The Magnesium-Calcium Relationship and Why it Matters for Muscle Health
Magnesium is a key mineral for muscle health and performance. It aids in the relaxation of tensed muscles, protein synthesis for muscle recovery and repair, and it helps to prevent lactic acid buildup.
Magnesium works in a constant interplay with calcium, magnesium’s mineral opposite. Calcium’s function is to tense and excite muscles and nerves. Magnesium does the opposite, and it helps to push high levels of calcium out of the cells. In the muscle, magnesium prevents the build-up of calcium and even re-absorbs calcification that has already taken place.
Calcium to magnesium ratios in the body should be 1:1 for optimum health. But because magnesium is excreted every 12 hours, and the body is unable to excrete excess calcium, the ratio very easily becomes imbalanced.
Excess calcium is often stored in the muscles, causing tension, tightness, cramping, and spasm. Unfortunately, this is true even when it comes to our body’s most important muscle, the heart.
You should never take calcium without magnesium. Magnesium, on the other hand, can be taken daily even without a calcium supplement.
Magnesium, Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Cramps and spasms in the muscles are likely a direct result of excess calcium. That’s because cramping of the muscles is often caused by calcification or a build-up of calcium in the muscle and soft tissues. Without sufficient magnesium to balance calcium, calcium will rush into the cell and flood it – causing a constant state of tension and rigidity. This manifests as muscle cramps, spasms and pain.
Without sufficient magnesium to balance calcium, calcium will rush into the cell and flood it – causing a constant state of tension and rigidity. This manifests as muscle cramps, spasms and pain.
Magnesium, Exercise and Muscle Health
For serious athletes who train hard every day, intense workout sessions should be followed with specific nutrients. This post-workout refuelling is known as recovery – recovering the nutrients the body loses during daily, aggressive exercise.
Magnesium should be part of this recovery plan. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium can significantly affect performance levels.
Magnesium is excreted through sweat, and endurance athletes sweat 1 to 1.5 litres per hour. Muscle cramping and spasms, shortness of breath, rapid pulse and even a feeling that your heart ‘skips a beat’ during workouts are all signs of magnesium deficiency.
The good news is that magnesium is easy to replenish with Natural Calm magnesium citrate, so you can return to peak performance by the next session
Many athletes add Natural Calm Magnesium Chloride (our transdermal product line) to their recovery regime. Applying liquid magnesium topically to stressed muscles after a workout is a fast and effective way to replenish magnesium.