well firstly zma is way cheaper.. . secondly if youre eating enough protein youre getting tons of bcaa's but despite even perfect diets youre probably not getting anywhere near enough magnesium.. . and a little extra zinc allways helps. ..
plus.. . with zma youre likely to notice improved sleep which should lead to increased recovery.. . whereas with bcaa's you may notice increased recovery if youre taking enough of them.. . price and quantity to value ratio is way up on zma imo. ..
on the front page is an article about BCAA usage. in the archives there's been a ton of threads recently about ZMA, peoples experiences and so forth. ZMA helps you to sleep deeper and longer, giving you more of a chance to rest. BCAA's...well, read the article on the front page
The rationale for ZMA is that most hard training athletes are deficient in zinc and magnesium which can inhibit natural testosterone production.
By supplementing with it you are creating a more favorable environment for your body to produce test and your are boosting your immune function as well.
BCAA's as stated in the thread for it are the essential building blocks of muscle. By using them you are keeping your body in a highly anabolic muscle building state. This will kick recovery into high gear and put on muscle and decrease soreness.
You should try to budget for both especially since they are both extremely affordable here at T-Nation.
Comparing these two products is like comparing apples and oranges. They have different functions and should not be competeing for placement in a supplement regimen. I would use both. ZMA is $9.00 here on T-Nation and the new BCAA is $28.00. They're not really breaking the bank so to speak.
But please remember that supplements are just that, supplements. They are not a substitiute for proper diet, training and sleeping habits.
How necessary is it to take the ZMA at night and/or before before bed? I know that's the usual recommendation, but if I don't care about the sleep enhancement (or if my sleep is great and I don't want to mess with it, and the ZMA does do something, I just can't put my finger on it), am I reducing effectiveness by taking it at another time? Anybody have recommendations as to other times?