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What’s The Best ZMA Supplement?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Supplements Considered 35
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 95
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 34
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 8
Experts
Interviewed
Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 16, 2021

If there’s one secret weapon in my dietary supplement stack, then it has to be zinc magnesium aspartate (ZMA).

I have to admit that I was a relative latecomer to this mineral supplement, but as soon as I noticed the impact on my workout recovery, I was convinced.

But my dietitian warned me that a lot of zinc and magnesium supplements use forms of the minerals that might be very difficult to absorb by the body.

So, we did some research to weed out the crappy content and came up with this list of best ZMA supplements.

Our Top ZMA Supplements

1 - NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA (Editor's Choice)

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA

What we liked about the NOW Sports ZMA supplement is that along with the good dose of 450mg of magnesium, it may provide a higher than normal amount of 15mg of vitamin B6.

This may explain why bodybuilders think this might support their muscle growth and overall athletic performance better.

The manufacturer recommends to take one serving half an hour before going to bed.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 15 mg
Pros
  • Good dosage for performance athletes may help with a speedier recovery
  • Non-GMO certified and free from all common allergens
  • Available in large bulk order packs
  • Suitable for immune system support
Cons
  • Despite claims it doesn’t seem to work any faster than other ZMA supplements
  • Not vegan-friendly

This dosage is based on a three-capsule serving, but the recommended serving size for women is only 2 capsules.

The only thing we’d note with this ZMA supplement is that the packaging says it works faster than any other supplement on the market, but we didn’t notice any difference.

2 - MET-Rx ZMA

MET-Rx ZMA

We got quite a few positive comments from clients on the MET-Rx ZMA supplement with a positive feedback about improved recovery times.

We also liked that it comes in 3 daily capsules to make it easier to spread out over the day to keep testosterone levels stable.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg
Pros
  • Many positive reviews about recovery time being faster
  • Full dose is delivered in 3 capsules so you could spread it out over the day
  • Tablets are easy to break up if you prefer smaller ones
Cons
  • Magnesium oxide is not the easiest to digest compared to magnesium aspartate

It's recommended to take the 3 capsules on an empty stomach, ideally before going to sleep at night.

We just think that a better form of magnesium could be provided, which would be better on an empty stomach.

3 - Evlution Nutrition Z-Matrix

Evlution Nutrition Z Matrix

Evlution Nutrition has formulated a zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 mix in the recommended way that may suit the majority of athletes.

But they’ve also added black pepper extract, which studies have shown to improve digestion and nutrient absorption [1]. And there’s also some vitamin D3 for immune system support.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 11 mg
Pros
  • Large bottles to save on long-term use
  • Black pepper extract may make it faster to absorb
  • Added vitamin D3 for a healthy immune system
Cons
  • You’ll need to take 4 capsules each day

Keep in mind that the full dose requires swallowing 4 capsules each day, which some people find is a bit much.

4 - NutraBio ZMA

NutraBio ZMA

Users have commented that this ZMA supplement may have helped increase testosterone levels enough to notice a difference in bulking phases.

The 450 mg of magnesium is also provided as aspartate, which is generally easier on the stomach and faster to absorb.

We also like that the capsules are small enough to easily swallow.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 20 mg
  • Magnesium - 300 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 7 mg
Pros
  • Uses magnesium aspartate for higher bioavailability without feeling gassy
  • Positive comments about improved sleep quality
  • Veggie capsules seem easy to swallow without getting stuck
Cons
  • Some people have reported feeling sleepy in the morning

The dosage listed above is based on a 2-capsule serving which is the one recommended for women.

While it may improve sleep quality, some people have said that you shouldn’t take them too late as they still feel sleepy in the morning.

5 - Primaforce ZMA Supplements

Primaforce ZMA Supplements

The Primaforce ZMA supplement have apparently been formulated to make stacking with the company’s other supplements a lot easier.

We also liked that the product is independently tested for purity and quality, which may help to raise your magnesium levels more effectively.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg
Pros
  • Free from all common allergens
  • Suitable for stacking with the company’s other supplements
  • Third-party tested for quality and purity of ingredients
Cons
  • Benefits are more on the sleep side than claimed muscle strength

The only thing we found in the online reviews is that some folks thought it didn’t do a lot for muscle building.

