The Australian diet has shown to be lacking in many macronutrients & minerals due to our fairly poor soil quality, with Magnesium (Mg12) being one of those minerals we are highly deficient in. This means eating a clean and healthy diet simply isn’t enough.
Of course, you should always be eating the best possible foods you can as a means to obtain your nutrition naturally. But, the reality is, we absolutely have to supplement.
Some of the issues arising form Magnesium deficiency are muscle cramps, insomnia, fatigue, poor memory, anxiety and low calcium levels to name a few. Mg also plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism with studies showing in extreme cases Mg deficiency contributes to diabetes and heart attack.
Dr Carolyn Dean MD, ND, and author of ‘The Magnesium Miracle 2107″ cites an example of an athlete dying from a heart attack after strenuous activity because of a lack of magnesium and therefore an excess of calcium creating a massive muscle cramp in the heart.
So we should seriously consider it one of the keystone nutrients for health and well-being.
For women, magnesium can significantly diminish menstrual cramps and other menstrual cycle symptoms. Dr. Kelly Brogan writes in her blog:
“Magnesium is also critical for those struggling with PMS, including premenstrual migraines, irritability, low mood, and cramps. Of women supplemented with a conservative dose of 250mg daily for three months, 34% experienced relief of PMS. Similarly, by the second month of treatment with magnesium, women with PMS experienced improvement in mood and pain in a randomized, controlled trial.I have personally seen dramatic improvements in this area.”
So, because it helps reduce muscle spasms & cramps, and aids in repair, supplementing your diet with magnesium is a surefire way to ease post-workout soreness. But how do you get the best results from Mg12?
These are the three ways I use to boost my post-workout recovery:
Get yourself a high-grade Mg12 supplement and make sure you take it as directed. Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency.
This table is taken from the Australian Ministry of Health and represents the estimated average & recommended daily intake:
I have found adding the powdered Mg supplement to my daily drinking water and then having an extra dose before bed on workout days has helped me immensely to sleep better and eliminate nighttime cramping, which I used to get after heavy lifting days.
I am using Organic Magnesium Advanced 300g Watermelon – Fusion Health at the moment and am loving the results so far. The watermelon flavour makes my drinking water taste a bit more exciting than just plain water, so that’s a bit of a bonus.
Magnesium is most readily absorbed through the skin. Which means we get optimal absorption if we apply it to our skin over and above taking oral supplements.
Not actually an oil, Mag ‘oil’ is a 50/50 solution of Mg12 and water and has the feeling of oil…hence the name. It’s easy to make yourself too if you want.
You can purchase mag oil, gels & lotions online at the vitamin king in a variety of sizes. Try the small bottles first at 50% strength to get used to the sensation before going 100%.
When you first use Mg oil/lotions your skin can get an itchy tingly sensation, usually a sign of Mg deficiency, but this disappears once your levels are up to scratch. In my experience, well worth the effort.
For maximum benefit rub it on your feet and any sore muscles before bed, just give it about 5 mins to soak in a bit so it doesn’t rub off on the sheets.
I go all out and slap it on all over every night. I have made my own Mg lotion with added Vitamin E for an anti-ageing and skin softening bonus.
Because the skin is our largest organ it makes sense to utilise its capabilities and soak in a magnesium bath. Add about 1-2 cups of Mg to your bath and set aside at least 20 minutes of me-time to get the most benefit from your mag bath.
18-20 minutes seems to be the most beneficial time for soaking, as it takes 18-19 minutes for toxins to leech OUT of the body and be replaced with the Magnesium. However, after that 18-19 minutes, the body begins to RE-ABSORBE the toxins.
I try to get in a bath at least fortnightly. But if you are able, weekly or more often would be optimal. And is especially good after your big workout days.
I use magnesium chloride from MiSMo www.mismo.com.au. It is a high grade (better than Epsom salts) very fine powder and is great for adding to your homemade bath bombs, lotions and oils, or just tossing in the bath as is. Add some of your favourite essential oils and relax. You won’t regret it.
Once you have added magnesium to your daily recovery routine you will wonder why you haven’t done this sooner.
I would suggest you back off on the oral supplements on the days you are going to do a soak as you may end up taking in too much of this lovely mineral.
Please note: Always seek medical advice if you are unsure as to how much supplementation you should be taking.
A safe magnesium dose ranges from 300 mg to 500 mg. Too much magnesium can lead to loose stools or diarrhoea. If you find yourself running to the bathroom to prevent an accident you could well be getting too much magnesium. People with kidney disease must be careful not to take too much magnesium as it may aggravate the condition. It is important to have periodic blood tests to monitor magnesium levels in the body.