ZMA (or Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate) supplements are among the newer bodybuilding supplement products on the market today. They are a combination of zinc, magnesium and the vitamin B6, and they promise a variety of physical fitness-related health benefits. Most notably, ZMA supplements claim to increase the strength levels of those who use them either solely or as part of a bodybuilding supplement stack. It is a medically documented fact that zinc aids in the production of testosterone, and that during strenuous exercise, the bodies zinc supplies can be critically depleted. When you couple that information with the fact that roughly 30% of American’s don’t get enough zinc, it is easy to see why bodybuilders are incorporating ZMA supplements into their stacks at an ever increasing rate.
Because ZMA is a relatively new supplement, the jury is still out with regard to the long-term effectiveness of ZMA supplements; the fact is that they are a great way to stack up on nutrients that you are probably deficient in anyway. Meaning: they can’t generally do you any harm as long as you monitor dosing and do not overdo it in conjunction with other supplements. When you are utilizing ZMA supplements, it is important that you utilize only those that contain Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate rather than sulfate or citrate.
It is recommended that ZMA be taken before bed and on an empty stomach. Generally, the instructions will advise that you take the supplement at least 2 hours after the last meal of the day and 30 minutes prior to any additional supplement that may be part of your stack. Also, it should be noted that ZMA should never be taken in conjunction with calcium (whether in the form of food or other supplements) as calcium inhibits the absorption of ZMA.