Nutrition Made Simple


July 31 2021



Zinc magnesium aspartate popularly known as ZMA is a combination of three main components which are zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. It is a widely used supplement mainly by bodybuilders, athletes and fitness professionals. Its efficacy lies in the fact that it boosts muscle growth and strength, improves endurance, recovery, and provides better sleep quality.

Composition of ZMA:

ZMA consists of the following components -

  • Zinc monomethionine - 30 mg
  • Magnesium aspartate - 450 mg
  • Pyridoxine ( vitamin B6) - 10 to 11 mg

Importance of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6

Zinc - This is a trace mineral which is essential for the functioning of more than 300 enzymes in our body which are necessary for sustaining various biochemical functions such as metabolism, digestion, immune response etc.

MagnesiumThis mineral is known to supplement a vast number of chemical reactions in the body which include muscle and nerve functioning as well as the formation of energy.

Vitamin B6 -  B6 is a water-soluble vitamin which is required for nutrient metabolism and the generation of neurotransmitters.

The presence of these components in the supplements of ZMA is known to increase testosterone levels, promote exercise recovery, enhance sleep quality and help in building muscle strength. Other health benefits due to the consumption of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 are better immunity, controlled blood sugar levels and mood control. These are especially beneficial if there is a deficiency of one or more of these nutrients.

Uses of ZMA

  • ZMA improves athletic performance 

ZMA supplements are thought to amplify athletic performance and help in building muscle. In those having a deficiency of zinc or magnesium, ZMA is provenly more effective. The deficiency of zinc or magnesium also may be a contributing factor in reducing the production of testosterone in the body which in turn affects muscle mass. It can also lead to decreased production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF -1) which in turn affects cell growth and recovery.

Many athletes have found to be deficient in zinc and magnesium levels in the body which can further compromise their performance levels. This deficiency is thought to be the result of the athletes following strict diets or due to the loss of magnesium and zinc in the form of sweat and urine. A few studies have shown that the daily intake of ZMA supplements significantly increases the muscle strength, functional power, testosterone and IGF - 1 level in the body.

  • ZMA may boost immunity

The individual components of ZMA contribute to several benefits and lead to the overall well-being of the individual. Zinc is a major contributor to the development and functioning of immune cells. Using Alvizia ZMA supplements may also reduce the risk of contracting infections and also aids in wound healing.

Magnesium deficiency is a sign of chronic inflammation which is an indicator of ageing and chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease.Incorporating magnesium daily in our diet may reduce the formation of inflammatory markers like the C - reactive protein ( CRP) and interleukin 6 ( IL - 6).

Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with poor immunity. Vitamin B6 is essential for the immune system for the production of bacteria-fighting white blood cells. It boosts the ability of the white blood cells to combat infection and inflammation.

  • ZMA and blood sugar control 

Zinc and magnesium may play an important role in controlling the blood sugar levels in diabetes. Zinc supplements are known to reduce fasting blood sugar levels, haemoglobin ( HbA1c) and postprandial blood sugar levels. Zinc supplements have proven their efficacy by reducing the HbA1c levels which is a potent marker used to study the long term blood sugar levels in chronic diabetic patients.

Magnesium plays a contributory role in diabetics by enhancing the body’s ability to utilise insulin which is a hormone that releases sugar from the blood into the cells. It also helps in delaying the onset of diabetes in those who are at the risk of developing diabetes.

  • ZMA may help to improve sleep

Research shows that magnesium helps in activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for making our body feel relaxed and calm thus improving the sleep quality. This is especially helpful in insomnia where it helps in inducing sleep faster.

  • ZMA may elevate our mood

The presence of zinc and vitamin B6 in ZMA play a major role in elevating the mood thereby reducing the risk of depression. 

  • ZMA helps in weight loss

ZMA supplements are a significant factor in weight loss regimen. It is believed that zinc contributes to the process of weight loss by suppressing appetite. Obese people are more prone to have lower zinc levels in the body. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are scientifically proven to reduce bloating and water retention in women found to be suffering from premenstrual syndrome ( PMS). These supplements should be adequately compensated with regular exercise and intake of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet to ensure long term weight loss.

Side effects of ZMA

No major side effects have been reported related to the use of ZMA supplements. Some of the adverse effects of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 when ingested more than the recommended dosage include:

Zinc - loss of appetite, nutrient deficiency, nausea, vomiting, copper deficiency, dizziness, diarrhoea, compromised immune response, stomach cramps, headaches.

Magnesium - stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting.

Vitamin B6 - pain and numbness in the feet or hands, damage to the nerves.

Both zinc and magnesium intake should be avoided in combination with antibiotics, diuretics and antihypertensives as their interaction may cause a plethora of further side effects. They should also be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding women to be on the safer side.

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: Joint-Support, ZMA


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