ZMA is a perfectly balanced combination of zinc and magnesium, which work together creating this powerful supplement that provides an array of benefits for your health and fitness. It is a popular nutritional aid in the athletic world and is a top choice for bodybuilders and gym-goers for its abilities to increase strength and encourage muscle repair in between intense exercise. These two essential minerals are usually combined with vitamin B6 to enhance their benefits and make this a top supplement for even world-class athletes who are picking ZMA over steroid forms.
Zinc is an essential mineral that must be supplied daily to our bodies in some form, whether it is through dietary or supplement sources. It is necessary for a variety of chemical processes in the body such as protein synthesis and cellular energy. It is also well-known for its immune strengthening properties, which is one of the main reasons why zinc is recommended for athletes are they are often more vulnerable to illness and infection. Athletes also see zinc as a vital mineral because of its abilities to help speed up recovery between workouts.
Zinc can be found naturally occurring in many foods such as red meat, poultry, seafood like oysters, crab and lobster as well as nuts, seeds and beans. Because strenuous exercise increases the loss of zinc from the body and loss of zinc can compromise muscle function, it must be supplied in higher quantities. Dietary sources are great for gaining zinc; however those taking part in regular highly-intense activity will need higher levels from other sources.
Magnesium is another essential mineral that is vital for many functions around the body. It is necessary for heart function, transporting neurochemicals for muscle function and making new cells. It is also needed for bone, protein, fatty acid and adenosine triphosphate (ATP, the energy the body runs on) formation. Because it helps to relax the muscles, athletes find magnesium a great supplement for helping to prevent muscle cramping. It also has the ability to curb dehydration, as magnesium as an electrolyte is needed to keep water in the blood vessels.
Foods that are high in natural magnesium include bananas, nuts, shredded wheat, brown rice, milk, dark green vegetables, meat and fish. Magnesium is another mineral that is also lost through intense physical activity as it is lost through sweat. This is why levels of magnesium should be replaced regularly if you take part in heavy-duty exercise and ZMA supplements are ideal for replenishing these minerals that have been lost.