Does lack of magnesium cause muscle cramps?

Magnesium and Muscle CrampsThe sports & magnesium partnership

Serious athletes need serious nutrition and among the best-known supplements prescribed by dedicated Sports Doctors to professional athletes are magnesium supplements.

This amazing mineral works at many different levels in the body particularly in strengthening bones, muscles, and in converting gluconate into energy. It’s especially important to athletes recovering from injury or over-exertion. The importance of maintaining adequate magnesium levels cannot be underestimated by anyone, athlete or not, but is especially pertinent for weekend warriors and professional athletes.

Virtually all chemical processes in the body require enzymatic reactions to assist in normal physiology. Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 of these reactions. In particular, it is necessary in the manufacture of proteins, production of cellular energy, muscle contraction, blood vessel tone, cellular communications and nerve conduction. Additionally, magnesium is an essential component in the maintenance of healthy bones. – Alive.com

For those reasons and more, obtaining enough magnesium is of paramount importance for anyone involved in sporting activities.

According to the National Institutes of Health, habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.

Additionally, “Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes.”

While adding excessive amounts of magnesium to your diet won’t help you perform any better, a lack of this vital mineral will impair performance, slow recovery from normal exercise and lengthen the time it takes to recover from injury.

How to Find Out if You’re Magnesium Deficient?

As most magnesium is bound up in the bones and teeth (60{45a6d239caf5e6f4a9bda45040026bf2e544857e17d2f8c0a0ce5b109ad81c69}) and in skeletal soft tissue (20{45a6d239caf5e6f4a9bda45040026bf2e544857e17d2f8c0a0ce5b109ad81c69}) it is notoriously difficult to determine the overall magnesium levels in your body. However, a red blood cell magnesium test is a simple test that a specialist may perform.

Doctors can also determine magnesium deficiency by asking about the quality of your sleep, how quickly or slowly you recover after a workout, and whether you suffer from listlessness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, irritability, or excessive muscle cramping post-workout – and other tell-tale signs of mineral deficiency.

Whether a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, these are things you want to avoid, and happily, getting enough magnesium is as easy as adding green, leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, or avocados or bananas to your diet, or by adding a magnesium citrate supplement to your health regime.

Doctors recommend 31+: M: 420 mg, W: 320 mg (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins)

Happy Training!

Guest contributor: Chirolife

http://www.chirolife.com.au/

 

 

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carolyn-dean-md-nd/bone-health_b_1540931.html

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Swaminathan, R. (2003). Magnesium Metabolism and its Disorders. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 24(2), 47–66

http://www.alive.com/health/magnesium/

http://www.chirolife.com.au/magnesium-muscle-cramps/