What is ZMA?

April 14, 2012

This is a guest post by Sally.

zma, which stands for Zinc monomethionine asparte and Magnesium Asparte is a health supplement which is most commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders as it is considered to improve the strength of the muscles and overall body strength. The ZMA supplement, the trademark of which is owned by SNAC System Inc., was originally created by the founder of the BALCO Laboratories, Victor Conte and it is formulated from two different minerals – pyridoxine, otherwise known as vitamin B6 and magnesium and zinc.


The effects of the ZMA supplement have been the subject of a number of trials and studies, with one such study in 1998 using NCAA footballers as the test subject. In this study, the football players were told to stop taking any of the other nutritional supplements that would generally use while the trial was taking place, in order to avoid any confusion regarding the source of any changes. Those players who then took ZMA tablets stated that they experienced an overall increase in their muscle strength, although the results of the trial have been disputed as the funding for it came from SNAC Systems. Other trials into the effects of zma, conducted first by a rival supplement producer and then by scientists in Germany, have proven to be inconclusive.

While evidence as to the muscle and upper body strengthening effects of ZMA as a supplement are a source of continued debate, there is little doubt that the two minerals – zinc and magnesium and vitamin B6 – are both healthy and thus the overall effect of taking them is likely to be beneficial. This overall health effect could be accomplished by taking these minerals in other forms, but at present the majority of people in the UK do not get adequate supplies of zinc and magnesium in their everyday diet, making ZMA a useful way of increasing their intake of this mineral to the recommended level.

What vitamins or supplements do you suggest?

photo by: Neeta Lind

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