Recovery from Overdoing It

Let’s talk about recovery from overdoing it while exercising.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete or the proverbial weekend warrior, you want to recover as fast as possible so you can get back to whatever warrioring it is you do. There are many ways to give your body that little something extra it needs to recover better, but which doesn’t involve filling a prescription. Making sure the body wants for nothing nutritionally will ensure that all your systems can function at optimal levels.

Primarily, be sure to feed yourself food that is as unprocessed as possible. That means organic, vegetable-based, and locally sourced if possible. Secondly, drink plenty of pure water. Not juice. Not drink mix. Water—the stuff rain is made from.

I do try, however, to keep a few things in my medicine cabinet that get me through the period following one of those “memorable summer events”—ones that keep you wiped out for the following week or more.

There are over 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly, but the following is by far one of the best recommendations for sore muscles and cramping: Magnesium. Magnesium has been used to treat sore muscles and cramps for centuries. It’s been proven to effectively reduce muscular pain and cramping post exercise.

Foods like broccoli, squash, almonds, meats, chocolate, and coffee contain a relatively good amount of magnesium. However, approximately 95% of Americans are deficient in this simple element. Restless leg syndrome, muscle cramping, and fatigue collectively show up in 95% of our population. So what can be done about it?

Magnesium baths or magnesium supplementation are two great ways to get rid of those legs cramps that raise you out of bed at 3 a.m. Magnesium bath salts have been used for thousands of years and are renowned for their soothing qualities. Try them—they work! Just follow the instructions on the packaging. One more good thing, it’s cheap.

Magnesium supplementation is a bit more of a sticky wicket, so I’ll try and explain it the way I understand it. As I mentioned earlier, magnesium is an element, and therefore it does not really want to “associate” with anything else. Which means getting it into your body so you can use it is not as easy as we’d like. Thankfully, scientists have figured out a way to combine it with another substance…one that is more easily utilized by the body.

So when you are shopping for magnesium you will encounter more than one kind. For instance, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium taurate, or magnesium picolinate. This “–ate” suffix list goes on forever, but let me break it down for you.

Magnesium citrate is the salt they talk about when they used the term “a dose of the salts.” In layman’s terms, it makes you poop. If that is what you are after, then magnesium citrate is what you need. The best magnesium bang for the buck in my opinion is magnesium malate. It is both modestly priced and one of the best of the magnesiums for being absorbed by the body.

Important note! Be sure that you are not taking medications that might interact with magnesium. Also, be cautious with it if you have a history of kidney problems. A proper dosing of magnesium malate should not exceed 350mg/day.