About ten years ago, the supplement industry introduced a new spin on two old, but necessary, nutritional supplements. By combining the minerals - zinc and magnesium aspartate (this is where they get the letters for ZMA) - a safe and powerful supplement for increasing testosterone and aiding in muscle recovery was brought to the forefront of the minds of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike. Many people already knew that zinc and magnesium were essential nutrients for overall health, but how was the combination of the two supposed to induce muscle growth in strength training athletes?

In men, the highest concentrations of zinc are found in the prostate. Zinc plays a pivotal role in the production of semen and testosterone. Testosterone is an extremely anabolic hormone which is essential to muscle growth and sexual health. Zinc could even be considered an anabolic mineral. Women can also benefit from testosterone stimulating supplements. While, women do not have the same levels of testosterone that men do, it still circulates in their body and plays a major role in muscle growth.

The mineral magnesium is one of several electrolytes in the human body and also aids in the energy production process. The majority of magnesium is found in bones and helps with the absorption of calcium, but an important aspect that is not very well known is that it is also a natural muscle relaxer and can help to regulate sleep patterns. This natural sedative effect of magnesium is why ZMA nutrition supplements are generally taken before going to bed.

Supplementing with ZMA has been shown to:

· Increase free testosterone levels
· Reduce muscle recovery time
· Induces a deeper sleep
· Aids in strength gains
· Increase lean body mass
· Gives more energy throughout the day

After putting your body through brutal workouts day after day, recovery is of paramount importance. If your sleep quality is compromised, it becomes increasingly difficult for your muscles to recover from hard workouts, and even your immune system will begin to suffer. Sleep is one of the most critical stages in optimizing muscle recovery and athletic performance, not to mention your overall health!

During the deepest stages of sleep, known as REM sleep, your body is in an optimal state to increase its’ anabolic (muscle building) hormone levels. This includes a greater output of Growth Hormone (GH), and as stated above, the zinc in ZMA helps to increase testosterone levels. If you are serious about wanting to build muscle, testosterone and GH are two of the most important factors in your plan.

With so many new and scientifically advanced approaches to nutrition and muscle building supplements, it can be a little overwhelming to the average consumer. Nutrition labels are littered with near impossible to pronounce words that it can scare a future fitness enthusiast from purchasing a muscle gaining product because they don’t know (and can’t pronounce) what they are buying. With ZMA, you can have piece of mind that not only will you know what you are putting in your body, but also that you will be using a supplement that has been proven effective.

Author's Bio: 

Tim Mielke
Competitive Bodybuilder and Author

Tim Mielke has been involved in the supplement industry for over 15 years. As a former competitive body builder and personal trainer, Tim has extensive first-hand knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls of fitness supplementation. Knowledge so extensive, in fact, that his book, “The Book of Supplement Secrets: A Beginners Guide to Nutritional Supplements,” was recently published and is currently available through Amazon.com. Tim brings this supplement and bodybuilding know-how to www.i-supplements.com as a contributing author and researcher.