Everyone knows that vitamins and minerals are an essential component of any diet. However, many people are not certain what minerals are most important for the body. Of course, calcium, potassium, zinc and iron are vital, but magnesium is also critical for good health, though it is frequently overlooked. Magnesium offers a number of health benefits, particularly for bodybuilders and other athletes. The following will look at what magnesium is, why it is so important for athletes, and which foods are excellent sources of magnesium.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for more than 300 chemical reactions within the body. Numerous doctors, nutritionists, and researchers consider it to be the “miracle mineral” or the single most important nutrient for good health. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is the most frequently seen nutritional deficiency in developed parts of the world.
Who Could Benefit From Magnesium Supplements?
While there is no denying the fact almost anyone will benefit from taking a magnesium supplement, this is especially true for athletes.
Magnesium is involved in everything from fat, protein, and nucleic acid synthesis to bone metabolism, muscular contractions, and much more. It plays a vital role in the production of energy, which is one thing athletes cannot afford to be short of. It also promotes a strong skeletal system and bones. In fact, a study conducted at Western Washington University found that bodybuilders who ingest magnesium supplements exerted greater quadriceps force than lifters who did not use magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is also good for relieving constipation, lowering blood pressure, and it has been shown to play a role in preventing diabetes, assisting the heart muscle in functioning more efficiently, and protecting blood vessels. It truly is the wonder drug.
Good Sources of Magnesium
- Almonds – Almonds have 268mg of magnesium per 100g serving.
- Soy Milk - One cup of soy milk has 61mg of magnesium.
- Spinach - ½ cup of spinach contains 74mg of magnesium.
- Oats – One cup of oatmeal contains 276mg of magnesium.
- Brown Rice – One cup of cooked brown rice has 84mg of magnesium
- Supplements – Magnesium supplements such as Nutra-Life Magnesium Complete, NOW Magnesium Citrate and Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium contain between 150mg – 315mg per serving.
Magnesium has far too many benefits to ignore, particularly for athletes or anyone interested in living a life of optimal health. Unfortunately, although there are some excellent food sources of magnesium, most of us in the developed world are deficient. Be sure to add magnesium-rich foods or supplements to your diet – your heart, muscles, bones, energy levels and brain will thank you for it!
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