6 - Universal Nutrition ZMA Pro

Universal Nutrition ZMA Pro

Universal Nutrition ZMA Pro is another product with a great balance of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

We liked that the company chose forms of minerals that tend to be easier to absorb, which should increase the effects.

And the large bulk order bottles are helpful if you plan to take ZMA for the long term.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg
Pros
  • Good choice of zinc and magnesium type to boost absorption
  • Capsules are easy enough to swallow
  • Available in large bottles to keep you going for 3 months
Cons
  • Some people felt a bit groggy in the morning

Just keep in mind that you might not want to take it too late in the day, as the high quality ZMA might make you feel a bit groggy when you wake up.

7 - Optimum Nutrition ZMA

Optimum Nutrition ZMA

The top on our list of best ZMA supplements is from Optimum Nutrition.

Starting with the dosage, it’s the right balance recommended by dietitians, which may help you speed up your muscle recovery and improve sleep times.

Many male athletes have also said that this Optimum Nutrition ZMA may have helped them boost testosterone levels for better bulking phases.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg
Pros
  • May provide one of the highest doses of vitamin B6
  • Suitable for people trying to improve their sleep cycles
  • May support a healthy immune system
  • Many positive reports about boosted testosterone levels
  • Available in bulk order bottles
Cons
  • Not suitable for vegan athletes due to some animal gelatin

Just keep in mind that Optimum Nutrition ZMA seems to contain some gelatin, so it’s not a suitable option for vegans.

8 - Allmax Nutrition ZMX2

Allmax Nutrition ZMX2

This is among the quality ZMA supplements on this list, and we liked that the daily dose is split into 3 capsules. That should make it easier for men and women to get the exact dosage they need.

Along with a good dose of zinc and magnesium, the company claims that they use a more easily absorbed form of B6 that should make it more effective with fewer side effects.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 11 mg
Pros
  • Comes as daily 3 capsules to make dosage for men and women easier
  • Claims to contain a more easily absorbed form of B6
  • Vegan-friendly option due to plant-based capsule
Cons
  • No bulk discount offers or larger bottles

It would be nice to have some bulk order discounts available if you plan on taking a ZMA supplement for the long term.

9 - VitaDirect Premium ZMA

VitaDirect Premium ZMA

VitaDirect ZMA is one of the few products that use veggie capsules that are suitable for vegans. And with the right mix of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, this could be the ideal option for our vegan readers.

You also have a money-back guarantee, so you effectively can give them a trial run.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 20 mg
  • Magnesium - 300 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 7 mg
Pros
  • Veggie capsules make this suitable for vegan
  • Positive reviews about the impact on muscle recovery and sleep
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for added peace of mind
Cons
  • The capsules are quite large to swallow

The dosage above is based on a 2-capsule serving, which is the recommended serving size for women.

Just keep in mind that the VitaDirect ZMA capsules seem to be larger than average.

10 - MusclePharm Z-Core PM

MusclePharm Z-Core PM

The final one of our best ZMA supplements comes from MusclePharm. Bodybuilders tend to like it as it seems to be easier to gradually increase the dosage.

It also claims to help in boosting testosterone at night, thanks to the added fenugreek extract and copper glycinate.

The added melatonin, on the other hand, may help you to get into a deep sleep faster, and that has been shown to improve recovery times [2]. Just keep that in mind if you plan to take them during the day.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 7.5 mg
  • Magnesium - 113 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 3 mg
Pros
  • Positive comments from users about the improved recovery times
  • Available as a double pack
  • Contains some melatonin to help with sleep
Cons
  • The dosage is quite low, requiring multiple capsules

Before you think this is one of the best value options, just note that the dosage per serving is a lot lower, and you might need to take several of them per day.

Buyer’s Guide

ZMA Choices

Here are the 4 things to look out for in a ZMA supplement and we have factored them into all of the above recommendations.

1. Ingredients

The obvious content is zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, but you also need to look for some added bonuses in some ZMA supplements.

One thing we like to see in a ZMA supplement is some added vitamin D3. It’s something a lot of people may become deficient in, and it’s an important vitamin for your immune system. 

However, you can add in a good vitamin D3 supplement alongside your ZMA supplement for optimal better results.

And the healthier your immune system is, the better physical shape you might be able to achieve.

The other thing to speed up the absorption of zinc and magnesium is black pepper extract. Studies have shown that it may support your digestive system with micronutrient processing just like probiotic supplements.

