Intensive training puts a strain on every body. Afterwards it is necessary to quickly replenish lost micronutrients. One such nutrient is magnesium.
Magnesium and physical exercise
During training, the body loses many valuable micronutrients with sweat. Their deficiency may lead to disorders in the correct functioning of the body and unpleasant ailments, so after finishing exercises the athlete should take care of their immediate supplementation. One such essential nutrient is magnesium. Its role in the body is particularly important during and after exercise. Magnesium is responsible for the metabolism of muscle tissue, which in practice means its correct transformation and utilisation. Deficiency of the component can lead to painful cramps, which are known as “soreness”. Magnesium lost during intensive exercise can negatively affect concentration, hydration levels or muscle contractility, which is responsible for protecting joints and bones from potential injury.
The role of magnesium in the body of an athlete
Magnesium is important for the proper functioning of every body, but physically active people should pay special attention to the levels of the micronutrient in their bodies. Physical exertion intensifies the process of breakdown and loss of magnesium, which is why it is necessary to supplement deficiencies occurring after exercise. Athletes lose a small amount of magnesium with sweat, but studies have shown that with prolonged and intense exercise, this level increases threefold.
Correct levels of magnesium in the body help maintain proper electrolyte balance and hydration of the body, reduce acidification of overtrained muscles, maintain a sense of well-being, improve immunity, and control blood glucose levels. The element can be supplied to the body not only through a balanced diet, but also by regular supplementation. People who want to take care of their magnesium levels should exclude or minimise the frequency of intake of certain products.
How to provide the body with magnesium?
Experts in the field of dietetics find the cause of the greatest magnesium deficiency in an unsuitable diet. The organism of a physically active person has a much higher demand for the specific element, therefore its amount in the diet should be increased. Products that are high in magnesium include whole grain products, such as brown rice, oatmeal, buckwheat or barley groats and rye bread, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, roasted sunflower seeds, bananas, oranges, apples, cocoa, legumes, parsley, carrots, lettuce or broccoli. Magnesium contained in these products is involved in the production of serotonin, or the happiness hormone, which can reduce perceived stress, make it easier to fall asleep, increase the number of hours of deep sleep, improve the body’s recovery process, and improve mood. Magnesium can also be supplemented with synthetic preparations that contain vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus in addition.
Maintaining magnesium levels during exercise
In addition to replenishing the lost component after training, it is also worth taking care of the correct level throughout exercise. This is especially true for people who train long and intensely, for example for a marathon run. During the few hours of preparation you should take care to provide your body with electrolytes and water, as well as magnesium or carbohydrates. You can eat a banana, a handful of nuts, or raw carrots during a short break in training. While taking care to maintain proper magnesium levels in the body, you should also avoid harmful products that leach the micronutrient from the body. These include alcohol, black tea, coffee or cigarettes, among others.
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