What is ZMA?
ZMA, or zinc magnesium aspartate is a supplement that was created by Victor Conte. It is used primarily by athletes, gymnasts and bodybuilders. It contains a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These compounds are known to be fundamental for homeostasis and for fitness.
It is claimed that taking ZMA enhances muscle growth and strength, improves endurance, recovery and sleep quality.
ZMA is designed to ensure that each dose will provide well above the Reference Daily Intake. This should allow the body the maximum opportunity to absorb the substrates. A typical ZMA tablet contains:
- Zinc monomethionine: 30mg – 270% of the RDI
- Magnesium aspartate: 450mg – 110 % of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 10-11mg – 650% of the RDI
What is Zinc and How Does it Help the Body?
Zinc is a trace element that is vital for a healthy immune system. It is known that a lack of zinc can make an individual more susceptible to disease and illness. The main roles are gene expression, and immune function. It also helps with protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing and growth and development.
Zinc plays a vital role in the immune system. The human body requires zinc to activate T-cells. These are some of the most important white blood cells in the human body. They are needed to fight against pathogens.
Research in 2016 from the University of Missouri also suggests that zinc is vital in the synthesis of insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a growth hormone. If levels are increased, it will result in better muscle growth.
Therefore with these vital roles that zinc provides the body, you should see better workouts. And the enhanced level of IGF-1 will mean you can reach your training goals faster.
Zinc can be found in abundance in meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds and nuts. Therefore if your diet is lacking in these areas, taking ZMA will assure your body gets the necessary levels of zinc. You can then ensure your immune system is working properly and your body has the best ability to create IGF-1.
What is Magnesium and How Does it Help the Body?
Magnesium is known to be needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. The most important roles of magnesium are regulating calcium, relaxing skeletal muscles, energy production, regulating heart contractility and cleaning the bowels.
Research has been conducted into the effects of lowered magnesium levels in athletes. This concluded that heart rate and breathing rate increased in a standard training session in comparison to when the body had its Recommended Daily intake in magnesium. The researchers found that magnesium plays a vital role in the synthesis of ATP. This is because it assists the enzymes which create it (ATPases). As the athletes did not have the required amount of magnesium to cope with the body’s demand for more energy, heart rate and breathing rate had to increase to maintain energy levels.
Therefore with this specific role in producing ATP, the body’s main fuel source, it is vital that magnesium levels are at an optimal level. You can then ensure training can be maximised. Your body can also deal with the energy demand. This will result in an increase in endurance for stronger and harder workouts. This in turn will allow you to reach your goals faster!
Magnesium is commonly found in grains and nuts. So if you don’t get enough of these in your diet, ZMA is a great supplement to support you.
What is Vitamin B6 and How Does it Help the Body?
The B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play a vital role in cell metabolism. B vitamins work with enzymes that are involved in the cellular metabolism system. This system creates and releases energy which is vital for growth homeostasis across all systems of the body. Vitamin B6, known as Pyridoxine, has a significant role in macronutrient metabolism too, as well as the creation of red blood cells. Red blood cells transport the body’s oxygen and act as neurotransmitters. These are the body’s quickest way to communicate with other cells from the nervous system.
Vitamin B6 is known to have a vital role in the production of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the protein which gives red blood cells the ability to transport gases around the body. When you have a low haemoglobin count, it means that the body can’t carry as much oxygen to the working muscles of the body when training. It can therefore limit your ability to train harder as your body won’t be able to cope with the oxygen demand your body needs.
Vitamin B6 is found in pork, poultry fish eggs cereals and vegetables. They are thus widely available. However, if you are restricting any of this nutrition or you are aware that your haemoglobin count is low, ZMA contains a whopping 650% of Vitamin B6. So taking this supplement will give your body every opportunity to create the haemoglobin your body needs for a good workout!
ZMA is supplement which is popular throughout the fitness industry. This is because it contains a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These are three compounds known to be fundamental for homeostasis. It’s claimed that ZMA also enhances muscle growth and strength, improves endurance, recovery and sleep quality.