The mineral Magnesium (Mg) is considered a "wonder" nutrient. Many people know that it’s required for health, but few really appreciate its importance for sport performance. Magnesium supplementation can help you train harder, perform better and recover faster. This wonder mineral is essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability, nerve transmission, and neuromuscular conduction.
When you exercise or do some kind of physical activity, Magnesium relaxes your muscles and controls their contractions. It also helps lessen the build-up of lactic acid, which can cause muscular tension. This then enables your muscles to get the oxygen they need.
During sports activities, the production of sweat and urine increase and can lead to magnesium losses of up to 20% – putting athletes at a greater risk for magnesium deficiency. Not having enough magnesium in your body puts you more at risk of suffering muscle tightness, weakness and fatigue.
After a good Pilates exercise or cardio workout, I like to take Magnesium to induce recovery, help my muscles relax and prevent unwanted muscle cramps. Moreover, if I work out in the evening, I prefer to take this mineral before I go to bed because of it's relaxing effect which encourages a restful sleep.
The current average daily recommended intake of Mg is 300 mg for men and 250 mg for women. In the last decades, however, the amount has fallen from 500 mg per day to around 175–225 mg daily mainly due to eating processed foods and the use of chelate forming pesticides which keep minerals bound in the soil they grow on.
A lack of sufficient magnesium can lead to various symptoms such as migraines, high blood pressure, malabsorption syndromes, fatigue, and more.
So how can you add Magnesium to your diet?
Via foods enriched with Mg or taking a mineral supplement.
Examples of Magnesium rich foods:
Rice (whole grain brown)
Whole meal bread
And best of all…Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
I personally prefer mineral supplements because it is easy to take and track how much Magnesium I consume. And I can always eat healthy Magnesium enriched foods as well.
The problem is that there are many Magnesium (Mg) supplements, so how do you know what to choose? My basic rule is that the tablet must be small enough so it is easy to swallow and that it is absorbed correctly into the body.
In general there are various Magnesium sources that can be divided into organic and inorganic sources. Organic minerals are known to have higher bioavailability, meaning they are absorbed better into the body. Therefore, when coming to choose the best mineral supplement I prefer organic Mg such as Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Gluconate.
One last tip, do not overdose with Magnesium, it can cause a loose bowl but the good thing is that if you do take too much organic Mg, it will not accumulate in your body, the unwanted amount will just be excreted naturally from your body in the form of urine.
This is what I usually like to use after a good workout: https://iherb.co/kTs4rcx