T Nation

Thoughts on ZMA?


Got a question for all of you out there...just picked up the reputable Mr. Vicot Conte's ZMA supplement after reading about zinc and magnesium deficiencies in most lifters. What si the general consensus on this?

I am already taking whey protein and creatine, so don't write telling me to take that stuff first. Been lifting for 18+ years (at the ripe old age of 30) and just feel like maybe I need to supplement my diet with some minerals that I am likely lacking. Thanks for your time everyone!


i have been using Biotest's version for about a month now, and i am going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of the few supps that i can actualy "feel" working. definitely have an increased morning libido, and sleep all the way through the night with vivid dreams. good stuff, and cheap, cant go wrong.


The general concensus by pretty much ALL T-Nation members is that ZMA is a must-use supp. You should checkout Biotest's ZMA. I bet it's half what you paid, and a bigger bottle.


If the bottle says "ZMA" then its SNAC systems(Victor Conte) stuff. Biotest uses the same thing.

He has a patent on it, and all ZMA comes threw that parent company


ZMA is awesome. Period. I take it four hours after my last meal, before I go to sleep. I never mix food, let alone protein (casien) before I take it. Its usually one or the other.

I love it because it helps me sleep. I love it even more because it helps me lose weight as I sleep. I love it also because I belive it makes me stronger and the dreams I get are very cool. I take it with a lot of water and I call it day.

I used to use the Pro-Performance GNC brand which has Valerian Root, and it literally made me sick. Biotest's is really awesome, so I dont feel like experimenting with other brands. Im sticking with what works this time.


zinc and magnesium aspartate
zinc and magnesium citrate
anyone as to which is a better quality supplement.



Biotest seems to think it's the aspartate.


Conte may or may not be a lot of things but I think the general consensus is that this stuff works. Would Bill Romanowski lie to you?


would think they do since they use it--but, is it better?? or cheaper to use?


Can't go wrong with the Biotest ZMA. Hell you can get a 3 month's supply for less than 30 dollars. I don't think you're gonna find a better deal anywhere else.

Oh yeah, I love the stuff. Some don't feel any effects, but I notice the biggest thing is the quality of sleep I get and the dreams. Better sleep = Better recovery. Good enough for me!


Based on their current product offering overall I would say it is better and that's why they use it.


Before taking ZMA, I hadn't slept through the night in about ten years or so. I would wake up 8 or more times a night if I was actually able to fall asleep.

During the past two months taking ZMA, I have never slept better! Like many, I have more vivid and memorable dreams which is due to being in REM for longer periods which means deeper sleep.

Deeper sleep = Better rest = Better recovery = You grow bigger!

Also, as you enter your 30's, your test levels will naturally decrease so anything this cheap that boosts it is defnitely worth taking.

One word of caution though. You absolutely CANNOT take ZMA with either foods or other supplements containing calcium. They compete for the same receptor and make the ZMA not work. I was told to take the other supplement about 1 hour before ZMA, which didn't work, so I tried 2 hours which still didn't work and then I figured out that my last meal had not had time to digest, so the two supplements were mixing. Started taking the other supplement before I work out at 5:00pm and I'm back dreaming all night!

I just bought a 3 months supply since Biotest was out so long. I will not let it get below 2 months if that tells you anything.

Good luck.


Or you could go the other option of taking your ZMA, waiting about 45-60 min. and take your other supplement right before you go to bed(guessing a calcium-based protein blend?).


ZMA helps most people sleep better. I seem to be one of the few people for which that ZMA has the opposite effect. When I take it I have horrible sleep. I usually end up tossing and turning in bed for hours before finally drifting off in to a restless sleep.

That's happened with both the Vitamin Shoppe brand and Biotest. I've tried taing it according to different timing schedules, and the result is the same; shitty sleep. Does anyone know why this might be?


Are you drinking something with caffeine in it late at night or eating anything with dairy around the time you take the ZMA? You don't take Spike do you?


I like it, I usually take it about an hour beofre I plan on hitting the rack and then eat some before bed proteins just before I go to bed. I don;t get the crazy dreams but I seem to sleep better, except that I have to wake up a couple of times a night to take a leak.


Thanks for the info. guys. By the way, I am using the "Precision Engineered" variety. Only cuz it was buy one get one free. Will switch to Biotest next. Sleep has always been my nemesis...I have sleep anxiety or something...don't know.

Anyways, I am excited to finally have a supplement that seems to have a generally good consensus. Thanks again.


HE POSTS! welcome to the outside! (inside joke)


No caffeine at night, and I don't take Spike. I've tried taking ZMA when my last meal was a couple hours prior to taking it. I've also tried taking it and than having a protein shake 45 minutes later or so. When that didn't work, I tried eating a chicken breast or other lean meat at that time, but whatever I tried still didn't work. Maybe my body just doesn't really like it. I'm just curious why that might be.


I had the same thing going on. I slept like shit the first couple weeks on, and really it took almost a month for me to fully adapt.

There can be alot of reasons for this. One could theorize that a mega dose of b6, which ZMA has, is quite a little boost. It can actually make one more alert. So I think it takes some time for your body to grow a tolerance to b6.

My .02