ZMA is a clinically proven formulation of zinc and magnesium aspartate with vitamin B6, which helps to recover burnt muscles, gives strength for intense workouts, discourages fat accumulation, and what’s more- enhances a good deep sleep at night.

It is very common among athletes and fitness trainers to lose important minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, etc. through sweat and urine due to training and physical activities. Some of the food habits (for example excess intake of refined sugar, white bread, junk food, alcohol, etc.) also lead to lower absorption of zinc and magnesium.

Knowing the fact that zinc and magnesium are important minerals; especially for those who exert physically, one can consider incorporating ZMA supplementation in their routine. At the same time, one should also be well aware of the effects and side effects ZMA in our body. Lets first start with effects of ZMA supplement.

Benefits/Effects of ZMA

So far, supplements like creatine, whey, casein, weight gainers, etc. are mainstream and discussed more among the peers. Well, ZMA, though overlooked; incorporates several benefits to the people belonging to the fitness industry. Some of them are as listed-

Effect of ZMA on our immune system

There is a thumb rule- If you feel inactive, your body aches, or you are suffering from any sort of illness, you should not pursue training. If you have weak immunity, and fall ill often, then dude, this is the right time to start ZMA supplementation. The zinc component in the ZMA helps in reducing inflammation throughout the body, thus making your immunity strong.

It is again obvious, that when one is free from temporary ailments and stress free, one can enjoy good night sleep; that is what ZMA supplement leads to.

Nutritional importance


The natural sources which are rich in zinc are oysters, beef shanks, and crabs; which are again not a part of everyday food. The athletes possess sufficient protein but often lack in other nutrients like zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E. Thus, incorporating ZMA in routine can add nutritional benefits.

Testosterone and thyroid hormone levels

Well, ZMA is not a drug for improving testosterone in our body. According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, it is reported that taking at least 5 mg of ZMA each day can bring positive effects on the testosterone levels in our body and hence more motivation to workout more.

Zinc is also beneficial for the thyroid level in our body. It should be noted that thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism rate, which is essential for building up muscles.

Side effects of ZMA

ZMA are of great benefit, when taken in specified dose. For men, the recommended dose is 3 capsule per day (a total of 30 mg zinc, 450 mg magnesium, and 10 mg vitamin B6). For women, 2 capsules are just sufficient (comprising- 20 mg zinc, 300 mg magnesium, and 6 mg vitamin B6). Overdose of ZMA may lead to the following setbacks-


Due to zinc component

The overdose of ZMA implies the overdose of all of its components. Access of zinc in our body may interfere with the absorption of other minerals like iron and copper. Other side effects of zinc which can be noticed in a short duration are-

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Low cholesterol
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Taste distortion or feeling of unpleasant taste

Due to magnesium component

People with kidney problems should be particular about incorporating ZMA supplement or not. As our kidney filters the magnesium, and if one has kidney complications, ZMA overdose may lead to magnesium toxicity in the body.  Dizziness and troubled breathing are also sometimes associated with magnesium levels in our body. The immediate side effects due to excess of magnesium are-

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping

Due to vitamin B6 component

Vitamin B6 has no allergic side effects, but its overdose leads to lower blood pressure, increased bleeding, and lower blood sugar levels. The reported side effects of excess of vitamin B6 include-

  • Arrhythmia (Abnormal heart beat)
  • Gastric problems
  • Skin reactions

Taking ZMA as a whole, it can fulfill the requirement of important nutrients in our body. Like everything in nature is beneficial and at the same time hazardous, if misused. Similarly, overdose of ZMA may lead to problems, hence it is strongly recommended to stick to the standard dose even if you are not able to see the results immediately.

Points to remember while taking ZMA

  • It is recommended to take ZMA capsules at least one hour before going to bed and 1-2 hours after meals.
  • One should not take ZMA with food because both zinc and magnesium are poorly absorbed when taken with food.
  • Do not overdose at all. More than required amount of zinc and magnesium can interfere with the steady functioning of the body.

So friends, now that you are aware of the benefits and side effects of ZMA, what are your thoughts on starting ZMA supplementation. Oh well, are you already taking ZMA? Would you recommend ZMA to your fellows? Do not forget to share your preferences about this supplement in the comment section.

Keyur Malani

The author Keyur Malani

Keyur Malani is a certified content writer who finds his true passion in fitness and bodybuilding. Apart from his contribution to Myfitfuel blog, he also guides people in their diet and training routines. When he's not writing articles and breaking Deadlift PRs, he's learning life lessons on brain pickings and cooking his post workout meals.
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