There are a million different supplements you can buy that will claim will help you get more gains or help you lose fat. Most of the claims are pulled straight from someone’s rear end but the one supplement that lives up to the hype is ZMA. I’ve never gotten such good sleep and better performance in the gym with a single supplement.
Sleep is such a crucial aspect of muscle growth, and without quality sleep, you could be losing out on gains. Think about it: sleep is the time for your body to recover and actually grow. And if you have crappy sleep, what do you think that does to the recovery aspect? You’re missing out on muscle growth. In the article, I’ll speak about the benefits of ZMA and why you should add it to your supplement regime.
Much Ado about ZMA
ZMA is an organic mineral supplement that comprises zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. In ZMA supplements, zinc supplementation occurs in form of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium occurs in form of magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6 in form of pyridoxine hydrochloride.
The traditional formula consists of 30 mg zinc monomethionine and aspartate, 450 mg of magnesium aspartate and 10.5 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride. However, some manufacturers might choose to alter the composition of the aforementioned nutrients by adding some other ingredients. All components of the blend are essential in biological processes, numerous studies have proven that a vast majority of Americans have enough stores of zinc and B6 but about half of the population do not meet the daily recommended intakes of magnesium.
Zinc belongs to the family of trace elements, it is very important for the maintenance of the immune system. It is responsible for the stimulation of about 100 enzymes in the human body. Zinc is a component of the structure of proteins and cell membrane, little wonder it is a well-known testosterone booster. Often, exercise aficionados lose this essential mineral through sweating when they engage in vigorous fitness routines.
Without zinc, T lymphocytes in the body cannot be activated. T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, are needed to control and regulate immune responses. They also fight cancerous cells. This mineral also plays a significant role in regulating communication between neurons. In addition, it has been proven that zinc helps in the prevention of cellular damage in the eye (retina), thereby delaying the onset of many eye diseases. In ZMA supplements, zinc is attached to methionine, an amino acid.
This compound comprises mineral zinc and methionine, an amino acid. Manufacturers of supplements claim that this form of zinc has a high rate of absorption because methionine is the most readily absorbed and retained amino acid in the body. Methionine is also a good antioxidant. This supplement is the most preferred way of delivering the mineral to the body.
Magnesium is a mineral that naturally occurs in the sea, the earth, animals, and humans. This nutrient plays a crucial role in the body. More than half of the magnesium in the body is deposited in bones while the remaining quantities are spread out in the muscles, tissues, and bodily fluids like blood. It plays an important role in the control of blood pressure, it helps to keep the bones healthy and strong and also keep the rhythm of the heart steady.
Furthermore, magnesium serves as an “energy creator.” It helps in the conversion of food into energy, it helps in the production of protein cells from amino acids and it helps to contract and relax muscles.
Studies have shown that magnesium boosts your performance during exercise, it does this by moving blood sugar into the muscles and getting rid of lactic acid which has accumulated.
Magnesium aspartate is one of the most easily absorbed forms of magnesium in the body. It is a chelated form of magnesium salt and aspartic acid. It is more bioavailability than its oxide, hydroxide, carbonate, and sulphate counterparts.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin which is a component of a ZMA supplement. It is a naturally occurring vitamin in many food sources. It performs a lot of functions in the body, especially in protein metabolism. It is also actively involved in the formation of neurotransmitters in the body, glycogenolysis, immune function, and gluconeogenesis.
In ZMA supplements, vitamin B6 exists in the form of Pyridoxine hydrochloride. It’s a 4-methanol form which is easily converted to a coenzyme for amino acid synthesis.
What Are the Benefits of ZMA Supplements?
Studies have proved that ZMA dietary supplements play an important role in anabolism. It has been praised by bodybuilders for being a muscle builder. In addition, it is also known for increasing strength, facilitating restful sleep and boosting the function of the immune system.
Enhancement of Athletic Performance
Athletes who were given ZMA supplements over a period of time observed that they had more strength to perform activities and it could contribute to muscle growth.
If you’re looking for an enhancement of your performance before the gym, check out Why I Put Salt in My Preworkout and Why You Should Too. ZMA will help you when you’re away from the gym, preworkout will help you when you’re in the gym.
Boosting Levels of Testosterone
Testosterone is one of the major muscle-building hormones in adult males. A study conducted among 27 fit football players showed that ZMA supplementation maintained their testosterone levels. Though this supplement is not really a testosterone booster, it has helped to balance high levels of testosterone—especially during intense workouts. The mineral zinc in the supplement is the chief ingredient responsible for the action. Most of the over-the-counter “testosterone booster” supplements are full of zinc.
Improvement of Sleep
Magnesium has been known to play a crucial role in improving sleep quality while vitamin B6 aids the absorption of magnesium in the body. ZMA supplementation will support a restful sleep which will help you function very well no matter how stressful everything becomes. Remember: quality sleep = quality gains. After an intense workout, you probably annihilated your body and need rest. Looking for an intense exercise to get kill your next workout and get huge forearms? Read our Guide to Getting Big Forearms and I guarantee you’ll sleep like a baby after!
Prevention of Catabolism
ZMA supplements help to dull the effect of catabolic hormones like cortisol, thanks to magnesium and zinc, which help to maintain a healthy level of cortisol.
Boosting Immune Functions
Supplementation with ZMA has effects on immune function. Zinc plays a critical role in various aspects of the immune system. It strengthens the immune system and acts as a very strong antioxidant. The magic mineral helps in the healing of wounds and supports growth. When you exercise, you are actually stressing your central nervous system. If you overtrain, this can weaken your body enough that you get sick and can’t even go to the gym.
Alleviation of Stress
The potent trio (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6) play a very important role in stress management. Vitamin B6, which occurs as pyridoxine in ZMA supplements, is used in the synthesis of two primary stress hormones; epinephrine and norepinephrine. It is also very important for the production of the euphoric neurotransmitters; dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Serotonin is the hormone for happiness and dopamine helps you stay focused while GABA kicks your brain into a phase of tranquillity. Furthermore, magnesium helps to alleviate stress in individuals involved in intense workouts little wonder it is called “nature’s valium.”
Reduction of Fatigue Caused by Exercise
Magnesium and vitamin B6 has been linked to helping reduce fatigue. Magnesium, the super macro-nutrient, helps in the maintenance of electrolyte balance in the body and the muscle function. Fatigue is what is going to stop you dead in the tracks if you’re not lifting correctly. That’s why sleep is so important. Read the Reason Why You’re Not Growingif it doesn’t click for you.
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The body does not store zinc hence the reason why it should be sourced as part of a good diet. ZMA contains triple the number of recommended daily intake of zinc. ZMA contains the required daily requirement of magnesium for adults. However, before trying out any brand of this supplement, it is recommended that you speak to a health practitioner to guide you on how to go about supplementation.