ZMA is a famous supplement that is more commonly used to speed up recovery, improve sleep, and boost athlete performance. A lot of people consume it but are unaware of when they should take it. Taking a ZMA supplement at the right time is crucial for its performance and absorption in the body. Therefore, in this article, we have talked about this matter in detail to help you get the most out of ZMA.
What is ZMA?
ZMA is a popular supplement that mainly contains zinc monomethionine, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. However, the forms of magnesium and zinc may vary from one manufacturer to the other.
Many athletes take it to improve their sleep quality and increase the recovery process. They also take it to increase their muscle mass by boosting testosterone levels. However, these are not the only benefits of ZMA. Its main components are involved in different body processes and may boost your immune system, regulate blood sugar levels, and elevate your mood.
ZMA comes in different forms, but ZMA capsules and powders are the most common forms.
When should you take a ZMA supplement?
It is best to take a ZMA supplement 40 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Make sure you take it on an empty stomach. Ingredients in ZMA, particularly magnesium, make the person feel sleepy; that is why taking the supplement during the day is a bad idea.
It is important to take it on an empty stomach because your food ingredients can affect the absorption of ZMA components. You may also feel nauseous after taking a ZMA supplement with food. It is often recommended to take ZMA 2 hours after a supplement and at least 30 minutes before taking any other supplement. Calcium supplements should particularly be avoided because calcium prevents the absorption of zinc.
Mostly, a single dose of ZMA tablets contains around 450 mg of magnesium, 10 mg of vitamin B6, and 30 mg of zinc. For men, the serving size is 3 capsules, and for women, it is 2 capsules. Read the supplement label properly to find the right dosage suggested by the manufacturers.
Why should you take ZMA?
There are many health benefits of ZMA. The below points will guide you on why you should take it.
To enjoy quality sleep
ZMA tablets contain magnesium which has the ability to induce sleep. It does it by initiating your parasympathetic nervous system, which makes your body relaxed and calm.  Eventually, you fall asleep faster. Zinc is also beneficial in reducing insomnia when it is taken in combination with magnesium.
To enhance the performance of the immune system
Zinc tends to boost the production of important immune system cells. In this way, it strengthens your immune system and protects your body from infections and diseases. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are also involved in improving your overall immunity. Taking these three components through ZMA capsules can help you fortify your immune system.
To improve testosterone production
People who have a low level of zinc and magnesium notice a great improvement in their testosterone levels after taking ZMA tablets. Studies show that zinc deficiency can make a person deficient in testosterone and insulin-like growth factors.  Resultantly, their muscle cell recovery and growth decline. You can take zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 through a single supplement and increase their levels to boost the production of testosterone.
To manage blood sugar levels
Zinc and magnesium that are present in the ZMA tablets are also known for reducing blood sugar level in diabetic people. Studies show that zinc reduces fasting blood sugar and post-meal blood sugar.  Magnesium also manages blood sugar by making the body sense insulin hormone.  It shows that ZMA tablets may also reduce your blood sugar levels. However, you should not take this supplement for sugar level management without getting your doctor’s approval.
Does ZMA really work?
The answer to this question depends on your purpose of taking ZMA capsules and the concentration of ZMA components in your body. If you already have sufficient zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, then you may not notice any beneficial effect of ZMA. It is because these elements are already present in your body and are performing their functions properly.
ZMA capsules work best in those who are very active such as athletes and fitness enthusiasts, and they do not consume enough zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 that they lose through sweat more often than inactive people.
A ZMA supplement is a convenient and efficient way of getting two minerals and one vitamin in the right dosage without worrying about taking three different supplements separately for each mineral and vitamin.
ICON ZMA Capsules
ICON ZMA 3-in-1 formula contains zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 in the right proportion. It’s one container has 30 servings (90 capsules). The dosage of 1 capsule is 1,500 mg. It has 1,125 mg of magnesium citrate, 270 mg of magnesium oxide (total magnesium is 278.4 mg), 52.5 mg of zinc aspartate, 45 mg of zinc monomethionine (total zinc is 18.6 mg), and 7.5 mg of vitamin B6.
This product is SNAC labs approved and does not contain any filler. It is safe to consume as it is GMO-free, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and banned substance-free. These ZMA capsules can be very beneficial in boosting your gym performance, helping you fall asleep fast at night, and gaining muscle mass. It is also pocket-friendly and can provide you with important minerals and vitamins in a single serving.
The bottom line
ZMA capsules perform the best when they are taken on an empty stomach 1 hour before bedtime. Consuming it at night is recommended because the supplement can make you feel drowsy. Try not to take it with food or any other supplements because components of the food can reduce ZMA absorption in the blood, and components of medications can react with ZMA. If you are already taking medication, then consult your doctor before taking a ZMA supplement.
- Benzodiazepine/GABA(A) receptors are involved in magnesium-induced anxiolytic-like behavior in mice - PubMed (nih.gov)
- ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Effects of zinc supplementation on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review - PubMed (nih.gov)