ZMA supplementation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2012 at 5:13 PM

ZMA is a recovery supplement widely used by bodybuilders and other athletes who engage in very vigorous physical activity(Crossfit, P90X, Insanity). It's made up of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. Supposedly it helps improve sleep quality and aids in recovery. Has anyone here ever used ZMA?

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6 Answers


on October 03, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I have found it helpful for more restful sleep. It never helped me fall to sleep faster but certainly increased the quality of my sleep. Though, I had no real or hard evidence of this besides the way I felt. I also got some crazy, vivid dreams which I've heard can be a side effect.


on October 03, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I found it to be a very digestible form of magnesium. The extra zinc can't hurt, either. It did help me sleep and the dreams were pretty fantastic.

The only major drawback is cost, which is why I stopped taking it, but I may go back to it at some point.

I understand the testosterone benefits are greatly exaggerated, but that doesn't mean it's a bad supplement. Just remember it's more for sleep and recovery, and if you're hitting a wall hormonally, it probably isn't the fix you're looking for.


on October 02, 2012
at 06:56 PM

I started using it for recovery and sleep. Magnesium is known as having a calming effect and many people take either Magnesium Citrate/Natural Calm to go to bed. The Zinc is a known precursor to testosterone which aids in recovery. It is a low risk, high reward supplement I believe. I use the ZMA through NOW brands and have been happy.



on October 04, 2012
at 10:41 AM

Echoing others: been taking it for years and continue to do so, mainly due to its clear benefits in quality of sleep. A friend of mine is as religious as I am in taking it.

Note about ZMA: it's a patented compound, so anything labeled ZMA is the real deal. The main difference between ZMA and combining Zinc and Magnesium to get the same ratio and dosage is that most non-ZMA products have calcium in them, which hinders absorption of zinc or magnesium (forgot which one). ZMA doesn't, so you get the full benefit.



on October 04, 2012
at 09:51 AM

There are places to get cheaper versions of it... I get mine from puritan for example since you get better deals if you buy more than one bottle.

Only problem is that if I take the full dose, I tend to wake up from the intense dreams it tends to cause. They don't tend to be nightmares, but they feel like they are, where upon waking with a fast heart-rate, and reflecting back on the dream, I'd ask myself "why was that lame dream so intense?" I've read somewhere, possible here, that the vivid intense dreams are caused by the large B6 dose having an effect on neurons.

I find that instead of taking the 3 pills at a time before bed, that if I take only two in the morning and another dose of a zinc and a magnesium tablet, it's not so intense.

The stuff does indeed work - to the point of creating annoying erections, which of course, can be a non-problem if you plan properly with your S.O. :)



on October 04, 2012
at 02:29 AM

I've been taking ZMA for years, it's a staple in my workout and recovery program along with multivitamin and quality omega-3 supplementation. As other's have said it has a calming effect and helps recovery and aides sleep. There are many brands, most are identical, personally I buy primaforce because it is labeled, gluten and sugar free - you'd be surprised what companies will add to their products.

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