Nutrition for Runners – The Importance of Magnesium

I came across the popular book, The Magnesium Miracle, which addressed the importance of magnesium and this mineral really deserves more attention in the running community because it is involved in so many vital chemical processes in the body.

Nutrition for Runners - The Importance of Magnesium

Nutrition for Runners – The Importance of Magnesium

For example, the author, Carolyn Dean, mentioned that magnesium is needed for a strong heart, as the heart contains the highest levels of magnesium as compared with other organs in the body. Magnesium improves muscle function of the heart, namely magnesium allows the heart muscles to relax after contraction and not only that, increasing your magnesium intake may also reduce the risk of blood clots, according to Dean.

Magnesium can also be used to overturn muscle pain. According to Dr. Dean, magnesium makes for a great pain-killer because it reduces pain-inducing neuro-chemicals in the brain associated with muscle and nerve pain. Furthermore, according to Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D.N., author of Body Kindness, magnesium oil can be used topically by rubbing it on your sore muscles because magnesium restores healthy cellular regeneration, thereby alleviating chronic cellular inflammation.

Magnesium can also be considered a great source of energy. Why? Because magnesium improves the interaction between sugar molecules and insulin receptors and may slash your risk of type II diabetes by 50%, according to Scritchfield. One of a runner’s biggest problem is controlling blood sugar spikes brought on by high sugary foods and other ‘bad’ carbs, such as white bread. Major fluctuations in blood-sugar levels is one of the causes of rapid-onset tiredness (also known as sugar-crash fatigue), but can be avoided by getting more magnesium into your system. Scritchfield mentioned that magnesium helps stabilize blood sugar by activating an enzyme responsible for the proper function of insulin receptors.

Basically, runners can benefit from increasing their magnesium intake because this health-boosting mineral improves heart and cardiovascular function, keeps diabetes away and it may shorten recovery time by keeping your muscles stress-resistant, nourished and pain-free.

Bretta Riches

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!