All ZMA Supps are NOT created equal.
I've been using ZMA for a while now, discovered it while searching for something that would help me sleep better - I have difficulty falling asleep and wake up 4-5 times throughout the night, which equals poor recovery and low energy throughout the day.
I started with ON ZMA and had a great response to it: sleep improved, recovery improved, energy went up and the morning wood was really distracting but, in a good way.
I've been trying out other brands, seeing what's out there and so I tried NOW's ZMA because it was a bit cheaper than the ON ZMA.
The product is based on the general formula for ZMA: zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
The dosing is the same: 3 caps taken at night about an hour before sleep, preferably on an empty stomach with a full glass of water.
As I had already developed a routine I simply started using the NOW ZMA.
I didn't have as positive a result as when I was using the ON ZMA: I wasn't getting as sleepy, I woke up more at night than I had in a while, I got tired a little bit faster, and the morning wood wasn't happening as often.
So I wasn't too happy about that as I had gotten accustomed to sleeping better, and I felt I was regressing.
I really wasn't sure what the problem was at first, but as I kept trying to figure it out, I realized that the only thing that had changed was the ZMA I was using, and really it was just the brand or so I thought. I compared the labels from both the ON ZMA and NOW ZMA. The differences I saw are:
the NOW ZMA had 15mg vs the ON ZMA had 10.5
the NOW ZMA had Rice Flour vs the ON ZMA had Microcrystalline Cellulose
the NOW ZMA indicates its magnesium stearate is from a vegetable source
So, I did some digging and read up on ZMA and one constant I came across was the ratio of the zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. The NOW ZMA has more B6 15mg which throws off the ratio; the ON ZMA has 10.5 which is the amount I came across in everything I read.
FYI: I read that the founder of BALCO invented ZMA, and also that there have been studies which question ZMAs effectiveness; for me the proof is in the things I mentioned earlier, and of course I'm older than the test subjects for the studies I read.
So anyways, without going too much off course, I think that the NOW ZMA is not as effective because the ratio of the elements is not what it should be and possibly the components - the rice flour maybe? - could have affected it's effectiveness.
I for one, am simply amazed that such a small difference could reduce the effectiveness of the ZMA - or perhaps any product, and it has been a wow moment for me.
I've switched back to the ON ZMA and once again my sleeping habits are so much better and the morning wood is back with a vengeance.
I can't recommend the NOW ZMA because it didn't work as I expected it to and because I think the ratio is off from where it should be - at least from what I read, so if I'm wrong someone correct me.
I gave it a 6 overall because the possibility is it may work for someone younger but, not for me.
- Ratio Of Components Is Off.
- Not Effective