Peak Performance: Exercise and Mineral Balance

by K.L. Langenstein

Most of us are conditioned through our educational system on health and wellness, and the role of exercise in our health. Health education classes and physical education, or P.E. as we’ve all come to know it, have stressed the importance of exercise in our health and wellness. Healthy muscles support our skeletal system and aid in circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. Nutrition is the key to providing our muscles the tools they need for optimum function.

Magnesium affects many of our muscular functions. This includes oxygen uptake, the production of energy in the body, and our electrolyte balance. Thus it is important that we look at the role that exercise plays in our magnesium balance. What affect does magnesium have in our ability to maintain healthy muscle tissue?

A study was conducted by the U.S. Department ofAgriculture, Agricultural Research Service, at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, ND. This study included the loss of magnesium through exercise, the typical diet, and the importance of magnesium in a weight control sports such as wrestling and gymnastics.

We can diminish our supply of vital minerals such as magnesium through a strenuous exercise program. Our magnesium level can drop 10 to 20 percent. Magnesium is a very important electrolyte that supports over 300 body functions.

The typical American diet does not contain enough magnesium. Often those levels are less than 260 mg/day in male atheletes, and less than 220 mg/day for female atheletes. These levels are considered to be deficient for magnesium. Other studies show that over 75 percent of our population is deficient in this vital electrolyte mineral.

It was clearly noted in the study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that adequate magnesium levels do aid in our exercise performance. Still, there is no conclusive measurable evidence that increased magnesium translates directly into improved athletic performance. Overall, having an adequate magnesium balance in the body supports and aids in proper function of the heart, muscles, skin and just about every other part of the body.

In our attempts to maintain and improve our health, it is important to consider the vitamin and mineral balances in the body for the support they provide in normal cellular function. Continued research into the affect of magnesium in peak performance will surely show that the simple electrolyte is worthy of consideration.

We bring magnesium into our systems by eating a diet rich in natural, whole, fresh foods. Many fruits and vegetables contain levels of magnesium. Conditions such as leaky gut or candida, or other conditions that diminish digestion can decrease our ability to absorb magnesium from our diet. We can introduce more magnesium into our bodies transdermally through a magnesium salt bath or magnesium topical spray. Magnesium is known to aid in the healing of muscles, improve skin, and promote restful sleep.

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