Magnesium – The Most Important Mineral You Never Cared About

Magnesium Symbol WoodMagnesium is not in the headlines, it sounds like something your chemistry teacher used to bore your tits off about on a Wednesday afternoon, and it certainly doesn’t sound nearly as cool as passiflora caerulea, whatever the hell that is.

But…magnesium should be in the headlines, it was something your chemistry teacher explained (and you probably should have listened) and it does a bog load more for you than that passithingywhatsit shite.

There are lots of reasons why people in the third world are deficient in a multitude of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but there are precisely ZERO reasons why the average person in the social-media-infatuated developed first world might ever be deficient in anything in their entire life.

And yet…it’s one of the most common deficiencies in the developed world. Second only to Vitamin D.

And that’s just stupid.

What’s the Big Deal?

Magnesium is an essential mineral – “essential” being the key word here. You can’t love without it and you can’t be healthy with too little of it. You can be okay with just enough of it, and you can be Optimus Prime with the perfect amount of it.

So, if you had the choice, would you want to be a wet fart or the leader of the Autobots?

Here’s what magnesium does for you:

  • Keeps your Blood Pressure in the green
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity so you don’t become a Type II Diabetic
  • Increases Bone Mineral Density
  • Helps you Sleep Deeply
  • Boosts Muscle Oxygenation and Aerobic Exercise
  • Protects your Brain from Depression, Seizures and ADHD
  • Reduces chance of Migraines and reduces frequency if you get them often
  • Helps Relieve Symptoms of PMS

If any of the above evokes feelings of longing, then you might be a good candidate for the global magnesium correction program (not a thing) and perhaps you might start thinking about getting more from (a) your diet, or (b) a supplement.

Magnesium is supposed to be the second most prevalent electrolyte in your body. Pretty much wherever there is fluid in your body, there should be a certain concentration of magnesium. And considering we are basically just sacks of fluid held together by bones – which, by the way, also need magnesium – it’s a pretty big deal!

Fair Enough – What About the Diet Thing?

Yes, magnesium is in food. Yes, you can correct a magnesium deficiency with diet. No, most westerners and first worlders don’t eat enough of the right foods.

We’re talking about:

  • Leafy greens – e.g. spinach, swiss chard
  • Other veg – e.g. potato skins, tamarind, okra (ladies fingers), Edamame
  • Nuts and Seeds – e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews
  • Fruit – e.g. prickly pear
  • Beans and Legumes – e.g. peas, black-eyed peas
  • Soy produce – e.g. Tempeh, soy beans, soy nuts, tofu (that’s been made with Mg)
  • Fish and Seafood – e.g. salmon, mackerel, crab, pollock
  • Other – e.g. quinoa, toasted wheat germ, All Bran

Meats and poultry don’t contain much magnesium at all, and neither do nearly all grains. Basically the food types that much of the first world diets are based on.

When was the last time you took a crab sandwich and quinoa salad to work for lunch, with a little bag of almonds for a snack?

Not only do most of these foods satisfy a good portion of your magnesium quota, but they are good for you in all sorts of other ways.

How much Magnesium do we Need per Day?

Between 200mg and 400mg per day is recommended. Average portions of the example foods above contain between 40 and 90mg.

Some things like shell-less pumpkin seeds give you over 300mg of magnesium per 1/4 cup.

Talk To Me About Supplements

SupplementsSupplements are a good way to boost your dietary intake so that you are reaching that daily 200 – 400mg.

In fact out of all of the essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, we highly recommend a supplement or supplements that at least fill out your Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Zinc requirements. Others are easier to get from your food, but those three will get you on your way.

There are multi-vitamins available, but they are often dosed according to recommended daily allowances, which come from antiquated studies done by government health agencies about a thousand years ago. For example, most countries’ RDA for Vit D3 is 400 to 800 IU, which is just not enough for an adult that lives above the 37th parallel.

Supplements designed with physical performance in mind are probably your best bet. They usually come with a good Vitamin and Mineral base that takes exercise and sweating into account. They usually contain additional ingredients for helping you grow muscle, burn fat, boost testosterone, or a combination of some or all of them.

