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(Out of 10, after 8 reviews)

Ranks #21 (better than 47%)
In: Growth Enhancers > Nighttime Sleep Formulas

ZMA is a Nighttime Sleep Formula manufactured by NOW. It is designed to be used before bed time. It promotes restful sleep, increases REM sleep and helps the body attain an optimal state for muscle recovery and growth.

See all 39 products in:
Growth Enhancers > Nighttime Sleep Formulas


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The supplement industry is notorious for misleading marketing and misinformation.

Rep: +215
Trust: 100%
TROOPer Level: 5
  October 15, 2013

Hi everyone.

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.
    • Not Effective
    • Ratio Of Components Is Off.
    Rep: +44
    Trust: 62%
      June 4, 2012

    As someone who works a nightshift for my job I am constantly switching my sleep schedule throughout the week. In the past this has caused me to be rather zombie like throughout my days off which results in family members not being stoked to be around me. So I finally broke down and decided to give ZMA a try and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This certainly wasn't a miracle supplement but I did find myself much less "zombielike" having only gotten about 5-6 hours of sleep a night.

    I responded really well to NOW's ZMA. After taking on an empty stomach about 30 minutes to an hour after I was ready for bed. I normally, even after having worked all night, have a hard time falling to sleep. ZMA really helped me fall asleep faster and have an overall deeper sleep. As many others have said, it does cause you to have rather vivid dreams that are sometimes odd but I really wouldn't consider that a side effect.
    I picked up a month supply for right around 10 dollars at my local supplement store. So compared to other ZMA products out there the value is excellent.

    The only complaint I would have is that the capsules were actually difficult to swallow. It seemed like they would stick and hold on the back of my throat for dear life. So just be sure to have plenty of water and you will be fine.

    Overall I would highly recommend this product for anyone who is in need of a sleep aid.
    • Good Sleep
    • Wake Up Easier
    • Good Value
    • Helps My Insomnia
    • Pills Difficult To Swallow
    Rep: +3,464
    Trust: 100%
    TROOPer Level: 73
      April 4, 2012

    ZMA is a synergistic combination of Zinc and Magnesium designed to maximize absorption and promote recovery from exercise.
    - Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair, as well as the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
    - Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuro-muscular function.

    Dosing: 10/10 - Dosing is pretty simple. Men take 3 capsules 30-60 minutes preferably on an empty stomach before bed. Women do the same but take 2 pills.

    Recovery: 8/10 - So let me be honest for recovery. I work out with heavy weights and 8-10 rep range 5 days a week, 2 days off. I have noticed that my soreness of a particular muscle group the next day when I awake was much better. I was not as sore and was able to go much harder in the gym the next day.

    Sleep: 6/10 - This is where the product should normally shine. People say that it helps them get 8 full hours of sleep and stay asleep and wake up refreshed. This is where the product did not work too well for me in one aspect but in another. The problem was when I took this 60 minutes before bed, I did feel after about 20 minutes getting drowsy and sleepy. So I would hit the bed, but I noticed that besides the vivid dreams(which I will not complain about), I would wake up often in the middle of the night randomly. Also when I awoke in the morning I was very groggy and tired. The good aspect of this product is that once you get over the morning hump of being tired, you feel fully refreshed and awake throughout the day.

    I personally took this product because I had a lot of stimulants throughout the day between OxyElitePro and Jack3d, that I had trouble falling asleep. This product does just that. It helps you fall asleep.

    Price: 10/10 - 90 capsules which is a 30 day supply goes for about $12 on This is pretty damned cheap for something that helps you fall asleep and helps with recovery.

    Overall: 7/10 - I enjoyed the recovery and the drowsy before bed feeling, but waking up in the middle of the nights on random occasions was just not a fun factor, and I am sure it also might have hindered my recovery fully because I was getting abrupt sleep.

    Its pretty cheap so I would recommend a 30 day supply for someone to try, because who knows it can work much better for you then me.
    • Good Value
    • Helps My Insomnia
    • Muslce Recovery
    • Not Effective
    Rep: +24
    Trust: 49%
      February 1, 2012

    This was my first ZMA supplement that I have taken and may ever take simply because of the solid price and well-rounded recovery effects it has.


