Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal and is the eleventh most abundant element within the human body. It is essential to our living cells playing a role in energy production, nerve impulses, and is needed by around 300 hundred enzyme systems which support many actions of the body. Alongside this, magnesium plays a role in our blood sugar balance and muscle function. Many of us are actually low in magnesium, which can then have an affect on all the systems above.
Magnesium is generally found in bone or cells of the body, it is very sparse in the blood stream, which makes it hard to detect our accurate levels. It is usually tested through our urine or saliva. Dietary recommendations are set at 420mg for men and 320mg for female in the age category 31-50. We need to make sure that our diet provides us with this amount of magnesium as otherwise deficiency can provide us with many health issues. Some signs of deficiency include: nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps and weakness.
Great dietary sources come from green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
In regards to our athletic performance ad recovery magnesium is especially important. Because of it’s biological uses that are mentioned above, deficiency in magnesium can alter our exercise capacity leading to poor performance and also poor muscular recovery. It is involved heavily in muscular contraction so if muscle cramps are a common thing with you, magnesium may be a good point of call. Magnesium is also a critical electrolyte so after a hard training session or event it is important to take in electrolytes to aid fluid loss and stop you becoming completely dehydrated.
Try to include more sources of dietary magnesium into your daily life and if you still feel you are lacking magnesium then look at magnesium salts to soak in.