study conducted in 2011 observed better sleep health among older adults when they were given a combination of zinc, magnesium and melatonin.
Apart from these, many other ZMA supplement benefits include weight loss, mood upliftment, and improving PMS symptoms.
Are there any side effects of taking ZMA tablets?
ZMA supplements are safe to use and, when taken in the recommended dosage, cause no side effects. However, one must avoid high doses of ZMA as it may lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, stomach cramps and abdominal discomfort.
People on certain medications like blood thinners, diuretics and blood pressure medicines must consult their doctor before using ZMA tablets because zinc and magnesium interfere with these medications.
Similarly, pregnant and lactating women must seek advice from their gynaecologist before starting the ZMA supplement.
How many ZMA should I take?
One can easily purchase ZMA supplements from any healthcare store. They are readily available in capsules, tablets and powder form.
The dosage of ZMA capsules or powder may vary from brand to brand. It is good to read the nutrition label carefully and not exceed the suggested dosage to enjoy the health benefits. Usually, every serving provides 100% RDA of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Hence, it is not good to consume in excess.
Another critical aspect to consider while taking ZMA is the timing. Avoid taking ZMA capsules with a meal, especially with calcium-rich foods, as it affects the absorption of both zinc and magnesium.
The best time to take a ZMA supplement is either at bedtime or 1-2 hours after your meal. Taking it with 5 mg of piperine has been shown to magnify absorption.
Which is the best ZMA supplement?
Nutrabay Pro ZMA (Zinc+Magnesium+B6) is the best ZMA containing a unique blend of zinc, magnesium oxide, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. Two ZMA capsules of Nutrabay provides 100% RDA of all three nutrients, thereby supporting muscle recovery, suppressing fatigue, boosting energy and sleep quality. It comes in vegan-friendly capsules and is safe to use by anyone.