Magnesium is an important trace mineral that must be taken in via diet. It is essential to good health. Our bones contain a large concentration of magnesium. Equally as much is contained in the cells within organs and a small percentage circulates in the blood. Even though the blood contains a small fraction of total magnesium, the body strives to maintain adequate blood concentration levels. Magnesium is needed for a large number of biochemical reactions in the body including maintaining bones, nerve function and immune system function. Magnesium taken alone, or in combination with Zinc, before bed has been shown to significantly improve slow-wave sleep, a necessary environment for GH release. Unrefined grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds provide you with most of your daily magnesium.
Several scientific reports indicate that athletes, especially those who undergo weight loss and water depletion tend to be magnesium deficient. As well, studies illustrate that magnesium concentrations can become depleted during strenuous exercise. Your body requires adequate magnesium levels to sustain exercise performance, mainly because this mineral is a key factor in the metabolic regulation of energy-rich compounds and muscle contractions.
Most relevant to bodybuilders, magnesium supplementation has been shown to decrease cortisol (a catabolic hormone) levels and boost immunity under conditions of heavy physical stress. In addition, a recent study reported that low magnesium levels were significantly associated with decreases in the anabolic hormones testosterone and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor). Furthermore, a correlation does exist among strenuous exercise, magnesium deficiency and decreased immunity. The combination of the latter two has also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, a process that may hinder recovery time from workout to workout. It is highly recommended that individuals participating in regular daily exercise that includes resistance training and especially competitive athletes, supplement their magnesium intake daily .