It’s amazing to know that one of the elements that makes rockets, missiles, and jet engines is likewise responsible for our body’s energy creation, protein formation, and muscle movement. On top of that, it is also a key player for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in our body such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, energy metabolism, and glucose use, to name a few. Yet, with all the multitude of benefits and functionality it delivers, many of us are blissfully unaware that our body may be lacking this important mineral called magnesium.
Magnesium’s Pivotal Role in Our Body
Magnesium is a mineral found in our earth, seas, plants, animals, and in us humans. Sixty percent of magnesium is in our bones. The rest are present in our muscles, soft tissues and fluids, and blood.
All of us have a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium consumption so that our body can maintain its optimum performance. However, if you’re an athlete in training or a hardcore gym junkie, the demand for magnesium intake is slightly higher than usual because magnesium plays a pivotal role in your overall strength, performance, endurance, and recovery.
So if you want to achieve your peak performance every time you lift those weights, run the distance, or showcase your agility levels, you might want to consider boosting your magnesium intake for that extra “oomph” to hit the finish line.
Boost Physical Performance
Magnesium is the principal agent in the generation and supply of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main energy source of our body. Whenever our body has an insufficient supply of magnesium, we suffer disastrous consequences. Our body won’t be able to generate energy stores fast enough in order to keep up with muscle contractions during a demanding or strenuous physical activity. As a result, we might potentially diminish our performance and increase the risk of getting the formidable DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
In fact, a study published by the National Library of Medicine suggests the importance of magnesium intake in energetic metabolism and muscle contraction and relaxation as showcased by the elite basketball, handball, and volleyball players, who had a regular dose of magnesium. All such players exhibited an increase in their strength performance as evidenced in their physical exercise tests.
Whilst you might generalize that it’s solely athletes, who need and can benefit from an increase of magnesium intake, think again. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that daily intake of magnesium supplement for 12 weeks among the healthy elderly women used as subjects showed an increase in gait speed. This further suggests how magnesium can prevent and delay age-related decline in physical performance.
Increase Muscle Recovery
Magnesium is responsible for maintaining cellular ionic balance in the body (concentrations of ions in the cellular fluids to maintain a stable pH balance) with the help of potassium, calcium, and sodium.
Athletes and those who do a hardcore kind training lose up to 20% of magnesium during their training sesh and competitions. This is due to increased production of sweat and urine on such occasions. In some cases, weight changes related to severe dehydration to achieve a target weight can also lead to magnesium deficit. As such, athletes, who do weight reduction, should consider taking magnesium supplements in order to maintain their performance level in a sport.
Taking a magnesium supplement as shown in another study of the National Library of Medicine may positively decrease lactate levels in the muscles. When we work out really hard, our muscles produce lactic acid, which causes soreness, fatigue, and even cramps. To avoid these, taking a magnesium supplement would be most beneficial to help speed up recovery and avoid injuries.
Maca contains magnesium and other vitamins and minerals that make it especially useful for improving physical performance for an active lifestyle. To learn more about this amazing superfood from Peru, click here.