This is the fifth article in our ongoing ZMA series. Click below to read the other articles:
Our in-depth review of ZMA Advanced takes a look at all the different ingredients found in our ZMA formula and discusses the benefits of each nutrient, the role they play in the body, how ZMA increases performance and why you should take ZMA Advanced.
Throughout our ZMA Series, we’ve discussed the basics of what ZMA is, why zinc and magnesium are essential and why ZMA Advanced is different from traditional industry standards.
But what does this mean?
In this article we’ll take a deeper look at the ingredients of our ZMA Advanced and how exactly you can benefit from this supplement, regardless of whether you’re an athlete that trains hard every day or a weekend warrior with a busy work life.
One of our Earth Fed Elite, Nick Gwiazdowski, 2X World Bronze Medalist in Freestyle Wresting, is a big fan of our ZMA Advanced!
The ingredients that can be found in our ZMA Advanced include:
- Zinc L-carnosine
- Magnesium citrate
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Choline bitartrate
ZincZinc is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in the proper functioning of the immune system. This is important for athletes due to the constant wear and tear on their bodies and their need to maintain proper nutrition and recovery.
However, everyone needs zinc in their diet in order to stay healthy. You can even find zinc as a main ingredient in cold medicine and lozenges.
This is due to zinc’s role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which are important benefits for any individual, but especially athletes and people who are active.
While studies show varying results in regards to the effects of zinc on performance, one study in particular showed a positive hormonal benefit post-exercise. (1) The subjects were broken into different groups and given a zinc supplement or placebo. The results showed that the group consuming a zinc supplement had higher serum testosterone levels post-exercise compared to those who didn’t.
Signs of Zinc DeficiencySome signs of zinc deficiency include poor cognitive function, a weakened immune system, diarrhea, allergies to different foods or environments, thinning hair, leaking gut and/or skin issues.
Zinc L-CarnosineOur ZMA Advanced formula uses zinc L-carnosine as opposed to typical ZMA supplements that use zinc aspartate. Unlike zinc aspartate, zinc L-carnosine provides a combination of histadine, beta-alanine and amino acids. Carnosine has been shown to improve gut health along with stabilizing the small bowel. (2)
Sources of Zinc
You can obtain small amounts of zinc through adequate diet and nutrition. Keeping a well-balanced diet including meat, shellfish, dairy, cereals and bread is a sufficient way to obtain zinc.
MagnesiumLike zinc, magnesium is an essential nutrient. Magnesium is a key player in promoting sleep, reducing stress and protecting against disease. Optimal magnesium levels also play a role in the protection of metabolic health, improving cognitive health, improving heart health and helping to stabilize mood.
However, one of its most important roles include its ability to maintain proper function of enzymes.
Enzymes speed up chemical reactions in the body. In fact, almost all biological reactions in living organisms need enzymes in order to function properly. Magnesium plays a part in the function of over 300 different enzymes in the body. (6)
With all this being said, it’s no wonder magnesium plays such an important role in athlete nutrition and recovery.
But how so?
Magnesium is important for activating ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecule that fuels your body’s cells. How can you increase your ATP? Creatine has been proven to increase ATP production along with a variety of other benefits.
Magnesium also helps transport important minerals including calcium and potassium, which are players in proper muscle and nerve function.
In training and recovery, athletes know just how important hydration can be. Magnesium plays a role in hydration as it acts as an electrolyte.
Magnesium is mentioned often in the sports performance world as it has been shown to reduce stress response to effort and increase red blood cells and hemoglobin in athletes. One study involving a group of triathletes showed that magnesium improved faster start times in swimming, cycling and running. (3)
One of magnesium’s most widely known benefits includes its ability to improve sleep. But how exactly does it do this?
Well, it has a lot to do with its influence over GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Proper intake of magnesium helps to maintain healthy levels of GABA.
Magnesium deficiency, along with having low levels of GABA, can lead to inflammation and elevated levels of c-reactive proteins (CRP).
