Improve your performance. The benefits of magnesium for athletes
– This article is sponsored by MgBody but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own :-)
Use code alexa20 for a 20% discount on your order.
A few years ago when I was training hard for winter, a physio introduced me to the benefits of magnesium for athletes. He recommended I increased intake as I was likely to be deficient. That’s cool because magnesium is the silver ribbon that burned with dazzling brilliance in chemistry class. Sadly, ‘upping my magnesium’ wasn’t going to involve setting anything on fire!
So on physio’s orders, I brought this big tub of expensive orange powder to mix with water. It tasted gross and as I didn’t use it, it ended up going off, so I threw it out. I didn’t follow the advice of my physio and thought no more about it.
Fast forward several years later and I receive an email from MgBody asking if I’d like to try their all-Australian, organic magnesiums products. As the last attempt to add magnesium to my life didn’t go so well, I was sceptical but also intrigued that this is the second time I have been approached as an athlete to think about my magnesium intake.
After a bit of research (see additional reading links below), I read that most athletes especially those doing endurance sports, are deficient in magnesium. I learnt that magnesium plays a pivotal role in energy production and recovery, making it a must for athletes. Low magnesium stores can also result in increased inflammation which is something I am prone to after three knee surgeries, one shoulder reconstruction and arthritis in my neck from too many whip-lash injuries.
There is evidence that marginal magnesium deficiency impairs exercise performance and amplifies the negative consequences of strenuous exercise.
But there’s no way I was going to try a powder drink again. I struggle to eat breakfast most days (I know, terrible right?). Maybe a nice relaxing bath salt? I always enjoy a good soak after a long day in the mountains to sooth my muscles.
Well even better, these were oils to be applied topically; what turns out as the best way to take magnesium as absorption is the highest (like vitamin C, your body can’t produce magnesium).
It was the perfect time to test the positive attributes of magnesium. I was working as a snowboard guide in Japan at the time with a tired body after long mountain days.
I tested out four of MG Body’s magnesium products:
- Sports Magnesium Spray – 125ml – $24.95
- Original Magnesium Spray – 125ml – $19.95
- Sensitive Magnesium Roll-on – 60ml – $17.95
- Kick-Ass Lemongrass Coffee Magnesium scrub – 130g – $14.95
The magnesium benefits I was expecting:
Help with muscle cramps, spasms and nerve functions
It helps restore the body’s PH balance and reduce lactic acid to regulate the proper function of muscles and nerves.
Magnesium is an electrolyte helping your body hold on to the potassium it needs.
Give more energy
It helps to activate ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything we do.
Help with sleep
Magnesium can help decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone” that can keep you up at night.
Help with sore joints
It helps absorb calcium more easily and prevent calcifications in your joints.
My experience using magnesium
At the time, I had a really sore shoulder from the repetitive action of lifting skis above my head all day long (cat ski guiding). Every night I rubbed the magnesium oil into my shoulder and neck. The oil tingled at first (apparently a sign of magnesium deficiency) but this decreased as I used the product more (go figure!).
I was also seeing a physio for my shoulder and she was delighted when I said I was using magnesium oils daily. As I was in Japan, I was a regular to the natural hot baths called Onsens. The long soaks (using the magnesium scrub afterwards) and topical application of magnesium was the optimal environment to test the products.
Over about a 10 day period my neck and shoulder pain eased up – something I put down to the combined effect of treatment, rest and the oils. I also had a great sleep during this period. Obviously there are so many external factors at play here but the oils and their application definitely had a positive impact. The application process and giving that additional attention to my body was also very beneficial.
What I loved about the MgBody Magnesium products
The scrub OMG – the scrub!
The coffee lemongrass scrub was amazing. Such a treat. Made with coffee, magnesium, coconut, macadamia, jojoba and the pure essential oils of lemongrass, lime and grapefruit. Knowing that it contained magnesium was an extra bonus but I would use this as a beauty product all by itself. I guess if you are going to use a skin scrub (good for circulation and cellulite etc), then you might as well use one with the awesome benefits of magnesium. I absolutely LOVED this scrub!
The roll-0n application
I have continued to use the oils especially the roll-on magnesium product as it is easily transported and can be applied frequently, at any time on my sore wrists and neck. Sadly all this computer time is making my wrist joints sore.
They smell really fresh and lemony with a hint of lavender.
Adding the oil to my bath water
I added about 20ml to the bathwater and had a really good soak. Better then Epsom Salts, Magnesium Chloride are much more easily absorbed then Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts).
In addition to the oils, I’m going to try eating more of these magnesium rich foods:
|Pumpkin seeds (roasted)||532|
|Peanuts (roasted, salted)||183|
(Milligrams per 100 grams).
Source: USDA nutrient database.
Testing out these products was a real learning experience for me as I explored the many benefits of magnesium. As I said, I now travel with the roll-on oil as I can re-apply it to my neck and wrists frequently.
I highly recommend checking these products out (all organic and affordable) and looking into your own needs for magnesium and how it can help you as an athlete, or active person, perform and recover quicker.
Use code alexa20 for a 20% discount on your order.