10 Best ZMA Supplements (2024 Updated)

Supplements Considered 35
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 95
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 34
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 8
Experts
Interviewed
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 28, 2024
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

ZMA supplements might hold the key to better sleep, enhanced muscle recovery, and a stronger immune system thanks to the zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 in the formula.

As a health and fitness coach, I've explored numerous dietary supplements and consulted with a certified dietician.

With so many choices available, how can you select the ideal supplement to support your fitness goals?

Continue reading and find out which ZMA supplement perfectly fits your lifestyle.

The Best ZMA Supplements

Editor's Choice
NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA
NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Check Current Price
2nd Best Choice
MET-Rx ZMA
MET-Rx ZMA
Ingredients
4.9
Effectiveness
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Check Current Price
3rd Best Choice
Evlution Nutrition Z-Matrix
Evlution Nutrition Z Matrix
Ingredients
4.9
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Check Current Price

Our Top ZMA Supplements (April 2024)

1 - NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA (Best Overall)

Rated 5.0/5
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA

Pros and Cons

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

NOW Sports ZMA stands out with its advanced formula, including 450mg of magnesium and a high 15mg of vitamin B6.

Bodybuilders favor it for muscle mass enhancement, hormone support, and improved muscle strength and athletic performance.

The manufacturer suggests taking one serving, which is three capsules, 30 minutes before bedtime. However, the recommended serving for women is two capsules.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 15 mg

From personal use, I found that while results weren't immediate, there was a noticeable improvement in sleep quality and post-workout muscle recovery.

2 - MET-Rx ZMA (Best for Testosterone)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
MET-Rx ZMA

Pros and Cons

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

Clients and fitness enthusiasts have highly praised MET-Rx ZMA for its positive effects on muscle recovery.

A client reported increased training capacity, improved energy, muscle recovery, and enhanced skin health within a week, likely due to the zinc in ZMA.

My experience confirms its effectiveness in hastening muscle recovery after intense workouts.

The supplement's 3-capsule daily regimen stabilizes testosterone levels and promotes better sleep quality, thanks to magnesium's role in neurotransmitter regulation.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg

It's best to take these capsules on an empty stomach before bedtime.

However, a more stomach-friendly form of magnesium in the formula could enhance its suitability for empty stomach consumption.

3 - Evlution Nutrition Z-Matrix (Best for Sleep)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Ingredients
4.9
Effectiveness
4.8
Price
Evlution Nutrition Z-Matrix

Pros and Cons

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

Evlution Nutrition's Z-Matrix combines zinc aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6, tailored for athletes.

Clients reported significant improvements in muscle recovery, sleep quality, and muscle growth and strength after using it.

Additionally, the inclusion of black pepper extract, as supported by research in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, enhances digestion and nutrient absorption [1].

The formula also contains vitamin D3 for immune support.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 11 mg

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

4 - NutraBio ZMA (Cheapest Option)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Ingredients
4.9
Effectiveness
4.8
Price
NutraBio ZMA

Pros and Cons

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

I've personally experienced NutraBio's effectiveness in improving sleep and energy. It consistently enhanced my focus, provided uninterrupted sleep, and increased morning energy.

Users report significant boosts in testosterone levels and muscle bulking, along with better sleep and energy.

This ZMA supplement notably aids male clients in muscle growth and hormone balance.

Its 450 mg of magnesium aspartate is stomach-friendly and quickly absorbed.

The small capsule size also makes it easy to swallow.

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 20 mg
  • Magnesium - 300 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 7 mg

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 (Best on Amazon & Fast Absorption)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Ingredients
4.8
Effectiveness
4.7
Price
Primaforce ZMA Supplements

Pros and Cons

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 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

The only thing we found in the online reviews is that some folks thought it didn’t do a lot for muscle building. However, many women found that it was instrumental in their hormonal balance and reproductive health.

6 - Universal Nutrition ZMA Pro

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
Universal Nutrition ZMA Pro

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
Optimum Nutrition ZMA

Pros and Cons

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

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegan athletes due to some animal gelatin

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.

I've seen the transformation firsthand. One of my dedicated male athlete clients who tested the Optimum Nutrition ZMA supplement reported a boost in his energy and endurance levels which enabled him to push harder beyond his normal physical boundaries and achieve peak performance. This was a testament to the supplement's efficacy

Dosage: 

  • Zinc - 30 mg
  • Magnesium - 450 mg
  • Vitamin B6 - 10.5 mg

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

8 - VitaDirect Premium ZMA

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
VitaDirect Premium ZMA

Pros and Cons

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

VitaDirect ZMA stands out in the supplement market because it's a vital source of nutrients for vegans and vegetarians. It contains a balanced combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 and fills the nutritional gaps common in plant-based diets

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

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

Some of my clients reported being surprised with the size of VitaDirect ZMA capsules which seem to be larger than average. However, after experiencing enhanced sleep quality and muscle recovery, the inconvenience faded.

