ZMA is a sport nutrition supplement with zinc, magnesium aspartate along with vitamin B6. The formulation of the above ingredients increases muscle strength, accelerates recovery rate and increases anabolism, due to positive effect on anabolic hormones.
Zinc is an essential trace element which is involved in many biochemical processes. It is necessary for the proper function of several enzymes. Enzymes that contain zinc are involved in macronutrients’ metabolism (carbohydrates, protein and fat) and cell proliferation. Additionally, many zinc-enzymes play an essential role in metabolism during exercise and counteract the oxidative effects of free radicals (superoxide dismutase enzyme). Zinc deficiency is quite frequent in athletes and has a negative effect on immune system, significantly reduces athletic performance and affects the secretion and activity of body androgens (testosterone).
Magnesium is a trace element which is found in abundance in body and is necessary for the proper cell function. Magnesium acts as a cofactor in many metabolic processes including glycolysis and fat and protein metabolism. Furthermore, magnesium is important for maintaining stability and integrity of cell membrane and neuromuscular, cardiovascular and immune function, due to its effect on hormones’ activity. Studies in athletes have revealed that magnesium deficiency adversely affect body’s response to exercise stress and muscle mass strength.
Evidence support that athletes have often low serum levels of zinc and magnesium mainly due to increased losses through perspiration and poor dietary intake. Supplementation of zinc and magnesium improves athletic performance on resistance training athletes. ZMA supplementation increases anabolism, reduces catabolism, enhances immune function and body’s adaptation to training. As zinc deficiency affects secretion and activity of anabolic hormones (like IGF-1, Insulin like Growth Factor and testosterone), some studies have shown that ZMA supplementation increases endogenous testosterone production and improves muscle strength.