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Magnesium is often called "The Muscle Mineral". Aside from being involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions and playing an essential role in the production of energy within the cells, studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can enhance strength and raise the levels of various anabolic hormones like testosterone and IGF-1.

A team of American scientists recently decided to investigate the link between magnesium and inflammation, and collated a large amount of past research that looked at the relationship between magnesium levels and levels of a substance in the blood called C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is a marker of acute inflammation.

After crunching the numbers, they found that in the general population, normal, healthy people with low magnesium levels generally had high levels of CRP and vice versa. In addition to this, when the group looked into magnesium supplementation, they found that administering magnesium causes CRP levels to drop. This important finding showed that magnesium and CRP levels are not merely correlated, but that increasing the level of magnesium will actively reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is the enemy of the athlete. It changes the metabolic environment, which can enhance muscle breakdown, and overtraining, or training before the muscles have fully recovered, is a common reason for a lack of progress in the gym. This is why recovery supplements, commonly containing ingredients like protein powder, BCAAs and glutamine, are so popular.

This new evidence that magnesium is a powerful weapon in the recovery arsenal is great news for anyone looking for a cheap, safe and effective way to maximise performance.

Dibaba DT, Xun P, He K. Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb 12. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb 12.

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