Magnesium from food sources
Athlete commomly use magnesium supplements. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is necessary for over 300 metabolic reactions, yet athletes often fall short on this electrolyte and crucial micronutrient.
Good food sources of magnesium include leafy greens (spinach, chard), legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, therefore, we always encourage athletes to source most of their magnesium from food.
Magnesium as a supplements
There are many kinds of magnesium athletes can choose from, for example, magnesium citrate, lactate, gluconate, aspartate, hydroxide, oxide, sulfate, threonate, or orotate! Wow, that can make your head spin.
As mentioned previously, we always recommend a food-first approach.
Approximately 15% of Athlete Blood Test users indicate that they use a Magnesium supplement. Of those athletes supplementing with magnesium, 44% still had levels below optimal. Upon switching to a more absorbable type, many athletes improved to within optimal levels at their next blood test.
If athletes need to supplement Magnesium, how to decide what kind?
We recommend starting with magnesium citrate or lactate, for instance, magnesium citrate is very common and easily absorbed.
Magnesium lactate may be a bit gentler on your GI system, so try it if you have a particularly sensitive digestive system or have to take large doses. A few small studies revealed that magnesium lactate may help treat stress and anxiety, therefore, we will stay up to date as more research emerges.
Which Magnesium supplements should athletes avoid?
Avoid magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate. Both are poorly absorbed and do little to improve magnesium levels.
About Dr. A’nna
Dr. A’nna strives to inspire people to optimally fuel their bodies to achieve their best. She hopes to have a positive impact on the world. The only combined Ph.D./RD specializing in sports performance nutrition in the world with all Ivy League degrees and the Chief Research Officer at AthleteBloodTest.
Dr. A’nna aims to cultivate a world of healthy athletes who understand nutrition and know how to leverage their physiology to get the best results in sports and life. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Instagram @drannaroby.