Magnesium and Athletes

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy.  It is a critical mineral necessary when the body is dealing with stress.  Magnesium is of the utmost importance for supporting over 300 enzymatic processes in the body including; regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure just to name a few.

Magnesium & Athletes

Magnesium plays such an important role in our bodies, but why would it be especially important in the bodies of athletes?During training or competition athletes experience magnesium losses of up to 30%. Calcium, iron, zinc and even chromium will pop up on athletes lists of some key nutrients that will affect human performance.  But they are unlikely to mention magnesium.  Many coaches and athletes remain unaware of its critical importance in maintaining performance and health, despite magnesium’s pivotal role in energy production.

Magnesium requirements are significantly elevated in athletes and its been seen through emerging evidence that performance may benefit from higher intakes.  Magnesium gets used up in the production of energy and may also assist in reducing the accumulation of lactic acid and the perception of fatigue during demanding exercise through its action on the nervous system.  Athletes training hard in humid and hot environments might further increase demands as magnesium is lost through sweat.

Many scientists believe that the amount of magnesium required for optimum health has been undervalued in the past. New research suggests that even small shortages in magnesium intake can seriously impact athletic performance.

Contrary to popular belief, milk and dairy products are not particularly rich sources of magnesium. Did you know that the magnesium content of plant food tends to reflect soil magnesium concentrations and growing conditions, especially as magnesium is not routinely added to soils by farmers during fertilization?

Magnesium Content of Common Foods (mgs)

Pumpkin seeds (roasted)
Brazil nuts
Sesame seeds
Peanuts (roasted, salted)
Rice (whole grain brown)
Wholemeal bread
Cooked beans
Potato (baked)
Yoghurt (plain, low fat)

Eating habits to support magnesium intake

  • Eat whole foods
  • Consume lots of green leafy vegetables
  • Make sure you include nuts, beans, lentils, and seeds
  • Manage stress (including training), stress increases the rate at which magnesium is burned
  • Cut back on sugar or sugary products
  • Eliminate regular alcohol consumption

Possible Symptoms of Sub-Optimal Magnesium Intake

  • Muscle cramps, tremors, or twitches
  • Irritability and/or lethargy
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Pre-menstrual bloating
  • Restless leg syndrome at night

What to do…..

A non-invasive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) test can show what your magnesium levels are at. HTMA will identify how the body is functioning at the cellular level and will reveal deficiencies and toxicities.   This is important because if there are deficiencies of key minerals, like zinc; it could be replaced by toxic metals like cadmium.

If you are looking for magnesium supplementation support, be sure to visit and  look at our Magnesium Glycinate.  It supports over 300 enzymatic processes in the body.  It helps to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  It also helps in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth, as well as tissue formation.


  3. National Research Council of Canada: Ottawa, ON : NRCC Publications
  5. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise; F.H. Nielsen, H C Lukaski,

Written by multi-time Kettlebell Sport World Champion and Vykon Founder, Lisa Pitel-Killah. Follow her @lisapitelkillah.

Lisa Pitel-Killah, founder of Vykon Health, is a Hair Mineral Analysis Expert and Educator, Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner and Kettlebell World Champion.  Lisa’s animal study includes Holistic Carnivore and Equine Nutritionist and advanced Animal HTMA.  LPK HP uses HTMA testing to guide people and animals to better health, performance and longevity. 

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