Prime Male

read about PRIME MALE – click the link below the article

Testosterone boosters often have a decent lump of Magnesium, Vitamin D and Zinc in them because they are all associated with elevated testosterone levels.

Vit D and Zinc have been proven in this context and the jury is still out on Magnesium, but whether it does or not, it’s good to have it in healthy doses in those products.

Take a minute to read our review of Prime Male – it’s one such supplement that does it all. We can’t say enough about it. For the modern man, it’s a must-have…

Click Here to read it

Treats that Help You Train

bench press and spotter There are a few small luxuries that people on a quest for a great physique – whether it’s more muscle, less fat, or both – can indulge in that may actually help them achieve it.

There’s a deluge of information which swamps your screen when you search for healthy diet tips and clean recipes online. There is a lot less when you search for treats you can eat or drink without it spoiling your regimen.

In fact, there are quite a few articles for recipes using this protein powder, that type of soya bean, this vegetable or that ‘replacement-for-the-real-thing’ that tastes ‘delicious’ in lieu of the actual food you want to stuff your face with!

This article is not about replacements and making do with the substitute that doesn’t taste the same. It’s about the real deal treat, and whether it can in some way help your physical performance in some way.

Living Ultra Clean Ain’t Easy

broccoliLiving on a clean and healthy diet is rewarding in so many ways. Some people take to it like a duck to water and don’t look back.

The best examples of people that can do that are those who decide to ‘straighten out’ their life from a history of alcohol, smoking and whatever else.

They find they are so much happier and feel so much better that there is no going back after the transformation. The most extreme examples become extreme athletes (e.g. Rich Roll the Ultraman).

Other examples include professional athletes, nutrition experts and fitness models, all of whom tend to have to live the ultra-squeaky clean life, by virtue of their chosen field. However, it is by no means easy for these people to stay so rigidly dedicated.

A person not driven by profession or desperation is even more likely to stray from the righteous path and find themselves all to often elbow deep in the cookie jar. That’s because the effort involved in always preparing clean meals (and eating them) is occasionally/often a steep climb to a summit that isn’t always that awesome when you get there.

Take one of those grim looking green smoothies, for example. Sure they can taste okay, or even good – with the right ingredients – but if you have one of those to look forward to as your breakfast, or even your dessert replacement, it can wear a bit thin.

Yes, there’s a load of evidence to suggest you can alter your stomach flora over time so you might start to actually crave the grim green smoothie, but chocolate was invented for a reason, and that reason is taste.

And, it’s also the main inspiration for this article, because whether you agree with the first few paragraphs or not, many people find clean-living tough sometimes, so it’s nice to know that even some of the decadent things we crave can also help our road to physical improvement.

Dark Chocolate

dark chocWho doesn’t like dark chocolate? Crazy people, am I right!?

Just kidding, it’s not for everyone (I personally like it but prefer milk chocolate. Boy do I find diets hard!). However, if you do love the high percentage rich cocoa stuff then there is good news.

Recent research supports the long-standing evidence that dark chocolate is not only good for you, but additionally that it can help you reduce your oxygen cost during exercise and even act as an ergogenic aid for moderate intensity exercise.

Source: Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cyclingRishikesh Kankesh Patel, James Brouner and Owen Spendiff (link opens in new window).

Let’s break that down a little. The first statement that it’s good for you refers to the flavanols in dark chocolate which can help rid the body of free radicals, as an antioxidant.

The ‘helping you during exercise’ part is a finding of this new research which highlights DC’s ability to increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of Nitric Oxide, which can decrease the oxygen cost during moderate level exercise. This in turn means your oxygen usage is more efficient and you can therefore go for longer.

Nitric Oxide (NO) should ping a bodybuilder’s radar as well, as NO is a natural vasodilator, allowing for more blood, nutrients and oxygen to get to the working muscles.

Ergogenic aids are basically those which can enhance physical performance, thereby maximizing results from it. The results of the scientific studies reveal that for short duration moderate intensity exercise, dark chocolate may be an ergogenic aid.

How Much DC Though?

