The Importance of Magnesium for Exercise
We have all had this happen: you get to the gym, ready to exercise and your workout is terrible. You have low energy, a poor performance, and you cannot wait for it to be over. Sometimes you are just having an off day because you didn’t get enough sleep or ate a bunch of junk the night before. But if it feels like you are doing everything right and your workouts are still too difficult, then you may be deficient in magnesium. Let’s take a closer look at why this mineral is so important for exercise.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is found in humans’ bodies as well as in plants and animals. We use magnesium for just about every function in our body. It helps convert food to energy, creates and repairs DNA, regulates the nervous system, creates proteins and plays a part in muscle movement. Without magnesium, your body would shut down! Since it plays such a big role in our body, it makes sense that it has a huge impact on our ability to exercise.
How Magnesium Effects Exercise
When you exercise, you go through your magnesium pretty quickly. In fact, you may need 10-20% more magnesium during intense activity. This is because of the role magnesium plays in your muscles. It moves sugar into your muscles and gets rid of lactic acid. It is also responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscles. So, every time you move, you are using magnesium!
If you suffer from severe soreness after workouts, you may have too much lactic acid. Lactic acid naturally builds up in muscles during difficult workouts and this leads to soreness. While some soreness can be nice (it’s great to know your workout was effective!), it can also lead to problems moving the next day!
Magnesium also helps regulate cardiorespiratory functions and your metabolism. This means magnesium can help your performance in both aerobic and anaerobic workouts.
Studies have shown that magnesium can also enhance your athletic performance. Athletes who supplement with magnesium were able to improve their ability to jump and move their arms, as well as increase their ties when swimming, running, and cycling.
Magnesium also helps regulate your blood sugar and hormones. This will help you feel better and get the most out of every workout.
How to Get More Magnesium
You can increase your intake of magnesium rich foods to help improve your workouts. These include dark, leafy greens, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, black beans, cashews, almonds, quinoa, avocado, mackerel, and halibut. If you feel like your magnesium levels are still low you can supplement with electrolyte-enriched drinks and magnesium supplements. Start with a low dosage of magnesium supplement as they can have an adverse effect on your gastrointestinal system! Once your body adjusts to it, you can up your intake, but always make sure you are not taking too much.
Magnesium is an essential mineral to your body. Make sure your diet is full of magnesium rich foods and supplement when necessary. Not only will you feel better, but it will improve your workouts. You will recover faster and become stronger and faster. With your body working at its best, you’ll be able to reach new heights.
For more information on magnesium check out our information page here.
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