Sources of Magnesium
Some natural food sources of magnesium include green leafy veggies, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and dairy.
Vitamin B6The third ingredient included in the traditional ZMA formula includes vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is involved several biological functions. Some of its daily jobs include carrying red blood cells throughout the body, obtaining energy from the food that we eat, boosting mood, improving immune system function, being a natural painkiller and more.
Sources of Vitamin B6
Some natural food sources of vitamin B6 include pork, chicken, turkey, fish, bread, whole grains, eggs and vegetables.
While these ingredients would usually be all that are involved in your average ZMA supplement, the Earth Fed Muscle ZMA Advanced formula is incomparable with its additional benefits from three added ingredients: vitamin C, pantethine and choline bitartrate.
Sure, vitamin C may be thought of as the king of antioxidants, but it has many other benefits. Vitamin C has been shown to help reduce blood pressure, possibly prevent any risk of heart disease, prevent iron deficiencies by improving iron absorption, improving white blood cell function and protect your brain against cognitive decline.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body doesn’t produce it on its own. This requires you to obtain it from different foods in your diet. A variety of fruit can provide with optimal amounts of vitamin C, including cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, etc.
The fifth ingredient in our ZMA Advanced includes pantethine. While pantethine may not be as well known as some other supplements, it’s just as important. In fact, it helps make coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is needed for the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids.
A few studies have shown that adding pantethine to your diet can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One study in particular examined patients at risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). After 16 weeks, the group supplementing with pantethine saw a significant decrease in total cholesterol. (4)
Choline BitartrateLast but not least, we have choline bitartrate.
Choline bitartrate, to put it simply, is a salt form of choline with a molecular make up of C9H19NO7. Bitartrate improves choline’s absorption rate to help maximize its benefits.
While it’s possible for your body to produce small amounts of choline, on its own is not enough. That’s why it’s so important to obtain this essential nutrient from different foods in your diet such as muscle meat, fish, nuts , spinach, beans, peas, eggs or our ZMA Advanced.
Choline bitartrate offers a number of different benefits for both your brain and your body.
Choline is extremely necessary in the development of the brain. This is especially true when it comes to the development of the hippocampus which is responsible for memory and spatial navigation. It’s also a precursor for an important neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine has one of the most important roles as it transmits signals across neurons. It’s the main neurotransmitter used at neuromuscular junctions (chemical synapses formed by the contact between a motor neuron and muscle fiber). This is the neurotransmitter responsible for the actual contraction of your muscles.
Along with being an antioxidant, choline bitartrate can improve heart health due to its ability to reduce homocysteine. Homocysteine is a common amino acid found in meat and is produced as a part of the body’s methylation process. Unfortunately, homocysteine has been shown to be a toxic by-product of your metabolism that may increase risk of CVD. High levels of homocysteine can occur when an individual is deficient in folate, vitamin B6 or vitamin B12.
ZMA Advanced for Optimal Sleep and Recovery
The combination of zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, pantethine and choline bitartrate is formulated to optimally improve sleep quality and recovery. Athletes especially know just how important sleep is for optimal recovery. There are countless studies that show just how important sleep can be to improving sport performance, central nervous system recovery, proper immune system function and your muscles ability to recover from strenuous exercise.
Improved Muscle Size and StrengthThe nutrients listed above, zinc in particular, are thought to help improve muscle protein synthesis. In fact, one study showed that zinc deficiency severely impaired growth when combined with reduced food intake which lead to reduced reduced anabolic responses, reduces activation of protein synthesis and an increased catabolic response overall. (5)
Should You Take ZMA Advanced?
While all the ingredients listed in our ZMA Advanced formula can be found in nutritional foods in your daily diet, an individual that trains hard and often may still be lacking enough of these nutrients to fully recover properly.
Both your nervous system and immune system take a brutal hit when getting put through a tough workout, and if you’re not careful it could have negative effects on your future training sessions without proper recovery. Taking ZMA Advanced will help your ability to maintain your training levels while recovering as best you can!