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BJJ and Magnesium must go together! or else.....

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BJJ and Magnesium must go together!  or else.....

Let me start by introducing Functional Medicine. Maybe you've heard of it but don't know exactly what it is. Functional medicine is a medical practice or treatment which focuses on optimal functioning of the body and it's organs, through nutrition, diet and exercise or other holistic or alternative medicines.  

I thought the tube that begins at my mouth and ends at my butt is inside my body. It's actually no different than the skin on my arms, legs and everywhere else. One could say the inner lining from our throats down through our stomachs to our intestines is actually still outside our body.  Anything we eat or drink travels down this tube. The lining inside this tube pulls  nutrients from food and also protects our organs.  The importance of what we put in this tube cannot be denied. The only nutrients besides supplements we take is what we shove down this tube.  Think about that for a minute. Consider what you shove down your tube. 

It's amazing how long it's taken for somebody to explain this to me this way.  Suffering from constant muscle cramping, fatigue,  painful bunions and lower back degeneration, Magnesium became a focal point of my recovery and attempt to reverse or at least slow down any further degenerative processes.  I have been taking Epsom salt baths for the last couple years but more recently I have been consistently bathing daily.  The magnesium intake through my skin is a great way to ease muscle tightness and improve recovery from workouts.  But this still isn't enough.  There's a little known problem with magnesium and it's a bioavailable issue.

Here are some of the most common symptom of Magnesium deficiency:

  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Cystitis
  • Memory loss
  • Potassium deficiency (May cause fluid retention, extreme thirst, and irritability)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Migraines
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Asthma
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Bowel disease
  • Tremors
  • Osteoporosis
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Fertility/childbearing issues
  • Insomnia
  • Tooth decay
  • Raynaud’s syndrome (May cause cold toes or fingers, numbness in extremities, and color changes in the skin due to temperature changes)
  • Personality changes (Often similar to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders)
  • Hypoglycemia

With an estimated 75% of Americans failing to meet the recommended intake of magnesium,1 it might just be the biggest deficiency no one is talking about.

Because it’s an essential mineral your body doesn’t produce, magnesium must be obtained through food and supplementation. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 600 of the body’s enzymatic reactions.


The body stores nearly all (99%) of its magnesium in the bones and other soft tissues, such as muscle, which makes its availability extremely important to athletes and anyone who trains or works out on a regular basis.

Although it’s found in many foods, such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts, very few foods are considered to be magnesium rich.

Studies examining athletes in various sports – including soccer, gymnastics, and rugby – have shown low dietary intakes of magnesium,2-6 specifically in young athletes.7

The failure to achieve recommended magnesium levels can occur even when following a balanced diet that meets the needs for most other nutrients.

Aggravating the problem of inadequate intake, athletes can have a higher baseline need for magnesium because it is excreted through sweat and is involved in assisting carbohydrate and fat metabolism, energy production, protein synthesis, and healing – requirements that increase with physical activity.*

Studies suggest that strenuous exercise increases the need for magnesium by up to 20%.8


Magnesium is also a crucial factor in the production of ATP, which provides energy for the muscles.* Strenuous exercise greatly increases the demand for muscle energy and triggers a magnesium-dependent process to continuously supply the ATP needed to fuel performance.*


With as much as 50% of the body’s total amount of magnesium stored in bone, magnesium is essential for bone health.

Inadequate intake is associated with bone disorders, and bone loss has been observed to increase in subjects who have low magnesium intake.*

Because the science of bone health during growth and exercise continues to evolve, the best advice for athletes, especially youth athletes, is to be aware of magnesium status on an ongoing basis given its role in predicting bone mineral density.9


Although studies have shown the benefits of correcting an existing deficiency and thereafter obtaining adequate magnesium, the jury is still out on its impact on performance when supplementing above the recommended limit.

Your primary focus should be on achieving an optimal magnesium level for your activity level.

Considering that less than 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood, a total serum magnesium level measured in a laboratory might not give an accurate picture of magnesium status. Testing red blood cell magnesium levels is a preferable way to monitor magnesium status.

There are a few reasons that magnesium deficiency is so common:

#1)   We’re being poisoned by our food. Nowadays, every processed and refined foods are stripped of every vitamin, mineral, and fiber. For instance, white flour contains 80 percent less magnesium, vegetables contain 24 percent less magnesium, and rice contains 83 percent less magnesium since 1940.

#2)  We’re increasingly stressed out. Magnesium is required for the production of stress hormones and stressful experiences lead to depletion of this mineral.

#3)  We’re consuming more sugar than ever. Our body uses 54 molecules of magnesium to process only one molecule of glucose we consume. In addition, we are consuming more dairy products than ever. A diet rich in calcium in phosphorus requires your body to need more magnesium.

#4)  Modern farmer techniques deplete the levels of magnesium in the soil. Pesticides kill the beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil that are required in order for plants to convert soil nutrients into plant nutrients.

#5) Magnesium is depleted by many medications including oral contraceptives, prednisone, cortisone, antibiotics, and blood pressure medications. Also, caffeine raises excretion levels. Moreover, exposure to aluminum makes absorbing magnesium harder. In fact, aluminum interferes with the body’s ability to absorb magnesium up to five times

Now that you  have determined you are magnesium deficient, what's next?  Here's what I did.

1)  Gallon of water

2)  1 Teaspoon of Himalayan Sea Salt

3)  3 Teaspoons of Re/Mag (It's a brand of liquid magnesium I use)

4)  2 Teaspoons of Re/Myte (It's a brand of liquid minerals I use)

I sip on this all day until it's gone.  I train a lot so each person would vary this by the amount of hard training they do.  You also will encounter laxative effects while consistently supplementing magnesium daily.  It's your job to find the appropriate dosage that won't cause the laxative effect.  Magnesium balance could take between 9 and 18 months from when you start.  What this means is you have to make this a lifestyle change.  It requires weekly preparation to get all the magnesium into your body daily that it needs.  Good luck and be sure to research this topic further to determine how it can improve your training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and any other endurance sport you play.  I'm 50 years old and am discovering that with proper diet, nutrition and responsible training, I can keep on rolling!








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