If you are low in energy read this!
Magnesium and Energy: The Connection
Do you often feel fatigued, lethargic, and energy deficient? You might be deficient in magnesium. Inadequate magnesium intake may impair certain biochemical processes in the body required for the proper functioning of key organs. 1 Research finds that nearly two-thirds of the people in the West are not receiving the recommended daily allowance for magnesium. 2 Since magnesium works at the cellular level, it is crucial to replenish your magnesium stores for the efficient functioning of the body. Let’s explore the connection between magnesium and energy further.
Why is Magnesium Important
From converting food into energy to regulating your fundamental functions, magnesium is essential for
- boosting energy levels in your body3
- muscle contraction4
- regulating blood sugar and blood pressure5,6
- treating myocardial contraction7
- synthesizing nuclear materials and protein8
- bone development9
As a co-factor in several enzymatic reactions in the body, magnesium synthesizes protein and helps boost energy. An adult male needs 400-420 mg of magnesium while an adult woman requires a daily dietary intake of 325 mg. 10
Half of the body’s magnesium is stored inside tissues and organs at the cellular level while the other half is stored in the bones along with calcium and phosphorus. Only 1 percent of magnesium is always circulating within the blood. 11
Magnesium and Energy
Magnesium helps with Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. In fact, for ATP to be biologically effective, it works in partnership with magnesium. 12
ATP is a coenzyme that facilitates the conversion of chemical energy sourced from food into fuel within cells to run various bodily functions. This energy is required for metabolism and other processes, including cell division and cell reproduction.
According to a study, depleted magnesium levels have an adverse effect on energy metabolism in the body. Researchers found that those with magnesium deficiency experience an increased need for oxygen during exercise. Magnesium deficiency makes you feel exhausted quickly. During moderate activity, people with low magnesium are likely to use more energy compared with those with sufficient magnesium levels. 13
For example, athletes need more magnesium to train harder.
Strength and Magnesium
Magnesium helps with strength building and flexibility, preventing the risk of injury in athletes by relaxing tight muscles. The lack of magnesium or magnesium deficiency is likely to cause cramps. Your body needs an adequate amount of magnesium for muscles to relax properly and thus prevent cramps. Low magnesium may result in lactic acid accumulation, which is primarily responsible for pain and tightness experienced after a strenuous workout session. 14
Magnesium and Brain Function for Energy
Additionally, the brain requires more glucose during exercise to coordinate all functions. Being the primary energy source, glucose is pivotal to exercise. The body breaks down glycogen in muscles to aid physical activity. To support the body’s need for energy during physical workouts after the depletion of glycogen, blood transports glucose to the muscles from the kidney and the liver. Glucose is reduced to lactic acid during exercise. The buildup of lactate is responsible for muscle cramps and fatigue, which further affect performance. 15
In a study done to research the connection between magnesium and energy, it was found that magnesium enhanced glucose availability to the brain and reduced lactate buildup in muscles during workout. 16
Glucose mobilization and utilization in the brain are critical to exercise efficacy.
Is Magnesium a Power Generator
Rightly so, there is a deeper connection between magnesium and energy in your body. Responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions, magnesium activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the key unit of energy at the cellular level. Since magnesium helps with the absorption of certain nutrients, a deficiency may interfere with the process of energy metabolism. As a result, your body is not able to efficiently convert food into energy, further depleting your energy stores. 17
A study of postmenopausal women shows that those with low magnesium required more oxygen and had a higher heart rate during a cycling exercise. This suggests that magnesium deficiency makes you feel more depleted during a workout, training, or physical activity. 18
The underlying mechanism of magnesium-induced strength-building lies with the role of this essential mineral in protein synthesis and energy metabolism. Both these functions help relax and contract muscles.
If your body has an adequate supply of magnesium, muscle cells may need less oxygen during a workout or physical activity. So you are better able to exercise and engage in strenuous physical activities.
Magnesium supports glucose metabolism in the body. A magnesium-deficient diet is associated with impaired glucose metabolism, which further raises your risk of type 2 diabetes. 19
Additionally, magnesium helps in the production of more insulin-like growth factor, which contributes to long-term muscle growth and fuels energy.
Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium is a crucial factor in exercise performance. Foods rich in fiber are a rich source of magnesium. Beans, greens, seeds, nuts, and whole grains have high levels of magnesium.
By increasing your intake of magnesium in your diet, you can improve your level of physical fitness and performance on the field. Optimal magnesium levels will help keep you energized all day long.
1NIH, ODS. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 9 July 2019. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#h7
2Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017). The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcare. Scientifica, 2017, 4179326. doi:10.1155/2017/4179326
3Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in prevention and therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. doi:10.3390/nu7095388
4Potter, J. D., Robertson, S. P., & Johnson, J. D. (1981). Magnesium and the regulation of muscle contraction. Federation Proceedings, 40(12), 2653-6.
5Barbagallo, M., & Dominguez, L. J. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World journal of diabetes, 6(10), 1152–1157. doi:10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152
6Dibaba, D. T., et al. (2017). The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or noncommunicable chronic diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrtion, 106(3), 921-929. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.117.155291.
7Efstratiadis, G., Sarigianni, M., & Gougourelas, I. (2006). Hypomagnesemia and cardiovascular system. Hippokratia, 10(4), 147–152.
8Dalgliesh, A. J., Liu, Z. Z., & Griffiths, L. G. (2017). Magnesium presence prevents removal of antigenic nuclear-associated proteins from bovine pericardium for heart valve engineering. Tissue engineering. Part A, 23(13-14), 609–621. doi:10.1089/ten.
9Orchard, T. S., et al. (2014). Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(4), 926–933. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.067488
10NIH, ODS. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 9 July 2019. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/#h2
11Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). Magnesium basics. Clinical kidney journal, 5(Suppl 1), i3–i14. doi:10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163
12Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in prevention and therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. doi:10.3390/nu7095388
13USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Lack energy? maybe it's your magnesium level. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2004. Retrieved from https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2004/may/energy
14Zhang, Y., Xun, P., Wang, R., Mao, L., & He, K. (2017). Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance?. Nutrients, 9(9), 946. doi:10.3390/nu9090946
15Vink, R. & Nechifor, M. (2011). Magnesium in the central nervous system. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507270/
16Chen, H.Y., et al. (2014). Magnesium enhances exercise performance via increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle, and brain during exercise. PLoS One, 9(1):e85486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085486.
17NIH, ODS. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 9 July 2019. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
18Lukaski, H.C. & Nielsen, F.H. (2002). Dietary magnesium depletion affects metabolic responses during submaximal exercise in postmenopausal women. Journal of nutrition, 132(5):930-5.
19Veronese, N., et al. (2016). Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. European journal of clinical nutrition, 70(12):1354-1359. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.154.
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