Last updated: August 12, 2021

Our method

21Products analysed

79Hours spent

62Evaluated articles

121User reviews

Welcome to our big ZMA test 2021. Here we present all the ZMA products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best ZMA supplement for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. We also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a ZMA supplement.




The most important information

  • ZMA is a food supplement and consists of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. The mineral complex is involved in numerous processes in the human body. That is why it is important to keep our depots filled.
  • ZMA supports muscle development and function and improves testosterone production in women and men. In addition, it improves sleep quality due to its support of hormonal balance in the body.
  • The mineral complex is particularly suitable for recreational athletes, competitive athletes and bodybuilders, but also for people with increased zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 requirements.

The Best ZMA: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying ZMA

What is ZMA?

ZMA is a combination product of two minerals, zinc and magnesium, and vitamin B6. It increases testosterone production, improves sleep quality and has a libido-boosting effect.

Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 in the form of ZMA improves numerous processes in the body and is responsible for the optimal functioning of our organism.

Zinc is an essential trace element and cannot be produced by the body itself. It must be supplied with food and is consequently involved in numerous metabolic processes.

Zinc is a cell-protecting antioxidant and strengthens the immune system, ensures a balanced acid-base balance and is essential for the growth of skin, hair and nails. In addition, it is involved in the production of testosterone.

Magnesium is a bulk element and fulfils numerous functions in the human body. In particular, it is responsible for the activation of enzymes in energy metabolism and for the functioning of the nerves on the muscles and for muscle contraction.

As a water-soluble vitamin, vitaminB6 is important for enzyme action. It is also involved in numerous processes in the human body. These include: amino acid/protein metabolism, haemoglobin formation and functions in the nervous and immune systems.

ZMA is particularly known as a testosterone booster and is therefore used especially for performance enhancement. (Image source: unsplash.com / Alora Griffiths)

What effect does ZMA have in the body?

The combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 supports a variety of processes in the human organism. The most important effects are the support of a normal energy metabolism and testosterone levels in the blood and a well-functioning protein synthesis.

In addition, a daily intake of 50 mg vitamin B-6 and 200 mg magnesium has been shown to lead to reduced symptoms during menstruation in women.

The sometimes occurring negative accompanying symptoms of menstruation could be reduced. Such symptoms were nervous mood, mood swings, irritability and anxiety. (1)

Zinc enters our body with food and supports testosterone production if the concentration of zinc in the organism is sufficient. A zinc deficiency can limit this and other effects. Such a deficiency can be caused by excessive sweating during sports or an unbalanced diet low in zinc.

Magnesium controls the metabolic processes of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C. A deficiency of magnesium can also lead to a deficiency of magnesium. A deficiency of magnesium can also lead to disturbances in these processes. In addition, it controls the function of muscles and nerves and is an important catalyst in the burning of fats.

Magnesium is therefore an important energy supplier. If magnesium is not sufficiently absorbed, the work of muscles and the heart, the strength of bones and teeth, the function of the nervous system, the excitability of muscle and nerve cells, etc. are impaired.

Strictly speaking, vitamin B6 consists of three substances: pyridoxole, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. It is particularly necessary for the conversion and building of proteins (=protein). It is also needed for the metabolism of the central nervous system and for the formation of haemoglobin (=red blood pigment).

A B6 vitamin preparation is used to treat concentration, learning and sleep disorders and depression. Since vitamin B6 is found in many foods, deficiencies are rare.

According to investigations in a study, it can be assumed that vitamin B-6 has an influence on the deep sleep phase (REM phase). Field reports also describe altered and intensified dreaming. (2)

Symptoms of vitamin B-6 deficiency include acne, fatigue, poor performance, growth disorders and increased susceptibility to infections.

How does ZMA work for better sleep?

ZMA is used as a dietary supplement to improve sleep and for sleep disorders. It has a positive effect on our hormone levels and cortisol balance.

Cortisol is our body's stress hormone. It ensures that our ability to concentrate is not impaired by being awake. On the other hand, our cortisol level must not be too high in the evening so that we can fall asleep better. ZMA brings about exactly this balance throughout the day. A good magnesium supply to the body also increases the quality of sleep.

ZMA increases the quality of sleep at night and creates the optimal conditions for restorative and regenerative sleep. (Image source: unsplash.com / Kinga Cichewicz)

How does ZMA affect testosterone levels?

ZMA is considered a very well-known testosterone booster. Testosterone is an essential male sex hormone in the body and can contribute to more strength and muscle mass.

Zinc in particular can lead to an increase in testosterone levels. These two factors have a positive influence on muscle function and physique. The importance of testosterone has been studied and confirmed for several years.

