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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Update on the Relationship Between Magnesium and Exercise

Authors
item Nielsen, Forrest
item Lukaski, Henry

Submitted to: Magnesium Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/46884
Citation: Nielsen, F.H., Lukaski, H.C. 2006. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnesium Research. 19(3): 180-189.

Technical Abstract: Magnesium is involved in numerous processes that affect muscle function including oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance. Thus, the relationship between magnesium status and exercise has received significant research attention. This research has shown that exercise induces a redistribution of magnesium in the body to accommodate metabolic needs. There is evidence that marginal magnesium deficiency impairs exercise performance and amplifies the negative consequences of strenuous exercise (e.g., oxidative stress). Strenuous exercise apparently increases urinary and sweat losses that may increase magnesium requirements by 10-20%. Based on dietary surveys and recent human experiments, a magnesium intake less than 260 mg/day for male and 220 mg/day for female athletes may result in a magnesium-deficient status. Recent surveys also indicate that a significant number of individuals routinely have magnesium intakes that may result in a deficient status. Athletes participating in sports desiring weight control (e.g., wrestling, gymnastics) apparently are especially vulnerable to an inadequate magnesium status. Magnesium supplementation or increased dietary intake of magnesium will have beneficial effects on exercise performance by magnesium-deficient individuals. Magnesium supplementation of physically active individuals with adequate magnesium status has not been shown to enhance physical performance. An activity-linked RNI or RDA based on long-term balance data from well-controlled human experiments should be determined so that physically active individuals can ascertain whether they have a magnesium intake that may affect their performance or enhance their risk to adverse health consequences (e.g., immunosuppression, oxidative damage, arrhythmias).

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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