Magnesium and Fitness
Hey there. Exercise is important. We all know that. Nutrition is important. We know that too but often our knowledge of nutrition starts and ends with either an idea of what calories are, the importance of protein, or maybe even how much we are supposed to eat. Most people don’t fall down the rabbit hole of micronutrients and which ones can help with what. or even think about what macronutrients are. Magnesium is a great example of a micronutrient most people either never heard of or have no idea what the benefits are.
We live in a world where being busy for the sake of busy is glorified, often to detriment of our own sleep and wellbeing. Screens, distractions, sportsball, and entertainment all distract us and can make bedtime into a mess (if we even have a nighttime schedule). Additionally a majority of people suffer from low energy levels (most likely from a mix of poor diet, lack of exercise, and less than ideal sleep).
Anxiety is on the rise, bone disorders are happening more frequently, and people are generally in rough shape. While there is no cure all, magnesium can help you out in a lot of ways.
Magnesium’s Role in Recovery and Sleep
There are so many benefits of magnesium that it would take a novel to write about them, so I am going to focus on its benefits for sleep and recovery.
The Unsung Hero of Your Fitness Journey
Fitness is not always just about pushing harder and lifting heavier. That’s a huge chunk of it, sure, and magnesium has benefits during exercise, but there are other aspects with fitness you need to take into consideration such as recovery.
The key to success in the gym is letting your body chill and focusing on recovering from the workout. Downtime is important, but sleep is when we make our gains so wouldn’t it make sense to put an emphasis on it so we can recover properly?
Understanding Magnesium and its Benefits
Now that you’re on-board, it’s time to explore the wonders this fantastic mineral brings to the table.
But first, what exactly is Magnesium?
What is it?
Turns out Magnesium is a very important mineral for our bodies. It’s naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medications. The body needs Magnesium as it is important for many processes, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also contributes to bone formation and the synthesis of protein
It’s involved in a bunch of things that keep us going, like:
- Helping regulate muscular contractions
- Charging up energy reserves
- Keeping our immune system strong and healthy
- Working to keep bone density
So yeah, it’s generally an important thing.
But guess what? It becomes an even BIGGER deal if you love to workout!
These Mind-Blowing Magnesium Perks!
As people who regularly work out, we all want to keep progressing and see massive improvements over time.
Here’s what benefits Magnesium brings to the table with regards to your gym time:
Improved Physical Performance: Depending on the study you are reading you might see benefits ranging from increased VO2 max, improved glucose availability, strength gains, or a plethora of other performance improvements.
Reduced Muscle Soreness: You’ll still probably be sore the day or two after a hard workout, but Magnesium will help keep those aches from putting you on the sidelines during recovery.
Enhanced Sleep Quality: Sleep like a baby. Magnesium puts you to bed. Unlike melatonin which is a hormone, magnesium won’t cause your body to reduce its natural production of hormones. Magnesium also helps you relax instead of putting you to sleep, which can help you get deeper, longer, more restful sleep.
Magnesium and Post-Workout Recovery
You’re at the gym. You just finished a monster workout. You’re feeling like a champ, but you hurt. Fatigue is setting in. You know your muscles are going to be hurting in the morning. How can you help reduce DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness)?
Considering this article is about magnesium, I imagine you already know what I am going to say.
How Exactly Does Magnesium Help with Recovery?
How does it work? Well, Magnesium is a key player in the body when it comes to movement.
When you squeeze a muscle, you need a few minerals to make that contraction work, such as calcium which initiates the muscle contraction. Magnesium does the exact opposite and works to relax the muscle fibers when you are done with them. Too little magnesium can lead to cramping, which no one likes. So having adequate magnesium is clearly a good thing here.
Further, magnesium is a key player in energy levels and is involved with ATP production. Having adequate magnesium can help you produce ATP more efficiently and quickly, which is not something I have ever heard anyone complain about.
Plus, it’s used by your body to balance things like sodium, calcium, and potassium. All of those electrolytes are necessary for proper muscular function and recovery.
As an additional benefit, adequate magnesium levels can help tamp down on inflammation, both the normal stuff we all have and the post workout inflammation caused from placing stress on your muscles. This has all sorts of positive benefits on cells, muscles, joints, and cartilage. In fact, it can help reduce the wear and tear on your cartilage which helps you stay healthy for longer.
