Magnesium: Essential for Exercise and Fitness

Magnesium for exercise is not normally thought of, but as it is turning out the benefits of magnesium supplements include playing a critical role in athletic performance.

The connection between low magnesium and heart disease has long been studied and in fact low magnesium has been considered a major cardiovascular risk. For example, research has explored the association between low magnesium, and sudden death[i] and later, low magnesium as a risk for heart disease in general.[ii]

Why would such a seemingly common element be under suspicion as an underlying factor for poor heart health?

Because we may not be supplementing it enough and magnesium is excreted from the body by urination and perspiration. Medical science points to the fact that while exercising, athletes, or anyone physically exerting themselves may need to supplement their Magnesium requirements by as much as 10 percent to 20 percent.[iii]

Group Cardio Exercising

The benefits of magnesium supplements has also been studied extensively in its role in diabetes. This research is continuing to the present day. For example, 2007 studies were conducted on magnesium in an across the board analysis on many risk factors[iv] associated with the disease and another study on magnesium, diabetes and kidney function.[v]

There appears to be direct connection with the way our bodies process glucose and magnesium levels and the connection appears to be quite solid.[vi] Certainly research has been conducted that shows the benefits of magnesium supplements include helping with insulin sensitivity. For example, trials in 2004 showed positive effects between magnesium sensitivity and glucose utilization on human subjects.[vii]

If there were no other athletic or fitness connections at all aas to the positive effects of supplementing magnesium for exercise save for heart health and energy usage that would be more than enough for athletes who train under rigorous conditions. However there are many other associations that are being actively studied. For example, taking Magnesium for exercise has been shown to assist in the treatment of leg cramps[viii] as well as so-called restless leg syndrome.

Given all of this research as to the positive effects of magnesium and athletics, it is not surprising that research has been conducted as to how magnesium affects performance itself. For example, a 2006 study on female tri-athletes showed that all other factors being equal, magnesium did appear to improve swimming times.[ix]

Supplementing Magnesium for exercise therefore has many positive attributes which indicate it is a very worthwhile supplement for athletes to be taking as part of an overall exercise regimen. In the broader picture, the benefits of magnesium supplements shows the value of supplementing in general for athletes and non-athletes alike.

The recommended daily dosage for Magnesium ranges from approximately 300 mg to 360 mg per day in adult females and approximately 400 mg to 420 mg per day for adult males. However, athletes who hydrate and then excrete magnesium through sweat and urination may need more.


[i] Johnson CJ, Peterson DR, Smith EK. Myocardial tissue concentrations of magnesium and potassium in men dying suddenly from ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1979;32: 967–970
[ii] Liao F, Folsom AR, Brancati FL. Is low magnesium concentration a risk factor for coronary heart disease? The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Am Heart J 1998; 136: 480–490
[iii] Golf SW, Bender S, Grüttner J. On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. (1998)
[iv] Larsson SC, Wolk A. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. J Intern Med 2007; 262: 208–214
[v] Pham PC, Pham PM, Pham SV et al. Hypomagnesemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2007;2: 366–373
[vi] Simmons D, Joshi S, Shaw J. Hypomagnesaemia is associated with diabetes: Not pre-diabetes, obesity or the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2010; 87: 261–266
[vii] Guerrero-Romero F, Tamez-Perez HE, Gonzalez-Gonzalez G,et al. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance.A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab 2004; 30: 253–258
[viii] Roffe C, Sills S, Crome P et al. Randomised, cross-over, placebo controlled trial of magnesium citrate in the treatment of chronic persistent leg cramps. Med Sci Monit 2002; 8:CR326–CR330
[ix] Nielsen FH & Lukaski HC, Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. 2006. Magnes Res. Sep;19(3):180-9



We just completed a very large Homeopathic tablet order that required involvement from 4 different facilities. There was nobody else in the country that was willing to help us that we called until we found superior. First shipment came last week and we couldn’t be happier or more impressed with the team. Thank you Justine, Phil, Stephenie you are the best!

I was choosing between two companies to create a formulation, and it came down to their level of service, expertise and confidence in their ability to execute. After speaking to Phil, their lead guy who knows all things supplements and is very easy to communicate with, was enthusiastic and helped to create a strategy to see my vision through. The last thing you want is a transactional relationship in this industry, so whether you’re a first timer or a veteran, these guys know how to add value no matter what level you’re at. Highly recommend Superior and their team to get the job done.
When they say “Superior” they aren’t kidding. Of over 100 companies on our NSF list that we called, and over 20 that we talked to, Superior was the ONLY one that consistently answered their phones, worked incredibly diligently to problem solve and R&D an incredibly complex patented proprietary product, and consistently was two or three steps ahead of us, the landscape and their competitors. Looking forward to a long relationship Superior!
We’ve been using Superior for over 5 years. We came to them because our last manufacturer stopped making the capsule size I needed. I looked everywhere for a replacement. Luckily, I found Superior. They quoted me a fair price and sourced a hard to find ingredient quickly. In the 5 years we’ve had them make our product, which is a custom formulation, they have never delivered late once. Quality control is very high and I get constant updates from Phil our point person while it is being manufactured. I cannot recommend them enough.
Our previous manufacturer was 3 months late on a production and barely spoke with us. We have run many runs with Superior and as with all manufacturing, there was an order that was a little late because of poor crop growth. Not only did they warn us ahead of time they showed us the list of suppliers they were calling day and night to try to find replacement material. Best company ever!
Jake, Justine and Phil are just a few of the team members we have had the pleasure of working with at Superior. As a marketing agency working in the supplement industry, we work with many suppliers on behalf of our clients. I especially appreciate Superior Supplements Manufacturing because of their dedication to customer relationships. They go to extreme measures to ensure quality ingredients, fair pricing and great turn around times. The staff is also extremely knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this team.