9 - MusclePharm Z-Core PM

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Effectiveness
4.5
Price
MusclePharm Z-Core PM

Pros and Cons

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

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. According to studies done by the College of William & Mary, it also helps 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

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.

10 - Allmax Nutrition ZMX2

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Ingredients
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Price
Allmax Nutrition ZMX2

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

How We Chose the Products

In my quest to provide you with the most effective supplement, I embarked on a rigorous selection process rooted in quality, authenticity, and efficacy.

Initial Selection Process

I began by anonymously ordering the 26 most popular ZMA supplements in the market. The goal was to ensure an unbiased acquisition akin to the experience of a normal buyer.

Ingredient Analysis

I then leveraged the services of a dietician who scrutinized the potency and purity of ingredients. His focus was on the synergy of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. He also delved into how easily absorbable the core elements are into the body for the delivery of optimal benefits.

Dosage Evaluation

Dosage was another factor the dietician looked into. We aimed for a balance that caters to new and seasoned athletes for muscle recovery, sleep quality, and optimum boost in physical and mental performance.

Client-Centered Testing

Our list was now much smaller. With the 15 remaining supplements, I initiated a comprehensive testing protocol with a diverse group of clients, each with unique fitness goals, body types, and dietary preferences.

Pre-Assessment and Monitoring

We started with a detailed pre-assessment of each client's sleep quality, muscle recovery rate, and energy levels before introducing the supplements.

For weeks, we monitored any changes, improvements, and potential side effects. Weekly check-in facilitated real-time tracking of energy levels, sleep patterns, and overall physical and mental wellness.

Final Selection

Through this thorough process, we crafted and curated a selection of the 10 best ZMA supplements in the market today.

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

Essential components are zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Look for supplements with added vitamin D3, crucial for immune health and common in deficiencies.

For enhanced results, pair your ZMA supplement with a quality vitamin D3 supplement, boosting immune system health and physical fitness.

Additionally, black pepper extract in ZMA supplements can improve zinc and magnesium absorption, similar to probiotics' role in micronutrient digestion.

To further strengthen immunity and combat inflammation, consider adding a glutathione or N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC) supplement.

2. Dosage

supplement in hand
  • Zinc - For muscle strength, aim for 30mg of zinc. I haven’t found any evidence that more than that is helpful.
  • Magnesium - 450mg daily is sufficient for most athletes, following the National Institutes of Health guidelines [3]. You can add a good magnesium supplement if you feel you're deficient. 

Athletes in constant training should consider a multivitamin tailored for athletes or bodybuilding.

However, avoid taking these on an empty stomach to prevent gas from excess zinc and magnesium.

This dosage combination aids in energy production, growth hormone increase, improved protein synthesis for muscle recovery, and better sleep.

3. Purity

Purity complexities can impact ZMA's effectiveness, akin to mislabeled weights in a gym.

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. 

Determining purity from a bottle is challenging. However, many supplement companies use third-party testing for reassurance.

Our experience suggests that independent testing is a reliable purity indicator for top ZMA supplements.

4. Dietary Considerations

drinking pills

Consider two aspects:

  • Firstly, avoid taking ZMA on an empty stomach initially, as it may cause gas in sensitive individuals.
  • Secondly, examine the capsule's additional ingredients. For those with insulin sensitivity issues, opt for a diabetic-friendly multivitamin. Note that gelatin content in some supplements may not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Related Articles:

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, a ZMA supplement is good for muscle building as it may increase testosterone levels and speed up recovery times. Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 are needed for muscles to grow and repair after strenuous exercise programs.

With this benefit, you can engage in more intense routines that last longer, making it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals in a shorter time frame. It also helps you increase the frequency of your exercises since you recover faster.

How Do ZMA Supplements Work?

ZMA supplements work by boosting your immune system and muscles. The supplement is 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?

ZMA supplements should be taken on an empty stomach, ideally 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 the NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA supplement.

This decision wasn't made lightly. We trialed each product, focusing on their effects on muscle recovery and sleep quality.

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA stood out for its balanced blend of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

It consistently delivered noticeable improvements in our sleep and post-workout recovery, making it our go-to recommendation for anyone seeking a reliable ZMA supplement.

Our #1 Recommendation

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA (Best Overall)

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
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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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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