Recovery Equals Results
Research has confirmed that athletes are often deficient in both zinc and magnesium. And why is this important? First, because zinc is an essential mineral and antioxidant known to be critical for protein synthesis, the molecular mechanism of muscle growth. Then there’s magnesium, an essential mineral that’s important for cardiovascular, metabolic, and bone health. Research has reported discovered that supplementing with magnesium can significantly increase muscle strength; this may be due to its ability to maximize testosterone levels, as suggested in one study by Turkish scientists.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, histamine and hemoglobin. It’s also critical in allowing the muscles to use stored glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates) for fuel during workouts. Vitamin B6 is added to ZMA because it’s been shown to aid zinc and magnesium absorption by the body.
Research suggests that ZMA has significant anabolic benefits. One study performed at Western Washington University (Bellingham) had NCAA football players take ZMA or a placebo every night during an eight-week spring training program. The researchers reported that the athletes taking the ZMA supplement experienced more than a 30-percent increase in testosterone levels and about a 5-percent increase in levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Those taking a placebo had a 10-percent decrease in testosterone levels and a greater than 20-percent decrease in levels of IGF-1.
In addition to the improvements in their anabolic hormone levels, the ZMA-supplemented athletes made significantly greater gains in strength and power, and achieved better sleep quality, than the placebo group. Better sleep quality helps promote muscle recovery from tough workouts.