    Consumption (8): Nothing really bad minus the fact that the suggested serving rate is 3 pills for men (2 for women) which is something you should consider if you plan on taking this product in the long term. I bought the 90 capsule jar which lasted me roughly 30 days which is very solid for the price but I will order the 180 capsule jar next time around for the price break down ($12 vs $22).

    Effectiveness (8): I did notice better recovery time with less pain no matter hard I worked out. I will say this, it lessens the recovery but does not take it away completely as there were some days that I woke up sore but that has more to do with the workout rather than ZMA. This is not a miracle supplement.

    Sleep and side effects (9) Allot of people take this before bed as do I, as you may have read in other reviews so keep in mind it makes you dream like crazy. I have vivid dreams every time I take this so if you have frequent nightmares you may want to reconsider. Thankfully I don't so I don't mind the extra dose of false reality. Other than the vivid dreams I did not have any negative side effects.

    Overall cost and value (8): Seems expensive for zinc, magnesium, and b6 but it's blended very well which makes it very effective. I have noticed that I sleep better and wake up well rested which is great, especially when I get less than 8 hours I still wake up feeling better than I should. Not that I recommend sleeping less than 8 hours, its just that when I take this on rushed sleep schedule I feel like it adds a hour of sleep or two. Again $12 for a thirty day supply is not bad but there are cheaper options out there.
    • Good Sleep
    • Good Value
    • Helps My Insomnia
    • Muslce Recovery
      Rep: +82
      Trust: 100%
        March 21, 2011

      This product in my opinion is one of the best values out there. I have been interested in ZMA for a while because I remember reading about Victor Conte and the BALCO company. He Originally attributed Marion Jones' success to this supplement (which we all know now is a complete joke). I finally got around to buying it because I am a notoriously bad sleeper (apnea, snoring, etc)
      For $10 a month I noticed a significant increase in the quality of my sleep. I am normally very groggy when I get up but with this product I got up feeling refreshed and alert. This is my first time trying a ZMA product so I cannot compare it to any other brand, however, it will be tough for me to buy anything else considering how well it worked. I took 3 pills each night before bed, and woke up the next day with little soreness and feeling very refreshed. This product will probably become a staple in my diet from here on out. Highly Recommended!
      • Good Sleep
      • Wake Up Easier
      • Good Value
        Rep: +20
        Trust: 39%
          January 31, 2011

        I'm new to this site but I figure I'll throw my two cents in.. Well to start I'm starting my second bottle now. I take this before sleep, Jack3d before my workout, and ON Whey after. So I'm pretty simple but this does its job. The first thing I noticed was how helpful it is with sleep, within about 45 minutes of taking I'm out and sleep throughout the night without waking up. Some of the dreams are bizarre but honestly it's entertaining. I wake up feeling more refreshed than without the supp. After about two weeks I started to notice it in the gym. 4th set of bench has increased from 4 reps of 205 to 6 reps of 225 over the past month. But I notice it most in my core work. I feel tighter and my endurance has increased. As far as visible results, I've gain 8 lbs in 4 weeks and I'm satisfied considering I play basketball and lose a lot of weight at practice and such. I wouldn't say my gains are a result specifically from ZMA but this has helped with rest and recovery and I'll continue to take it. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions about my review or if something was unclear.
        • Good Sleep
        • Wake Up Easier
          Rep: +49
          Trust: 73%
            February 15, 2010

          This is the first ZMA product I've tried, but I assume that all are similar. It's a great product for a great price. I generally have trouble sleeping, mainly due to the fact that I sleep in a queen sized bed with my girlfriend (who tosses and turns a lot) and we sleep under a big window that blasts in light around 7am (when I'm not getting up any time soon haha). With this, I can conk out without tossing a lot, I stay asleep, and I wake up when my alarm goes off, instead of when the sun peeks its horrible head over the horizon. I feel refreshed, and ready to hit those weights again! Great product, and I recommend it to everyone due to its beneficial magnesium (which almost everyone has a lack of) and the excellent value.
          • Good Sleep
          • Good Value
            Rep: +95
            Trust: 100%
              October 23, 2009

            This is the best ZMA out there for the price. It does work especially if you do a sport like football. You will notice a difference in sleep and recovery. I have been taking this for 6 months and still love the feeling it gives. The only way you can actually notice the difference is when you get off of it and it will be harder to sleep and you will notice a increase in recovery time. I recommend to try it mainly because it is extremely cheap.
            • Good Sleep
            • Wake Up Easier
            • Good Value

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