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Summer Time Energy, and Muscle Cramps

Summer Time Energy, and Muscle Cramps
 
The thermometer on the car got to 101 degrees yesterday so we are officially in summer.
 
On a hot day you can sweat a lot really fast and drinking water is very important. In the process of cooling your body down with perspiration we also lose minerals: Sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
 
If we run low on magnesium you will get leg cramps or “Charlie Horses”. Women gravitate to chocolate at cycle time. Chocolate is very high in magnesium, it relaxes the uterus.
 
Magnesium lets muscle function properly. It is very important with cell energy production too. Energy is your get up and go and how well you last throughout the day. This magnesium derived energy is going to determine your ability to stay competitive with all physical activity especially sports.
 
Getting magnesium back in your body has to do with absorption. Magnesium requires an energy pore on the intestinal lining to be absorbed. If you and I are tired, that means our energy is low resulting in less than ideal intestinal absorption. Absorbing magnesium is tricky.
 
Fruit and juices will give you the sugar and electrolytes to keep you going. Cocoa – chocolate, dark green vegetables, peanuts, and almonds are all high in magnesium. The simplest high performance food is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It has sugars, protein, sodium, and magnesium.
 
We can actually measure magnesium absorption with the first morning’s urine pH litmus tape. Magnesium energizes a cell, that turns food into energy and lets cells repair. When magnesium is absorbed you will see the pH on the overnight urine change from yellow to a medium green.
 
We also use a blood test, the serum magnesium. This is an inexpensive test and works well to get an overall status of magnesium.
 
A curious lab finding is that red blood cell magnesium is a more accurate test than serum magnesium, but not consistent with repeat sample testing. I like using the serum magnesium and reading the lab value at the high end of the reference range to assess a person’s magnesium status along with the PH tape results. Using both we can get a more accurate picture of magnesium absorption and determine if we are meeting your body’s demand.
 
The Fourth of July is coming up, try an experiment. Serve grilled asparagus and a dark green salad. People will intuitively gravitate to these foods to bring balance to their festivities.
 
I like Savior Magazine’s 4th of July food ideas.
https://www.saveur.com/menu-chef-jose-andres-fourth-july
 
The chef uses the grill to bring out the best flavor in the vegetables. We can have our fun and at the same time be good to our body.
jose-andres-group-2000x1500
 
Thanks for reading and have a happy and safe 4th of July,
 
Dr. McGuckin
 

 

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