The forgotten supplements…
By Richard Jones BSc (hons), MA.
When coaches and keen trainers discuss supplements their attention almost immediately turns to protein, mass gainers, creatine and pre workouts. There is no doubt that these supplements are vital for our clients depending on their goals and the type of trainer. However the likes of Magnesium and Zinc, both of which are vital for homeostasis, performance and health are often overlooked. Magnesium and Zinc are both trace minerals of which we are widely deficient in, within the UK.
I prescribe the supplementation of Magnesium to almost all my clients in various doses ranging from 600-800mg’s just before bed. Although taking Magnesium just before bed won’t guarantee you’ll sleep all night undisturbed, low magnesium levels will almost certainly contribute to a sleepless night. We are all well aware of the importance sleep has on performance and recovery, so for me it’s a no brainer. Also, Magnesium is vital for the GABA receptor found in the brain, the GABA receptor is responsible for calming the brains activity levels and reduces the neural activity in a similar way which medication such as benzodiazepines do, which when trying to sleep is certainly useful.
Furthermore, in a recent study by the American Academy of Paediatrics, Magnesium was singled out as one of the most important minerals rivalling the most commonly discussed mineral, Calcium. It was also suggested that Magnesium is just as important if not more important than Calcium for children in the development of healthy bones. As well as this, magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions within the body and high levels of Magnesium improve the nervous system and can help with attention spans. According to the Strength Sensei Charles Poliquin, the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy also requires ‘numerous magnesium-dependent chemical reactions’. Lastly but certainly not by any means least, according to Chemo Care and other credible sources, low Magnesium levels have also been associated with various cancers. In summary, Magnesium is vital for recovery and rest, bone development, the nervous system and overall health.
Zinc is widely associated with health benefits such as boosting the immune system, supporting the endocrine system and promoting homeostasis. Furthermore symptoms of a Zinc deficiency can include a poor immune system, chronic fatigue, low energy, low libidos and can result in fertility problems for both males and females. In addition to this, Zinc is needed for energy production and can influence protein synthesis. As a result if your client or you are looking to increase muscle mass then a deficiency in Zinc will hamper protein synthesis, recovery and in turn your results.
It is therefore in my opinion that the supplementation of Zinc and Magnesium is a no brainer. There are several supplements available but I highly recommend PPS Nutrition’s ZMA Recovery supplement available via this link http://www.ppsnutrition.com/product/zma-120/