Enjoy this special guest blog post from Dr. Jennifer Tanner, ND:
“The alarm beeps at 6am. I pour some magnesium powder into two of my three water bottles, strap them to my waist and I am off before anyone in the house is awake.
It was during my endurance training for Toronto’s Scotia Bank Marathon that I discovered the potential of magnesium.
Using myself as a case study, I analyzed and documented my own symptoms. Prior to supplementation, running any distance over 10 km would result in a three day post-run headache. Not fun.
No amount of Tylenol or Advil could alleviate this constant throb. Something had to change and quitting running didn’t seem like an option!
I picked up a bottle of magnesium and began with 1/2 tsp. I slowly increased the dose over a few weeks to avoid diarrhoea. With this small change, my headaches never materialized and my energy later in the day improved. The musculoskeletal benefits also gave my knees a break and lessened post-run pain.
Instantly I felt relief and magnesium quickly became a staple in my routine, allowing me to continue my training.
Simply feeling the results was not enough for my inquisitive mind. I needed science. So, I delved deeper to find out what was happening on a physiological level.
Magnesium is crucial for energy metabolism and ATP production, which can be attributed to the afternoon perk I was feeling.
A deficiency in magnesium can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps/twitches and reduced performance. My running posture needed correction. The tension headaches I was feeling were being created from the additional stress around my neck and shoulders and my body did not have the tools it needed to address this issue.
Serotonin receptors, nitric oxide synthesis and release and a variety of other neurotransmitters are affected by magnesium concentrations, which is why it had such profound effects on my post run headaches.
Athletes may put further magnesium demands on their body via strenuous training and sweating. These demands may increase magnesium requirements by 10-20%. Therefore, an adequate intake can reduce athletic fatigue on the nervous system and reduce accumulation of lactic acid.
Don’t ignore your symptoms. They are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
I am grateful that I was able to accomplish a lifelong goal. You can too. Change. Explore. Live.”
About the Author, Jennifer Tanner
Dr. Jennifer Tanner, ND graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Honours Kinesiology and loved the hands-on experience of working as Athletic Therapist for the Varsity Rugby Team. She worked with CBC at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games before spending the next four years studying the art and science of Naturopathic Medicine. She was an active member of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine’s Sports Medicine Group.
Dr. Tanner received the Dr. Shimon Levytam Award for demonstrating principles of naturopathic medicine and applying them in daily clinic practices while promoting naturopathic medicine. She has been invited to speak internationally, trained with MD’s and various health care practitioners abroad and has appeared in Today’s Parent, well.ca and Best Health.
Dr. Tanner has a broad, evidence based practice with a focus on Sports Medicine and its link to inflammatory responses and the GI microbiota. Being a marathon runner and having been a competitive equestrian, an active lifestyle is important.
Dr. Tanner’s other passion is for her three children, which is why she also chose to specialise in Pediatrics and Fertility.
Dr. Tanner uses Acupuncture and Clinical Nutrition putting an emphasis on “food as medicine”. Additionally, she is trained in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture which is a non-invasive method of improving the appearance of ageing skin.