ZMA: Zinc and Magnesium | The Benefits of ZMA
By Myprotein Writer Heather Grimes
What is ZMA?
ZMA is a supplement made up of two minerals – zinc and magnesium – and vitamin B6. It has many beneficial factors, including better muscle recovery, increased strength and size, better sleep and some even report it as a weight loss aid to boot.
All of this makes it sound like a wonder drug – and it might be just that – but let’s take a look at why it may be able to offer you all of these advantages.
The Importance of Zinc in the Body
The body has no special storage system for zinc, yet needs this mineral for a number of essential functions. Zinc plays a role in would healing, immune function, creating new cells, processing carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and also supports normal growth development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.
So it’s fair to say that zinc plays a pretty essential role in our daily lives but where do we normally get it from?
Sources of Zinc
A varied diet that includes meat, shellfish, dairy, cereals, and bread will usually provide the amount of zinc we need but for athletes and bodybuilders having a little extra can be vital. As it stimulates enzymes in the body, zinc has been shown to be critical for protein synthesis, which is what leads to muscle recovery and growth.
The Importance of Magnesium in the Body
The body uses magnesium for the proper growth and function of the bones, nerves and muscles. In fact, there are more than 300 chemical reactions that happen in the body to keep it working properly, all of which require magnesium. All in all, this is another mineral that is essential to keep us functioning properly.
Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and dairy. So there’s plenty of sources where we can take on enough of this essential mineral. However, combined with zinc, magnesium can prove to be highly beneficial for sports men and women in order to maintain healthy systems within the body, as well as strong bones and muscles.
Vitamin B6 and its Role in the Body
Vitamin B6 also has several key functions, including allowing the body to use and store the energy from the protein and carbohydrates that we eat. It also helps to form haemoglobin, which is vital for carrying oxygen around the body.
Much like zinc and magnesium, vitamin B6 does a lot of the behind the scenes work in the body, helping to maintain the function of the cardiovascular, digestive, immune, muscular, and nervous systems. Interestingly, it also aids the production of serotonin and norepinephrine hormones, which affect mood, and melatonin, which regulates your internal clock. Vitamin B6 also helps the body to efficiently absorb zinc and magnesium, which is why the combination of these three is a match made in heaven.
ZMA For Sleep and Recovery
ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B6 that is specifically designed to aid sleep efficiency. A better night’s sleep has numerous beneficial factors for everyone, not getting enough can slow down the metabolism making it harder to lose weight and also makes us more vulnerable to infections.
Some studies have shown that increasing the amount of sleep we have can improve athletic performance. Essentially, more quality sleep enables the body to recuperate and recover by allowing the muscles to properly relax.
ZMA for Increased Strength and Size
The properties in zinc that lead to protein synthesis are what help to increase muscle strength and size. Coupled with magnesium studies have suggested that the two minerals work together to boost this process.
Due to the all natural ingredients in ZMA – simply zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 – it is thought to be one of the safest supplements that can significantly increase muscle mass, strength and power.
Why Should I Take ZMA Supplements?
Although zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 can all be found easily in a varied diet, those who regularly train will lose more vitamins and minerals through perspiration and prolonged muscle contraction. Those draining weightlifting workouts that include drop sets, super sets and rest pause techniques are fantastic training methods because they work you hard but think about the effect that can have on the function of your body.
The central and immune systems can take a big hit from tough workouts so it is important to refuel in these areas in the same way you do with your protein intake for muscle recovery. This is why taking supplements can be hugely effective for building a lean and muscular physique.
A Take Home Message
Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 are all powerful on their own, but packaged together in specific quantities they can really pack a punch. Myprotein has created ZMA capsules that are designed to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime to help aid a deep and efficient sleep that will aid muscle recovery through all natural ingredients.