The fourth edition of the Swimming Science Research Review was released November 15th. Below is the content of this edition.
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Does Magnesium Reduce Cramping? | NUTRITION.. 4
Single Leg Squat Performance Affected by Muscle Activation/ROM | DRYLAND
Muscle cramps are common in a wide range of settings, most commonly associated with athletics. Magnesium is one supplement being marketed as a potential treatment, as it is cellular metabolism is commonly associated (anecdotally) as a cause of cramps. This study reviewed the literature on the effectiveness of magnesium to prevent muscle cramps.
What was done
Four studies in older adults and three studies in pregnant women (no studies in athletes) were reviewed.
Cramps in older adults appear unlikely to benefit from magnesium supplement. One study in pregnant women found benefit from supplementation, but the other two studies found no benefit, resulting in inconclusive evidence on the subject.
“It is unlikely that magnesium supplementation provides clinically meaningful cramp prophylaxis to older adults experiencing skeletal muscle cramps (Garrison 2012)”. However, inconclusive evidence in pregnant women and lack of research during exercise suggest much more research is necessary on the subject.
It seems magnesium does not improve cramping in older adults, unfortunately this is difficult to associate with exercise. However, from this reviewer's knowledge, it seems cramping is multi-factorial with the largest contribution from the neural or muscle physiology, opposed to the metabolic system.