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Old 10-27-2006, 11:14 AM   #1
Coach Rutherford
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Default On Board with ZMA?

Super Moderator and others,

Are we on board with the ZMA B4 bed? As an aging athlete (47) I'm looking to enhanced recovery. I'm not sure I'm healing faster I'm still sore in the morning.
I'm experiencing the odd dream state I have heard mentioned by others.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
Steve Shafley
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My problems with ZMA stem from the window of opportunity the nutrient combination seems to have. If I don't take it between 30-45 minutes of going to sleep, it seems to disturb my sleep, rather than enhance it. I have the same problem with melatonin.

One thing that might be nice to add to a bedtime/ZMA kind of stack is the amino acid L-Taurine.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:50 AM   #3
Jeremy Jones
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I take it right before bed (which is usually about 1hr after eating or less). Occationally I take it during the day. I have not noticed any affects to my sleep, but I might start paying attention to it now.
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
Robb Wolf
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Rut-
I like it. The literature looks good. Not a panacea but I think it's worth tinkering with.
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:42 AM   #5
Allen Yeh
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When I took ZMA as a combined product I did notice I had very vivid dreams. When I took zince oxide and magnesium aspartate as seperate pills, I didn't notice any crazy dreams.

I didn't notice anything noticeble one way or the other when experimenting both ways, other than the dreams.

I've seen the dosing they recommend anyone else have any deviation from that they they personally like? Does everyone else just take the combined pill? Or does anyone else take it as seperate supplements, 2 zinc pills+3 magnesium pills?
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:08 AM   #6
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Yes...the dreams. That is the part that convinced me that ZMA was worth it. I am still "Old School" enough to believe that the more I dream (or the clarity) is a factor in measuring the worth of a night's rest.

Steve is right. I swallow them right before I go to bed and you can take them earlier, but it seems to change the sleep pattern. So, you will get up to pee (drinking water with the pills), but the quality is better. And, if you use the bed for anything else but sleep when you first lay down...you are going to simply pass out after...and sleep great! This will help recovery, I tell Tiff...
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:42 PM   #7
Scott Kustes
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I used to take it, but find it superfluous since shifting to 95%+ Paleo. If I were to set a relative benchmark of pre-ZMA as being a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of sleep, and "with ZMA" being a 10, my "post-ZMA, totally Paleo" sleep is like a 9.5. I have very vivid dreams, perhaps not as vivid as on ZMA, but as long as I'm eating well, I recover like a champ and sleep like a baby (which is an idiotic statement given that babies wake up every 2 hours....regardless you get the drift). I don't see the little benefit of ZMA over a Paleo diet as being worth the $10 per month (cheap in terms of supplements, but why spend for what isn't needed).
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
Craig Cooper
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If Zinc and Magnesium intake is adequate through dietary sources, how does ZMA produce any results? I would expect that Scott's experience would be pretty common place when switching from a diet that was likely deficient in both of these minerals to one that was rich in them. Also, wouldn't the extra magnesium compromise calcium absorbption?

I'd also like to note that in the primary study done on ZMA, which was performed at WWU (where I went to school), the athletes pre-trial levels of zinc and magnesium were close to deficient, which would explain how ZMA might have boosted their performance. Also, the study was funded by ZMA patent holders (SNAC Systems inc.), and one of the study's authors has significant equity in that company.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:13 AM   #9
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I don't want to get into a debate here, but Poliquin wrote this about ZMA:

"One of those things you can control is your low level of zinc. I have never seen normal levels of zinc and magnesium with my first time clients. Say what you will about Victor Conte, but when he came out with ZMA, he solved America's two greatest deficiencies: zinc and magnesium.

Restoring magnesium level is a bit more complicated than just using pure ZMA. Restoring zinc is fairly easy; it really doesn't take that long. Restoring magnesium levels can sometimes take four times longer. If you're deficient in magnesium then you can't sleep well. About 68% of the American population complains of some sort of sleep disorder, and that's due largely to magnesium levels. That's why people who start taking ZMA will sleep better.


Some studies will show that 58% of the population is zinc and magnesium deficient. Other studies show 75%. But I can tell you that with the athletic population or with anyone who exercises four or five times a week, it's 100%. Usually you can correct a zinc deficiency in a non-athlete at 30mg a day for eight weeks. With the athletic population, we sometimes need to bring the dose up to 180mg a day for two months and then start to taper.

How can you tell if you're deficient? Well, you most likely are! But there is a very cheap test you can do to be sure. You buy this stuff called Zinc Tally, which is basically liquid zinc. You put it in your mouth and if you're normal it tastes like a liquefied metal car bumper. But when we ask the athletes who come into my centers what it tastes like, they'll say it tastes like water. They're so deficient they can't perceive there's any zinc in the solution.


Once they rebuild their zinc level, they can barely keep the Zinc Tally in their mouth. If they have to practically spit it out after eight weeks, then we know their zinc levels are normal.

In short, although age 31 is when we see things start to "fall apart," many of these things can be prevented by maximizing androgen levels through the means discussed above."

I started doing ZMA simply because Shaf (Steve Shafley) recommended it. I found my dreams instantly became more vivid. I NEVER trust research as it usually just tells us what we know (Lifting weights will make you stronger), but I will try things that a friend recommends. In fact, I had a great lunch once time with a guy named Robb Wolf and he taught me that my chicken eating was good for me...

So, I take ZMA because of my experiences...
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:30 AM   #10
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Disclaimer: I don't take ZMA, I take magnesium and zinc separately...probably because I'm taking a ton of magnesium and just a little zinc. Also I have a definite pro-magnesium bias because when I started taking it, I saw noticeable symptoms of what I had suspected was magnesium depletion disappearing with sleep, energy, stress levels, and a bunch of other things.

I haven't ever read anything about too much magnesium decreasing calcium absorption. It's actually the other way around: calcium cannot enter the bones without adequate magnesium. If you get too much calcium it pulls magnesium out. Other things that deplete magnesium include diuretics, chronic pain, various diseases, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine, stress and crappy diets (too much calcium, carbs, sugar, sodium, etc.)

Most people are deficient in magnesium. The lowest estimate I've read was 70% in the US and the highest was 90-95.

This article is pretty good and cites a ton of studies, and there's sections on athletes down near the bottom: http://www.mgwater.com/conseq.shtml
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