How much magnesium per day for athletes?

Many athletes require up to 500 mg of magnesium a day, which is 10-20% higher than the recommended daily intake! They can get this dose from foods or supplements. Magnesium has beneficial effects on athletes, as it:

  • regulates blood glucose levels
  • is involved in energy metabolism
  • is necessary for muscle function
  • decreases lactate production
  • improves calcium absorption

What’s the recommended daily intake of magnesium?

Actually, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. Magnesium is an essential mineral. We have to get it from food. The human body can’t synthesize it.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is:

  • 310-360 mg for women
  • 400-420 mg for men

But, most adults fail to consume the recommended daily dose. For instance, 60% of adults in the United States don’t consume enough magnesium.[1]

Certainly, magnesium deficiency can impair sport performance.

Benefits of magnesium for athletes

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body. For instance, magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, immune system, and strong bones. Additionally, magnesium promotes calcium absorption and normal blood glucose levels.[2]

Above all, high doses of magnesium may be beneficial for athletes, as it plays a key role in energy production and normal muscle function! Magnesium enhances blood flow and provides muscles with energy.

Moreover, high levels of magnesium can significantly decrease systolic blood pressure at rest and during recovery from exercise. Both for aerobic and resistance exercise. Additionally, magnesium supplements seem to decrease lactate production and help athletes jump higher!

Moreover, supplement manufacturers claim that magnesium supplements can improve athletic performance because it helps lactate to be used for energy. Further scientific research is needed, though.

Magnesium deficiency is dangerous for athletes, as it can cause muscle contractions and cramps! Also, magnesium deficiency may lead to inflammations, increased muscle recovery time, and eventually decreased athletic performance.

Most noteworthy, young athletes should be extra cautious about their daily magnesium intake, as magnesium deficiency can lead to weak bones. Magnesium is necessary for calcium absorption.

How much magnesium should an athlete take per day?

Athletes require higher doses of magnesium than the recommended daily intake. Strenuous exercise increases magnesium losses. It is estimated that exercise may increase magnesium requirements by 10-20%. Adult male athletes may need a daily magnesium dose of 500 mg, while female athletes a dose of 380 mg. Only in extreme conditions, athletes may need higher doses.[3]

Athletes who follow extreme diets for weight loss should be very cautious with their magnesium intake. They’re more vulnerable to magnesium deficiency!

Above all, athletes should be properly hydrated. Proper hydration is vital for both exercise performance and magnesium status!

Do athletes need magnesium supplements?

Athletes with magnesium deficiency may benefit from taking magnesium supplements. On the contrary, athletes with high levels of magnesium won’t benefit from taking extra magnesium from supplements. Higher dosages won’t enhance physical performance.

Too much magnesium from supplements can be bad for athletes!

Food is the best source of magnesium. You can’t get too much magnesium from food.

On the other hand, high doses of magnesium from supplements may cause side effects. Athletes shouldn’t take more than 350 mg of magnesium from supplements per day. Higher doses may cause side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramping.

Athletes who need extra magnesium should prefer chelated supplements. They’re more easily absorbed by the body.

You can find a wide variety of magnesium supplements on iHerb.

When athletes should take magnesium supplements?

Common symptoms of acute magnesium deficiency are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions, cramps, seizures, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or changing your diet.

Athletes can naturally boost their magnesium intake from food!

Actually, there are many foods rich in magnesium. Athletes can get adequate amounts of magnesium from their diet. Seeds, nuts, and beans are the best dietary sources of magnesium!

pumpkin seeds 550spinach79
chia seeds392kale47
sesame seeds346wheat bread41
almonds279barley bread41
cashews260rice, brown39
black beans171avocado29
kidney beans138potatoes, boiled24
sunflower seeds129Brussels sprouts23
Foods with magnesium.

Fish is the only animal-derived food with a high magnesium content. Other animal foods, such as meat, milk, dairy, and eggs have less magnesium.

So, athletes can get high doses of magnesium from a plant-based diet.

Besides magnesium, athletes should benefit from getting high doses of zinc, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

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