Zma Side Effects | Should You Be Concerned?

I have been taking a zma supplement off and on for around 2 years. It is not one of the staples in my supplement regime, but when I got the cash I’ll pick up a bottle. Personally, I have not experienced any ZMA side effects. Reading various forums, people using zma have claimed various side effects such as: increased acne, shorter tempter, and even nausea. However, I have never experienced any side effects caused by ZMA. The benefits I receive from ZMA is an awesome nights sleep without waking up feeling drowsy. Many ZMA manufacturers claim that it can increase free testosterone levels leading to increased muscle and strength production, but I don’t notice gains out of the ordinary when on ZMA. I can’t speak for raised testosterone levels because I haven’t done blood tests pre and post supplementation.

To ensure you don’t experience any side effects yourself and maximize the  benefits from ZMA it is important that you take it on a empty stomach. ZMA is formulated with exact ratios of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Adding excess can cause ZMA to loose its effectiveness or even cause side effects from overdosing. So take it on a empty stomach if possible. Along with an empty stomach, don’t take ZMA with a multi-vitamin because most contain the above ingredients.

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Possible Zma Side Effects

Zinc: More than 50 mg daily often increases the need for dietary copper; more than 100 mg daily might cause toxic symptoms.

Magnesium: More than 1000 mg daily might cause diarrhea.

Vitamin B6: More than 200 mg per day may lead to nerve pain in the extremities.


Follow the directions on the ZMA bottle and you should be fine. I have never experienced problems supplementing with ZMA and benefited from better sleep. I take it 30 minutes before bed and within 30 minutes after that, I am ready to pass out. If you do experience any side effects, ditch the ZMA right away. Here’s another discussion of the other possible  zma side effects.

If you are taking ZMA for its sleep benefits and it is not for you, an alternative natural sleep aid is melatonin.