ZMA is a three letter word that serves as an abbreviation for a certain combination of healthy minerals. Z stands for zinc, M is for magnesium, and lastly, the letter A is for the mineral aspartate. Though not mentioned in the name, the ZMA also contains vitamin B6. As the mentioned vitamins and minerals are combined together to form ZMA, what will they be able to contribute for the body?
What is ZMA?
It has been customary that when more than one set of nutrients are combined together, they will either provide a more powerful effect or they can be distributed all over the body so they take effect in different body parts.
For the ZMA, the combination of the minerals zinc, magnesium, aspartate, and vitamin B6 is said to be made for another purpose other than supplying for of deficiency. However, before we get to the formulation’s main purpose, let’s get to know how important the minerals zinc, magnesium, aspartate, and vitamin B6 are and how a deficiency of these vitamins and minerals can affect the body.
Zinc is an element in the body that is usually found in forms of traces (or few and limited amounts). So far, the body gives importance to zinc since it contributes to the workings of the immune system. Or else, when a person does not have enough zinc, the deficiency will cause other health conditions such as being highly vulnerable to certain diseases and illnesses.
Specifically, the zinc in our bodies can aid in an estimated number of 100 enzymes as they work their way into each of their essential functions.
However, since it is a trace mineral, it is only required to have enough zinc in the body. When a person lacks zinc, there will be a deficiency that can result in a few consequences.
It is actually not that hard to achieve the required amount of zinc for the body. But there are also certain health conditions that can make it harder for other people. Most of the time, people with chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and liver disease are prone to zinc deficiency. This is because their condition causes the body’s failure in absorbing the mineral. No matter how much zinc-rich food the person eats, there is still a big possibility of being deficient.
In order to avoid getting zinc deficiency, everyone should eat foods that are rich in zinc or another option is to consume zinc supplements which are made for the sole purpose of supplying the body with the said mineral. In this case, you may try ZMA.
Have you ever thought of which essential minerals are of importance when it comes to bone growth and nourishment? Calcium is already a given, it is actually one of the most well-known minerals for the bone; but do you know that magnesium is also important for the bone structure?
Magnesium, or the element Mg, is another source of nutrients for the bones. In fact, people who have low magnesium levels in their bodies are prone to some bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. Also, magnesium is beneficial for lowering high blood pressure and in reducing the risk of heart diseases. It is frequently prescribed to relieve symptoms from diseases related to the heart and the blood vessels.
Other than the mentioned, magnesium is said to have more benefits. For example, it is also used as a treatment for some psychological disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, anxiety, mania, and depression. Then, it can heal a few pain issues like headache, leg cramps, premenstrual syndrome cramps, skin burns, and a chronic pain condition known as complex regional pain syndrome.
Another great thing about magnesium is its effect on weight loss. It is often consumed as supplements by most athletes so they can have the additional energy they need for their physical activities.
Magnesium can also be injected in the body when it serves as a treatment for health conditions and it is specifically given to those who have underlying issues that caused their magnesium deficiency. So far, magnesium is used for a lot of medical issues and that just proves how important it is for the body. ZMA, as it contains magnesium, may also be taken as a supplement in case of deficiency or if one just wants to get sufficient amounts of magnesium in their bodies.
Aspartate is not too similar to zinc and magnesium in such a way that functions in the body as an amino acid. The main purpose of amino acids in the body is that they serve as the foundation in the process of protein synthesis, thus they are very important.
When identified as an amino acid, aspartate can be named in a lot of ways. Some other names for aspartate are aspartic acid, L-aspartate, acide aspartique, magnesium potassium aspartate, and many others.
According to studies, the aspartate is mainly capable of providing body improvements related to athletic performance, strength, and muscles. However, there is still a lack of evidence proving the effectiveness of aspartate in these situations.
As one of the important B vitamins in the body, vitamin B6 is well known for its contribution in terms of promoting the proper development and functioning of the brain and it also aids in the health of body systems such as the nervous system and the immune system.
Same as other vitamins and minerals, people who do not meet the required daily intake of vitamin B6 is bound to get a deficiency. It is also possible that underlying health issues are responsible for vitamin B6 deficiency. Those that encounter lack of vitamin B6 are probable to experience symptoms such as anemia, depression, and weaker immune system.
Now that we know the components of ZMA, it’s time to discuss what’s the purpose of combining the different vitamins and minerals in order to produce the ZMA supplement.
Does ZMA Really Work
As said by the people behind the development of ZMA, they made ZMA supplements for an easier access to the vitamins and minerals that it contains. However, the main reason behind making ZMA is that they believe that the additional amount of the nutrients can finally be used to boost a person’s stamina while improving their muscle strength and recovery.
Unfortunately, nobody can prove that this is true for ZMA. There also a lot of studies that suggest people to avoid getting too much zinc and magnesium in their bodies since this can also lead to some conditions of nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. It is also not advised to consume more than enough amounts of vitamin B6 as there were a few studies saying that nerve damage may be possible when a person takes vitamin B6 supplements.
As a conclusion, ZMA is not necessarily an advisable supplement for improving physical performance and muscle buildup. Though there was a previous study stating that the supplement can increase men’s testosterone and growth hormone levels, there is no other study that proves its other supposed benefits.