Why magnesium is the wonder mineral for performance

1st March 2022 / Health / Ingredients

Why magnesium is the wonder mineral for performance

Libby Limon

Magnesium is probably one of the most important nutrients for feeling your best every day, yet it’s not talked about often enough.

It’s commonly deficient in our diets, with a 2018 study finding that UK adults (1) between 20-59, consuming less than the recommended nutrient intake (RNI), the minimum level needed for optimal wellbeing. As well as a significant portion, between 14-20%, of the population, having magnesium intake at levels that would cause not just insufficiency but deficiency. So why is magnesium so important and why can boosting your levels make a world of difference to how you feel….

Magnesium is the fourth most abundantly needed mineral in the body (2), that is to say in micronutrient terms you need a lot and every day! It has many many biological functions.

For muscles it’s essential for muscle relaxation, prevention of build of lactic acid and supporting sleep. Which are all essential for enhancing muscle recovery after exercise. The quicker your muscles recover, the harder and more frequently you can train

It’s also part of the process that is needed in the muscle cells to make energy. Again, more energy equals better exercise performance and endurance. It’s for these reasons that adding a magnesium supplement can benefit functional exercise performance, supporting everything from grip strength, lower-leg power, knee extension torque, ankle extension strength, maximal isometric trunk flexion, rotation, and jumping performance’ (3).

It also helps us with stress regulation, is an important electrolyte to keep our hydration levels balanced, is needed for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system and strong teeth and bones. All of which are essential for overall vitality and fitness.

So why not just eat more through your diet? Obviously, that is the ideal scenario! However magnesium is most abundant in less commonly consumed foods, such as nuts, seeds, raw cacao, leafy greens and beans.


The magnesium in these foods is often also hindered in its absorption by other components of the same food. For example, almonds have high levels of magnesium in the white part, but the brown outer shell contains high levels of oxalates which bind to the magnesium and prevent its absorption. Plus, mineral depletions in farmed soils are contributing to lower levels in food generally.

Taking a magnesium supplement can also have its pitfalls so it is important to choose the right one. Soluble inorganic forms such as magnesium oxide have the highest magnesium content but the body really struggles to absorb it. Which is also why in this form it can be used as a laxative. Organic forms such as citrate or soluble organic complexes such as glycinate and bisglycinate do much better but often have lower levels of elemental magnesium.


At Link Nutrition it is our philosophy to use use the most bioavailable nutrient forms, our magnesium supplement combines magnesium from seawater with its enhanced bioavailability (4) and a Food Based magnesium which also been shown to have a good levels of elemental magnesium, boosting absorption absorption (5).



(1) Derbyshire, E. (2018). 'Micronutrient intake of British adults across mid-life: A secondary analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey', Frontiers in Nutrition. 


(2) Fiorentini, D. Cappadone, C. Farruggia, G. et al. (2021). 'Magnesium: Biochemistry, nutrition, detection, and social impact of diseases linked to its deficiency', Nutrients.  


(3) Zhang, Y. Xun, P. Wang, R. et al. (2017). 'Can magnesium enhance exercise performance?', Nutrients. 


(4) Felice, V. O'Gorman, D.M. O'Brien, N.M. et al. 'Bioaccessibility and bioavailability of marine-derived multimineral Aquamin-Magnesium, Nutrients.


(5) Ranade, V.V. & Somberg, J.C. (2001). 'Bioavailability & pharmacokinetics of magnesium after administration of magnesium salts to humans', American Journal of Therapeutics. 

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