3/11/13

Humdrum for Magnesium

So you’re powerflexing before a set getting ready to slap a few hundred pounds on your back. All of the sudden you feel fatigued, overwhelmed by the upcoming task. Then BAM insane muscle cramps, an indicator that your muscle probably has had enough. This could be the result of many things, or this could be because your magnesium levels are super low.




Magnesium (symbol Mg) is a mineral that makes up our bones and skeletal muscles. Before the mass processing and machine chopping of our edibles, magnesium was found in many things. The average person consumed plenty of magnesium and all was good in the world. Eat stuff from the dirt, then eat stuff that eats stuff from the dirt. Very Genesis like if you ask me. We were crafted with certain requirements to function at a proper level. Now that our foods come in plastic baggies and have been “dead” longer than “alive” we’re seriously missing out on some micronutrients.

With Mg scientist have began coming out with reports that most first world citizens are not consuming enough of this tasty mineral. From my research I’ve compiled a solid list of reasons why you should begin adding magnesium to your diet.I have to give some credit to Charles Polquin on this topic. He is a phenomenal strength coach who, through one of his articles, sparked some curiosity in me about Mg deficiency.

You’ll only flex when you want too!
A symptom of being very low in magnesium is cramping. Along with other neuromuscular problems cramping occurs when motor end plates (the nerve muscle junction) can’t fire and tell the muscle what to do. Imagine a really sleepy dad and his overactive daughter. She’s going to be screaming and yelling a million miles an hour, but he’s going to be tired and only catching some of it. Sufficient Mg levels keep the communication going.

Grow Muscles, Grow Awesome
A study conducted in 2011 on 3 different groups of males found that when taking 10 mg of Magnesium for every 1 kg of body weight can boost testosterone. Greatest boosts in T were found among men who took the Mg post workout. Any guy reading this should understand that increased T will lead to faster recovery and improved strength.

You’ll Get Sensitive, Insulin Sensitive.
If you haven’t heard insulin sensitivity is all the rage now-a-days. Long gone is the time of eating so much food that your body induces diabetes to prevent explosion. Now we reduce our carbohydrate consumptions and add some healthy hormone pumping fats. The great guys at Biological Trace Element Research say that Mg plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, while helping influence the hormones that control blood glucose levels. In essence, Mg deficiency can lead to increased insulin resistance which in turn will lead to the body being unable to properly manage Mg which will lead to greater insulin resistance, and eventually Dia-bet-us. Remember kids only you can prevent diabetes.

It’s At Your Local Grocery Store
Because people are different there are usually different requirements for everyone. Based on Google statistics the majority of readers are adult males, with a few adult females. The University of Maryland Medical Center has created a fancy chart that suggests how much each of these groups should be super absorbing each day. Adult males should consume a minimum of 400 mg daily, while adult women should consume a minimum of 310 mg per day. According to the above studies, I would suggest that males consume no less than 10 mg per kg of bodyweight. To be easy let’s say that you weigh 220 lbs. That converts to a pretty 100 kg. 10 mg times 100 kg equals 1000 mg Mg per day post workout!

If your semi curious right now as to where you can obtain this underutilized miracle mineral then check out what I’ve compiled below:

90 mg: 3 oz cooked halibut
80 mg: 1 oz dry roasted almonds
75 mg: .5 cup cooked Spinach
50 mg: 1 medium baked potato
30 mg: 1 medium Banana
25 mg: 1 cup whole milk

The Send Home:
Of course you can obtain these nutrients another way, via supplementation. A product offered is ZMA. This combination has been shown to benefit athletes, but right now focus on the 10 mg of Magnesium per kg of bodyweight. A 1994 study done in Hines, IL suggests that consumption of Zinc above 142 mg in conjunction with Mg can reduce absorption. In other words buy a ZMA product with reduced Zinc (at least under 142 mg per serving) and then compensate by adding your own Magnesium. Finally, and of the utmost importance, only take a Mg product post workout. It has the potential to relax you, which is not ideal for workout times. Additionally taking post workout is how you get that T boost!


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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.