Sunday, February 26, 2012
Supplements Worth Buying: ZMA
Even though the verdict is still out on whether or not delivers on the whole "Test Booster, Brah!" marketing campaign the supplement companies are pushing; ZMA should be a part every athlete's (including ones without testicles) nutrition plan.
Zinc does some pretty awesome stuff in your body. The most impressive of which is how it helps regulate RNA and DNA metabolism. In other words, zinc helps to not only create new proteins but regulates exactly which new proteins to make. Some research has shown supplementing with zinc helps speed recovery from injuries. Also, zinc may have some serious anti-oxidant properties.
Magnesium is also important for the manipulation of RNA and DNA. Magnesium is one of the heaviest minerals we can ingest so our body uses it to fortify many important cells and cell structures. Also, magnesium is vital for the formation and health of ATP (in scientific terms, running out of ATP would put you up shit creek without a paddle).
One third of the humans on this planet have a zinc deficiency and half of all Americans have a magnesium deficiency. So, odds are, you will be able to benefit from a product that contains specifically these two minerals.
Like I mentioned before, ZMA is marketed as a natural testosterone booster. There is one study that confirms this claim and significant increases in testosterone and muscular strength were observed throughout an 8 week study done on a group of division I football players. Sounds good, right? This exact combination of zinc, magnesium, and b6 must be some secret x-factor some meatheaded-savant chemist developed and is now the legal magic bullet for all things related to strength and athleticism?!?!?!... or they got those results because the guy running the study also owns the lab where ZMA was originally developed... Oh. That sounds more realistic.
An interesting side effect of ZMA was noted in several studies:
Most subjects noticed increased sleep quality. No one is really too sure why this happens. I can speak from personal experience that I sleep like a baby when I consistently take my ZMA. Using some common sense and some basic metabolism, you could draw the conclusion that those subjects who experienced a deeper, higher quality sleep also had higher concentrations of growth hormone (GH releases in small, pulsitile rhythms when in deep sleep) after supplementation. No study has confirmed that, however.
You aren't going to take it and wake up like the Hulk the next day but ZMA may be a good tool to keep in your tool box. Hard training athletes should do everything they can to improve sleep quality to ensure adequate recovery between sessions and to do everything they can to not wake up and have a day like this:
It's good stuff. Go get Some.
Solum Per Exitum.