If you are serious about training, you will know the importance of the anabolic hormone testosterone. By increasing testosterone levels, you may be able to increase memory, concentration, libido and best of all, lean muscle mass. There are a number of natural ways to increase testosterone. These include eating a diet which is higher in fat, by sleeping 8 or so per night, by doing heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts, losing fat weight etc. When it comes to supplementation, there are a vast number of products on the shelf, but a lot of these are more hype than help. The ingredients which are used in these products are often not tested extensively on humans or they are tested on untrained individuals.


For those of us who have been pounding away in the gym for years and years, the supplements often yield a zero result in testosterone increase.


BENEFITS OF ZMA
  • Increased muscular endurance and strength (1).
  •  ZMA can help increase testosterone levels (2).
  •  Can help with osteoporosis, migraines and headaches, depression, high blood pressure and certain health risk factors (3).
  •  Improved level of relaxation when sleeping (4).

MORE ZMA STUDIES

Some studies have shown that ZMA can help with the below, however, there isn’t any significant evidence.

  •  Improved healing and injury recovery.
  •  Lowered water retention.
  •  Reductions in length and timing of muscle pulls and cramps.

SO WHAT DOES WORK?


ZMA

Ever heard of ZMA? This is an often forgotten supplement in most gym-goers supplement stack. ZMA supplements contain a blend of zinc and magnesium aspartate. Both of these minerals have an immense impact on the body’s ability to recover and grow from intense training.


ZINC

Zinc promotes tissue repair, muscle growth and healing. Not just that, it also helps to optimize the anabolic hormones, insulin and testosterone. Zinc is also required for the production of the enzymes which prohibit the build-up of lactic acid. Having a deficiency of zinc will lead to a decrease in your muscle strength and endurance, meaning you won’t be able to maximize your efforts under the iron. (5) (6)


MAGNESIUM ASPARTATE

Magnesium promotes muscle endurance and strength. Without it, or should I say with a deficiency thereof, oxygen delivery to muscle tissue will be substantially decreased. Another reason why you don’t want to skimp on this mineral is that it stimulates the activity of enzymes which are required for the body to metabolize amino acids and carbs. (7)



SUPPLEMENTING WITH ZMA

Most individuals don’t get in their minimum basic daily requirements of zinc and magnesium. The problem, especially for active individuals and athletes, is that these stores are depleted within days of strenuous activity. It is for this reason, and the fact that we want to build muscle, that we need to supplement with a reputable ZMA product.


WHEN AND HOW MUCH

The best time to take your ZMA supplement is 30 minutes before bed on an empty stomach. This is because zinc’s effects are maximized during the sleep cycle. As we sleep, our bodies go into a heightened state of repair. Hormones like GH are also heightened as we sleep and because testosterone, insulin, magnesium and zinc all increase the effects of growth hormones, it makes sense to take the supplement around this time to boost these effects. When it comes to how much you need to take, you should opt for a ZMA supplement which has roughly 30mg of zinc and 450mg of magnesium. (8)



SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENTS

NOW Foods Sports ZMA

ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 designed to maximize absorption and to promote recovery from exercise. Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair, as well as the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuromuscular function.


Supplements SA ZMA

ZMA is a synergistic blend of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and Vitamin B-6. Zinc plays an important role in testosterone production and low levels of zinc and magnesium are shown to have a strong adverse effect on muscle growth. Intense exercise further depletes vitamins and minerals making supplementation essential to ensure optimum levels. It’s important to note that ZMA should never be taken with calcium as calcium blocks absorption.



CONCLUSION

If you are looking to take your training to a whole new level, naturally, then ZMA is definitely a supplement having a look at. By improving all aspects of your diet and training which help to enhance testosterone levels along with ZMA supplementation, you will be placing yourself in the best possible position to build some serious lean muscle mass.




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