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Many bodybuilders and other weight-training athletes have tried prohormones in their search for a legal and effective way of increasing testosterone levels and muscle strength. However, new research has surfaced indicating that prohormones may not be the best choice for athletes looking to enhance their anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength. In fact, there is an amazingly effective new sports performance product called ZMA that has been clinically proven to significantly increase both anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.
ZMA is a scientifically designed, university laboratory tested anabolic mineral support formula. ZMA contains zinc monomethionine aspartate plus magnesium aspartate and vitamin B-6 in the precise ratios that were used in the research. ZMA is a patent pending all natural product that is manufactured utilizing a unique proprietary process, which significantly enhances the absorption and utilization of both zinc and magnesium.
ZMA is the first night time anabolic formula developed specifically to enhance recovery by improving sleep efficiency. ZMA is a very effective sleep aid. We recommend that you take three capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth are maximized during sleep, so quality sleep is extremely important to you.
An independent study of ZMA was recently conducted at Western Washington University under the direction of sports performance researcher, Lorrie Brilla, Ph.D. A group of 12 competitive NCAA football players who took ZMA nightly during an intensive 8 week spring training program had their total and free testosterone levels increase by 32.4% and 33.5%, respectively. In contrast, the placebo group of 15 athletes engaged in the same intense training regimen experienced a significant decrease in total and free testosterone by 10.2% and 10.5%, respectively. The insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels in the ZMA group increased by 3.6% compared to a substantial 21.5% decrease in the placebo group.
33.5% INCREASE (ZMA) COMPARED TO
10.2% DECREASE (PLACEBO) IN SERUM
FREE TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
43.7% DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
ZMA AND PLACEBO
In addition to measuring the anabolic hormone increases in the football players, Dr. Brilla measured their muscle strength and functional power increases. The players who took ZMA nightly during the 8-week period of intensive training had 2.5 times greater strength gains than the placebo group. According to Dr. Brilla, "This study shows that anabolic hormone and muscle strength increases can be induced in already strength-trained athletes by using a novel zinc-magnesium preparation". This is the exact formula used in ZMA.
% INCREASE IN MUSCLE STRENGTH
ZMA SUBJECTS HAD 2.5 TIMES
GREATER INCREASE IN STRENGTH
Many world class athletes are reporting tremendous benefits from ZMA, in the gym, as well as on the athletic field. For example, more than 250 NFL players are currently taking ZMA. Lester Archambeau, starting defensive end for last year's NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, says he is, "extremely satisfied with ZMA. ZMA definitely helps me recover! I can tell when I take it and when I don't. There is no doubt that it makes me sleep better." And when it comes to the gym, the big Falcon claims, "I have much better endurance when taking ZMA."
Bryce Paup, Jacksonville Jaguar's multi-All Pro defensive end and 1995 Defensive Player of the Year (he led the NFL with 17.5 sacks) has also been taking advantage of ZMA. Paup says, "When I take ZMA, I sleep better and more soundly, and I feel more rested when I wake up." And when it comes to the football field, Paup claims, "The more I rest and the better I sleep, the better I perform on the field."
In addition to the professional football players, more than 25 IFBB pro bodybuilders have benefited from using ZMA. Flex Wheeler (2000 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Champion) says "I can't believe how much better I feel using ZMA. I have greater output. I'm stronger in everything. I wake up very well rested, and my workouts have gone better!"
Michael Ashley (1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Champion) claims "ZMA is the most effective recovery supplement I've used in my entire bodybuilding career! A deep and restful sleep is the secret to maximizing the anabolic process."
While zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common in the general population, deficiencies of these minerals are even more prevalent in athletes. Research shows that rigorous training results in significantly greater bodily losses of zinc and magnesium.
In 1998, BALCO Laboratories in Burlingame, California, tested the mineral status of over 250 NFL players, including the entire Denver Broncos Super Bowl championship team, as well as the entire Miami Dolphins team. Over 70% of these football players were found to be either depleted or deficient in zinc and magnesium. After correcting their zinc and magnesium deficiencies with appropriate ZMA supplementation, many of these athletes have report very positive results. John Gamble, strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins, reports that "players using ZMA are cramping much less and seem to be getting a much more deep and restful sleep which significantly enhances their recovery".
The NCAA football players in the ZMA study had reduced baseline blood levels of both zinc and magnesium as well. However, eight weeks of nightly ZMA supplementation was very effective in optimizing their levels of these minerals, resulting in dramatic increases in their anabolic hormone levels as well as muscular strength.
Most of the prohormone experts have recommended that women in particular should not consume prohomones. However, ZMA is a very effective product for women. In a study involving nationally ranked elite bodybuilders, eleven female bodybuilders were found to consume an average of 9 mg of zinc per day. This is only 76% of the RDA for zinc, which is 12 mg per day for the average female. The recommended dosage of ZMA for women contains 20 mg of elemental zinc. This is a more appropriate dosage for female athletes, because rigorous exercise and stress causes even greater bodily losses of zinc.
Another group that has been advised by the experts to avoid taking prohormones are teenage male athletes. However, I think it would be beneficial for young male athletes to take an appropriate daily dosage of ZMA. The RDA for zinc for males 11 years and up is 15 mg per day. Two capsules of ZMA contain 20 mg of zinc and 300 mg of magnesium, appropriate daily dosages for physically active young men, 13 to 17 years of age.
To summarize, ZMA is rapidly becoming the preferred natural testosterone-boosting supplement by strength athletes who were previously using prohormones. This is because ZMA has two very important advantages over prohormones. First, ZMA doesn't need to be cycled, because ZMA will not suppress your own endogenous production of testosterone like prohormones. ZMA may be taken on a continuous basis, while the prohormone proponents suggest that they be cycled. Secondly, since ZMA is not a prohormone or hormone precursor, it is not banned by any athletic organizations including the NCAA, NFL or the U.S. Olympic Committee.
In conclusion, I'm optimistic that the science of ZMA will eventually help to establish an entirely new category of all natural sports performance products called "Nighttime Anabolic Formulas" or "Sleep and Recovery Aids". I believe that as more athletes begin to truly understand the process of maximizing recovery, healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth, they'll be rapidly spreading the "recover as you sleep" gospel of ZMA.