There is a nutrient in your diet – or at least there should be – that controls more than 300 enzymatic processes in your body. Without it, all 300 would struggle to work optimally and its inclusion in your diet plan ensures you do better as a performance-orientated individual. Come on down, Magnesium. Unfortunately, a paltry 80% of Americans get the 400mg daily recommended amount of this mineral. It’s why being sure you’re taking the best magnesium supplement is paramount.
Yes, when it comes to the battle for your wellbeing, magnesium is king. This metallic powerhouse gains support in the health and fitness world by the day, and for good reason, the research both in the literature and anecdotally just keeps on coming.
If we can impact this many processes through one essential nutrient in the human body we really do need to pay magnesium its dues… Long live the king!
What it does and why it’s so important to find the best Magnesium supplement
So, what does it do? And how can it help you, the performance-minded athlete? Magnesium’s main role, or the role most beneficial to an active individual like yourself, is in recovery. After all, optimal performance can only come from optimal recovery.
The fitness world is quick to talk about performance-enhancing supplements, but these are useless if you have not recovered properly, recovery is the first step to optimal performance. That’s why carbohydrates are so important in recovery; underfeed with carbs after a session and you could impair recovery by not fully replenishing glycogen, which means you will go into the next session at 70–80%. Recovery is key.
Without magnesium we wouldn’t be able to produce energy. Well, more accurately, we would be in a constant state of contraction. Magnesium is a relaxant, especially, in the smooth muscles of the body. On top of this, magnesium is used to create ATP (the main energy source in the body), enabling thousands of biochemical processes to occur, and is necessary for cell life at a microscopic level.
Can’t we get enough Magnesium through diet?
OK, you get the point. It’s jolly important. Magnesium is classed as a macro mineral, meaning the body needs it in large amounts as a mineral, not like some of the other minerals where the body only needs it in trace amounts, hence they are called trace minerals. So how do we get it in our diet?
Ideal sources are: pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, wild salmon, wild rice, dark chocolate, flax, bananas, spinach, whole milk, avocados and beans.
The classic sports diet is cereals, chicken, broccoli, rice, pasta, some lean beef, some nuts, sometimes fruit and yogurt, usually quite limited and quite lean. Deficient in a lot of the magnesium-rich foods listed.
Enter Magnesium supplements – but they’re not all made equal
Perhaps you can see why supplementing with magnesium has become a new trend. Most mineral supplementation protocols work best in people that are deficient, shock horror. But because magnesium is such a major player in exercise performance we still see benefit in individuals that are not deficient, especially taken after the exercise period – because at this time your levels will have dropped.
What’s the difference between the best magnesium supplement and others?
The problem with most magnesium supplements is that they have poor bioavailibility, meaning that the body doesn’t absorb most of the magnesium and it comes out in your urine. Down the toilet is ideally not where you want your magnesium.
The solution? A quality magnesium aspartate supplement, like Optimum Nutrition’s ZMA have added the amino-acid, aspartate, to their magnesium which increases absorption exponentially.
The best part about Optimum’s product is that it addresses another common deficiency – Zinc. Up to 40% of folk in the US could be Zinc deficient, which ZMA addresses to help ensure optimal hormone levels, increased testosterone, faster recovery, and an amazing quality of sleep when taken just before bedtime.
Just be sure not to take it in conjunction with any calcium containing foods as they may compete for absorption. Beyond this, supplementing with the best magnesium supplement is a no-brainer for the serious athlete and casual gym-bunny alike.
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