muscle strength in trained athletes.
How ZMA Can Benefit You?
A lot of bodybuilders have tried prohormones, hoping to find a legal and effective way of increasing their testosterone levels. However, new research has surfaced indicating that prohormones may not be the best choice for athletes looking to enhance their anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength, since there are many side-effects associated with prohormone supplementation.
In fact, there is an amazingly effective new sports performance product called ZMA (a precise combination of zinc and magnesium) that has been clinically proven to significantly increase both anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.
Why Is Supplementing With Zinc and Magnesium Important?
Zinc is essential to numerous chemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis and cellular energy. Its immune system values begin with zinc's ability to regulate the production of T cells. Zinc also helps provides critical protection to the liver, assists in deterring enlargement of the prostate gland, and is essential in maintaining reproductive organ health.
Zinc's most popular application has been zinc lozenges, which have been shown to reduce the length and severity of common cold symptoms by 45-50%. Lozenges without an acid base (like orange, lemon, or others with flavorings that have citric acid or vitamin C) are markedly more effective. Take your vitamin C four hours later or earlier than your zinc. The suggested Daily Value for zinc is 15 milligrams, and these mineral combinations usually contain twice that. If you take that amount continually you'll need additional supplemental copper.
Magnesium is essential for normal heart function, transporting neurochemicals essential in muscle function and mood regulation, and in the critical balance of sodium and potassium within our cells. Despite its vital contributions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 74% of people take in less than the recommended Daily Value of 400 milligrams (for men). The zinc and magnesium formulations usually contain 450 milligrams.
The Evidence - Effects Of ZMA Supplementation
Many world class athletes are reporting tremendous benefits from ZMA, in the gym, as well as on the athletic field. For example, more than 250 NFL players are currently taking ZMA. Lester Archambeau, starting defensive end for last years NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, says he is "extremely satisfied with ZMA. ZMA definitely helps me recover! I can tell when I take it and when I don't. There is no doubt that it makes me sleep better."
And when it comes to the gym, the big Falcon claims, "I have much better endurance when taking ZMA." Bryce Paup, Jacksonville Jaguar's multi-All Pro defensive end and 1995 Defensive Player of the Year (he led the NFL with 17.5 sacks) has also been taking advantage of ZMA. Paup says, "When I take ZMA, I sleep better and more soundly, and I feel more rested when I wake up." And when it comes to the football field, Paup claims, "The more I rest and the better I sleep, the better I perform on the field."
According to Dr. Brilla, "A group of competitive NCAA football players who took ZMA nightly during an 8 week spring training program had 2.5 times greater muscle strength gains than a placebo group. Pre and post leg strength measurements were made." The strength of the ZMA group increased by 11.6% compared to only a 4.6% increase in the placebo group.
"The muscle strength increases may have been mediated by the anabolic hormone increases in the ZMA group. The ZMA group had 30% increases in free and total testosterone levels compared to 10% decreases in the placebo group. The ZMA group also had a slight increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels compared to a 20% decrease in the placebo group. This study shows that anabolic hormone and muscle strength increases can be induced in already strength-trained athletes by using a novel zinc-magnesium preparation", said Brilla.
According to co-investigator Victor Conte, Director of BALCO Laboratories in Burlingame, California, "ZMA is the only all natural product that has been clinically proven to increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes." The dosage of ZMA used in the study contains 30 mg of zinc and 450 mg of magnesium. "There has never been a study reporting adverse health effects at these moderate dosages." said Conte.
John Gamble, strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins, reports that "players using ZMA are cramping much less and seem to be getting a more deep and restful sleep which enhances their recovery".
Various sports performance supplements such as steroids have been considered controversial by many experts. However, ZMA is an all natural product that is a safe and more effective alternative.
ZMA is also the first nighttime anabolic formula developed specifically to enhance recovery by improving sleep efficiency. ZMA is a very effective sleep aid and is recommended to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Many athletes fail to realize how important it is to get a deep and restful sleep. Healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth are maximized during sleep, so quality sleep is extremely important to athletes.
ZMA vs. Steroids
ZMA is rapidly becoming the preferred natural testosterone boosting supplement by many athletes who were previously using prohormones. ZMA has two very important advantages over prohormones. First, ZMA doesn't need to be cycled, because ZMA will not suppress your own endogenous production of testosterone. ZMA may be taken on a continuous basis, while the prohormone proponents suggest that they be cycled. Secondly, since ZMA is not a prohormone or hormone precursor, it is not banned by any athletic organizations.
In conclusion, I believe that ZMA will eventually help to establish itself as a excellent alternative to steroids. As more athletes begin to truly understand the process of maximizing recovery, healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth, they'll begin to see the true power of ZMA.
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- Max Sport "The Natural Alternative to Prohormones, and Benefits Beyond Strength" 2003.
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