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ZMA Fuel

Original article: Muscular Development

I know what you're thinking - not another new sports performance supplement. Right?

By Bob Lefavi, PhD, CSCS, CHES

So, what makes ZMA FUEL different from all of the other sports performance products that were introduced with great expectations?

To begin with, ZMA FUEL has some very impressive science behind it, and many world class athletes and strength coaches are reporting tremendous benefits in the gym as well as on the athletic field. Is it worth a look? You bet it is, especially with the previous success of Creatine FUEL. Here's what you should know about ZMA FUEL, and what the researchers and developers of ZMA FUEL had to say when I investigated this new sports product.

What is ZMA?

ZMA is a scientifically designed, university laboratory tested anabolic mineral support formula. ZMA contains zinc monomethionine aspartate plus magnesium aspartate and vitamin B-6. ZMA is an all-natural product that has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.

What exactly is ZMA supposed to do for athletes?

ZMA is a uniquely synergistic and effective mineral formulation designed to significantly enhance muscle strength, endurance, healing and growth. Because ZMA is a very effective sleep aid, it is recommended to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Many athletes fail to realize how important it is to get a deep and restful sleep. According to John Gamble, strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins, "Players using ZMA are cramping much less and seem to be getting a more deep and restful sleep which enhances their recovery."

What is the science behind ZMA?

Lome Brilla, Ph.D., a sports performance researcher at Western Washington University, recently reported that ZMA significantly increased free testosterone levels and muscle strength in NCAA football players. These ZMA study results were presented by Dr. Brilla on June 2, 1999, at the 46th annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Seattle, Washington. The findings were recently published in the official ACSM journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Vol. 31, No. 5, May 1999.

According to Dr. Brilla, "A group of competitive NCAA football players who took ZMA nightly during an eight-week spring training program had 2.5 times greater muscle strength gains than a placebo group. Pre- and post-leg strength measurements were made using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer." The strength of the ZMA group increased by 11.6 percent compared to only a 4.6 percent increase in the placebo group.

"The muscle strength increases may have been mediated by the anabolic hormone increases in the ZMA group. The ZMA group had 30 percent increases in free and total testosterone levels compared to 10 percent decreases in the placebo group," Brilla explains. "The ZMA group also had a slight increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-l) levels compared to a 20 percent decrease in the placebo group. This study shows that anabolic hormone and muscle strength increases can be induced in already strength-trained athletes by using a novel zinc-magnesium preparation," Brilla added.

Dr. Bob Lefavi, Certified. Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Health Education Specialist, is a professor in the School of Health Professions, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Ga.