• Alejandra Casajús

Why Magnesium Should Be Part of Every Athlete’s Recovery Process

Did you know that magnesium, an essential mineral that is required by virtually every cell, is especially important to muscles?

Many medical specialists are now advising that magnesium should be part of every athlete’s recovery process.

Magnesium is an essential building block for hundreds of chemical processes in the body. Your muscles’ ability to contract and relax is highly dependent on how much magnesium your body is getting.

Other things affected by magnesium include:

  • Nerve function

  • Cardiac activity

  • Blood pressure regulation

  • Hormonal interactions

  • Bone health

  • Synthesis of proteins, fats and nucleic acids

The list goes on. The bottom line is that magnesium is the multi-tasking mineral your body needs and is probably not getting enough of.

Perhaps the most high-profile process that magnesium is used for is metabolizing nutrients and turning them into energy.

Magnesium activates enzymes which help produce something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Why is ATP important? ATP plays a crucial role in the metabolic process. When your body breaks down ATP, the energy that is released is used by your muscles.

The more you exercise and the harder you exercise, the faster your body burns up the energy released from breaking down ATP.

If you’re not getting enough magnesium, it can result in low energy levels and problems with muscle function.

Magnesium Relieves Cramped Muscles

Magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps and spasms. 500mg of magnesium gluconate quickly helped relax and reduce muscle spasms in one study involving an adult female athlete.

As a result of exercising outside for long periods, she had been experiencing severe cramping in her muscles.

Magnesium levels drop more quickly when you exercise. This is the result of magnesium being carried out through sweat and urine which are produced in greater amounts during physical exertion.

During intense exercise, magnesium moves from the blood plasma into the red blood cells as a way of balancing the loss of energy normally produced by higher levels of oxygen.

Essentially, the less oxygen that your cells get (as a result of intense exercise), the greater the movement of magnesium from the plasma into the red blood cells.

Obviously, based on this, athletes and others who exercise at high-intensity levels for extended periods of time or people working in hot or humid environments often require more magnesium.

Prolonged magnesium deficiency can weaken bones because the body needs magnesium in order to use calcium, which helps to keep bones strong.

If left untreated, magnesium deficiency can also contribute to anemia, irregular heart rate and even mental health issues.

Magnesium is an essential building block for our bodies. Necessary for nearly every chemical process and for the functioning of every system in the body, magnesium is sometimes called the “master mineral”.

If you exercise a lot or do manual labor, you might just have assumed that symptoms like low energy, altered heart rates or muscle cramps were an unavoidable result of being active and busy.

There is a good chance, though, that you could turn things around just by supplementing with magnesium.

The recommended daily amount of magnesium is 300 mg for men and 270 mg for women, but these are based on the average population.

Opinions on how much magnesium active people should be getting daily vary.

For example, Michele Vieux, at CrossfitInvictus.com writes that: “Sedentary individuals need 600 mg a day and larger athletes in heavy training mode could do up to 2,000 mg a day.” It’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider if you’re looking for advice about how much is right for you.

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