By Dave Hawke
Original Article: Muscle & Body
June 1, 2014
I’m a 44-year-old former powerlifter who is now bodybuilding. I was told that ZMA is a great supplement to improve muscle growth. Have you taken ZMA before? What is it?
A: Yes, I can attest personally that ZMA (a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6) is an extremely effective anabolic booster that helps increase testosterone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH) levels while reducing cortisol levels. Taken before bedtime, ZMA helps you sleep more soundly, while your body releases GH and other anabolic hormones. ZMA also helps to replenish important micronutrients in your system, so you canrecover from workouts more quickly and completely.
ZMA is formulated to be highly bioavailable and has been proven to be clinically effective. Researchers at Western Washington University did a study on ZMA with football players. Over the course of two months of intensive training (including resistance exercise), those taking ZMA increased their free testosterone levels by 33.5%, whereas it dropped in the placebo group. The players taking ZMA also maintained higher IGF-1 levels and had twice the rate of improvement in strength.
While it is a proprietary formula, ZMA is available from many top manufacturers. One high-quality example is Cellucor COR-Performance ZMA, which is formulated with zinc mono-L-methionine sulfate, zinc/magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. For a strength-training athlete of any age, ZMA will help to improve training, energy and lean-mass gains and support greater recovery. Take it before bed on an empty stomach.