Magnesium: The winning mineral

Peak athletic performance can not be achieved without an optimal magnesium supply. Recent discoveries show magnesium's key role as an antioxidant with its protective function against oxidative stress, as competitive athletes especially produce a lot of free radicals due to the high oxygen consumption. More and more evidence suggests that an optimal magnesium status is probably even more important than previously assumed. Recent research on magnesium and lactate supports the assumption that adequate magnesium intake is critical for endurance as well as sprint and speed.

Four athletes run on a track

How magnesium helps in sports

Sufficient magnesium prevents muscle cramps, reduces lactic acid, protects against injuries and increases endurance at the same time. Studies show that heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production can be significantly reduced by magnesium substitution -- and that, with a simultaneous increase in performance.

The formation of lactate, caused by the anaerobic degradation of glucose that occurs when there is not enough supply of oxygen in the muscle cell, limits physical capacity. Lactate must therefore be eliminated from the body as quickly as possible, which also requires magnesium.

A study with rats showed that the additional intake of magnesium not only suppresses lactate production, but also increases glucose availability and metabolism in the brain during exercise. This is important because scientists now believe that the brain and the central nervous system significantly influence on the perception of muscle fatigue. A higher availability of glucose in the brain could therefore result in fatigue being perceived as less severe.

The simple message to athletes from all these findings is therefore: Peak performance be achieved only if there is sufficient magnesium in the cells. An optimal magnesium supply is therefore of particular importance in sports.

Tips for exercisers and competitive athletes

- Take a high-dose permanent magnesium supplement of up to 1000 mg per day.

- Combine magnesium intake with an external application of magnesium oil to improve tolerance.

- Pay attention to the intake of other minerals, trace elements and vitamins.

- After exercise or competition, massage strained muscles with magnesium oil or gel to support rapid muscle regeneration.

- After competition, take a relaxing bath with magnesium with at least 1 to 2 kg (2.2 - 4.4 pounds) of magnesium flakes in 50 liters (13 gallons) of water.

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