Nutrition and Diet

Can you take ZMA and Calcium together?

Zma and calcium are popular bodybuilding supplements. If you, like me, are feeling intrigued about- zma and calcium-to be or not to be taken together, I suggest we must begin by understanding the fundamentals of zma calcium first.

In other words, let’s get familiar with why we are comparing zma and calcium. Like, some of us may still associate calcium with bone strengthening benefits. Then, why zma and calcium comparison?

While I was searching for more facts on calcium as a bodybuilding supplement, I understood this nutrient better. There are many properties of zma and calcium supplement which match each other, but in their primary role, they are different.

Coming to my main topic-zma and calcium together-there are many facts which should be taken care of like zma calcium timing. Read on further to know the exact difference between zma and calcium and find out how to make maximum use of it.

What is ZMA?


I have written about ZMA as a supplement in the recent past. To know the benefits of zma, visit this link.

Just to put in a quick perspective of bodybuilders through this article, I would say zma is required by bodybuilders who make a considerable effort during the workouts. Only when you sweat a lot, will your body sweat and loose zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, the three key ingredients which form zma.

A bodybuilder needs zinc for faster muscle recovery, strengthening immunity and for supplying blood to the vital organs of the body. Magnesium too benefits your immunity and aids muscle contractions. B6 vitamin produces more energy since it converts protein into energy.

What is Calcium?

Calcium needs no real introduction from me. Like you know it, it is a mineral with a primary benefit of strengthening bones. However, the calcium supplement means more for a bodybuilder.

Calcium rests in small quantities in our blood and in the human body cells too. Therefore, we need to move beyond calcium bonding with our bones and understand it deeply.

It is a part of our blood system. Which means, calcium has a variety of functions to do like blood clotting, heart pumping, brain functioning and importantly, muscle contractions.

Bodybuilders need to memorise this fact. Calcium is critical in muscle contractions and is, therefore, equally important in inducing muscle growth.

Why you need a calcium supplement during muscular building is to do with the human body science. After 25 years of age, the calcium absorption slows down. So, you anyways might need it to maintain good bone health. This fact aside, it is also needed for effective muscular functioning and hormone production in human body.

Always remember two facts about calcium supplementation:

  1. It is needed to avoid bone stress like fractures during heavy exercising.
  2. It is important for healthy muscle structure and its functioning. To maintain maximum muscle performance, you and I need a calcium supplement.

What one is better?

I am sure, now it may seem more relevant to discuss zma and calcium together. It is natural for us to draw a comparison between the two before we even begin contemplating zma calcium nutrition.

At the outset, it may seem more important to consume calcium and only calcium. It is a necessity, without which may not be able to exercise at all. Still, it is important to look at it from a bodybuilder perspective, hence the need to compare zma and calcium.

Again, if I think as a bodybuilder, the benefits of calcium may look stronger or even similar. Muscle contractions, muscle performance and so on. Calcium is anyways to be a consumed, then why ZMA in addition?

That is a valid question, however, for bodybuilders supplement detailing is everything. I will construct a chart for you to explain-why you may need zma and calcium both; the final decision rests upon your personal schedule since zma-like supplementation is needed only during heavy workouts.

Calcium strengthens bones Zma strengthens immunity
Calcium is needed for relaxing muscles. Zma improves anabolic hormone levels, in short, it increases hormone which aid protein synthesis and thus, build lean muscle mass.
Calcium improves muscle endurance. Zma replenishes zinc mineral deficiency which is critical for producing new cells, regulating carbohydrates, protein and so on.
Calcium improves muscle contraction. Zma is a t-booster. Testosterone reduces muscle trauma and improves protein production after a gruelling training session.
High-intensity workouts, which induce a lot of sweating, means you lose calcium amount in the blood. Zma improves thyroid hormone production, which in turn, induces muscle metabolism and improving muscle energy levels.
Intensity also means weaker bones, so you need calcium. High-intensity exercising means loss of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B 6, crucial for muscle health.

Both zma and calcium work to improve your muscular performance. At the same time, you lose both zma (composition) and calcium after heavy sweating. Since zma and calcium are two different nutrients, you need them both. Like I say, you need to rotate your supplements and feed your body with maximum nutrition.


Can you take it together?

A quick internet search will tell you- no, it is not wise to take zma and calcium together. However, this stated fact is incomplete. The next thing to do is- find out about zma calcium timing.

The zma and calcium together is a discarded theory because any other mineral like magnesium, iron or calcium, can prevent complete absorption of zinc in the body (intestine). But then, isn’t zma a composition of zinc and magnesium? The explanation here is the ratio of these minerals at a given point of time.

Suppose, you are taking these four minerals together, none of the minerals, meaning zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron should exceed an upper limit of 800 mg. since they use a single body transporter to reach the intestine, no one mineral should stress the route or overpower the others.

Before I emphasis on zma calcium, I need to clarify zma supplement has 30 mg zinc and Magnesium at 450 mg. wondering why a higher dose of magnesium? One reason is the zinc-type in zma which is high-graded effective quality and two, magnesium aids zinc absorption.

For zma and calcium timing, take it at separate times to improve digestion of both the minerals. Morning and evening difference, for example, calcium in the morning and zma before bedtime, on an empty stomach, since it has sleep inducing benefits also.

Do not pair zma and calcium together ever. Do not even take zma with a dairy product, rich in calcium. This is common supplement sense. Like calcium interferes with zinc absorption, zinc too hinders the spread of amino acids in the body.

We also recommend taking zma on an empty stomach.

Zma and Calcium-the next steps together

If we consider the fact of sourcing of zma and calcium, it is likely we are not taking enough zinc from our whole-foods. Our diet will surely include calcium. In that sense, zma supplement should be your top priority to build lean muscle mass.

Having said that, there is no reason why you should not take calcium supplementation if your body needs it regularly too. Zma must be preferred on an empty stomach for maximum absorption and since zma calcium timing is the only thing to keep in mind while taking zma and calcium together, then there is no logical reason to prioritise one over the other.

Is smart supplementation all we need to learn and did we not today?

Arushi Dutta

The author Arushi Dutta

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