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Ballet and Sports Fitness - Magnesium For Your Muscle Tone

Posted Feb 02 2009 10:40pm
For success in ballet, sports and fitness, strong muscle tone must also result in fluid movement. This requires the minimal tension needed to execute a ballet movement, or ballet position, or a physical move as required in sports training. Magnesium is a nutritional super star. It improves function in the brain, bones and muscles. In team sports, advanced ballet in pointe shoes and pas de deux, magnesium is part of the nutrition that enhances ballet/sports/fitness success.

Magnesium is present in most of your body cells. It plays a starring role as a co-factor, meaning, it assists enzymes in catalysing (a catalyst is a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected) many necessary chemical reactions.

Magnesium affects many things that your ballet and sports require of you, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Here's a short list:

- nerve conduction, or the sending and receiving of messages affecting muscle response
- muscular movement affecting fluidity, accuracy and coordination
- bone metabolism, affecting your growth and development, as well as your immune system
- protein manufacture in the body which is extremely complex
- fat and carbohydrate metabolism. A new frontier being researched now is magnesium in relation to insulin resistance, which, once that condition begins, makes it harder to stay thin
- glucose utilization, affecting brain power and muscle power

Whether your goals in ballet/sports/fitness are personal and recreational, or professional, I'm sure you would want all the points made above functioning for optimum results in your muscles and brain.

Because magnesium allows the muscle contractions that occur to turn off, it helps control tension and spasms caused by over training, heavy practice or rehearsal days, and inaccurate technique.

Magnesium supplements can be bought in tablet or powder form. Always read labels, and select brands that do not have anything else added, except maybe fruit flavoring from natural sources that you recognize. Powdered magnesium digests faster. It's usually a good idea to take half the recommended dosage for a couple of days, to let your body get used to a nutrient that has been deficient. Magnesium can loosen the bowels at first, but that effect goes away within a day or so. Magnesium carbonate has the biggest affect this way. Magnesium citrate and magnesium lactate are known to digest better.

Because of the relaxing effect magnesium has, you may sleep more deeply, and high blood pressure may lower towards normal. Even irregularities of the heart muscle can be helped by magnesium.

Many flavoring foods are high in magnesium: dill, chives, celery seed, spearmint, sage, coriander and basil. Put fresh into salads or chopped and sprinkled on vegetables, meat or fish, these are all delicious.

So for strong bones, good muscle tone (which requires proper relaxation for strength), getting enough rest, and staying calm, eat magnesium! Best obtained from fresh foods, yet very helpful as a food-sourced supplement, it is a super star silent partner in your ballet/sports/fitness training.
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