The answer right from the other: Yes – magnesium makes sense for athletes.
Why you should read on anyway: A simple “yes” in response does not do justice to this relatively complex question about nutrition and dietary supplementation.
After all, magnesium is one of the essential minerals for humans, and the keyword here is essential.
Because: The human body cannot function normally without magnesium.
It is, among other functions, important for the immune and nervous system, blood circulation or even digestion. Therefore, the adequate supply of magnesium for athletes, but of course also for other people, whether they exercise or not, is extremely important and meaningful.
Problems occur especially when the body has too little magnesium available. In the long run, undersupply with the mineral can even have serious health consequences.
Muscle cramps to cardiac arrhythmias and neurological problems: The range of symptoms ranges from barely noticeable to extremely serious physical consequences.
The daily requirement for magnesium can be increased by a number of things such as kidney disease, pregnancy, age, but also regular exercise, which causes a deficiency to occur accordingly more quickly. Probably the easiest way to make up for such a deficit is to take dietary supplements.
So let’s get back to the question from the beginning, which we can now expand a bit:
Do dietary supplements with magnesium make sense for athletes?
Yes,they are – if there is a lack of magnesium. If the magnesium requirement is already covered, the additional intake has no significant effect (the excess magnesium is simply excreted again via the kidneys). If the magnesium intake is greatly increased or the kidney function is restricted, the excess can even become harmful to health.
The need for magnesium differs depending on the physical activity. However, competitive athletes in particular often rely on additional sources of magnesium to ensure the full functioning of their body.
Ok, but what magnesium for athletes?
The range of magnesium preparations offered is wide, although the applications now go beyond the taking of supplements. For example, creams or sprays are also offered to supply affected parts of the body and muscles with magnesium through the skin. At this point, however, it should be noted that scientific studies have so far found no evidence of the effect of these agents.
Basically, the magnesium should pass into the bblood circulation. One possibility for the intake is therefore the injection of a highly magnesium-containing solution, which is however only administered by doctors in case of acute deficiency.
The most common variant of additional intake of magnesium is likely an oral intake of magnesium-containing dietary supplements. Through the stomach, the mineral enters the small intestine, where it is finally absorbed by the body and fed into the bloodstream. This type of magnesium supply is therefore also useful for athletes.
However, consumers easily lose track of the many different magnesium preparations. Importantly, the valuable mineral is contained in all – the additional ingredients do not change the effect of magnesium, but can, for example, ensure that the magnesium is absorbed by the body faster or more slowly. This absorption rate of a substance is also called bioavailability and depending on the preparation, this can vary greatly.
As a rule, magnesium compounds with high bioavailability are perceived as more effective, as they allow the magnesium to enter the bloodstream more quickly. The magnesium citratehas a particularly high absorption rate.
It is absorbed quickly by the body, which often causes it to be used, for example, for lack-related muscle spasms. This short-term magnesium boost makes the compound especially interesting for athletes.
Since rapid uptake is associated with a rapid excretion of the substance, magnesium citrate can have a disactive effect on excessive consumption. The body usually gets used to this sudden increase in magnesium levels after a short time and any side effects relieve themselves.
Nevertheless, it is important to adhere to the recommended dose and perhaps to test another preparation for tolerability in case of discomfort.
This is of course optimally done in consultation with the family doctor, who can help to select the right supplement.
It is also interesting how much magnesium is important for athletes.
We know that sport burns energy. Through sweat, athletes excrete additional nutrients, which can cause them to have a higher need for certain minerals.
However, since this can vary depending on the sport and intensity, it is not possible to give a uniform guideline for athletes in the daily requirement of magnesium.
For example, the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily magnesium intake of 400mg for men and 310mg for womenbetween the ages of 19 and 25, although these levels drop slightly with age and rise slightly during puberty.
So, as far as the intake of magnesium for athletes is concerned, orient yourself to these values. However, if you notice certain ailments caused by a lack of magnesium, dietary supplements can help you.
It is also always advisable to consult a doctor who may diagnose an existing magnesium deficiency and help with the treatment with dietary supplements.
Especially in sport, we want our body to function and so that this is guaranteed permanently, we need magnesium. A sufficient supply of the mineral is therefore not only useful for athletes, but decisive. Thus, nothing stands in the way of the permanent burden of sport and training.