They used 40 grams in this test. That’s not bad at all for a treat. Just to be clear though, they did the test in comparison with white chocolate, which did nothing for performance.

So in this case, you have to make sure it’s the dark stuff.

Coffee

coffee drinking girlOkay, so it’s known that caffeine helps with energy levels and is present in nearly every energy drink available, as well as coffee of course, but a lot of research seems to indicate that taking caffeine is the best way, and that drinking it as a beverage is ineffectual in comparison.

Not so, according to some research, which actually tested caffeine (supplemental) and caffeine in coffee side by side, using decaf and placebo as controls.

During the test, triathletes and cyclists were observed. Exercise intensity, carbohydrate and fat oxidation, performance times and average power, were so similar between caffeine (coffee) and caffeine (supplement) that there was no statistically significant difference found.

Source: The Metabolic and Performance Effects of Caffeine Compared to Coffee during Endurance Exercise – Adrian B. Hodgson, Rebecca K. Randell, and Asker E. Jeukendrup (link opens in new window)

What about a caramel latte with three sugars and full fat whipped cream with a donut on the side?

Err…no! That’s like a million calories.

But don’t be afraid to get a nice cup of joe on your way to the gym. Just don’t do max-HR sprint sets after an extra large espresso because I won’t be held accountable for what happens!

Jelly Beans

jelly beans I was totally against high GI sugar being combined with exercise until my friend’s nutritionalist – his NUTRITIONALIST – told him to have 10 jelly beans and a cookie after weight training.

Annoyed after hearing it, I went home and checked up on the science. And with a bit of poetic license where the cookie was involved, the jelly beans certainly seemed to hold some weight.

Source: Jelly Beans Among Supplements To Be Studied For Effectiveness In Improving Exercise Performance And Warding Off Fatigue After Exercise – University Of California, Davis – Health System (link opens in new window)

After intense weight training, one of the most efficient ways to slow catabolism and give your liver and insulin something better to do than pillage your muscle for glucose, is to let them play with some sugar.

In fact, a bit of high GI (Glycemic Index; high refers to the speed at which the sugar enters blood stream) food is ideal for restoring blood sugar levels and speeding the process of anabolism along. Yes, we train to break muscle down (catabolism) in order for it to grow back stronger (anabolism and hypertrophy) but there’s no harm in helping it along.

There seems to be only two times a day when high GI sugar is useful like this: immediately after waking up, and immediately after moderate to intense exercise. At both times we are effectively in a state of malnourishment and you may be breaking down muscle as a source of energy.

How many jelly beans?

I like rules of thumb rather than getting the scales out and being anal about it. And I still refer back to my buddy’s consultant and say something like between 10 and 20 jelly beans is a good guideline.

And if you want to replace 10 jbs with a cookie, then go right ahead, but blame that poor anonymous nutritionalist if it adds some grab-handles to your waistline, not me, are we clear?

Good luck.

Check out these other interesting articles:

 

Bodylogix Vegan Protein

Bodylogix Vegan Protein powder is produced in Canada by Bodylogix.

The company produces several other health and fitness supplements, but as the name suggests they are hoping to target vegetarian consumers with this one.

Flavor choices are limited to vanilla or chocolate and each 39g scoop provides 25g of protein (including all essential amino acids) so, as a protein provider, that’s not bad at all.

 What is Bodylogix Vegan Protein?

The name says it all. It’s an easy-accessible source of protein that complies with all the restrictions of the vegan diet/lifestyle. It may be useful for vegans who need to supplement their daily protein requirements, but it could be especially beneficial for gym-going vegans who are trying to build the body beautiful and need to pump-up their daily protein intakes.

1 (39g) scoop should be added to a shaker or blender (or a cup if preferred) and combined with 296 – 355ml of cold water or any desired beverage. After 30 seconds of stirring/blending the mix should be good to go and the manufacturers recommended drinking 1 to 2 shakes each day.

