The most crucial part of weight training, whether you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or extreme athlete, is to allow your body and muscles to heal.
Simply put, you cannot grow new muscle without proper recovery. And the prime time that your body heals itself and recovers is when you sleep.
With that, I’m going to give you my review of what I consider to be the most powerful supplement you can take for recovery and muscle growth: ZMA.
And this is the original SNAC ZMA formula that was developed by Victor Conte. I’ll give you the background story on that below, as well (and include a video by Victor himself, which he breaks down how ZMA works).
What Is ZMA?
ZMA is a precise blend of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It was created out of the need to help athletes recover from workouts.
The problem with intense training is that it depletes your body of certain nutrients, specifically zinc and magnesium.
- Zinc is needed to keep your immune system strong. It’s also important for maintaining healthy levels of testosterone and growth hormone. This information is backed by PeaceHealth’s article Zinc for Sports & Fitness.
- Magnesium supports strong bones and muscle function. It also plays a role in supporting your immune system along with blood glucose levels and heart rhythm per Dr. Stella Lucia Volpe (Ph.D., RD, LDN, FACSM) in her article Magnesium and the Athlete.
- Vitamin B6 is was added to the formula to increase bioavailability. Of course, there are the added benefits of red blood cell production and increased nitric oxide per the article from BodyLogicMD’s website These Are the 10 Most Important Vitamins for Muscles.
SNAC ZMA Ingredients and Label
Here’s the exact SNAC ZMA label, as also seen in the image above:
|Ingredient||Amount for Men||Amount for Women|
**Muscle growth, recovery, and maintaining healthy testosterone levels is not exclusive to just men. Women can also take ZMA.
How SNAC ZMA Works and Benefits
There are several benefits to supplementing with ZMA. It’s actually a sleep-enhancement formula. And that’s the culprit of how ZMA works.
The time your body recovers and builds new muscle tissue is in your deep, restful sleep. Deep sleep is also responsible (and necessary) to support your natural testosterone and growth hormone levels.
Here are the benefits of ZMA in a nutshell:
- Promotes deep, restful sleep
- Improves endurance and sustainable energy for your workouts
- Helps you gain more strength
- Helps your muscles recover from workouts to grow new muscle tissue
- Increases anabolic hormone production, naturally
- Prevents you from being deficient in zinc and magnesium
Jason’s SNAC ZMA Review and Experience
Prior to writing this review, I have taken approximately 10 full cycles of ZMA (1 cycle meaning 30 days, as each bottle is a 30-day supply).
I preface that because I refuse to review any supplement that I haven’t taken for an extended period of time. So I’ve got adequate experience with SNAC ZMA, and I’m taking it now at the time of writing this.
Here are the things I have noticed:
- Weird dreams
- Extremely restful sleep
- I don’t require as much sleep
- Wake up completely rested and ready to hit the gym (you may already know that I train in the early morning)
- I do notice a slight increase in performance and strength in the gym
- Feel a little more pep during the day
- I also notice more mental clarity
The one thing that stands out the most is the weird dreams I get when I take ZMA. You eventually get used to this but it can be a little creepy at first!
The other thing I didn’t mention above is you fall asleep fast. Within a few minutes of my head hitting the pillow, I’m out.
But here’s the thing – you really need to follow the label when taking ZMA to get the the benefits. Take it 30-60 minutes before bed and don’t take in any calcium during that time. Like, don’t down a glass of milk with your ZMA!
This is one of those supplements where I’ll take it and think ‘Wow, this is awesome…I’m never going to stop taking this stuff’ yet I sometimes forget to order it again before I run out. Because of that, I’ve been known to go without taking ZMA for several months at a time.
That said, I aspire to stay on ZMA all the time. There’s no need to ‘cycle’ it or take a break from it. Zinc and magnesium are minerals that your body needs daily, and especially if you’re training hard, which we know depletes these minerals.
Where to Buy SNAC ZMA
The easiest place to find SNAC ZMA in on Amazon. I’ve never actually send it in local vitamin stores, although I’m sure some do carry it.
You can purchase SNAC ZMA here:
Purchase SNA ZMA on AMAZON
**This is my affiliate link and I do get rewarded if you purchase through my link, which helps support this site. And I do appreciate that.
History and Background of ZMA
In the 1990s, Victor Conte was working with over 250 NFL players to help enhance their performance. After taking blood samples, he noticed they had either depletions or deficiencies of zinc and magnesium.
Knowing that when you sleep is when tissue repair and muscle growth are maximized, Victor created a formula of zinc and magnesium and added vitamin B6 to enhance the absorption of these micronutrients.
This was later brought to the public through Twinlab, is a popular sports nutrition and supplement company. Now it’s sold through Victor’s own company SNAC Nutrition. You can learn more about SNAC here.
Victor explains in detail in the video above how ZMA works during the five stages of sleep and how this impacts testosterone and growth hormone. He also gives some background on how and why ZMA was originally created.
Beware of ‘Fake’ ZMA Supplements
Although ZMA is not a patented formula, ‘ZMA’ is a registered trademark. Several supplements use the true ZMA trademark, which they are licensed to do so through SNAC Nutrition. You can read more about that on Wikipedia.
However, there are many supplements that contain these ingredients and claim it has similar benefits of the real ZMA but that may not be the case.
There are 2 problems with this:
- A supplement brand will include other ingredients with this formula, which can often negate the positive effects
- They will not have the appropriate dose of zinc, magnesium, and B6, which could be complete ineffective (aka waste of your money)
So if you don’t get the original SNAC Nutrition ZMA, make sure the supplement has ‘ZMA’ registered trademark on the product. That way yo know you’re getting the true formula.
If I Could Only Take 1 Supplement…
I’ve often told myself if I could only take one supplement that it would be ZMA (even though I sometimes forget to order more before I run out!).
Most other minerals, micronutrients, and vitamins I can get enough of through food. Of course, you can get zinc and magnesium through food as well. But remember that ZMA is a specific formula and precise blend of these minerals, with the included vitamin B6.
I’m sure you could get close to that formula and have similar effects. But SNAC ZMA is extremely reasonably priced. It’s not one of those hyped-up supplements, thankfully.
I hope you enjoy my review of SNAC ZMA. This is something I have recommended to several of my friends, even those who do not lift like I do. And they have benefited from it as well.
I’ll include the link to purchase on Amazon again here:
Get SNAC ZMA on Amazon
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Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,