August 19, 2021 4 min read
KEEPING MAGNESIUM LEVELS OPTIMIZED DURING SPORTS THROUGH TRANSDERMAL SUPPLEMENTATION
Considering the importance of magnesium for our health, it’s surprising that this mineral, the fourth most abundant in the human body, does not get as much attention as it deserves – a problem highlighted by the fact that around 60% of the adult population[i] and more than 70% of children and teenagers[ii] are magnesium-deficient.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in our bodies, including building protein and bones, creating energy, creating and repairing our DNA and RNA, the proper functioning of our muscles, and regulating our nervous systems. In fact every cell in our body contains it, and needs it to thrive.
It boosts your performance while exercising, fights depression, improves sleep, can protect you from Type 2 diabetes, reduces insulin resistance, balances hormones, lowers your blood pressure, helps prevent migraines, and even reduces the symptoms of PMS.
While the average person should be getting enough of this magical mineral through a nutrient-dense and varied diet, an increasing amount of research is pointing towards the fact that our current intensive farming practises are depleting this essential element (and others) from the soil in which our food is grown, thereby reducing the amount that is available to us through what we eat. It is estimated that magnesium content in vegetables is now 80-90% less than it was 100 years ago![iii]
Magnesium in high-performance sports
For Dr Jason Suter, team doctor for the DHL Stormers rugby team, magnesium is a key component in keeping his players in top physical condition. He says, “Magnesium is involved in numerous processes that affect muscle function including oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance. The relationship between magnesium status and exercise has received significant research attention which 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.”
“If you’re not optimizing your magnesium stores, you’re missing out on peak performance and muscle gains. Without magnesium, the enzymes that enable muscle protein synthesis are impaired, compromising recovery, hypertrophy, and strength. In addition, magnesium maintains the equilibrium for healthy testosterone and balanced cortisol levels, which can make or break an athlete. It also allows for the metabolism of cortisol after hardcore workouts by reducing nervous system activation, as well as accelerating the recovery process.”
In the past few years, transdermal use of magnesium – applying it to the skin for absorption into the blood stream – has gained a lot of attention because it bypasses the digestive system and can provide results much more quickly than oral supplementation. Magnesium can also have a laxative effect which results in less of the mineral being absorbed into the gut, and for people with digestive issues like IBS, this problem becomes more pronounced. This transdermal application is particularly useful in the sporting world where athletes and players need targeted and speedy relief.
Says Dr Suter, “The Wintergreen™ range of transdermal magnesium products are key components of my physio team’s kit bag that allow us to respond quickly to any muscular issues my players may be having, both during matches and training.”
Wintergreen™ Magnesium Gel
Magnesium Gel is easy to massage with, and is quickly absorbed through the pores without leaving any oily residue on the skin. It replenishes magnesium lost through sweating, while at the same time the Wintergreen and Arnica oils act to reduce inflammation and minor pain, and help to heal tears in any microfibers in the muscles. Dr Suter’s physio team, Inge Croy and Aneurin Robyn, use Magnesium Gel prior to matches to warm-up players’ muscles.
Wintergreen™ Magnesium Spray
Magnesium Spray absorbs straight through the skin into the blood stream and into the muscles, replenishing lost magnesium fast. It is the quickest and easiest way to get pure magnesium sulphate into the system where and when its needed most, without the need for massaging it in, and is the perfect option for when one is sweaty, wet or dirty from a work out or during a match. Its water based formula means it leaves no oily residue.
Wintergreen™ Magnesium Lotion
Perfect for daily maintenance of magnesium levels, this Magnesium Lotion also has many benefits for the skin when used as a daily moisturising lotion. By applying it after a shower or bath when the body is warm and the pores are open, the magnesium with added Vitamin E oil and Shea butter help hydrate the skin and improve its appearance, keeping it toned and supple, while reducing the effects of ageing and helping to repair sun damage.
Wintergreen™ Magnesium Soak
A warm 20 minute bath in Wintergreen™ Magnesium Soak, made with the highest grades of pure magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salts) and magnesium chloride, will open the pores in the skin allowing for the best possible absorption - improving circulation, helping to ease stiffness and pain in the muscles while reducing inflammation in aching joints, and helping to detox the body from the effects of lactic acid build up after an intense work out. It helps replenish the magnesium lost whilst sweating, lessening muscle cramping and fatigue and minimizing the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle stiffness) the following day. Magnesium Soak can be used day or night - in the morning a soak is a great way to feel calm, rejuvenated, and ready for the day, while at night magnesium helps to ensure a good night’s sleep. Wintergreen™ Magnesium Soak is a vital part of Dr Suter and his team’s recovery protocol for the DHL Stormers.
Wintergreen™ uses ingredients of the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade.
The full range is available online at www.takealot.com, www.capecycles.co.za, www.sportsa.co.za, www.outerstuff.co.za, www.football-emporium.com, www.blksport.co.za and at the WP Rugby shop (Cape Town). Select products are available at Sportsman’s Warehouse, The Bare Foot Concept Store (Cape Town) and various Cycling shops nationwide.
[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163803/ (figure 2)
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