Do you have low energy? Muscle fatigue? Joint pain? Trouble sleeping or recovering?
As many as 85 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, depending on which study you look at. And that’s an even bigger problem if you’re athlete, as your body burns through magnesium quicker and the recommended daily intake is much higher.
Magnesium is cheap, readily available and can be a game-changer for athletes who have trouble sleeping, recovering and maintaining energy levels.
Why is it so critical for athletes? Magnesium —found in leafy greens and seafood— allows muscles to contract and relax properly, reduces blood pressure, regulates heart rhythm and is necessary to produce ATP.
Without getting too science-y, when your body breaks down ATP, your muscles use the energy that’s released.
If you’re lifting or doing high-intensity metabolic conditioning, your body is going to burn through that energy much quicker than a sedentary person.
So, if you’re not getting enough magnesium —and it’s almost impossible to do through diet alone— you could be dealing with low energy levels and problems with muscle function as a result.
Because magnesium is also good for reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and has been researched extensively in helping with insomnia, it’s best to take at night.
Don’t overdo it, as magnesium can have a laxative effect. Start small and increase your dose as tolerated. You aren’t going to make up for your magnesium deficiency in one day!
Magnesium is also one of the primary ingredients in epsom salt baths and, while there’s nothing wrong with soaking in a hot bath for recovery, the best way to make sure your body is absorbing magnesium is to ingest it.
You can’t out-supplement a bad diet. But you can make small additions to help ensure you’re getting the most out of your nutrition and recovery time.