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Magnesium for Athletes – Get the Facts

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when you think of fitness. But, hardly anyone knows how essential magnesium truly is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!

Magnesium performs numerous functions

Magnesium is a vital mineral: it is present in nearly every cell of your body. Approximately 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in the muscles. The mineral performs numerous functions: it is needed for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy production. Magnesium is also required to form endogenous protein (protein of body origin, rather than dietary origin) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also essential to the formation of bone and teeth. In addition, it is involved in the activation of hundreds of enzymes.

How important is magnesium for athletes?

Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked a high level of magnesium in blood to improved muscle performance, such as greater leg strength. This means that you can improve your performance by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral. What happens in your body? According to studies, magnesium appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster. Plus, exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate. The mineral also plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. It works similar to an antioxidant by strengthening your defenses and protecting you from diseases.

magnesium for athletes

Increased magnesium intake can be helpful

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult females should get 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult males 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to satisfy this daily requirement. But, if you like to exercise or work a physically demanding job, your diet probably won’t cover your daily needs because you can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss has to be replaced, but the amount of magnesium required varies depending on the individual and should be discussed with a sports physician.

You also need to consume more magnesium in the case of stress.(4)

How can I tell if I’m getting enough magnesium?

Pay attention to Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

  • Leg cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Headaches

Consult your doctor if you experience the magnesium deficiency symptoms listed above.

Top 9 Magnesium Rich Foods

The general rule is that getting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking dietary supplements. The same holds true when it comes to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods are highest in magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:

  • Sunflower seeds (395 mg/100 g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (402 mg/100 g)
  • Sesame (347 mg/100 g)
  • Flax seeds (350 mg/100 g)
  • Cashews (270 mg/100 g)
  • White kidney beans (140 mg/100 g)
  • Chickpeas (115 mg/100 g)
  • Oats (139 mg/100 g)
  • Swiss chard (81 mg/100 g)

oatmeal with blueberries and almonds

Good to know:

Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. You can find the nutrition facts on the label of the bottle.

Magnesium Supplements – Good or Bad?

If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements to treat a magnesium deficiency, it’s important to be careful about the dosage. You shouldn’t take more than 250 mg of supplemental magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; if you take too much, it may cause diarrhea.

Takeaway:

The more you workout, the more magnesium you need in your diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of magnesium for athletes and focus on meeting your daily requirements with a balanced healthy diet including magnesium rich foods. If you do experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, consult your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Keep in mind: if you are preparing for a race or competition, make sure to start integrating the supplements into your diet several weeks beforehand to give your body time to adjust.

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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice

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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice



Kevin turned to food for comfort as he dealt with the death of his father. He chose a healthier path when his sister was diagnosed with cancer.

The post What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

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Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa



Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa

Easy veggie burgers with a delicious hint of smoky spice. Greek yogurt boosts protein to 10g, but add a fried egg for more!

The post Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.

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The Best Surfaces to Run on

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adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health


Most runs take us over a variety of surfaces. This adds variety to your training and makes it more effective by forcing your body to adjust to the changing terrain.

But do you know how the different running surfaces affect your body? Learn about the most common surfaces and how to use them as an effective training tool.

 

Top 7 Surfaces to Run On

1. Sand

Pros:

When the sand is hard, running on the beach is easy on your joints. When it is soft, you have to pick up your knees, push off harder and apply more strength, which helps you improve your running technique and stamina.

Cons:

Running on the soft surface is very exhausting – therefore, you should incorporate regular breaks to avoid overuse injuries. On long runs, the slant of the beach can lead to pelvic obliquity. To avoid this, you should change directions regularly.

Watch out for Achilles tendon problems:

The rebound effect of the synthetic track puts a lot of stress on your calves and Achilles tendons. Switching to a cinder track can help with this problem.

2. Synthetic track

Pros:

A running track is good for structured tempo and interval training. The springy surface of a synthetic track is also perfect for beginners or runners coming back from an injury.

Cons:

Runners are taught to run counterclockwise on the track. Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances. Therefore, it is a good idea to change direction once in a while.

3. Treadmill

Pros:

Running on the treadmill is easy on your tendons and ligaments. It is a good, low-impact way to start training again after an injury or a break from running. Plus, you can select the pace and the incline of the surface.

Cons:

Treadmill running is not the same as running outdoors. The ground is literally being pulled underneath your feet, so you achieve a much smaller training effect. Plus, most of the stress during the push-off is on your calves and Achilles tendons. This can lead to overuse injuries.

4. Asphalt

Pros:

Asphalt provides perfect conditions for tempo workouts because you don’t have to pay attention to the surface. Nearly every step is identical, and you can achieve maximum propulsion. Road running allows you to run at a fast pace.

Cons:

The hard surface means more orthopedic stress (so be careful if you have joint issues). Your choice of shoe is crucial here: make sure to choose a well-cushioned model.

running on a street

5. Forest Trails

Pros:

Soft woodland or nature trails have the best cushioning and are excellent for joint-friendly training. Plus, they are ideal for a flexible and reactive running technique.

Cons:

The soft surface can sap your strength and slow your pace. Therefore, trails are not well-suited for running at a specific pace – the intensity is high even at slower speeds.

trail running in the woods

6. Grass

Pros:

Grass is ideal for barefoot running. It strengthens your foot muscles and improves your running technique. Plus, well-maintained grass provides the best cushioning.

Cons:

You have to be careful when training barefoot to run on well-groomed grass free of rocks and broken glass.

7. Mountain trails

Pros:

The constantly changing conditions make mountain trails challenging and lots of fun. Thus, they are good for training your foot strike and running technique to match the terrain. Plus, the effort of compensating for the uneven surfaces and the regular changes in direction work your supporting and stabilizing deep muscles.

Cons:

Be careful – it’s easy to turn an ankle. Therefore, you should only run on mountain trails when you are well rested.

running uphill

Takeaway

Each surface has pros and cons for your running training. You should choose the surface that is best for you based on your training goal and try to switch things up from time to time to keep your training fresh and exciting.

***



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