It can therefore be assumed that zinc and magnesium lead to accelerated muscle growth with appropriate training. (3)

However, the intake of ZMA does not lead to an increase in testosterone levels if a sufficient amount of zinc is consumed through a balanced diet. However, if not enough zinc is consumed through the diet, ZMA can have an increasing effect on testosterone levels. (4)

Testosterone is an important male sex hormone, also called androgen. It is present in both the male and female organism, but in different concentrations. During puberty, testosterone contributes to the growth of the sexual organs.

In the following table we have listed the most important functions of testosterone in men and women:

Sex Function of testosterone
Man Use of voice break, development of broad shoulders and a broad chest, Increasing hair (beard, armpit and pubic hair), Sex-specific prominent chin and broad jaw
Woman Deepening of the voice, growth of the clitoris, increase in body and facial hair (hirsutism), Acne

The production of the male sex hormone decreases in the male sex with increasing age. The androgen level begins to decrease by about one to two percent per year at around 40 years of age.

A testosterone deficiency is indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Decreased sperm count
  • Shrinking testicles
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression

Find out in the following video whether taking ZMA as a testosterone booster is necessary to achieve success in training.

For whom is ZMA supplementation suitable?

ZMA is suitable for every health-conscious person. Especially bodybuilders, performance-oriented fitness athletes, people with an increased zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 requirement and people with a deficiency of one of the three ingredients can benefit from taking ZMA.

A deficiency can be determined both by a doctor or by identifying a deficiency on your own. If a deficiency is suspected, a doctor should be consulted for confirmation.

What are the alternatives to ZMA?

In terms of a comparable alternative to ZMA, it is possible to supplement ZMA in its individual components.

Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 are available individually in various forms. For example, it is possible to buy magnesium in effervescent tablet form. The disadvantage here is that effervescent tablets cannot be absorbed as well as ZMA because it is bound to amino acids. This ensures better utilisation in the body.

To supplement zinc, it is possible to take zinc tablets. These contain an average of 25 mg of zinc. Vitamin B6 and vitamin B complex preparations are also available in different concentrations and dosage forms as dietary supplements.

Tribulus can also be taken as a testosterone booster instead of ZMA. This is also available in capsule form and contains the extract from plant origin.

The combined effect of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 as an "all-rounder" in the right dosage is guaranteed by taking ZMA.

Decision: What types of ZMA are there and which is right for you?

If you want to include ZMA in your diet, you can distinguish between two different types of ZMA:

  • ZMA Capsules
  • ZMA tablets

Depending on which type you choose to take, you will have different advantages and disadvantages. In order to make the best decision for you, we would like to make your choice easier in the following paragraphs.

What distinguishes ZMA capsules and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

ZMA is mainly available on the market in capsule form. Each capsule contains the optimal concentration of the three ingredients. Therefore, taking the capsules is as practical as it is simple.

It is recommended to take the capsules with enough liquid to make swallowing easier. There is a slight delay in the effect, as the capsule shell must first dissolve in the stomach before the contents can enter the bloodstream to unfold their effect.

Advantages
  • Optimal concentration
  • Practical and easy to take
  • Neutral taste
  • Suitable to take along
Disadvantages
  • Prescribed dose of each ingredient
  • Take with water
  • Delayed effect

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ZMA tablets?

ZMA tablets are ZMA pellets and are taken orally with water. They are automatically suitable for vegans and vegetarians because they do not require a capsule shell.

Due to the given dosage of the tablets, ZMA can be taken easily and practically and can also be taken on the go.

Advantages
  • Easy to take
  • Preset dosage of ingredients
  • Dissolution in water possible
Disadvantages
  • No individualised intake
  • own taste when dissolved
  • intake may require water

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate ZMA based on these factors

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible ZMA products.

Here you can see which factors you can use to compare and evaluate different ZMA products:

  • Dosage form
  • Ingredients
  • Z-M-A Concentration
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

In the following paragraphs we explain in detail what you should look for in the individual criteria.

Form of administration

The form of intake depends on where, when and how you want to take ZMA.

As already mentioned, you can take ZMA in capsule or tablet form. Both are ideal for when you are on the go. You can easily carry them in your bag or gym bag. If required, take the capsule or tablet with sufficient liquid.

If you occasionally forget to take your water, it is advisable to take tablets, as experience has shown that they are easier to swallow due to their size. The tablets can also be dissolved and mixed with a smoothie or protein shake. Simply put the tablet in a blender with the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients

The ingredients in a capsule or tablet vary depending on the supplier. The main ingredients are usually zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6.

Further additives, which are common due to the production in capsule or tablet form, are listed in the next table.

