You need to supplement with magnesium! If you don’t already, you’ll want to in about 5 minutes, read on.
Magnesium isn’t very ‘sexy‘ and therefore doesn’t get a lot of attention. Of course you shouldn’t be judging any supplement by its marketing budget. Big companies would rather sell you:
Super-Duper-Anabolic-Extreme-Overnight-Muscle-Blaster!!! – it only costs $200! Buy Now!
But magnesium is cheap and readily available so there’s not a huge profit to be made from it. Here’s the thing though; it works and you should take advantage!
Why Magnesium is Important for Bodybuilders
A magnesium deficiency has been linked with hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmia, and heart attacks. But apart from those health benefits, what’s the relevance for the bodybuilder?
Magnesium ranks top of the minerals when it comes to bodybuilding.
(1) Increased Torque. Brilla and Haley from Western Washington University in Bellingham published the results of a 7-week, double-blind study in which magnesium supplemented lifters exerted greater quadriceps force than unsupplemented lifters.
(2) ATP Production. Without Magnesium the body cannot produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism. ATP is critically important in bodybuilding.
(3) Increased Anabolic Hormones. You know from reading my article on carb cycling for muscle growth that levels of Testosterone, Growth Hormone and IGF-1 can be increased in the body with targeted nutrition. Magnesium also has a role to play. Research has shown that magnesium is pivotal in Lipid (fat) metabolism and therefore the production of testosterone. Studies also show increased growth hormone and IGF-1 levels with optimal magnesium intake.
(4) Necessary for Protein Synthesis. Research has shown a positive correlation between magnesium levels and lean tissue growth rates (protein synthesis).
How Much Magnesium Should I Take Per Day?
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women (combined food and supplementation). There is such a thing as too much magnesium so let 500mg per day be your maximum.
Where Do I Get Food High in Magnesium?
To generalize, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in magnesium. Also, whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium (refined grains are generally low in magnesium). The following table is from the USDA; foods over 100 milligrams per measure are marked in red.
USDA Nutrient Database
|54||85||3 oz.||Yellowfin, fresh, cooked|
|44||76||4 figs||(doubled – more reasonable)|
Barley, pearled, raw
Oat Bran, raw
Wheat Flour, whole
Milk, canned, condensed
Yogurt, low fat
|39||227||8 oz.||12 grams of protein/ ounce|
|156||56||2 oz.||(doubled – more reasonable)|
|128||56||2 oz.||(doubled – more reasonable)|
|148||56||2 oz.||(doubled – more reasonable)|
|132||56||2 oz.||(doubled – more reasonable)|
Beans, Kidney, canned
|86||165||1 cup||Black-eyed peas|
Sweet Potatos, canned
|56||255||1 cup||with the skin|
|57||202||1 potato||most is in the skin|
|Over 100 mg. in BOLD RED|
Supplementing with magnesium comes highly recommended. You can probably pick it up at your nearest health store but can also get it online from various sources. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium (200 mg – 240 Tablets) makes getting enough daily magnesium a breeze. I supplement twice a day with 200mg caps.