If there’s one thing we’ve learned about micronutrients … it’s that their effects aren’t “micro” at all.
In fact, getting the right amount of micronutrients can mean the difference between being energized enough to actually reach your goals, and not being able to push through a workout due to fatigue.
Here we’re focusing on a specific, important nutrient that many are deficient in: magnesium.
Magnesium is a mineral that is found within every cell of our bodies, where it is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions that keep us alive. It plays a role in converting our food into energy, forming new proteins (which includes muscle), creating and repairing our DNA, and is essential for normal muscle relaxation post-contraction (awesome for preventing cramps and spasms!).
In short: it’s pretty important.
However, research has shown that roughly 50% of people in the U.S. don’t get enough of this crucial mineral.
This can deeply impact your sleep, performance, stress levels, and overall well being, which is why you want to make sure you’re consuming enough. let’s dive in to how crazy beneficial magnesium really is, and how you can get more of it.
Benefits Of Magnesium
1. Can Boost Performance
Magnesium is a major player in allowing you to perform at your best. Studies show that it is responsible for moving blood sugar into your muscles to be used for energy, as well as helping to remove lactate buildup in your muscles during exercise (which causes muscle fatigue).
One study found that by optimizing magnesium intake, subjects were able to increase both muscle mass and power output. Another found that volleyball players who supplemented with Magnesium experienced major improvements in their jumping abilities!
2. Can Improve Mood
We talk a lot here about how our mindset is the major player in creating lasting change in any area of your life, including your physique and fitness levels. It’s not only important to cultivate a mindset that supports your goals (we develop this in the 5-Week Beyond Program) but to also make sure your nervous system has the nutrients it needs to support your mood.
Magnesium is one of those nutrients. As studies have shown, it plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels have been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Not to mention, other studies have shown that regulating magnesium levels in the body can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.
3. May Support Better Sleep And Reduced Inflammation
Research shows that magnesium is also essential for quality sleep and might be very important to those suffering from insomnia. This is because it has a relaxing effect on your nervous system and plays a role in maintaining neurotransmitter balance, especially those involved with sleep such as GABA.
Sleep is crucial for performance, and even results: this is the time where our bodies repair muscle tissue and gear us up for the next day. Not having this repair time can equal subpar results, and subpar performance (after all, it’s going to be much harder to press hard during a workout if you’re fatigued).
On that note, magnesium has also been shown to be great for reducing inflammation. If you’ve ever wondered why Epsom Salt baths do the magic that they do, it’s because Epsom Salts are magnesium! This difference is that this magnesium is absorbed through your skin, rather than getting it from food. This can help ease muscle soreness by reducing inflammation, which can get you back in the game faster.
4. May Improve Muscle Function
Studies have also shown that magnesium plays a critical role in muscle contraction and expansion … which is exactly what we focus on during workouts and when we perform in sports. Having impaired muscle contractions or extensions (you’ve felt this if you’ve ever felt a muscle lock up for a second) can affect your sessions, as well as the amount of weight you can move and how quickly your muscles can react.
Getting enough magnesium can help your muscles function more efficiently, which in turn, helps you perform better.
Where To Find Magnesium
Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, and also as a supplement. Here are your options:
Foods high in magnesium:
• Dark Chocolate
• Legumes (beans)
• Wild fatty fish, like salmon
• Leafy greens
You can choose to supplement with a powder or capsule, but be sure to ask an expert for advice in choosing which form of magnesium is best for you!
As you can see, simple is sometimes overlooked: even standard minerals can help us in our daily lives and fitness journey more than we know.