Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) What does it really do?

Posted: Wednesday, 28 March 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels:


Zinc and magnesium are mineral elements that are required for optimal physiological health and performance. For athletes and physically active people, having optimal levels of zinc and magnesium is essential to ensure the capacity for increased energy expenditure and work performance. Intense activity as you know increases urine and sweat losses of minerals. Due to this, it has been found that in athletic populations they are often low in zinc and magnesium.

What does the research say?

Basically there is very, very little research on ZMA. On top of this, the research is split. Some say it is very effective in improving strength, body composition, IGF-1, and testosterone. Other studies have shown that there is absolutely no benefit from ZMA in those aspects.

The research supports that in population that are deficient in ZMA it does improve IGF-1 and Testosterone. This leads to, improved strength, body composition, health, and athletic performance.

What does research agree upon?

This supplement is effective at improving quality of sleep, recovery, immune health, and protein anabolism at night.


Supplementing with ZMA may or may not be beneficial for you. The best way to be sure it will aid in IGF-1, and testosterone is to check if your current zinc magnesium levels are low. In the end, if nothing else, it will improve your quality of sleep, recovery, immune system, and protein anabolism at night. I believe these benefits alone are reason enough to supplement with ZMA. However, the supplement has been over hyped and sold for the amount of research support.


  • Antonio, Jose. Essentials of sports nutrition and supplements. Totowa, N.J: Humana Press, 2008. Print.
  • Brilla LR, ConteV. Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. J Exerc Physiol Online 2000; 3: 26-36
  • Campbell B, Baer J, Thomas A, et al. Effects of zinc magnesium-asparate (ZMA) Supplementation during training on body composition and training adaptations. FASEB J 2004; LB18:A91.
  • Wilborn CD, Kerksick CM, Campbell BI, et al. Effects of ZMA supplementation on the relationship of zinc and magnesium to body composition, strength, sprint performance, and metabolic and hormonal profiles. Sports Nutr Rev J 2004;I:S13