What is the Best ZMA Supplement in 2017?

ZMA supplements are relatively new to the market but their claims are exciting. ZMA supplements are designed to aid and decrease recovery time for athletes, and may also improve sleep quality. While very few studies have been done to prove or disprove these assertions, consumers are flocking to it to find out for themselves.

If you are interested in checking them out, there are some things to consider beforehand. We’re going to discuss a few of those things and share our picks for the best ZMA supplement.

What Are ZMA Supplements?​

ZMA supplements are often used by athletes at all levels after an intense workout. Containing zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6, these supplements are designed as a recovery aid. (source)

Although the original formula had precise measurements of each ingredient, more and more manufacturers are engineering their own versions. Many are even adding other ingredients into the mix to increase absorption and provide better results.

How Can ZMA Supplements Benefit You?​

Although more research needs to be done, the combination of the ingredients in ZMA supplements has been clinically tested and shown to have results. When football players were tested over a 7 week trial, they showed raised levels of free testosterone as well as increased muscle performance. (source)

Let’s take a closer look at what some of the benefits are for regular gym-goers over time.

  • Raised strength levels
  • Enhanced hormonal profiles
  • A more rapid recovery time
  • Deeper levels of REM sleep

To find out more about what ZMA can do for you, check out this fun Youtube video.

How Do ZMA Supplements Work?​

You may be wondering why the individual ingredients inside ZMA are were chosen. Each element was paired together to create the ultimate tool for your workout recovery. We’re going to take a closer look at why the active ingredients are useful.

Zinc you lose from sweating is replaced by this supplement. Not only does zinc regulate hormone levels but it also speeds up muscle-building chemical reactions in your body. (source)

Studies have shown that introducing magnesium into your body can help increase your endurance levels by regulating your heartbeat and keeping muscles functioning properly. (source 1, 2)

B6 aids in repairing and maintaining lean tissue mass. (source) With the help of B6, you can recover from exercise more quickly.

Some ZMA supplements add other ingredients such as D3 or melatonin. When purchasing a supplement, make sure to double-check the ingredient list to ensure you're getting what you want.

How to Take ZMA Supplements​

Because each ZMA supplement has varying ratios, there is no recommended dosage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions according to each supplement.

ZMA supplements work best when taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Try to take them on an empty stomach for optimal absorption.

Never mix ZMA supplements with dairy products or vitamins containing calcium. Calcium can significantly reduce absorption of zinc rendering it useless. (source)

Although it is not necessary to cycle your ZMA supplement, your body can adapt to them over time. If you notice the need to increase the dosage to feel the same results, it may be time switch up which version you use.

Who Should Use ZMA Supplements?

While it’s true that ZMA supplements mostly target athletes and frequent gym-goers, users have reported a couple of additional benefits that may interest people.

First, many users have claimed that ZMA has improved their sleep quality. However, there has not been much research done that can validate this claim. (source)

A quick search will also lead you to quite a few people claiming that ZMA supplementation has improved their libido. There also does not appear to be enough scientific backing to state this claim as fact, but if you’ve been given the green light from a physician to try ZMA, it may be worth trying to find out.

Overall, we would most confidently recommend ZMA to athletes or people who exercise regularly since there is more proven evidence of the benefits in those areas.

Reviews of the Best ZMA Supplements​

Z-Matrix Nighttime Recovery and Sleep from Evlution Nutrition

Quality

Price

Our rating

Engineered to be strong enough for athletes and bodybuilders alike, this enhanced ZMA supplement has loads of benefits that you’ll love.

Not only does it support strength and muscle growth, but it also promotes protein synthesis thanks to the addition of vitamin D3. With the help of D3, your body can rebuild and repair itself quicker, so you wake up feeling refreshed.

B6 allows the other active ingredients to absorb better. It also improves carbohydrate metabolism, making this ZMA supplement perfect for dietary purposes as well.

One downside to these capsules is that you may experience vivid dreams and even nightmares.

Pros


  • Protein synthesis support
  • Improved immune system function
  • Faster recovery time
  • Muscle strength and growth
  • Enhanced absorption
  • Deep REM sleep

Cons


  • Not vegetarian-friendly
  • Only one-month supply
  • Large serving size
  • Causes heartburn in some users
  • Some users reported having nightmares

ZMA from Primaforce

Quality

Price

Our rating

A non-hormonal formula made with scientifically-proven ratios. The formula has been HPLC tested for both potency and purity of its quality.

Primaforce ZMA is free of yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, milk, sugar, salt, colors, and preservatives.

The makers of Primaforce ZMA claim that their product promotes restful sleep too.

Pros


  • More muscle strength
  • Increased free testosterone levels
  • HPLC tested
  • Better quality sleep
  • Made in a GMP certified facility
  • Vegan

Cons


  • Bigger pill than some
  • Up to a month before seeing results
  • Contains magnesium stearate

Z-Core PM Capsules by Muscle Pharm

Quality

Price

Our rating

An enhanced ZMA supplement that helps your body heal from an intense workout. It boosts your hormone and testosterone levels for best results.

Melatonin is added to give you a more efficient sleep while relieving muscle soreness. You’ll benefit from maximum tissue repair so that you can keep your performance levels where they need to be.

Although this is a powerful supplement, it tends to wear off quickly. After a few days, you may notice that you need to up your dosage to get the same effect which can become dangerous over time.

Pros


  • Increased performance levels
  • More efficient sleep
  • Enhanced with melatonin
  • Better testosterone levels
  • Maximum tissue repair

Cons


  • Not vegetarian-friendly
  • Vivid dreams are experienced by some users
  • Best when cycled

ZMA by Now Foods

Quality

Price

Our rating

This ZMA supplement focuses on giving you the best recovery possible from your workout. Highly balanced ingredients will get you back in the gym quickly.

ZMA by Now Foods is produced in a GMP facility and is free of wheat, gluten, soy, milk, tree nuts, and fish.

Taking this supplement too close to bed can cause gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn or upset stomach. Be sure to take this pill as directed.

Pros


  • GMP quality approved
  • Regulates cell growth
  • Dietary supplement
  • Maintains electrolyte balance
  • Boosts testosterone levels
  • Better sleep

Cons


  • Some users stated they had GI Issues
  • Not Vvegetarian-friendly
  • Contains magnesium stearate

ZMA from Optimum Nutrition

Quality

Price

Our rating

Optimum Nutrition has created a ZMA supplement that works to heal your muscles faster. Even after an intense workout, you can wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

Working to improve anabolic hormone levels means increased muscle strength and growth. You’ll also notice more endurance over time with this non-habit forming supplement as well.

This supplement may make you feel a loss of appetite. Unless you’re looking for a weight loss supplement as well, you might want to consider another option.

Pros


  • Muscle healing and growth
  • Improved endurance
  • Better anabolic hormone levels
  • Provides a restful sleep
  • Non-habit forming

Cons


  • Loss of appetite is common for some people
  • Contains magnesium stearate
  • Not vegetarian-friendly

Closing Thoughts

After a good deal of thought, I’ve chosen the Z-Matrix Nighttime Recovery and Sleep from Evlution Nutrition to be one of the best ZMA supplements on the market. It does everything that it promises including strength building, faster recovery times, and ensuring deep sleep.

A bonus that separates this ZMA supplement apart from the rest is the added D3 component. You may experience an even more rapid recovery time due to this enhanced formula.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what the best ZMA supplement is for your needs. Use this guide paired with your body’s natural judgment to help determine what you want to get out of your supplement.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!