You have probably heard about the mineral Magnesium, but you might not know how many of your body processes use it, and where you can get it in your diet.
What does it do? Quite a few things actually, there are literally hundreds of bodily processes that use Magnesium. In short, it's mostly involved in protein synthesis, nerve and muscle function, bone formation, blood sugar regulation, heart regulation, and many other processes.
Low levels can impact on your sleep, muscle function, nervous system function, muscle flexibility, bone strength, dental health, pH balance (think - tolerating Lactate buildup in a hard run), hydration, enzyme function, the list goes on.
Obviously, athletic people will notice that many of those processes are crucial to your success!
Plenty of athletes take magnesium supplements and report less cramp, and find it easier to recover from training. This is probably due to the muscle synthesis and hydration.
I personally take Magnesium intake seriously for those exact reasons as a semi-serious runner with quite a few years of running behind me. I have advised many people over the years to increase their Magnesium intake to help ward of cramp, and in most cases they reported less cramp once they upped their intake via supplements and or food.
Getting your Magnesium in via diet is the best option. Here are some foods that you should ensure are part of your day:
- whole grains
- green leafy vegetables
- nuts especially almonds
- peanut butter
- brown rice
There are of course other good sources of Magnesium as well. The best idea is you look at your current dietary intake, and make some substitutions. That way any changes will be more likely sustained, which is what you want with any dietary modification.
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