I came across what seems to be confusing instructions on how and when to take ZMA.


"take it 30 minutes before bed on an empty stomach ( you should digest at least 1-2 hours before taking this supplement )…The reason why I say to take it 30 minutes before bedtime is because zinc’s effect on healing, tissue repair, and muscle growth is maximized during sleep. The largest daily burst of natural growth hormone occurs during stage 3 and 4 sleep (about an hour and a half after going to sleep). Insulin, testosterone, zinc, and magnesium increase the effect of growth hormone. So, this is the time you want zinc and magnesium at a peak level in the bloodstream…Do not take anything that has calcium in it with zma! Calcium competes ferociously with the absorption of it!


"Pre-sleeping stack:

  1. Take a ZMA supplement on an empty stomach. ZMA has been shown to aid in sleep and increase hormone levels while you sleep. Jacob has written an awesome article on ZMA. Access it here.

  2. After the ZMA has been totally digested, about 30-60 minutes later, eat a complex and fibrous Starchy Carbohydrates or Fibrous Green Vegetables(depending on if you are cutting or bulking) such as oatmeal, a yam, a salad, or a green leafy vegetable (see the 13 weeks to dieting for more examples of these). The key is to eat a slow burning carbohydrate source here.

  3. Combine that with 1 tablespoon of flax oil, 1 gram of vitamin C and 5 grams of Glutamine.

  4. And lastly consume 20-60 grams of casein protein( cottage cheese is a great source ) (this amount depends on your body weight and goals).

Numbers 2-4 should be taken in as one meal.

  1. Hit the hay for 8 to 10 hours!"

Sooo, I don’t seem to get it.
The instruction on the bottle and from the first link seems to be saying to simply take it shortly before sleep and not to take it with any calcium, but then the Pre-Sleeping stack recommends taking ZMA first, then having a meal with casein (casein has calcium in it). Doesn’t that sounds a little contradictory? What are your thoughts on this please?


Actually if you re read them they really dont conflict at all. They simply go in depth in different areas.

The first going into more of the science behind why ZMA is so good and simply to take it before bed with no calcium.

The second also says take before bed goes goes a bit further on the hows of the whole “How to take it” and not into the why’s. It also says take the ZMA with nothing/no calcium. Give it 30-45 minutes to release into your blood stream, then have your cottage cheese. The ZMA is allready absorbed so no need to worry about the calcium blocking any of that.

That is the short and easy varsion. Pretty much. Take ZMA, wait 30-60 minutes. Eat a slow protien, go to bed.

Hope that helps,

Oh and if you want more on this. Search the forumn. We have touched on this MANY times.