Seems like it does a lot of stuff for recovery, no? And there’s more than just those benefits. I’d be here all day if I wrote them all out.
Research Backs the Benefits!
Numerous studies are showing that Magnesium actually helps in recovering faster and reducing muscle soreness after intense workouts.
So, you get to hit the gym (or road, or pool) sooner, stronger and better!
Magnesium and Sleep Quality
One of the best benefits? Everyone always complains about their sleep. It’s universal. None of us get enough, and when we get enough timewise it usually isn’t the best quality. Right? Unconscious hours on the body shelf aren’t always the most fulfilling. And yes, I am going to say that you can (probably) get better sleep with some magnesium before bed.
Unlike taking melatonin, which is a hormone, magnesium doesn’t impact your natural hormonal production and mess up your circadian rhythm. Instead, it is associated with melatonin production so you are better regulated in that sense and helps relax you so you fall asleep for longer and in a better way.
When it comes to sleep Magnesium helps:
Alleviate Insomnia: Since it is a relaxing mineral, and I can attest to this, you fall asleep faster than you would otherwise.
Promote Relaxation: It doesn’t just relax your muscles, your brain is calmed down and your nervous system is a lot less excited due to how it blocks the same receptors Ambien deals with. Not sure about you, but a non-addictive, naturally occurring substance is always going to be superior to a pharmaceutical that has the same goal.
Enhance Overall Sleep Quality: Magnesium can vastly increase your sleep quality by making it a deeper, more fulfilling experience.
Since sleep is when we grow and recover from workouts you want to prioritize it and do all you can to ensure you get a restful nights sleep every night.
Magnesium-Infused Bedtime Tips
Here are some simple ways to boost your Magnesium levels:
Epsom Salts Bath: Epsom salt is magnesium for the tub. Take a warm bath with it and let it melt away stress while relaxing your muscles.
Magnesium-Rich Foods: There are some fantastic natural sources available. Find them and add them to your diet.
Supplements Before Bed: Pop a Magnesium supplement about 30 minutes before you hit the sack.
Give these ideas a try and see how your sleep improves.
Magnesium Sources and Supplementation
Ready to boost your magnesium intake? Hunt down some foods that are full of it.
Include these foods in your diet to help you get closer to your daily Magnesium needs:
- Dark leafy greens: Think spinach, kale, and collard greens.
- Nuts: Almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts.
- Seeds: Pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds.
- Whole grains, beans, and legumes: Grains and beans.
In short, there are a ton of micronutrients in whole foods so the closer your diet gets to nature makes it, the greater the micronutrient content is going to be.
Magnesium Supplements: Your Back-Up Squad!
48% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. It’s just something that happens when people neglect leafy greens in favor of processed foods. If you’re finding it tough to get enough Magnesium from just your diet, or you’re looking for an extra boost to support your sleep and recovery, Magnesium supplements are always there.
Remember your food takes the lead role. Supplements are supplemental.
With that said, one scoop of 1st Phorm’s Magnesium before bed knocks me out every time which has led to all sorts of benefits.
If you want to check it out, check here:
The Magnesium Magic
Alright, so I’ve gone through a lot. Benefits for fitness, benefits for sleep, and how to find it.
Want to try to up your recovery? Then, let’s bring Magnesium into our fitness family!
- Boosts Recovery: Faster and effective recovery? Yes, please! After a grueling workout, Magnesium is your ticket to speedy recuperation.
- Pumps Up Performance: Ready to ace your workouts like a pro? Magnesium helps boost your performance to the max!
- Promotes Peaceful Sleep: Love sweet slumber? Magnesium’s got your back, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep, night after night!
Let Us Help You Out
I want to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans I offer to my clients and see if you could benefit from working with me. If you have questions, you can always contact me through the Contact Us page.
Personal trainers, like myself, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
If you choose to join one of my programs I’ll get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals. I also do advisory services that guide you along and answer questions you have if you don’t want a fully customized service.
The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.
Get into contact with me to find out what, if any, membership is right for you.