by Matt Weik
When it comes to supplements that have been tried and tested for years, it’s hard to pass up ZMA supplements. While not the sexiest of supplements out on the market, ZMA serves its purpose, and many people love the fact that it can help them get to sleep faster at night while also helping support lean muscle tissue growth.
But are ZMA supplements something you should include in your regimen? In this article, we will look at was ZMA supplements are, what each ingredient is, what they do, their benefits, potential side effects, and more. Let’s dive in!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. The information found within this article is not medical advice and should not supersede a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan should you have a health condition. The use of ZMA supplements should never be a replacement for any medication that your doctor puts you on.
What is ZMA?
ZMA, also known as zinc magnesium aspartate, is one of the most popular supplements amongst fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and weightlifters.
ZMA is a synergistic combination of three powerful elements, namely zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Zinc is known to support the immune system, magnesium helps to boost metabolism, and vitamin B6 increases the energy level.
Collectively, these three elements play an important role in improving overall health. ZMA is known to boost your immune system, maintain hormonal balance, enhance athletic performance, and promote better sleep.
Food Sources Containing ZMA Ingredients
Your body cannot produce these three nutrients on its own, which makes it extremely important to either consume ZMA supplements or acquire them through food sources. Here are food sources rich in these particular nutrients:
The Benefits of ZMA Supplements
Below is a list of benefits you can experience through the use of ZMA supplements.
1. Enhance Athletic Performance
One of the most essential benefits of ZMA supplements is that they can enhance the performance of athletes and aid in muscle-building.
Having a deficiency in zinc and magnesium can negatively affect an athlete’s performance. Zinc deficiency can lead to a loss of appetite, fatigue, and poor immunity. At the same time, a magnesium deficiency affects muscle function and may prevent the healing process.
Also, the deficiency of these minerals may reduce the production of testosterone, which in turn affects the growth of cells and the recovery process following intense training sessions.
All that being said, ZMA supplements prove to be an amazing addition to the daily supplement regimen of an athlete.
2. Boost Immunity
All three (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6) play an essential role in boosting immunity.
- Zinc reduces the risk of infection and speeds the healing process of wounds.
- Magnesium helps to reduce inflammation and boosts immunity.
- Vitamin B6 helps in the production of white blood cells that help to fight the bacteria.
In short, the precise combination of all three nutrients helps to improve your immune system.
3. Improve Sleep Quality
Zinc and magnesium help improve sleep quality. This should catch the attention of many due to the fact that so many people in America have issues falling asleep and staying asleep.
As per a study, the consumption of zinc, magnesium, and melatonin together helps people to sleep faster and improve their quality of sleep.
4. Elevate Mood
Vitamin B6 and magnesium are known to elevate the mood. As per a study, taking 450 mg of magnesium regularly helps to reduce the symptoms of depression as effectively as many anti-depressants (that said, do not go off medication and switch to ZMA supplements without speaking with your doctor).
Another study shows a link between vitamin B6 and low blood levels and how it can bring upon depression. However, consumption of vitamin B6 (alone) doesn’t appear to treat depression.
Potential Side Effects from ZMA Supplements
No side effects of ZMA have been reported as of now. It is completely safe if taken in mild-moderate doses. However, if consumed in higher doses, you may witness the following side effects:
- Zinc: Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dizziness, low immunity, etc.
- Magnesium: Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, etc.
- Vitamin B6: Pain or numbness in hands and feet.
In order to avoid these side effects, make sure that you don’t exceed the recommended dosage.
ZMA supplements are available in both capsules and powder form. However, most people prefer the capsules and take them right before going to bed.
The recommended dosage for nutrients in ZMA is as follows:
- Zinc: 30 mg (270% of RDI)
- Magnesium: 450 mg (110% of RDI)
- Vitamin B6: 10-11 mg (650% of RDI)
This is equal to three capsules of ZMA or three scoops of ZMA powder.
Possible Drug Interactions
Further, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking any supplements without consulting your healthcare provider.
Do You Really Need ZMA Supplements?
Now, you might be wondering why take ZMA supplements when you can take zinc and magnesium supplements separately?
In general, we can get all three minerals from different food sources. ZMA supplements are mostly for people who train rigorously. It is because, during exercise, the body loses a lot of key vitamins and minerals due to sweating. This can affect the functioning of the body, and that’s where ZMA supplements can help to replenish what was lost during training.
Also, if you have a deficiency in any of these minerals, consuming ZMA supplements can prove to be extremely advantageous.