- Do you know if the world of supplements even applies to you?
- Magnesium supplementation causes better muscle strength, size, and, recovery.
- It can also improve your quality of rest.
- Magnesium is directly related to higher energy levels.
I typically let myself study in whatever area interests me in the moment, and I’ve been coming back to muscle recovery a lot lately.
We need to talk about magnesium and its benefits that promote higher increases in muscle strength and size.
There are also incidental benefits that work together to improve your overall health and quality of life.
But first, are you a good candidate to be playing with supplements? You might not be.
Are Supplements Even Required?
It bothers me that most people have no idea what their current levels of vitamins/minerals/hormones are.
They truly have no idea if they even need supplements, or how those chemicals affect their body.
I guess it’s just easier to pop the pill and carry on…
I’ll be the first to say that the vast majority of people taking supplements (of any kind) are wasting their money.
Supplements are not a replacement for a solid, kickass, low carbohydrate, whole food approach to health. No amount of supplement strategizing will change that.
Supplements are like drugs. If you stop to fix the underlying issue, you wouldn’t need most or all of them.
So before we go on, you need to know that fitness performance, energy levels, desired physique, general vitality, and overall health are comprised of:
- 80% what you choose to eat (high quality fats, grassfed meat, nutritionally rich vegetables and fruits VS. processed carbohydrates, sugars, and even secretly unhealthy “high quality” grains)
- 10% environmental decisions. Eliminating blue light exposure after sunset, consistent sleep habits, ending your showers with hyper cold water, getting adequate sunlight.
- 5% physical work in the gym. Hard work in the gym is easy (and fun!), but means little when compared to the gains you’ll see from eating properly.
- 5% supplementation. Maybe even less. Supplementation is fine tuning. And you can’t fine tune a race car without having first built a racecar.
So why even bother talking about supplements, particularly magnesium supplements, if the impact is so relatively small?
For starters, a 68% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. 1)http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2005/9/awsi/Page-01
This is likely the result of the lousy Standard American Diet, which is almost devoid of any real nutrients, let alone magnesium.
If you’re just getting started with a completely approach to health, perhaps you should bookmark this page and come back when you’ve nailed the first 95%.
(Control D for Windows users, Command D for Mac)
Starting with the last 5% makes no sense.
However, for those that have already built a race car, this may be one of the last bits of tuning you’re looking for.
After all, the last bit of any journey is exactly 5%.
Magnesium Supplements For Muscle
If you’re using a ketogenic, paleo, or primal approach to eating, your levels of magnesium are likely better than most.
But if you’re also a raging fitness enthusiast like myself, you still may not be getting enough.
Magnesium supplementation has been linked to greater strength in the gym.
In this study two groups (group M for Magnesium, and group C for control) were monitored during a seven week training program.
“Both groups gained strength, however, results indicated a significant (p less than 0.05) increase for the M group compared to the C group in absolute T [torque].” 2)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.1992.10718233
This is likely due to the fact that magnesium is a key element in muscle recovery, therefore leading to higher strength over 7 weeks from more efficient muscle recovery.
“As exercise leads to the natural depletion of electrolytes and trace minerals in the body, replenishing magnesium lost during exercise can aid muscle recovery and negate potential soreness and aches after an intensive work out.” 3)http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/features/the-importance-of-magnesium-for-muscle-recovery
This next sentence is very important, so pay attention.
Muscle growth, both size and strength, happens during rest. Not during workouts.
The typical bodybuilding mantra is work, work, work. A program with six long workouts per week is extremely common.
A more sensible mantra is rest, rest, rest.
If you don’t give your muscles a chance to recover and grow, they’ll never become bigger or more powerful than before your workout.
I only go to the gym once per week. This leaves plenty of time and energy for my muscles to heal.
(While everyone else is wasting their time with multiple sets, I only do one set for each exercise – scientifically proven to be equally effective. And a whole lot faster.)
