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Additional Calcium/Magnesium supplementation

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Additional Calcium/Magnesium supplementation

Postby Keith » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:33 pm

Steve (et al),
I have read a few of your suggestions in previous postings about additional calcium/mag supplementation with regards to muscle cramping. Specifically, you mention "elemential ca/mag". Can you elaborate on this please. I currently take "Slo Mag" (2 tabs morning/ 2 tabs night) and I'm wondering, if at almost $10.00 per bottle, my money would be better spent elsewhere. Without asking you for a specifc recommendation, can you possibly list a few good choices? Also, can you mention which choice you use? Any assistance regarding this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Keith
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Re: Additional Calcium/Magnesium supplementation

Postby steve-born » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:14 pm

Hello Keith -

It is my belief that a well-balanced blend of electrolytic minerals is the ideal way to prevent cramping. However, when some people still have cramping issues they oftentimes start consuming a lot of extra salt (sodium chloride). Without taking anything away from the importance of those two minerals, I believe that this particular strategy in this particular situation - though it may be helpful for some - may not be the best strategy for everyone. As I wrote in one of our articles (paraphrasing Dr. Bill Misner) -

"High-sodium electrolyte supplementation contravenes the natural physiological control of serum electrolytes, and once the body detects an increase in sodium from exogenous sources (i.e., food, salt tablets, or products too high in sodium), the hormone aldosterone signals the kidneys to stop filtering and recirculating sodium. Instead, the kidneys will excrete sodium; another hormone, vasopressin, will redominate and cause fluid retention. While ingesting large amounts of sodium may temporarily resolve a sodium deficiency, doing so substantially increases the risk of a number of problems, including increased fluid storage and thus swelling, or edema, in the distal extremities, elevated blood pressure, and increased rate of sodium excretion. All of these inhibit performance. If you've ever finished a workout or race with swollen hands, wrists, feet, or ankles, or if you have experienced puffiness under your eyes and around your cheeks, chances are your sodium/salt intake was too high."

Again, though there is no doubt of the importance of sodium and chloride, I tend to believe that the two minerals that are most involved in optimal muscular functioning is calcium and magnesium - when calcium flows into working muscle cells, the muscle contracts; when calcium leaves and magnesium replaces it, the muscle relaxes.

Also, when people have symptoms that are similar to Restless Leg Syndrome, a dose of calcium and magnesium - but not salt - will usually alleviate the problem.

At this time I do not take additional calcium, primarily because I believe my diet, and the what's contained in Premium Insurance Caps, provides me with sufficient amounts. I do take extra magnesium, however, for a number of reasons, most of which are because of this article "Magnesium - The key to health and life" (http://www.vrp.com/minerals/magnesium-the-key-to-health-and-life).

Two sections in the article "Absorption Barriers" and "Magnesium and the Calcium Controversy" are particularly interesting, especially the research that concludes "Increasing the magnesium intake improves rather than interferes with calcium utilization," and where Dr. Guy Abraham states "Magnesium has a calcium-sparing effect and decreases the need for calcium."

The ideal situation is to take calcium supplements separate from magnesium; however, that's not terribly feasible, at least not to me (Really? I have to take more pills?) So I try to maintain my calcium intake via my diet and I do take, for a variety of reasons, additional magnesium during the day. My "product of choice" is Opti-Mag made by VRP (http://www.vrp.com/minerals/opti-mag). I have no affiliation with this company or this product; however, I think it is arguably the best magnesium supplement around. And with magnesium having a calcium-sparing effect, and with my diet being pretty good in terms of calcium content, I don't feel the need - at least at this point - to take additional calcium. A lot of people do, and that's absolutely fine (if used in appropriate amounts), but I personally do not.

I am actually out of the office for the week, and with limited online time, so I have to sign off now. I hope that this information and my personal insights will be of help to you. If you need more clarification or have additional questions, please post them and I will do my best to answer them in as timely a fashion as possible.

Sincerely -

Steve
************************
Steve Born
Fueling Expert
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www.hammernutrition.com
800.336.1977
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Re: Additional Calcium/Magnesium supplementation

Postby Keith » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:45 am

Steve,
Thanks much for the detailed reply. I think I will try the magnesium only supplement. I too believe that I get a decent amount of Calcium through dietary means. Additionally, I get Calcium through the Daily Essentials Kit (2x day). I had always heard that whenever you take additional Mag, you need to increase your Calcium. After reading your reply, I think I am probably good on Calcium. My problem in the past has been calf cramps on marathon day. Oddly enough, it ONLY happens on race day. After many years of the "increase your sodium" school, I'm now a firm believer that additional sodium hindered only my performance. Thanks again for the reply, Steve.

Regards,
Keith
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