Magnesium and Muscle Cramps
Do magnesium supplements help to reduce muscle cramps? Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet to keep healthy and fit?
Magnesium is one of many essential minerals that play an important role in keeping our bodies well-maintained and functioning at optimal levels. In particular, magnesium contributes to over 300 enzyme reactions, as well as being responsible for energy production, muscle synthesis, metabolism of fatty acids, muscle relaxation and contraction, and for building and maintaining strong bones.
It is commonly said that calcium is essential for strong bones, including the vertebral bones in your spinal, yet we are just starting to realise that magnesium is just as important as calcium, in may ways.
A recent article, published in the Huffington Post, states that for strong and healthy bones, magnesium is not just advantageous, but rather magnesium is essential.
Are my muscle cramps caused by a lack of magnesium?
In a publication from Harvard Health, magnesium is listed as an important component of many bodily functions, particularly those involving “muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure.” This is in addition to the positive role magnesium plays in the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
If your body experiences lower than normal levels of magnesium, your muscles may contract and fatigue faster. This may lead to muscular pain, spasms and reduced biomechanical performance.
It may be important to note that here at New World Chiro, we are all about reducing muscular pain and aches while at the same time improving your overall biomechanical performance – otherwise known as chiropractic care!
According to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. (Medical Advisory Board of the Nutritional Magnesium Association):
“When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, you can get sustained muscle contraction.” This means more “twitches, spasms, and even convulsions,” she adds, citing other possible physical responses that can lower quality of life.
In terms of your muscles, we know that an adequate supply of magnesium may help your body by delivering a sustained supply of energy and oxygen to working muscles. Magnesium also assists your body to manage muscle fatigue, muscle soreness, muscle cramps and muscle spasms.
Is my body low in magnesium?
If you experience regular muscular aches and pains, lower magnesium levels may contribute to these pains, among many other factors.
According to the National Institutes of Health, low intakes of magnesium or abnormal losses, due in part to some health conditions, alcoholism or some medications, can contribute to a deficiency in magnesium.
Additionally, “Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes.”
You may be aware that sports people and athletes, as well as people who are generally active, commonly take magnesium supplements to prevent injury and improve their recovery.
Magnesium and mineral supplements
Like most nutrients, your body’s magnesium requirements cannot be met by a single source of food (unfortunately!).
Consider a healthy combination of the following ten foods to naturally boost your magnesium levels:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
Magnesium supplements are available in most health food stores and pharmacies.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults is approximately 350mg/day for men and women.
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