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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Which is the best magnesium supplement for an athlete?

"Gary, thank you for telling me about MagnaPower. My leg is great and I am stretching a lot more before I run. I'm running a lot more miles . Again, thank you for helping me.

I am always delighted to have feedback about products and services, so thanks Randy for writing.

Magnesium deficiency is almost universal in athletes.  Magnesium has many important functions in the high performance body.  Just two are discussed here:

1: Magnesium powers the adrenals

The adrenals produce steroidal hormones.  It is these hormones that have the heart thumping in anticipation as you wait for the gun to fire.  It is these hormones that mobilise the fats and sugars to keep you going strong well after your opponents begin to tire.  It is these hormones that regulate inflammatory (healing) responses during and after the punishing competition.  Without strong adrenals, an athlete is "burned out".

2: Magnesium regulates muscle tension

Muscles require large amounts of magnesium in order to relax.  Lack of magnesium is associated with muscles that cramp without warning and muscles that are hard and tense.  Smooth muscle is found in the heart, the blood vessels and in the intestines.

Lack of magnesium is associated with colitis, heart palpitations and migraines.  Tell-tale signs of magnesium deficiency are red cheeks, especially when stressed such as during exercise.  This is because the tiny blood vessels in the cheeks go into spasm, causing the blood to pool.  This pooled blood deoxygenates and consequently goes a dark red.  Most children are severely magnesium deficient; hence the predominance of rosy cheeks.

How do you test for magnesium?

The hair tissue analysis shows not only cellular levels of nutrient,
but also their complex relationship with others.
The most useful test for magnesium status is the ICL Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.

How much magnesium does an athlete need daily?

That's the subject of much debate.  To a large degree the amount is determined by how much an individual can absorb, intake of other nutrients such as calcium (Excess calcium causes a relative deficiency of magnesium) and loss through stress, exercise, sweat and tissue damage.

Which magnesium supplement is the best?

MagnaPower is one of the best, if not the best.  It contains magnesium in a form that is most effectively assimilated into the cells where it works its magic.  The MagnaPower formulation also contains cofactors such as pyridoxine, zinc and vitamin C.  If these, especially pyridoxine, are lacking in the body, then the body's ability to uptake the magnesium is compromised.  So, its important to have these cofactors otherwise the magnesium supplementation may be mostly a wasted effort.

The MagnaPower powder is intended to be added to the Super Smoothie.  For most athletes, or individuals who have low magnesium levels the usual is one scoop of MagnaPower to one scoop of the  Super Smoothie  per day.

Which foods are the best sources of magnesium?

Whenever there is a deficiency, supplements may be needed to effect a successful catch-up and then to compensate on an ongoing basis for the high demands of modern life and sport.  In addition, the modern diet is low in magnesium, as compared to the diets of our Grandparents.  It can be difficult indeed to get enough magnesium to sustain good health nowadays.

Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. When you read the list below you will quickly conclude that few people will ever get near to 700mg magnesium per day, or do so consistently.  Selected food sources of magnesium are listed as follows:

Selected food sources of magnesium
FoodMilligrams (mg)%DV*
Wheat Bran, crude, ¼ cup8922
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce8020
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup7820
Raisin bran cereal, 1 cup7719
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce7419
Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup7419
Wheat germ, crude, ¼ cup6917
Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce6416
Bran flakes cereal, ¾ cup6416
Shredded wheat cereal, 2 rectangular biscuits6115
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup6115
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce5013
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons4912
Potato, baked with skin, 1 medium4812
Blackeye peas, cooked, ½ cup4612
Pinto beans, cooked, ½ cup4311
Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup4211
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup369
Vegetarian baked beans, ½ cup359
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup359
Chocolate milk, lowfat, 1 cup338
Banana, raw, 1 medium328
Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 fluid ounces328
Milk chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar287
Milk, lowfat or nonfat, 1 cup277
Raisins, seedless, ½ cup packed267
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces246
Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice236
Avocado, cubes, ½ cup226
Chocolate pudding, ready-to-eat, 4 ounces195

*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for magnesium is 400 milligrams (mg). Most food labels do not list a food's magnesium content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving. A food providing 5% of the DV or less per serving is a low source while a food that provides 10–19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. It is important to remember that foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet. For foods not listed in this table, please refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database Web site.
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The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.

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