ZMA

(Known as Zinc and Magnesium, ZMA)

tickFor men
tickMineral
tickMuscle Builder
tickBoosts testosterone
tickStimulates libido
tickVitamin
tickSupports the immune system
tickAids health
tickStrength enhancer
tickHormone control
How does it work?
ZMA is a blend of Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B6. Research shows that this blend of nutrients will raise low testosterone levels, increase strength, and accelerate gains in muscle size. One university study shows a 33.5% rise in testosterone following ZMA supplementation [1]. Gains in muscle strength were also significantly greater in subjects using using ZMA.
Who is it used for?
ZMA can be used by all athletes wanting to gain lean muscle size and strength, including bodybuilders, rugby players, sprinters and other strength athletes. ZMA is also used widely by endurance athletes, such as runners, cyclists and triathletes, as it helps to prevent the drop in testosterone levels linked with high volumes of training.
How does it work?
The minerals zinc and magnesium have a number of important functions in the body. Zinc has been strongly linked to the production of testosterone, a hormone that plays a vital role in regulating muscle growth. In addition to its effect on testosterone, zinc has also been shown to increase levels of growth hormone and IGF-1. Both are essential for increasing muscle size [3,9]. Magnesium is also an essential mineral, involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body (including the oxidation or ′burning' of fat) [8].

Unfortunately, many of us don't get enough of these minerals in our diets. According to a recent survey, more than 3 out of 5 people consume less than the RDA for magnesium and zinc [8]. Clinical trials show that animals fed low zinc diets exhibit little muscle growth [8]. If you exercise, the problem gets even worse. Just one training session can increase magnesium losses by 21% [4]. Studies also show a significant loss of magnesium in sweat [8]. Zinc levels drop the longer you spend in the gym [6].

These deficiencies have led researchers to study mineral supplementation in some depth, with some extremely promising results. Magnesium increased muscular performance far more quickly than in those taking a 'dummy' supplement [2]. Similar findings are reported for zinc. After just 14 days of supplementation, subjects showed an impressive increase in muscular strength and endurance [7]. Even in men just moderately deficient in zinc, 30 milligrams daily was enough to double testosterone levels in only six months [8].

Results have been even more impressive when a zinc and magnesium combination has been used. In one study, conducted at Western Washington University, two groups of American Footballers took part in an 8-week training programme [1]. One group was given ZMA, while the second group used a 'dummy supplement. None of the footballers knew which was which. ZMA supplementation led to a 33.5% increase in testosterone. In contrast, testosterone levels actually dropped in the control group.

IGF-1 (a powerful hormone that plays a vital role in muscle growth) is normally lowered in response to regular exercise. Yet, despite the intensive training programme, ZMA users experienced a 3.6% increase in IGF-1 levels. In non-ZMA users, IGF-1 levels dropped by a 21.5%. These powerful effects on hormone levels also had an impressive effect on muscle strength - ZMA users demonstrated gains in strength that were 252% larger than the control group.
How do I use it?
For best results, take 1 capsule on an empty stomach 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Approximately 20 to 30 milligrams of zinc and 400-500 milligrams of magnesium, taken at night, seems necessary to optimise the beneficial effects.
What results can I expect?
Expect a rapid increase muscle growth, faster gains in strength, greater feelings of aggression and drive, and an overall improvement in well-being. Most users report a difference after 10-14 days of regular use.
What can it be combined with?
ZMA works well with other supplements designed to increase testosterone levels, such as tribulus terrestris. Because testosterone increases protein synthesis (muscle growth), ZMA will increase your need for protein. Many athletes combine ZMA with whey protein during the mass-building phase of their training programmes.

1. Brilla, L.R., & Conte, V. (1999). A novel zinc and magnesium formulation (ZMA) increases anabolic hormones and strength in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, 31, 483
2. Brilla, L.R., & Haley, T.F. (1992). Effect of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 11, 326-329
3. Collipp, P.J., Castro-Magana, M., Petrovic, M., Thomas, J., Cheruvanky, T., Chen, S.Y., & Sussman, H, (1982). Zinc deficiency: Improvement in growth and growth hormone levels with oral zinc therapy. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 26, 287-290
4. Deuster, P.A., Dolev, E., Kyle, S.B., Anderson, R.A., & Schoonmaker, E.B. (1987). Magnesium homeostasis during high-intensity anaerobic exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 62, 545-550
5. Disch G, Classen HG, Haubold W, Spatling L. (1994). Interactions between magnesium and iron. In vitro studies. Arzneimittelforschung, 44, 647-50
6. Dressendorfer, R.A., Sockolov, R. (1980). Hypozincemia in runners. Physician and Sportsmedicine, 8, 97-100
7. Krotkiewski, M., Gudmundsson, M., Backstrom, P., & Mandroukas, K. (1982). Zinc and muscle strength and endurance. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 116, 309-311
8. Lukaski, H.C. (2000). Magnesium, zinc, and chromium nutriture and physical activity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 585S-593S
9. Ninh, N.X., Thissen, J.P., Collette, L., Gerard, G., Khoi, H.H., & Ketelslegers, J.M. (1996). Zinc supplementation increases growth and circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in growth-retarded Vietnamese children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63, 514-519
10. Wood, R.J., & Zheng, J.J. (1997). High dietary calcium intakes reduce zinc absorption and balance in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65, 1803-1809

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