 Key Benefits

  • High in protein
  • Vegan friendly
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Hypo-allergenic

 Ingredients

Specific inclusion rates are not provided, but the key ingredients appear to be:

  • Yellow pea protein isolate: Yellow peas contain many essential (and non-essential) amino acids, and are known to provide generous helpings of lysine and arginine, so as a muscle builder the ingredient has a lot of potential.
  • Organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein concentrate: Brown rice is a highly nutritious ingredient, rich in vitamins and minerals, and often considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. It provides long lasting energy and boosts growth hormone levels to support muscle growth and repair.
  • Organic hemp protein concentrate: Hemp is a complete protein that contains all the amino acids required to sustain healthy muscle tissue. It is easy on the stomach and is notable for being the only protein that contains omega3. Its protein profile is very similar that of eggs, but, unlike eggs, hemp does not present any cholesterol concerns.
  • Potato protein isolate: Potatoes tend to get such a bad rap for being fattening that many people are unaware the vegetable has a similar nutritional value as eggs and soya beans.
  • Chia protein:  Chia seeds are high in fiber and a good source of omega3. They contain all essential amino acids and boast a cholesterol level of zero.
  • Erythritol: It is unclear whether this has been added as an energy provider or as a sweetener, but erythritol is a low calorie substitute for sugar so it has more probably been included for its taste rather than any nutritional benefits it may provide.
  • Evaporated cane juice:  Sugar—pure and simple—and not a juice at all. The FDA has repeatedly requested the term be abolished due to its misleading nature. It’s pretty much a given that this one’s been thrown into the mix to improve the flavor.
Bodylogix Vegan Protein is such a natural product that side effects or other issues are highly unlikely.

Customer Feedback

Independent feedback is limited and shows a mixed response to the product. Several users dislike the flavor:

“Tastes very earthy in an unpleasant way. I love this company’s whey but the vegan stuff was not to my liking. If you eat a lot of pea and/or hemp protein and enjoy that earthy flavor, you will love it.”

“I really loved the whey protein from this company so I thought I’d try the vegan version of it. Although it was on sale, I didn’t really like the texture or the taste. I’d go for the whey version anyway!”

But not everyone hates the taste:

“I’ve tried many other protein drink and didn’t like the taste at all. This one is really great. I don’t understand the people complaining about the taste. It’s much more natural and my stomach does not complain too. I am very happy with this product.”

“Love it. I’m not a fan of protein powders that have a strong taste, especially a fake vanilla taste. This has a very mild taste so all you really taste it the flavor of the fruit or vegetables you choose use it with! We use this for smoothies. I recommend it and a great product for those who are looking for a plant based protein.”

 Pricing & Availability

The company website has a store-finding tool and Canadian customers will probably be able to find a local stockist. Non-Canadian customer will probably be reliant on online suppliers, but this should not present a problem because, like all Bodylogix products, Vegan Protein is available from many online stores. It can also be purchased from Amazon. Prices vary considerably and an 804g tub, priced at $26.99 on one site may carry a price tag of nearly $50 on another; so a little shopping around may be necessary to secure the best deal.

 Bodylogix Vegan Protein Pros & Cons at a Glance

The Pros 

  • Natural ingredient
  • Easy to digest
  • Contains all essential amino acids
  • High in protein (25g per 39g scoop)
  • Suitable for most user groups (including vegans)
  • Builds lean muscles
  • Some positive customer feedback
  • Choice of flavours
  • Side effects are  unlikely
  • Readily available
  • Can be reasonably priced, but some shopping around may be necessary
The Cons 

  • Some customers complain about the taste
  • Can be expensive, but a little shopping around can usually secure a much better deal.

 Bottom Line

Okay, so this product won’t be for everyone but for those athletes with specific diet requirements or people who just want to add a “clean” product to their supplement arsenal, you can’t go wrong with Bodylogix Vegan Protein. Sure, it might taste a bit odd to start with but you know what they say; variety is the spice of life.

Alternate Recommendations

best vegan protein supplementHow about an even more affordable and better option than this one. We discovered Myprotein’s non-dairy and vegan range a while back. They deliver anywhere and are miles ahead of their competition on price and quantity. Just follow the link below if you want to see what we mean. You won’t be disappointed.

Click here to view Myprotein non-dairy, vegan and vegetarian range