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8Oct/11Off

What is ZMA?

ZMA is short for Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate which is typically used as a supplement in bodybuilding and other athletic sports.

Zinc – is a vital mineral that is used during protein synthesis and cell growth (including muscle cell growth).  It is also synthesised during testosterone production

Magnesium – is essential for bone strength, maintaining your immune system, used during muscle contractions and in the nervous system.

Aspartate – a precursor to several amino acids including four essential amino acids.

The current formula of ZMA found in today’s supplements contain zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6.  The name “ZMA” is trademarked to SNAC Systems Inc.  ZMA is designed to increase strength levels, particularly useful for those in bodybuilding.

B6 – is an important vitamin for a healthy lifestyle.  It also optimises ZMA absorption.

Today’s supplements like USN ZMA contains around 30mg of zinc, 450mg of magnesium and approximately 10.5mg of vitamin B6 per serving.  USN ZMA should be taken before bed and ideally on an empty stomach due to possible food/drug interactions like with calcium (milk/cheese) and other supplements, i.e no protein shakes with the ZMA capsules.  This is due to absorption of the zinc being reduced, if not blocked entirely.

Research that has been carried out by several supplement producing companies have varied reports about ZMA, more so to do with the potential anabolic effects of this supplements, such as the same ingredients found in USN ZMA.  Two studies that I have looked at concluded that the effect of ZMA levels in the body had increased, but there was no effect on the level of testosterone in the body.  However, there was another study, but this was supposedly funded by SNAC Systems (who hold the patent), where a control group claimed that the ZMA tablets gave them better increases in muscle strength. Therefore, it is always wise to look at who wrote the article and the reference sources that were used.

ZMA has been used in the bodybuilding sport for several years now.  Even if the supplement doesn’t have a direct effect of increase muscle strength, it does however have additional benefits like helping to sleep better.  Therefore, it can be argued that if you get a better night’s sleep due to the ZMA capsules, then this will help with muscle recovery and growth.

Why not kick start your exercise routine and add in USN Whey Protein – taken three times daily, combined with the ZMA for additional benefits.

1Mar/11Off

Supplement sales soar in the UK

The supplements industry in the United Kingdom has come a long way over the past decade or two.  There has been a massive growth in the number of monster supplements and users of these supplements to help them achieve their fitness goals.  Monster supplements were mainly viewed and thought of in the past to be used solely by bodybuilders, however, now, it is quite the opposite, I know of friends and family members that use supplements.  Now, that may be down to the prominent and wide array of marketing that supplement brands have carried out over the years, to bring the attention to the masses, or it could be that they have read about the health benefits of taking such supplements, or a bit of both.

Some of the main brands in my opinion in the UK, would be Maximuscle (everyone knows about them), PhD Nutrition, Ultimate Sports Nutrition (USN), Sci-Mx, CNP, Gaspari (an American brand, but now becoming more and more popular in the UK), Optimum Nutrition…the list goes on, these are a select few.  Maximuscle appeared in the news recently, regarding the sale of the parent company, Maxinutrition to Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), a major worldwide pharmaceutical company.  They don’t get much bigger than GSK, a FTSE 100 company, and are the third biggest pharmaceutical company in the world by a revenue measurement.  They mainly specialize in pharmaceutical products and vaccines, along with a whole host of preventative medicines.  More recently, in late 2010, GSK announced the acquisition of the UK’s biggest monster supplements company, Maxinutrition, in the region of 162 million GBP. From a company that was relatively new ten years ago, to 162m is a reasonable achievement! Maxinutrition is a perfect example to illustrate just how the market has grown over such a small time period. Monster Muscle are retailers of the UK’s leading brand, Maximuscle but also stock many other monster supplements.