Martial artists use significant amounts of strength, speed, power, and sweat, that requires a lot of energy.
When done 3 to 5 times a week, it really adds up. If you are a competitor then you are basically training 6 to 7 days a week. Therefore, it is essential to recover and replenish what your body spends physically. What was lost and spent is critical to recover to continue maximizing your training and performance. Magnesium is one of those essential minerals you need to consume every day or else your training, performance, and health will suffer.
Magnesium (Mg) is involved in over 300-400 reactions for the body. Magnesium's function is to relax and reduce and prevent inflammation. Mg is crucial energy needed for the heart, muscles, and nerves to relax and function properly.
- Maintains electrical conduction of your heart, nerves and muscles.
- Controls the rhythm of your heart, your heart beat.
- Regulates your blood pressure.
- Regulates your blood sugar.
- Rebuilds muscles.
- Synthesizes energy like ATP to fuel for the body, to function and move.
These are just 7 important functions Mg provides for your body. Now you can see how magnesium plays an important critical role pertaining to your health, training, and performance.
The research today is starting to indicate that heart disease, like atherosclerosis, heart arrhythmias, and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, muscular tightness and tension, and fatigue are all significantly related to Mg, as well as potassium, deficiency.
How much magnesium do you need a day?
Adult men should consume 400 to 420mg and adult women should consume 310 to 320mg of magnesium daily. However, the research today says that people should consume more magnesium. The numbers should be between 500 and 800mg. You need not worry about overconsuming too much magnesium because it is easily eliminated from your body. If you are more active with martial arts and with training you can consume Mg more on the higher end. If you are less active, then consuming Mg on the lower end, will probably suit you best. Exactly how much magnesium your body needs, as well as any vitamin or mineral, depends on your activity level. Always try to meet the RDA. However, Mg is evolving and increasing in its numbers.
Foods, Supplements and Magnesium
Supplements can be ok, but for some minerals, not. However, most people don't use them correctly. For instance, most people think they can just take a pill. When you take just a pill the absorption rate is significantly lower. The stomach acids destroy most of it before it gets to the small intestine for assimilation. When you eat food, the stomach breaks it down and turns it into a chime or pulp, and then passes it on to the small intestine. The small intestine is the place where absorption happens, the extraction of the vitamins and minerals, and then goes into the blood for circulation. You can see why pills are not so effective. If you take pills with food, they have a better survival rate, but not much. That is why foods are your best bet.
Digestion works like an assembly line. Stomach breaks food down to a pulp and sends it off to the small intestine where it extracts the minerals and vitamins from the pulp. Then small intestine sends the extracted pulp to the large intestine. I digress. So, you can see why pills and supplements don't work so well to bypass the stomach. The important thing about eating magnesium rich foods like seeds and nuts, is to chew them really well, so they are crushed as much as they can, to be easy for the stomach to break them down. If you don't chew seeds and nuts well, the stomach acid has a difficult time breaking them down and will not get assimilated by the small intestine, meaning you will not receive the Mg benefit from the food.
The Best Mg Foods
It is easy to get magnesium, you just need to eat the right foods. If you eat healthy snacks, you can get your daily magnesium very easily, as you can see from the list below. You don't need to sit down and have a meal. Here are some of the best and easiest foods to get your daily Mg.
Pumpkin Seed Kernels- 1oz- 168mg
Cocoa Powder- 2tbls- 96mg
Flax Seeds 1 tbls- 47mg
Chia Seeds 2 tbls- 95mg
Cashews- 1oz- 83mg
Almonds- 1oz- 83mg
Peanuts- 1 oz- 48mg
Black Beans- 1 cup- 120mg
Spinach- ½ cup- 78mg
Bananas- 1 medium size- 35mg
*Unit Conversion- 2tbls = 1oz
Here are foods and substances that deplete magnesium:
- Sugar, salt, caffeine, soda, sugar drinks, calcium supplements, fast foods, processed foods.
Even if you are getting enough Mg daily, eating Mg depleting foods will set you back under the RDA, much like seeds and nuts not being digested. The aforementioned detrimental foods affect and cause deficiency with other vitamins and minerals as well.
If you eat 3 bananas a day that is 105mg and one cup of black beans is 120. One tbls spoon of flax seeds is 47mg and 1oz of pumpkin seeds is 168mg. That is a total of 440mg. That is how easy it is to get your magnesium for the day.