Magnesium and Muscle Cramps

Magnesium and Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are quite common among sportspeople. They are mainly caused by a magnesium deficiency.

Why do Muscle Cramps happen?

We often ignore that magnesium is an important electrolyte that must be recharged when it is lost due to stress, sweating, or a bad diet. Magnesium cannot be properly measured through a blood test.

But thousands of doctors and athletes know how magnesium works perfectly and they appreciate its effect more with every passing day.

When we perform an additional physical effort, our body increases the sweating and the organism consumes more magnesium. If we consume more magnesium the symptoms that are produced by a magnesium deficiency will disappear in a few days.

The symptoms of a magnesium deficiency go from a mild contraction to a light displacement of the joints or bruises on the skin. You may need to do some stretching in order to relieve the cramps.

Most cramps happen in the calves and thighs. We do not know exactly why muscle cramps or spams happen, even though in theory it is related to several factors:

  • Neuromuscular control imbalance
  • Performing new physical activities
  • Exhausted muscles
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte deficiency

Everyone knows that most muscle cramps that sportspeople experience are due to a magnesium deficiency, as Dr. Pascal has already pointed out.

As it was previously mentioned, magnesium is not given the importance it deserves as the essential electrolyte it is for our body. Magnesium is lost due to stress, tension, perspiration, or an inadequate or poor diet, and the body needs to recharge it. There is no blood test that is capable of measuring the exact level of magnesium in the organism.

However, Dr. Pascal and many other doctors and athletes are convinced of the benefits of magnesium that we can experience every day in our own body.

Performing physical activities increases the sweating, which leads to the consumption of magnesium by the body. The symptoms produced by a magnesium deficiency disappear within a few days of increasing the intake of magnesium.

The Treatment for Muscle Cramps

If you have ever suffered cramps, you have probably been told that they will go away without doing anything. You may have also been advised to cease the physical activity immediately and to massage or stretch the affected muscles.

However, this is an issue for sportspeople or athletes who suffer a muscle spam during a competition. In this case, stretching or warming-up is not enough since they do not solve this lack of magnesium. The only way to fix this is to supply magnesium to your body.

Therefore, it is basic for athletes to take magnesium in the morning and at night to make sure that they will not suffer muscle cramps before or after the workout or competition. Muscle cramps are a serious problem for sportspeople during a competition. Moreover, the cramps can cause a tear of the muscle fiber and ruin the whole season of an athlete.

Massage to relieve muscle cramps

Particularly, it is very important to take magnesium to prevent muscle cramps during conditions of extreme heat. Sport trainers know that heat has an enormous impact on the athletic performance. The body loses a lot of magnesium when we do physical exercise at high temperatures. Moreover, the electrolytes are also lost through the sweat.

All this implies that the relation between calcium and magnesium in the organism is transformed completely. The level of calcium increases while the level of magnesium drops, which is what causes the cramps.

IF you are carrying an intense workout under intense heat you will lose between one and two liters of liquid each hour. This means that you will lose a lot of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. All these minerals end up in our clothes. The soldiers from the military bases in the East usually say that their t-shirts become hard like a stone after sweating.

The athletes tend to hydrate themselves by taking isotonic drinks. These drinks are made of water, sodium, and sugar, so they are designed to balance the salt and loss of liquids. However, isotonic drinks only provide sodium and water, but they do not fix the loss of magnesium and potassium, which are essential for the organism.

Most people think that an excess of heat can be due to high temperatures and the humidity. But this is not absolutely true. The heat that the cells experience is caused mainly by the lack of minerals and electrolytes, which are in charge of transporting the heat outside the cells.

When the organism has enough minerals and water, the cells do not overheat, since the minerals eliminate the heat from the cells.

Dose of magnesium for cramps

Magnesium for muscle cramps

If you have ever suffered cramps, you have probably been told that they will go away without doing anything.

You may have also been advised to cease the physical activity immediately and to massage or stretch the affected muscles.

If you are a sportsperson and you have collapsed during a competition due to a muscle spasm, you will probably know that stretching or warming-up is not enough. The only solution is to supply magnesium to your body.

A lot of the athletes who are trained by Dr. Pascal have a long history of muscle cramps. These cramps are the first sign of a magnesium deficiency.

The cramps will disappear painlessly by treating the deficiency directly.

Dr. Pascal stated:

“When I had to travel this summer to the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with the 40 athletes I trained, I had to take into account the heat and muscle cramps, so I had to use magnesium as a preventive measure. Take magnesium. That’s the first thing I said to my athletes in the morning, and the last thing I told them to remember at the end of the day, none of my athletes had muscle cramps either before, during, or after the races. Other athletes had cramps, and this is the worst thing that can happen to an athlete, because it will ruin all their season.”

Dr. Pascal knows the influence of heat on athletes.

“If you sweat, you lose magnesium because it is soluble in water. You also lose electrolytes and water, of course. This loss means a change in the calcium-magnesium rate in the body. The levels of calcium increase and the muscles experience the cramp. You may actually lose a small amount of calcium through the sweat, but you lose a lot more magnesium by sweating, and that’s the problem.”

Athletes require high doses of magnesium due to its involvement in a proper muscle contraction. The amount of magnesium that has to be taken to avoid cramps is between 400mg and 800mg.

We tend to lose one or two litres of liquid per hour due to the heat when following an intense workout. During this process, your body loses the following minerals: sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Isotonic drinks to restore your magnesium

Contrary to popular belief, sport energy drinks are only made of water, sodium, and sugar, and they only help to balance the loss of salts and liquids. But these drinks are not designed to restore the magnesium and potassium that are lost through the physical activity and training.

Here you can consult what dose you have to take to favor your organism.

Most people think they have a problem with the heat due to the humidity and high temperatures. But this is not true. The heat of the cells is mainly caused by the lack of minerals and electrolytes, which are in charge of transporting the heat of the cells to the outside.

If the body has enough minerals and water, no matter how hot the cells are, they will never get too hot, since the minerals can drive the heat outside the cells.

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About Carlos Sánchez
Carlos Sánchez
Carlos Sáchez is passionate about nutrition and sports. With a Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, he always tries to give a practical use to different theories.
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