Tablets:

Name of ingredients Ingredients
Main ingredients magnesium oxide, zinc gluconate, pyridoxine hydrocholoride (vitamin B6)
Filler microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium phosphate
Separating agent magnesium salts of fatty acids

Capsules:

Ingredient Name Ingredients
Main Ingredients Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Gluconate, Pyridoxine Hydrocholoride (Vitamin B6)
Filler Microcrystalline Cellulose, Dicalcium Phosphate
Glazing Agent Hydroxylpropyl Methylcellulose, Glycerin, Carnauba Wax
Anti Caking Agents Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide

Z-M-A Concentration

The concentration or the ratio of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 varies between the different products.

In the following table you will find the original composition of ZMA, which can help you choose your ZMA product.

Ingredient Daily requirement
Magnesium 400-500 mg
Zinc 20-30 mg
Vitamin B6 10 mg

Suitability for vegetarians and vegans

ZMA tablets are only suitable for vegans and vegetarians. On the other hand, it is possible that ZMA capsules are made of a gelatine shell and are therefore not vegan.

Don't worry, there are also many ZMA products that are vegan and therefore made with a capsule shell of plant origin.

Facts worth knowing about ZMA

How should I take ZMA?

It is recommended to take it on an empty stomach before going to bed. The last meal should be about two hours ago. In addition, you should take ZMA about 30 minutes before taking other food supplements.

https://www.instagram.com/p/By5AbBfoSoD/

How do I take ZMA when exercising?

ZMA is an essential supplement, especially for athletes and bodybuilders who train intensively. Large amounts of minerals are excreted from the body, especially through sweating.

During sport, the human body loses a large number of essential minerals through intensive sweating.

When exactly you take ZMA is entirely up to you. Replenishing your zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 depots is possible and important at any time of day. Since ZMA plays an important role in post-exercise recovery, make sure your stores are filled before your training session.

What are the side effects of ZMA?

Since zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 are naturally present in the body, side effects are impossible.

If you follow the prescribed dosage on the packaging of the ZMA product, you should not experience any side effects.

Which foods contain ZMA?

Both zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 can be taken in with food. They are all found in naturally occurring foods.

Foods containing magnesium:

  • Wheat bran (550 mg/ 100 g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (535 mg/ 100 g)
  • Sunflower seeds (420 mg/ 100 g)
  • Dark chocolate (290 mg/ 100 g)
  • Cashew nuts (270 mg/ 100 g)

Foods containing zinc:

  • Oysters (22 mg/ 100 g)
  • Liver (6 mg/ 100 g)
  • Beef (4.41 mg/ 100 g)
  • Cheese (3.8 mg/ 100 g)
  • Egg yolk (3.8 mg/ 100 g)

Foods rich in vitamin B6:

  • Lobster (1.18 mg/ 100 g)
  • Salmon (0,98 mg/ 100 g)
  • Sardine (0.97 mg/ 100 g)
  • Walnut kernels (0,87 mg/ 100 g)
  • Sesame seeds (0.79 mg/100 g)

If you regularly eat enough of these foods, you should not be deficient.

To optimally cover your ZMA daily requirement, you should consume an average of 300 to 400 mg of magnesium, 10 mg of zinc and 1.2 to 1.5 mg of vitamin B6 daily.

How does ZMA work in combination with Tribulus?

Tribulus is one of the best-known testosterone boosters. The combination of ZMA and Tribulus is therefore supposed to have an even more intensive and stronger effect on the so-called "manliness".

Tribulus and ZMA products in combination are traditionally used to increase libido and hormone production. It is therefore said to cause the production of testosterone when taken in increased amounts. Tribulus is also promoted in the sports sector to increase muscle mass.

Image source: pixabay.com / StockSnap

References (4)

1. De Souza MC, Walker AF, Robinson PA, Bolland K. A synergistic effect of a daily supplement for 1 month of 200 mg magnesium plus 50 mg vitamin B6 for the relief of anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Mar;9(2):131-9.
Source

2. Ebben, M., Lequerica, A., & Spielman, A. (2002). Effects of Pyridoxine on Dreaming: A Preliminary Study. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 94(1), 135–140.
Source

3. JEPonline Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline: Official Journal of The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). ISSN 1097-9751. An International Electronic Journal Volume 3 Number 4 October 2000.
Source

4. Koehler K, Parr MK, Geyer H, Mester J, Schänzer W. Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;63(1):65-70.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
De Souza MC, Walker AF, Robinson PA, Bolland K. A synergistic effect of a daily supplement for 1 month of 200 mg magnesium plus 50 mg vitamin B6 for the relief of anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Mar;9(2):131-9.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Ebben, M., Lequerica, A., & Spielman, A. (2002). Effects of Pyridoxine on Dreaming: A Preliminary Study. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 94(1), 135–140.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
JEPonline Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline: Official Journal of The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). ISSN 1097-9751. An International Electronic Journal Volume 3 Number 4 October 2000.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Koehler K, Parr MK, Geyer H, Mester J, Schänzer W. Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;63(1):65-70.
Go to source
Reviews