Magnesium is used by the body to build muscle and bones and is required for relaxation of muscles and nerves. In addition, the mineral is also used by many processes in the human body: regulation of blood pressure, memory operation, energy metabolism, and nerve impulse transmission.
Due to this, it is vitally important for both athletes and non-athletes to consume food and drink containing this mineral.Shortage
While magnesium is found in many products and is sometimes even present in drinking water, it can occur that someone has a deficit. The current estimate is that 20% of adults in western Europe do not meet the daily recommended intake. In America, this estimate rises to over 60% of adults!
There are some symptoms that may indicate a magnesium deficiency: cramps in the muscles or muscle tightness, muscle weakness, and lethargy. Additional symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be found in this article. If you think you have a deficiency, please contact your doctor. They may well be able to determine whether you have a deficit or not.
To prevent a magnesium deficiency, you can watch your diet. In order to avoid having an unhealthy diet with not enough magnesium, there is a number of food items that contain a higher-than-average amount of the mineral: green vegetables, beans, legumes, bananas, whole grains, dark chocolate, and nuts. It is also possible to take supplements to augment magnesium intake. Please note: the maximum safe dose is 250mg of magnesium per day!
For athletes, it is especially important to have a balanced magnesium intake as muscles require it for their functioning. With a magnesium deficiency, muscle performance will be many times worse. For long and intensive training an athlete has on average a 20% higher demand than a non-athlete. So it is vital that athletes get enough magnesium (through diet) to meet the increased demand during their workout.