How many of you have magnesium daily? Did you know it is an important mineral all runners should have a healthy supply of?

The mineral magnesium is critical to your heart, muscles and kidneys. It helps produce energy in your body and regulates levels of zinc, potassium, vitamin D among other nutrients. A deficiency of magnesium can bring on muscle soreness, headaches, and weakness. Many active people don’t even know the importance of it, or the lack of magnesium in their bodies. Low magnesium levels can contribute to fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramps during a workout.

Many athletic medical specialists believe that magnesium is the single most important mineral to sports nutrition. Not only does it help optimize an athlete’s performance, but it speeds up recovery from fatigue and injuries. As one of the most important mineral in the human body, magnesium is vital to maintaining your health. And if you’re a regular runner, you need magnesium even more than the average person. You can easily become depleted of this mineral if you’re not careful, resulting in having a negative performance. It’s important for every runner to understand this mineral and its effect on the human body.

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Your body needs magnesium for hundreds of biochemical reactions. Some functions of magnesium include maintaining nerve function, strong bones, and keeping your immune system healthy.  For runners it impacts the muscle function. The mineral affects processes such as electrolyte balance, oxygen uptake and energy production. That is why if we have an electrolyte imbalance it causes us to feel nauseous and weak. The Nutritional Magnesium Association states that strenuous exercise such as running increases your magnesium need by as much as 10 to 20 percent. Since strenuous exercise increases sweat, and urinary losses, your magnesium stores become depleted. Once you’re deficient of this mineral your running performance is negatively affected. Some common signs of magnesium depletion(electrolyte imbalance) are muscle cramps and spasm, fatigue, weakness, and vomiting.

As runners we should have a nice selection of magnesium rich foods. Here are the top rich in magnesium:
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Some other great foods rich in the mineral are beans, such as kidney, navy and green; grains, including wheat germ, oats, what bran and buckwheat; nuts, such as cashews, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts; fruits, such as blackberries, dates, dried figs, mangoes, bananas and watermelon; and shrimp and tuna.

It’s recommended by the National Academy of Sciences that adults get no more than 350 milligrams of magnesium a day. You can also take supplements to keep your mineral levels up, just make sure it is OK with your Doctor before you do so. Especially if you are already taken other prescription medications.

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