Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when thinking about fitness. But hardly anyone knows how important magnesium really is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!
Magnesium fulfills numerous functions
Magnesium is an essential mineral: it is present in almost every cell in your body. About 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in your muscles. The mineral fulfills numerous functions: It is required for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy generation. Magnesium is also needed to make endogenous protein (protein from the body and not from food) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also important for the formation of bones and teeth. It is also involved in activating hundreds of enzymes.
How important is magnesium for athletes?
Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked high levels of magnesium in the blood to improved muscle performance such as increased leg strength. This means that by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral, you can improve your performance. What is happening in your body According to studies, appears to be magnesium lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is mainly produced by intense exercise. As it builds up, it can reduce muscle performance and make you tired more quickly. In addition, training without sufficient magnesium leads to increased oxygen consumption and an increased heart rate. The mineral also plays an important role in Boost your immune system. It works similarly to an antioxidant in that it strengthens your defenses and protects you from disease.
Increased magnesium intake can be helpful
According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult women should receive 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult men 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to meet these daily needs. However, if you enjoy exercising or doing a physically demanding job, your diet is likely not going to meet your daily needs because you do can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss must be made good However, the amount of magnesium required varies from person to person and should be discussed with a sports doctor.
you also need to consume more magnesium in the case of Stress.(4)
How can I tell if I'm getting enough magnesium?
Pay attention to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency
- Leg cramps
- Digestive problems
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- a headache
Ask your doctor if you experience the symptoms of magnesium deficiency listed above.
Top 9 foods rich in magnesium
The general rule is that ingesting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking supplements. The same applies to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods contain the most magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:
- Sunflower seeds (395 mg / 100 g)
- Pumpkin seeds (402 mg / 100 g)
- sesame (347 mg / 100 g)
- Flaxseed (350 mg / 100 g)
- Cashew nuts (270 mg / 100 g)
- White kidney beans (140 mg / 100 g)
- Chickpeas (115 mg / 100 g)
- oats (139 mg / 100 g)
- Swiss chard (81 mg / 100 g)
Good to know:
Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. The nutritional information can be found on the label of the bottle.
Magnesium Supplements – Good Or Bad?
If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements for treating magnesium deficiency, it is important to be careful with dosing. You shouldn't take more than 250 mg additional magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; If you take too much it can lead to diarrhea.
The more you exercise, the more magnesium you will need in your diet. Don't underestimate the importance of magnesium to athletes and focus on meeting your daily needs with a balanced, healthy diet, including foods rich in magnesium. If you experience symptoms of magnesium deficiency, contact your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Remember, if you are preparing for a race or competition, you should start adding the supplements to your diet a few weeks in advance so that your body has time to adjust.