Magnesium – the humble mineral essential for sports

As the current generation of the world’s sporting elite bow at the biggest event on the planet, many athletes will be looking for that final ingredient to boost their athletic performance.

A growing number of doctors and professional coaches believe that magnesium is the single most important mineral to sports nutrition. Research has identified that even a marginal deficiency in magnesium can result in a significant reduction in exercise performance.

Magnesium allows the body to burn fuel and create energy in an efficient way which does not lead to lactic acid build up. However during vigorous exercise, critical minerals including zinc, chromium and selenium, in addition to massive amounts of magnesium, are excreted in sweat. Those minerals are then difficult to replenish.

Therefore athletes are often advised to increase portions of magnesium rich foods in their diet, such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. But there is evidence to suggest that this still isn’t enough for those taking part in regular sports, where magnesium will be lost much faster than average.

For example, it is extremely unusual that enough magnesium would be consumed by dietary sources alone. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) can be misleading, as they only represent the minimum amount that should be taken for the maintenance of health.

Transdermal magnesium chloride treatments should be used as a staple part of any sports nutrition programme. Transdermal application of Magnesium is particularly suitable for athletes who need high levels of magnesium and where oral supplementation is much less effective in the treatment of injuries and tired muscles.

Dr Popescu, Physician of the Romanian National Football Team, tested Magnesium Oil during Euro 2008 on his team both on and off the pitch. As a result, he now strongly recommends the product for further usage in other sports and teams, after it was found to be beneficial in 90 per cent of cases.

But it’s not just professional athletes who can benefit. Many studies have found that magnesium supplementation will also enhance the performance and endurance of long distance runners, skiers, cyclists and swimmers.

Of course, magnesium doesn’t just help with performance – we often forget how important recovery is. We all know the delights of the two day burn, and without quick and full recovery, training programmes can often be delayed. A concentrated magnesium bath – foot, or full body, will help relax cramping muscles as well as replace the lost magnesium.

There have been positive examples of faster recovery through supplying magnesium oil to various sports personalities. A strong example is Team GB women volleyballers, who have praised the performance and recovery effects of transdermal magnesium.

Transdermal Magnesium
Transdermal Magnesium may have better absorption rates and aid recovery in sporting individuals

Lucy Wicks, Vice-Captain of GB Women’s Volleyball Team, said: “Our intense preparation programme means we have long days of training which are tough and tiring and our bodies are being pushed to the limit. We particularly like the magnesium flakes which we use in a warm body soak after an ice bath. Our legs are definitely feeling the benefit– in fact they are feeling great!”

Sports injuries can also be avoided with transdermal magnesium therapy. Dr Jeff Schutt insists that a shortened hamstring is a result of a lack of magnesium. He believes that Magnesium Oil sprayed into a sore Achilles tendon, or soaking the feet in a magnesium rich chloride footbath as the single best thing – apart from stretching – that can be done to prevent hamstring or other sports injuries.

Dr Mark Sircus, author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, firmly believes that a whole new world of sports medicine is going to explode onto the scene when athletes and coaches find out that magnesium chloride from natural sources is available for topical use.

There is virtually no one who can’t benefit greatly from increasing their daily magnesium intake – it is an essential part of health. For the professional athlete however, it can mean the difference between winning and losing, or even whether they are fit to compete at all.

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