If you want better recovery, more strength, more muscle mass, less fat and with all that better sleep, then read this text in which we explored all the advantages and disadvantages of this popular supplement.
ZMA> is a combination of zinc monomethionine / asparate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. It is supported by clinical research, and is considered an effective supplement for accelerating muscle repair, increasing muscle strength and mass, and even helping to lose fat. In addition to all these benefits, ZMA is a supplement that many people avoid, for the simple reason that it is a mineral-based supplement and works less promising than supplements such as creatine and pre-workout. For this reason, in this text we will try to convince you that ZMA should take an equal place with all other supplements.
At the outset, it is important to emphasize that ZMA is not a testosterone booster, as many think. The fact is that ZMA helps maintain high testosterone levels during periods of strenuous exercise, however its function is not to improve secretion and testosterone levels, but simply put ZMA makes testosterone boosters much more effective. / p>
MINERALS ARE IMPORTANTZinc is an essential mineral that has antioxidant properties that stimulate the activity of various enzymes in the body, which are crucial for many biochemical reactions. One of them is protein synthesis, which is a key process that leads to recovery and muscle growth.
Magnesium is also an essential mineral that plays an important role in many reactions in the body. It is very important for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, metabolism and bone health. Together, zinc and magnesium offer a wide range of benefits, both in terms of aesthetic improvement and performance improvement.
Research has shown that the use of ZMA has significant anabolic effects. Thus, the study was conducted at Western Washington University, in which American football players who played in the NCAA League took ZMA or placebo every night for a period of 8 weeks, during the spring preparations. After completing the study, the results showed that players taking ZMA had an increase in testosterone levels of 30%, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) by about 5%. On the other hand, players taking placebo had a drop in testosterone levels of about 10% and IGF-1 by over 20%.
In addition to improving anabolic hormone levels, players taking ZMA also gained significantly more in strength, energy, and sleep quality than players taking placebo (better quality sleep also contributes to better recovery. after strenuous training). All these benefits appeared only after taking ZMA, and despite the fact that before using ZMA, the diet of these players already ensured the consumption of zinc above the recommended daily dose.
There are many other studies that have also found that zinc and magnesium have potent anabolic properties. Thus, a study was conducted in 2007 at Selcuk University in Turkey, where it was found that four weeks of zinc supplementation increased testosterone levels in men. The same researchers found similar results in an even earlier study conducted on professional wrestlers. Also, researchers working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have reported that zinc deficiency negatively affects muscle endurance, which means that maintaining optimal zinc levels is key to the ability to perform a certain number of repetitions with a certain weight.
In addition to all the above, research shows that zinc and magnesium reduce the level of cortisol, a catabolic hormone.German researchers found that triathletes who took magnesium for four weeks had healthy cortisol levels at rest and after the triathlon, unlike the placebo group
ZMA can also increase growth hormone levels, albeit indirectly. ZMA improves sleep quality, primarily thanks to magnesium which has the ability to normalize and prolong the third and fourth phases of slow-wave sleep. All of this is crucial because deeper sleep helps raise growth hormone levels, which peak at night.
ZMA AND METABOLISMZinc is also important for maintaining the production of thyroid hormones. This is important for maintaining your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn each day) and burning fat. Zinc deficiency can limit the production of thyroid hormones, which slows down the metabolism, which eventually leads to harder and slower fat burning. Research has confirmed that if your diet does not contain enough zinc, the secretion of thyroid hormones decreases and your metabolism becomes slower.
A study conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that people who were on a low-zinc diet had a much slower metabolism. When the same people increased their zinc intake to 25mg a day for the next twenty days, their metabolism accelerated and became faster than it was before the zinc-depleted diet. Selcuk University has already conducted a study that showed that four weeks of zinc supplementation affected the growth of thyroid hormone levels in both wrestlers and non-wrestlers.
Zinc has been shown to be important not only for thyroid function, but also for maintaining leptin levels. This hormone is also important for the speed of metabolism, ie it speeds up your metabolism and at the same time reduces hunger. Zinc deficiency significantly affects decreased leptin levels.
It is already well known that zinc plays a key role when it comes to immunity, by affecting many aspects of the immune system. Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic suggests that supplemental zinc supplementation supports a strong immune system.
Zinc also acts as a strong antioxidant. This mineral activates enzymes that can help overall health and the immune system. In addition, zinc's powerful antioxidant properties can boost not only your health, but also your recovery after a workout.
YES, YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH
Research has shown that most athletes are deficient in both zinc and magnesium. This is probably due to several factors such as: loss of zinc through sweating during training, increased consumption by the body due to recovery and protein synthesis after training and increased loss of zinc through urine.
One of the reasons why you don't have enough zinc and magnesium may be your diet. Refined sugars, as well as white flour and white flour products, can lower blood zinc and magnesium levels. Calcium-rich foods, such as milk and dairy products, prevent the absorption of zinc and magnesium in the small intestine. Copper, like other foods rich in phytates (phosphorus compounds found in whole grain breads, cereals, legumes) also interferes with zinc absorption in the small intestine. Alcohol is another cause, as it also affects the reduced absorption of zinc and magnesium, and also affects their additional loss through urine.
Given all the above and the high probability that you do not consume enough zinc and magnesium through your diet, and that what you absorb, you lose relatively quickly, ZMA should definitely take its place in your supplementation.
A FEW SIMPLE TIPS FOR THE END
- Although taking plain zinc and magnesium together can provide you with the amount you need, we do not recommend it and advise you to take ZMA anyway. The form of zinc and magnesium used in ZMA is a chelate known as monomethionine / asparate and magnesium aspartate. This form helps reduce disturbances in the absorption of both minerals. In addition, this form of ZMA provides you with the right dose of zinc and magnesium aspartate, and the right dose of vitamin B6, which promotes the absorption and utilization of magnesium in the body.
- It has been found that specific doses produce a positive effect on hormone levels and strength in athletes. Men should use ZMA which will provide them with 30mg of zinc, 450mg of magnesium and 10-11mg of vitamin B6. Women should take about 20mg of zinc, 300mg of magnesium and 6-7mg of vitamin B6. Since the full dose is usually three tablets, women will satisfy their intake by consuming two.
- Be careful with dosing, taking over 50mg of zinc to absorb can lead to negative effects on the immune system, metabolism, recovery and muscle growth. It can also negatively affect the absorption of copper, or simply put, it will produce all the effects that are the opposite of what it was originally intended to do.
- Also be careful with magnesium dosing, as taking over 450mg can affect the optimal sleep you need.
- One of the most important aspects of taking ZMA is the time of taking it. ZMA is best taken one hour before bed and 1-2 hours after meals. This will not only affect absorption and utilization, as confirmed by clinical trials, but will also greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
- It is extremely important that you do not take ZMA with food, especially calcium-rich foods such as dairy products. Both zinc and magnesium are less well absorbed when taken with food, also another reason is that zinc impairs the absorption of amino acids, which we definitely want to avoid.