And, coming back to magnesium supplements, I can personally attest to the decrease in muscle soreness after intense workouts – both immediately and in the following days.
I’ve been taking 400mg of Magnesium Citrate at night before sleep, which seems to work well for me.
I recommend Magnesium Citrate over Magnesium Oxide. Citrate has a higher rate of absorption. Oxide is also used in cheaper brands, likely to do its higher concentration of oxygen. 4)http://peoplesrx.com/the-best-kind-of-magnesium-for-you/
Citrate also has more of a calming effect and promotes muscle and mental relaxation. Magnesium Oxide is the most likely type to give you diaherra. 5)https://blog.bulletproof.com/best-magnesium-supplement/ So there’s that.
Magnesium Supplements For Better Rest
I truly believe that your quality of rest is far more important than the length of your rest.
For example, starting at your phone, tablet, or computer immediately before falling asleep puts your body back in day mode and hinders the release of melatonin – a key chemical for rejuvenating sleep.
Or if you:
- Embark on a junk food binge right before sleep
- Have the internet modem lights blinking in your room
- Don’t turn off your cell phone
- Stay up late and try to make up for it by sleeping in…
…you’re hindering your body from creating a deep, beneficial rest.
Like I said earlier, there’s no pill that can fix your poor sleep quality issues.
Taking magnesium, instead of fixing the things that cause the issues, is a waste of money and effort.
Until you tidy up your sleeping habits, I don’t think you’ll notice a difference from taking magnesium.
That said, there are some fantastic benefits of taking magnesium supplement to compliment your solid resting habits.
- Improvements to insomnia measures like ISI scores.
- The efficiency of your sleep modes.
- How quickly you fall asleep.
- How long you sleep.
- When you wake up.
- Optimal concentrations of serum renin, melatonin, and serum cortisol. 6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/
How would you like to wake up each day feeling like you’ve slept for a week?
I typically wake up in third gear, raring to go. My eyes open and I feel as though I’ve been awake for two hours.
I rarely have any dreariness, lethargy, or sleepiness. I don’t have a coffee dependency (I do drink coffee for other delicious and beneficial reasons), and I never hit the snooze button.
In fact, I don’t really even need an alarm clock anymore. I simply enjoy waking up early with tons of energy.
Magnesium Supplements For Energy
There are also many benefits from magnesium that are a bit more subtle. My favorite is the production of higher energy levels.
Magnesium works hand in hand with better quality sleep and the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the “energy currency” of cells. 7)https://www.worldofmolecules.com/life/atp.htm
Thus the production of ATP is directly related to overall energy production.
In fact, magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic processes, including all of those involved in ATP (energy) production. 8)https://blog.bulletproof.com/optimize-your-supplements/ 9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/
Magnesium also “activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.” 10)https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium
“…it is essential for many crucial physiological functions, such as heart rhythm, vascular tone, nerve function and muscle contraction and relaxation.” 11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/
It makes you wonder how the majority of magnesium deficient adults can slog through their lives without proper rest or adequate levels of energy.
I suppose this American cycle of exhaustion and lack of energy is the basis for entire industries like energy drinks, low quality coffee, pre-workouts, and sugary snacks.
Magnesium supplements are not a cure for poor food habits or poor sleep habits. But it can definitely compliment your efforts to be healthier and more energetic.
Remember these key points to help you move forward in achieving real, sustaining health.
- There is no pill, supplement, or magic elixir to create true health or desired body composition.
- When combined with a healthy lifestyle and a great diet, magnesium supplementation causes better muscle strength, size, and muscle recovery.
- Magnesium can improve the quality of rest and help your body properly perform many enzymatic processes.
- Magnesium is also directly related to the production of higher energy levels so you get keep kicking ass without burning out.
As always I always encourage you to put me to the test. I’m proud to practice what I preach and you’re more than welcome to investigate my ongoing and continuously improving results.
Please reach out to me if you’d like to chat or have a question. I love meeting new people and talking shop.
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