Magnesium is the second most abundant element inside human cells and is a necessary element to over 300 biochemical reactions occurring in the body on a constant basis7.
Magnesium is needed in the body for:
- Energy Creation
- Protein formation
- Muscle Movement
- Exercise Recovery
- Injury Recovery
- Joint and Bone Health
- Cramp and soreness relief
- Nervous system regulation
- Disposal of Lactic Acid
Magnesium Deficiency: Why would you be deficient and what are the symptoms?
Many people fall short of the optimum magnesium intake due to a range of contributing factors which include low magnesium diets, medication, intense strenuous activity, alcohol, aging and stress.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics it is estimated that one in three people aged two years and over (37% of males and 34% of females) do not meet their requirements for magnesium.
Symptoms of low magnesium levels can include: muscle soreness or spasms, fatigue or tiredness, back pain, twitching, headaches, irritability, poor co-ordination, carbohydrate cravings, insulin resistance, frequent cavities or poor dental health, difficulty concentrating and coldness in extremities.
The Role of Magnesium in Athletic Performance
Magnesium is involved in numerous processes that affect muscle function including oxygen uptake, energy production, and electrolyte balance. It is also responsible for normal muscular contraction and relaxation4, thus making magnesium a vital mineral for the performance and recovery of athletes.
Because of the importance magnesium plays in the body it is easy to understand why marginal magnesium deficiency has been proven to impair physical performance as well as amplify the negative consequences of strenuous exercise such as muscular cramps, spasms and joint pains3.
Studies have shown that physical exercise induces a redistribution of magnesium in the body to accommodate increased metabolic needs3. This redistribution along with the increase in urinary and sweat loss when training increases the body’s requirements for magnesium. This has been proven to be true after both short term high intensity and long term strenuous exercise or training3.
For those who train regularly it is suggested that magnesium intake should be 10-20% greater than the average person2. Evidence has supported that magnesium supplementation can enhance performance and speed up recovery for physically active individuals with low or deficient magnesium levels3
How to Increase Magnesium Levels
Magnesium intake can be increased through three main ways: dietary magnesium, oral supplements or transdermal application.
Replenishment of magnesium to the body can be achieved by increasing consumption of magnesium rich foods to your diet. Foods such as dark leaf greens (spinach, kale), seeds (pumpkin and squash), beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts avocados and bananas are high in magnesium and help to replenish the body’s supplies. However of the magnesium that is consumed through diet it is suggested that only about 24%–76% is absorbed by the body6, often making it necessary for individuals to supplement their magnesium.
Oral magnesium supplements are common in most pharmacies and are widely used by those wanting to increase magnesium levels in the body. Despite the widespread use of oral magnesium supplements the absorption efficacy of magnesium through oral ingestion is said to be limited. Oral supplements must pass through the digestive system before eventually passing into the blood stream. This process results in the tablets or capsules getting watered down and becoming much less effective due to stomach acids and digestive enzymes. Furthermore the dose required to correct a magnesium deficiency often ranges from 200g to 400mg of elemental magnesium daily. Ingestion of magnesium at this level tends to have a laxative effect on the body making it an unfeasible option on to increase magnesium levels sufficiently. This is often why those who are magnesium deficient fail to see improvement in symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as muscle fatigue, cramping and aches and pains with the use of oral magnesium supplements alone.
Transdermal absorption of magnesium bypasses the digestive system allowing the magnesium to be absorbed directly into the blood stream delivered to the cells that need it.
Transdermal application of magnesium is ideal because it is:
Closest to ionic form and easily assimilated by the body.
Tolerated well by those who require large doses of magnesium due to existing deficiencies.
Delivered through the skin, directly available to muscular systems that require magnesium to function.
Because transdermal absorption of magnesium bypasses the digestive system, high amounts of magnesium can be safely administered without the magnesium having a laxative effect on the body, as is the case with oral supplements. This also makes transdermal application of magnesium appropriate for use in conjunction with oral tablets to further supplement magnesium levels to aid deficiency.
IRONMAN® by Bexters Magnesium Spray
IRONMAN® by Bexters Magnesium Spray contains 100% natural magnesium chloride that has been harvested from the Dead Sea using natural solar energy. Magnesium Chloride is easily assimilated and metabolized by the human body and has been proven to have higher levels of bio availability compared to other forms of magnesium such as Magnesium Sulfate. This allows for faster and more efficient delivery of magnesium into the bloodstream. IRONMAN by Bexters Magnesium Spray contains an average of 200mg of magnesium per 10 sprays and helps to replenish the bodies magnesium supplies to assist with exercise recovery, muscle movement, cramp and soreness relief, joint and bone health and energy creation.
Information used on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are concerned about your magnesium levels, please contact your GP. Use only as directed.
1. McDonald R1, Keen CL (1988). Iron, zinc and magnesium nutrition and athletic performance, Sports Med.; 5(3): 171-84
2. Lukaski HC (2004). Vitamin and mineral status: effects on physical performance. Nutrition; 20(7- 8): 632-44.
3. Nielsen FH, Lukaski HC. (2006). Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise Magnes Res.; 19(3): 180-9
4. Adriana Sarah Nica, Adela Caramoci, Mirela Vasilescu, Anca Mirela Ionescu, Denis Paduraru,Virgil Mazilu (2015) Magnesium supplementation in top athletes- effects and reccomendations. Journal of the Romanian Sports Medicine Society
5. Australian Bureau of statistics. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (2012). http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Magnesium~406
6. Saris NE, Mervaala E, Karppanen H, Khawaja JA, Lewenstam A Clin Chim Acta. (2000) An update on physiological, clinical and analytical aspects. 294(1-2):1-26.
7. Elin (1994) Magnesium: the Fifth but Forgotten Electrolyte. Clinical Chemist review
8. S (2013) Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Advances in Nutrition.
9. Australian Bureau of statistics. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (2012). http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Magnesium~406