Magnesium is a treatment commonly used by athletes to treat muscle soreness, cramping and other exercise-related ailments, as well as helps to decrease recovery time between workouts. But what is magnesium and how does it help?
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral important to bone structure and one that’s needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. When found in adequate amounts, It helps maintain muscle function, is essential to a healthy immune system, and aids in bone strength. Magnesium deficiency can result in muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and even osteoporosis.
For the purpose of this article, however, I want to concentrate on magnesium in the form of flakes or magnesium oil (which is simply combining the flakes with water) as opposed to an oral magnesium supplement. Magnesium can promote relaxation, relieve tension and even combat anxiety. For athletes and gym-goers magnesium can relax tight muscles, and relieve soreness post-workout. It can aid in sleep and sleep quality, help the body with it’s natural detoxification process and heal skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Why use Magnesium Topically?
Magnesium flakes and magnesium oil are both topical solutions to potential magnesium deficiency. You can make the oil by combining equal amounts of magnesium flakes with warm distilled water and simply spraying directly onto your skin. Your skin, the body’s largest organ, absorbs the magnesium into your blood vessels and muscles, bypassing the digestive system altogether. This type of application is an easy way to relieve muscle tension and speed up recovery after exercise, as well as moisturize and hydrate your skin. The spray can be used on any part of your body, concentrating on areas that are sore. Apply to clean skin after a warm shower and massage into joints and muscles. You can also spray on neck or temples to help with headaches and ease migraines.
Magnesium flakes, on the other hand, are commonly used in bath applications or foot soaks. I recommend Yogti magnesium flake.
Just 20 minutes, 2-3x per week can help muscle inflammation, soreness and cramping. 1-3 cups of magnesium flakes, dissolved in warm (but not hot!) bath water as a warm temperature promotes absorption of magnesium. Rinse off with cool water and apply a moisturizer post-bath to seal in moisture and increase the benefits of your soak.