ZMA is a vitamin and mineral compound made up of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 used for building muscle.
Zinc is involved in the actions of many hormones including growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, and estrogen. It is also involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions. Research shows that athletes have higher requirements for zinc.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions including glycolysis (the breakdown of carbohydrates and sugars to either pyruvic acid or lactic acid), the Krebs cycle (turns food into energy), the formation of creatine phosphate, amino acid activation, cardiac and smooth muscle contraction ability, and protein synthesis.
Vitamin B6 is part of amino acid metabolism and is necessary for glycogen catabolism to release carbohydrate energy. It has also been shown to reduce the effectiveness of certain catabolic steroids such as cortisol which can help boost the testosterone to cortisol ratio and have a positive impact on muscle-building.
Studies show that the combination of these three elements can enhance athletic performance and increase total and free testosterone by as much as 30 percent. Higher levels of testosterone can increase strength, lean muscle mass and energy levels.