5 Benefits of Magnesium for Athletes
Magnesium: the ‘master mineral’. Maybe it sounds a little magical and mysterious, but we’re not messing around. Magnesium means business. It’s a multi-tasking mineral that’s an essential building block for our body. Magnesium is needed for nearly every chemical process and the functioning of every system in the body. In this blog, we take a look at 5 benefits of magnesium for athletes.
Why Magnesium is Beneficial to Athletes
“Why are you telling me this?!”, we hear you cry…
Well, it’s particularly important for you as an athlete. Tough endurance exercise can actually decrease Magnesium levels. This is the same for many everyday food and drinks. Think tea, coffee and alcohol (sorry). Even regular consumption of pastries or other sweet foods. Dark-coloured sodas for instance contain phosphates which actually bind with Magnesium inside the digestive tract and make it unavailable to the body. Mind-boggling! We asked why Magnesium is so beneficial for athletes. Magnesium deficiency is not a good thing, Here’s why…
1. The Energiser
Magnesium is involved in over 600 reactions in your body. Clearly, that’s a lot of reactions, but crucially for athletes, included in this is:
- Energy creation; helping to convert food into energy
- Muscle movement: it’s part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles
- Protein formation; helping to create new proteins from amino acids
It’s often called the ‘helper molecule’, and for good reason. Without sufficient Magnesium levels, our bodies would begin to struggle.
2. The Terminator (of Lactic Acid)
Magnesium helps move the blood sugar into your muscles. Whilst it’s not quite as ruthless as Mr. Schwarzenegger in disposing of the ‘bad guys’, this movement of blood sugar can help to dispose of lactic acid which can build up when exercising. If you’ve ever experienced that unpleasant feeling of lactic acidosis, you’ll likely remember it.
3. The Cardiovascular Caretaker
Yet another of Magnesium’s jobs (it’s a busy little bee…) is to regulate muscle function throughout the body. This of course includes the heart muscle. The big M helps to maintain a healthy rhythm, while also regulating blood pressure and the production of cholesterol. Basically, it’s doing you some good.
4. The Bon(e)afide Health Assistant
The science of bone health during growth and exercise continues to evolve. The best advice for athletes is to be aware of their magnesium levels. Why? Because, 50-60% of the body’s total Magnesium stores are found in bone. Magnesium plays a critical role in bone formation, and maintaining bone density i.e. creating strong bones.
5. The Sleep Doctor
By maintaining healthy levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep), research shows Magnesium can play a role in supporting deep and restorative sleep. The importance of sleep should never be underestimated for athletes: it’s an essential part of any training program.
Magnesium, the ‘Master Mineral’
Well, hopefully it’s now a little less mysterious as to why Magnesium is called the ‘master mineral’. The good news is, it’s not that hard to come by! There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods around. Try spinach, pumpkin seeds, beans/lentils, avocado and almonds. The list could go on and on. If you’re looking for an easier option: Staminade contains added Magnesium amongst other electrolytes, to help keep the athletes amongst you out there, healthy and happy.
You might also be interested…
We know water is important however, how about electrolytes in maintaining performance? We explain electrolytes and why they are important for performance.
Did you know almost 80% of people may be lacking magnesium in their bodies?