Sleep is often one of the most overlooked components of a healthy functioning biological system. Training day-after-day puts your muscles and body in a constant state of active recovery and sleep is extremely crucial for the muscle building and muscle repair process. If you're having trouble sleeping, or just seem to be constantly restless and fatigued, ZMAs might be exactly what you need to sleep better.
What Are ZMAs?
ZMA supplements consist of a synergistic combination of three different elements: two minerals; zinc and magnesium, and one vitamin; vitamin B6. These three elements in combination can have a significant impact on your immune system, hormonal balance, athletic performance, and can also help with better sleep.
The Importance of Zinc
Zinc (Zn) plays an essential role in many biological processes and is needed in small amounts each day to maintain satisfactory health. Zinc helps immune system function, hormone regulation, protein synthesis, and cell division. It even acts as an antioxidant within the body, fighting free radical damage and helping to slow the aging process.
Zinc For Muscle Growth & Repair
With the associated benefit of Zinc in cell division and growth, Zinc is directly correlated with repairing muscle mass and maintaining strength through the muscular and skeletal systems. Zinc also promotes the natural production of testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which all aid in building muscle mass.
Food Sources For Zinc
The best sources of Zinc come from high-protein animal-sourced foods, which yield the highest amounts of naturally occurring Zinc, such as
For all you vegans out there, you can acquire Zinc from plant-based sources, such as
- Pumpkin seeds
The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium (Mg) is the second-most abundant cation (positively charged ion) in human cellular systems. Magnesium is involved in nearly every biological process and has an innumerable amount of health benefits, which include inflammatory response, immune system health, heart health, muscle contraction, bone health, and enhances sleep. Magnesium deficiency is one the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults, with over 80% being deficient in this vital supplement. If you’re a high performing athlete, or you play disc golf on the weekends, adding some Mg into your diet can never hurt.
Magnesium As A Sleep Aid
Sleep is one of the most overlooked components of a healthy functioning biological system. And with our muscles constantly being in active recovery, sleep is extremely crucial for the muscle building repair process. When 46 subjects were administered 500 mg of Magnesium, or a placebo in a double-blind randomized controlled trial, over a period of 8 weeks, researchers found a significant improvement in, sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep quality in the Magnesium administered group. 1 Therefore, if you’re not getting enough sleep, supplementing with a ZMA might be exactly what you need to get a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and a good nights rest.
Food Sources Of Magnesium
The best sources of Magnesium come from green leafy vegetables, avocados, melons, nuts, and whole grains such as
- Black Beans
- Pumpkin Seeds
The Importance of Vitamin B6
Like Magnesium and Zinc, Vitamin B6 plays a major role in several biological processes. However, the biggest one is metabolism, specifically amino acid metabolism. Vitamin B6 also regulates glycolysis (The cellular degradation of the simple sugar glucose to yield pyruvic acid, and ATP as an energy source) and gluconeogenesis (The metabolic process in which glucose is formed, mostly in the liver, from non-carbohydrate precursors). Vitamin B6 has several derivatives, which are all important compounds to maintain a healthy nervous system and to make hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body. Most importantly, you need Vitamin B6 because it’s vital for efficient biological functioning, and the energy metabolism of glycogen. 3
Food Sources For Vitamin B6
- Turkey Breast
- Pinto Beans
- Liver based proteins
In conclusion, ZMA supplements can help tremendously in providing the micronutrient profile you need to conduct vital biological processes within your body. The sleep factors associated with Magnesium, energy metabolism associated with Vitamin B6 and the added benefit of muscle growth, repair, and division from Zinc, prove that ZMAs are an effective supplement for athletic performance, recovery, and getting better quaity sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping, or just want to improve overall health and athletic performance, supplementing GENETIX will help!
Elivate Nutrition is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed, not for the faint of heart, and not for the weak, our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance, increase strength and enhance recovery. Elivate products perform when you perform. We provide the nutrients you need, to power your active lifestyle.
- Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012;17(12):1161-9.
- Tam, M, et al. “Possible roles of magnesium on the immune system.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 1 Oct. 2003, www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v57/n10/full/1601689a.html?foxtrotcallback=true. Accessed 12 Sept. 2017.
- Stover, Patrick J, and Martha S Field. “Vitamin B-6.” Advances in Nutrition 6.1 (2015): 132–133. PMC. Web. 13 Sept. 2017.