I had a strong lifting day today having done 5×5′s in both the deadlift and the overhead press, setting personal bests in both. To maximize my benefits, I had branched chain aminos in a drink while I lifted and had a post-workout recovery drink. Later in the day, I enjoyed a high protein dinner. Before bed there is just one last thing to do before dropping off to sleep-take my ZMA.
ZMA is a high performance OTC supplement consisting of aspartate and methionine forms of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. All are essential nutrients and I recently wrote of magnesium and how common deficiencies are of the important mineral in the general population and even more with hard-charging athletes.
ZMA should be taken on an empty stomach an hour before bedtime for the best results. Of course, getting a good night’s sleep is vital for recovery and that is the time the body releases anabolic growth hormone for repair and muscle-building. Adding ZMA over an 8 week period can increase free and total testosterone by more than 30% and about a 4% increase in IGF-1 according to a recent study done with NCAA football players. Anabolic hormones and quality of sleep will both increase. It is likely you will attain deeper, slow wave sleep stages. (I sleep deeper than normal and wake up more rested and refreshed. My dreams sometimes are a little stranger, but for me, entertaining!)
The upshot of ZMA supplementation is enhanced strength, endurance, recovery and growth and replace the deficiencies that hard exercise contribute to.
Remember, growth occurs during sleep and ZMA will help to maximize everything you do in the gym. Give it a try.