It’s not fish oil.
And probably not that caffeinated pre-workout you use that promises “gratuitous amounts of energy” (although, lets be honest, those rock).
Sure these may all help, but if you are not deficient in them then they are unlikely to make that big of wave.
The main purpose of supplementation is to first fill in holes caused by our lifestyle and genetics. These holes (or deficiencies in “building blocks”) can leave us without the means to not only perform optimally, but may leave us unable to perform entirely (aka shit just doesn’t work).
When it comes to getting fit, it is critical for our lungs and breathing to keep up with our ambitions. If you have a “hole” here, however, exercising will be the last thing you want to do…
THE MAGNESIUM HOLE
For the past +6 years, I’ve had a slight magnesium deficiency.
What it looks like when I do anything with moderate intensity:
- My breathing power gets cut in half (and the “wheezing” starts)
- My recovery (aka “catching my breath”) goes from minutes to hours
- My workout ends early (because hey, this sucks)
In short, it feels like I have asthma.
This makes sense as magnesium is actually used to treat asthma and low levels of it are associated both with decreased lung function and accentuated allergic reactions.
Some sources indicate that 50 – 75% of us are deficient in this mineral (higher if your an athlete), but not everyone will have it to the same degree. This will depend on how “stressful” your life is.
Here is list of stressors that deplete magnesium:
- Allergies (to pets, mold, and food)
- Sugar and other processed foods
- Coffee, Alcohol, and other drugs
- And a host of other things that trigger cortisol release
That’s just the icing on the cake. Since Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and because it is used in over 300 reactions, it is likely that a lot more other food stuffs, drugs, and thoughts are using it up.
HOW TO FILL IT
So you think that “getting in shape” is supposed to suck (which it is a little bit), but maybe it’s possible that you have a magnesium deficiency as well?
2 options if you do:
- Eat more magnesium rich foods
- Supplement with it
Now, obviously it would be more beneficial if we didn’t have to rely on supplements and could just eat the food. Through my own n=1 experience, however, it doesn’t work. Some say it is because our soil is depleted, others say it’s because certain chemicals in plants (see: phytates) prevent it from absorbing, but I say it’s because our life is just too stressful.
Mine is anyways. If your in the same boat (allergies + avid exerciser), then this advice could benefit you:
▶ But Magnesium Citrate, through capsules or powder (I prefer the latter).
▶ Take 3 capsules or one spoonful right before bed.
▶ Combine with Zinc Citrate for positive synergistic effects, but do not combine with Calcium (they compete).
Give yourself 2 weeks.
If you don’t see any positive effects within this time then you probably don’t have a deficiency.
If you do, however, man will it feel good…