Sporty folk: do you supplement with magnesium?
I was recently sent a bottle of Mag Nutrition’s new topical magnesium spray and I swear it’s helped me relax, recover from training, and sleep (<— sleep being my nemesis but never more so than during a competition diet).
Which got me wondering about other people's experiences with magnesium: topical/transdermal sprays, tablets and even Epsom Salt baths (magnesium sulfate).
Mag Nutrition‘s spray is a new product although topical, transdermal mag spray is far from a new idea. In fact it’s a basic, completely natural product which has been used in some form or another since the dawn of time*. This mag spray is made of 100% natural magnesium chloride, sustainable sourced from the Dead Sea**.
Did you know that magnesium is needed for more than 325 biochemical reactions in the body? These include calcium absorption and bone health, muscle relaxation and nerve function – important for all of us, not just the sporty ones. Magnesium spray (or baths – as Epsom Salts) – can also help the body release toxins including aluminium, lead, cadmium and mercury.
So what is the benefit of spraying your magnesium on rather than taking it as a tablet? Well, it’s absorbed better that way. If we try to ingest the (commonly recommended) adult dosage of 270-400mg of magnesium per day, this would equate to a usable dosage of only about 12-16mg.
By sidestepping the digestive system and spraying our magnesium onto our skin, we can optimise the dose – we can also avoid some of the side-effects of taking magnesium orally (some people find it has a laxative effect). “Transdermal application is the ultimate way to replenish cellular magnesium levels,” say Mag Nutrition, who kindly sent me the spray I’ve been using.
There’s been a recent clinical trial by Cardiff University (Watkins & Josling) which showed how well magnesium is absorbed through the skin (five times faster results when compared to oral supplements) but I don’t have the actual study here.
How have I been getting on with the mag spray? I love it! As I’ve said just a few times on the blog 😉 I do struggle with sleep quality when dieting (or when stressed for any reason). Since using this spray every evening, I have been sleeping better. Not perfectly, but a lot better. It could be a placebo effect, it could be the soothing nightly routine of massaging the spray in, but I don’t think so. I think it’s the product itself.
There are various ways to use it (including, according to the label, for brushing your teeth, but I’ve not been bold enough to try that!) but I’ve followed the “muscle pains, aches or cramps” instructions: 5 sprays to the affected area, massaged in. I tend to spray it on whatever body part I’ve trained that day, and then… kind of all over, just because.
It tingled and itched a little at first, but you are spraying salt onto your skin so that’s to be expected. I do have slightly sensitive skin anyway so I was expecting this. The feeling goes away completely within a few minutes, and gets less every time I use it.
It leaves a slightly tacky residue, so I advise washing your hands after massaging it in (it also tastes very salty – funny, that…) Once dry, it’s not sticky on the body though. Just feels a bit funny on your hands if you don’t rinse them.
(*highly technical scientific term…)
(**added bonus in case I don’t get a holiday this year)
I look forward to my Epsom Salt baths and mag spray before bed! Do any of you use topical magnesium, or take it orally? I’d love to hear your own experiences.
Thank you, Pharma Nutrition, for sending me my new best friend aka my bottle of mag spray!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.