Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral found in the human body, it serves hundreds of functions for the human body. Some functions that are key for athletes to recognize are synthesis of fat, protein and nucleic acids, neurological activity, muscular contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism. One of the most important functions magnesium has is in the production of ATP. The production of ATP is dependent on an enzyme that is derived from magnesium. ATP is what gives the human body energy to function; every cell stores and uses ATP as energy to do the task at hand. So an athlete that is doing activates that require a large amount of energy require a large amount of ATP. It is very common for athletes to be magnesium deficient because they require a larger consumption.
1.Sleeping better and reduction of insomnia-
It has a calming effect on the nervous system giving your body a chance to rest, refuel, and distress.
2. Improved brain function-
Magnesium is essential for memory; it regulates a key receptor in the brain that supports memory and learning. It also
3. Fights depression-
Magnesium plays a major roll in the neurotransmitter release that affects the discharge of chemicals such as serotonin. Serotonin makes you feel good and in result fights off depression.
4. Building muscle-
Because magnesium is necessary for energy it has a direct affect on your ability to get the work done to build muscle. The more energy you have the more work you can put in. Recent studies have show there is even a direct link to magnesium and testosterone production.
5. Protein synthesis-
It supports protein synthesis because it enables the enzyme function of the body.
6. Decreases inflammation and a healthy heart-
inflammation can be the result of a hard workout, and the body needs to recover from that ASAP. It is curtail that our cardiovascular system is without inflammation, therefor magnesium is crucial for a healthy heart.
7. Stronger bones: which prevents osteoporosis-
Calcium is necessary for stronger bones, but it does nothing without having magnesium and vitamin D to compliment it. Magnesium activates cellular enzyme activity. This allows the body to convert vitamin D into its active form which will in turn help the body with absorbing the calcium. Even if a person is getting the proper amounts of calcium, or even taking a supplement of calcium to protect their bone health it is useless without the proper consumption of magnesium.
8. Prevents metabolic syndrome-
it is a inflammatory condition, which the lack of magnesium results in a stress effect that increases inflammation.
9. Stress – Magnesium has affects on cortisol release as part of your stress response. So it is essential to helping the body respond to stress in a healthy way.
10. Treating obesity or belly fat – extremely overweight individuals usually have metabolic syndrome and chronic low-grade inflammation which is intensified with low magnesium levels.
- Heart rate and sympathetic nervous system is sent into overdrive.
- Inflammation – Inflammation can contribute to problems with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes. Magnesium helps control inflammation do a deficiency can contribute to all these problems as well.
- Pregnant women – Tend to have lower levels of magnesium that can cause metabolic syndrome for mother and child and increase inflammation.
- Digestion problems – Magnesium deficiency causes constipation, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, muscle tremors, and poor mental function.
- Muscle cramps and twitches
- Mood swings and depression
Where to get magnesium:
Pumpkin seeds (roasted)
Peanuts (roasted, salted)
Rice (whole grain brown)
Yoghurt (plain, low fat)
When food products are boiled they tend to lose magnesium, which is why refined grains tend to have a low magnesium level. So it is important to be eating more unrefined foods. For men ages 14-18 the recommended amount is 410mg and for women 360 mg. For men ages 19-30 the recommended amount is 400mg and for women 310 and pregnant women 360. For over 30 400mg is recommended and for women over 30 years of age 320 mg is recommended and 360 is pregnant.
Testing for magnesium
You need to test the content of the red blood cells. There is a standard test that doctor’s use that measures serum magnesium levels in the blood, but a very low amount of magnesium is found in the blood. It is very common that individuals that get the serum magnesium test come back with normal lab results when in fact they are deficient.
Why is it that stretching is often forgotten or pushed aside?
The results of stretching may not be as visible as the results of cross training or improving one rep maxes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Stretching is the lengthening of muscles for the purpose of increasing flexibility and range of motion in the joints. If we want to improve on complex exercises such as the overhead squat, snatch, or clean, then we must take the time to work on the mobility needed for these movements.
The benefits of stretching for the body include: good posture, increased blood flow, decreased muscle stiffness, reduced risk of injury, and back pain management.
The increased blood flow brings more nutrients to your muscles, which in turn helps reduce soreness.
The benefits of stretching for the mind include: a mental break, release of tension, and increased focus.
Ideally, you should be stretching at least twice a day on non-training days, and four times a day on training days. Always try and stretch for five minutes when you wake up in the morning and five minutes before you go to bed at night. On training days we always stretch before and after our workouts. You should hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds depending on how tight the muscle is and remember to relax and breathe normally.