T Nation

ZMA Studies


Article on ZMA from Wikipedia.org:

Scientific Studies
A study (Brilla & Conte 1999) was undertaken on NCAA Football players during a 8 week spring training program. 12 took a ZMA tablet each evening and 15 used a placebo. The results showed:

ZMA: 11.6% increase, Placebo: 4.6% increase
Testosterone levels
ZMA: 30% increase, Placebo: 10% decrease
ZMA: 3.6% increase, Placebo: 21.5% decrease

It is important to note that this study was funded by SNAC Systems Inc (the patent holders) and that one of the study's authors (Victor Conte) has equity in this company.

However, another study (Wilbornl et al. 2004) found that ZMA has no effect on strength or hormone levels.

Brilla LR, Conte V (1999). A novel zinc and magnesium formulation [ZMA] increases anabolic hormones and strength in athletes. Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation Journal (): 585s-593s. [1]
Lukaski HC (2000). Magnesium, zinc, and chromium nutriture and physical activity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2): 585s-593s. [2]
Wilbornl CD et al. (2004). Effects of Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) Supplementation on Training Adaptations and Markers of Anabolism and Catabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 1 (2): 12-20. [3]

Aparently the recent study by Wilbornl found ZMA useless for athletes. Has anyone read the actual journal? Why has the study made ZMA seemed useless when so many people are reporting improvements in sleep/recovery etc...



All I can say about ZMA is that it improves my sleep very much, which in turn would make me think that I would be able to recover more effiently.

My sleep is very deep. Next to Surge, ZMA is my favorite supplement.


I've been using it regulary for YEARS, almost "in case" it helps hormonally/anabolically, just because it's so damn cheap that it's a non-issue. It DOES give me better quality sleep, which is great. (Although it's not like I wasn't sleeping beforehand . . .) I wouldn't say that it gives me any strength/muscle/testosterone increases that I can detect, though.


Why would anyone use Wikipedia, a source that ANYONE can post info on, as a source for anything?

You can go and write whatever you want about ZMA there. That doesn't make it true.


I always notice a difference when I am using ZMA. I sleep better, which in return gives me more energy.


I used Wiki as a starting point for almost everything because almost everything is in there - and organized.


I found the boner test to be the most accurate test that I performed with ZMA.

Taking it makes me dream more (at least remember more of my dreams) and I seem to be more rested with less total hours of sleep (a sign that I'm getting more REM sleep) and...

I get a big strong boner when I wake up. Morning wood was more common for me when I was a few years younger (I'm only 26), but now it's pretty much every morning as opposed to a couple times a week.

You can't argue with the boner test.


Dude, the source is not wikipedia, the source is: "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition".

Go read the paper.

If I have to make conclusions on ZMA, based on only two papers, I would have to go with the second one, because the authors are not biased as on the first paper.

By the way, they were not studying its effect on sleep at all. Only if it was a good ergogenic aid.