What does magnesium do?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses the many health and endurance performance benefits of supplementing with magnesium. As a runner, cyclist, OCR competitor, or other endurance athlete, you'll definitely want to watch this video.

Video Transcription:

The Benefits Of Magnesium For Runners, Cyclists, OCR, And Other Endurance Athletes

Good morning, family of fast. Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite, here today to talk to you about my favorite single supplement for health and endurance performance. And this supplement is magnesium. Now magnesium is the second-most common deficiency in developed countries behind vitamin D, and this is mostly due to grains in the Western diet are a poor source of magnesium. And things that have high amounts of magnesium, like nuts and leafy vegetables, as Americans, we don't eat a lot of those. Unless you do, you probably have a magnesium deficiency, which is unfortunate, but there's something we can do about this. 

The Health Benefits Of Magnesium For Endurance Athletes

Now from a purely health perspective, magnesium plays a ton of critical roles in the body. It's involved in over three hundred enzymatic reaction. It can reduce blood pressure, it can improve insulin sensitivity, it can act as a mild sedative. It's involved in nervous system health, muscle health, heart health, and the list goes on and on and on and on. And that in itself is reason enough to supplement with magnesium. Now, we're endurance athletes, so let's discuss some of the possible performance-enhancing benefits of magnesium, and we'll, could discuss a study too, to kind of prove a point. 

The Performance Benefits Of Magnesium For Endurance Athletes

So from a performance perspective, there's a small body of research that supports that magnesium can reduce cramping during endurance exercise. From a personal experience, I've found magnesium has worked really well for this, but I think more research needs to be done to come to any hard conclusions that magnesium can help prevent cramping. 

Now what about during exercise? Can taking magnesium on an endurance, or taking magnesium on a daily basis improve endurance performance? And there was a study that was conducted that went to test this theory. So what the researchers did is they took a group of 25 trained male triathletes that trained an average, I think, of like seven hours a week, and all were pretty evenly-matched in terms of their swim, bike, and run time.

So they took these 25 subjects, they split them into two groups, and they said, "Hey you, you be over in the magnesium group," and "Hey you, you get over in the placebo group." So the magnesium group supplemented with magnesium for four weeks straight, while the placebo group, well, got a placebo. At the end of four weeks, the researchers had these trained male triathletes do a race that consisted of a 500-meter swim, a twenty kilometer bike, and a five kilometer run.

So they had them do this and at the end, they crunched all the numbers, and what they found out is the group that supplemented with magnesium for four weeks was three and a half minutes faster than the placebo group during that triathlon. So pretty darn significant and pretty good evidence that magnesium can enhance endurance performance, whether it's during training and racing. 

The Bottom Line On Why Endurance Athletes Should Take Magnesium

So what's really the take-home point with magnesium? From a purely health perspective, I would absolutely take it because more than likely you are deficient in magnesium. And then from a performance perspective as well, it's not gonna hurt anything to supplement with magnesium on a daily basis. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to get a magnesium supplement and it should be magnesium citrate. This type of magnesium has all the good benefits of magnesium, but doesn't cause some unwanted side effects from other forms of magnesium, basically cleaning out your bowel every morning or causing a mid-run poops, which, that might be okay for some people. 

So, magnesium citrate, 500 milligrams a day, and I would actually just take it right before bed because it can actually, again, help you sleep, as it acts as a mild sedative. 

So that is about all I have for today, my endurance friends. If you have a friend who's interested in magnesium, please share this video with them. If you want other videos on endurance training, nutrition, and supplementation, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, or head on over to the EndurElite blog at www.endurelite.com. Get social with us on Instagram and our Facebook training and nutrition club page, and until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.

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