Supplementation with magnesium inhibits muscle breakdown in cyclists (a tiny bit)
During multi-day competitions such as the Tour de France, magnesium supplementation inhibits the breakdown of muscle mass a little bit of a bit. The effect is not great, but every little bit helps, doesn't it?
Spanish biochemists at the University of Valladolid experimented during a prominent cycling competition that lasted 21 days - three guesses which competition it was - with 18 professional cyclists from 2 teams. A day before the race started, 9 cyclists started taking a capsule with 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide every day at breakfast. The supplement that the researchers used was Magnesium 400 Supra Kapsel from Sanct Bernhard.
The 9 cyclists in the control group did not take magnesium. They also did not receive a placebo.
Hmm. That's weird.
O wait. The cyclists in both groups also used 10 milligrams of folic acid, 1000 milligrams of vitamin C, 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12, 3600 milligrams of leucine, 900 milligrams of isoleucine, 900 milligrams of valine and 1 gram of glutamine.
Okay. A pill more or less may not make much difference then.
During the multi-day cycling race the amount of magnesium in the red blood cells of the cyclists decreased. However, magnesium supplementation reduced this decrease.
During the competition the concentration of LDH, creatinine and creatine kinase in the blood of the riders increased in both groups. This increase was the same in both groups.
The researchers also looked at the concentration of myoglobin in the blood of the riders. Myoglobin too is a marker for muscle damage. And with regard to myoglobin levels, there was a difference between the two groups. He rose less rapidly in the magnesium group. A bit less.
"In conclusion, our results indicated that magnesium supplementation exceeding the recommended daily amount has a modest effect in maintaining muscle integrity", the researchers summarize.
"Adequate levels of magnesium intake from diet or combined with supplements can maintain serum magnesium and erythrocytic magnesium levels in physiological ranges, permitting muscle recovery from intense and strenuous exercise, as is found in a cycling competition."
Nutrients. 2019 Aug 16;11(8). pii: E1927.
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