As I touched upon earlier this week, excessive exercise doesn’t help you live significantly longer. In fact, too much exercise (over seven and a half hours per week) doesn’t lower mortality rate much more than a minimal amount (one hour per week). Furthermore, excessive exercise can damage your gastrointestinal tract, joints, heart, and kidneys.
As I always advise, diet is also key. And getting more magnesium into your diet is a great place to start. In fact, magnesium is a magnificent, though overlooked, mineral that can significantly help boost your fitness and overall health.
For one, magnesium helps deliver energy to your muscles. It supports flexibility and prevents injury by loosening tight muscles. It also helps the body produce more of the hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is essential for long-term muscle capacity and strength. Magnesium also supports heart health, as the heart is a muscle too.
Without enough magnesium, muscles don’t fully relax — contributing to cramps. Low magnesium also contributes to the build-up of lactic acid in muscles, causing post-exertion pain and tightness.
Magnesium — the underdog supplement
Magnesium also helps control stress. It helps the body produce serotonin (the “feel good” neurochemical responsible for relaxing the nervous system), elevating mood, and promoting restful sleep. Magnesium also supports melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness).
You also need magnesium for strong bones (in addition to calcium and vitamins C and D). It also helps ward off Type II diabetes, as it regulates blood sugar, balances immunity, and prevents inflammation.
In the emergency room, doctors use this simple mineral for the treatment of acute symptoms of heart disease, asthma, pregnancy complications, and other life-threatening conditions. Magnesium even relieves constipation. (Remember Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia?)
Cellular hydration support
Magnesium also supports energy production and helps keep the cells hydrated on a cellular level. In fact, it should always be a part of the “fluid and electrolytes” equation. However, so-called hydration “experts” seem to always leave it out.
Remember, you will never achieve real, healthy hydration with toxic, over-hyped, fluorescent-colored “hydration” beverages and sports drinks.
“M” is for “More Magnesium”
Stay away from soft drinks as they deplete your amounts of the mineral (and just aren’t healthy in the first place). Too much exercise, excessive sweating, prolonged stress, antibiotics, and other drugs also deplete magnesium.
Instead, focus on eating real foods rich in the magnesium — such as almonds, avocado, beans, cacao, cashews, flax seeds, green leafy vegetables, pecans, pumpkin seeds, seaweed, and walnuts.
Remember, magnesium is a simple mineral. That being said, you can absorb it through the skin in a bath with Epsom salts. A warm mineral bath can soothe the mind and muscles at the same time.
If you suffer from chronic fatigue-fibromyalgia, natural medicine experts recommend taking 400 mg of magnesium daily, as well as following a healthy diet without added sugars. For other daily users, I recommend 200 mg per day.