If you want to additionally boost your immune system and fight inflammation, we advise you to add a glutathione supplement or good NAC (N-acetyl Cysteine) supplement to your stack.

2. Dosage

supplement in hand
  • Zinc - If you want to build up more muscle strength, then I would suggest aiming for 30mg of zinc. I haven’t found any evidence that more than that is helpful.
  • Magnesium - Unless you have a severe magnesium deficiency, the recommended dose of 450mg of magnesium per day should suit the average athlete [3]. You can add a good magnesium supplement if you feel you're deficient. 

If you are constantly training, consider a multivitamin designed for athletes or a multivitamin designed for bodybuilding.

Just maybe avoid taking it on an empty stomach, as it might make you a bit gassy due to too much zinc and magnesium.

This recommended dosage combination should help with energy creation, increased growth hormone production, enhanced protein synthesis for muscle recovery, and better sleep.

3. Purity

This is where it all gets a bit more difficult. Products with low purity and the wrong type of minerals might reduce the overall benefits of ZMA.

It’s like going to the gym and loading up a bar with weight plates that have the wrong labeling on them.

Researchers found that the combination of potassium and magnesium aspartate had a positive effect on fatigue and that it could reduce muscle hyper-excitability. This makes sense from a physiological perspective since both magnesium and aspartic acid are critical players in cellular energy production.

- AOR.us. 

But, how do you assess the purity by looking at a bottle?

The simple answer is you can’t, but many dietary supplement companies will go a long way to reassure buyers by having third-party companies test their products.

Our experience with some of the best ZMA supplements has been that independent testing might be the most reliable indicator.

4. Dietary Considerations

drinking pills

There are two things to consider here.

  • First of all, if you’re just starting to take ZMA, then maybe don’t take it on an empty stomach. Some people might be a bit more sensitive and it can make you a bit gassy.
  • Secondly, take a close look at the additional ingredients that make up the capsules. If you have bad insulin sensitivity, we recommend take a multivitamin suitable for diabetics. It’s not uncommon for these to contain gelatin, which wouldn’t be suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Related: High-quality vegan multivitamins

FAQs

Do ZMA Supplements Increase Testosterone?

Yes, ZMA supplements may increase testosterone levels in athletes. One particular study found that football players who trained twice a day had a significantly higher T count than those players who didn’t take it.

Is a ZMA Supplement Good for Muscle Building?

Yes, ZMA supplements are good for muscle building as it may increase testosterone levels and speed up recovery times. Both zinc and magnesium, along with vitamin B6, are needed for muscles to grow and repair after strenuous exercise programs.

How Do ZMA Supplements Work?

ZMA supplements are made up of zinc and magnesium, but the best ZMA supplements comes with added vitamin B6, vitamin D3, and other clinically proven ingredients to enhance the benefits and improve the effectiveness of the product.

The main ingredients, zinc and magnesium, are linked to a healthy immune system, bigger and stronger muscles, improved muscle endurance and recovery, and better sleep quality.

Should You Take ZMA supplements On An Empty Stomach?

While some people can be sensitive to supplements, most manufacturers recommend to take ZMA supplements on an empty stomach at night before going to sleep.

More importantly, you should also take it on a regular schedule to properly assess if it's working or not.

 Is ZMA a Steroid?

No, ZMA is not a steroid. While it has been strongly (wrongfully) associated with steroids because of the history of the creator of the initial ZMA supplements, ZMA is definitely not a steroid.

The ingredients in a quality ZMA supplement is very simple (zinc and magnesium, and most of the time, vitamin B6), and none of them are steroids.

What Is The Best ZMA Supplement?

It took quite a bit of a debate for us to pick our top choice out of these best ZMA supplements, but we ultimately agreed on Optimum Nutrition ZMA supplement.

It has the right dosage combination, purity, and types of minerals, and all the clients and fitness enthusiasts we spoke to, had overall positive results.

Order yours today and then report what effects of ZMA you noticed.

Our #1 Recommendation

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA
Ingredient Quality
5.0
Price
4.5
Overall Score
4.8
Check Current Price
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Pros
  • Good dosage for performance athletes may help with a speedier recovery
  • Non-GMO certified and free from all common allergens
  • Available in large bulk order packs
  • Suitable for immune system support
Cons
  • Despite claims it doesn’t seem to work any faster than other ZMA supplements
  • Not vegan-friendly

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