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Supplements for muscle tightness?

This week's question -

Are there any supplements I can take to help with the muscle tightness I feel?

My answer -

While I can not make a safe recommendation for anyone reading this email without knowing their history, I can provide you some information to consult with me (or your healthcare professional of choice) about privately. One supplement that always comes to mind when this question comes up is Magnesium. There are three main reasons this is my go-to supplement to recommend for muscle tightness

1. It is GENERALLY safe for most people to take. (Again, consult your personal healthcare provider)

2. It is important for muscle recovery after movement

3. Many Americans are deficient in Magnesium, and even those who test within normal limits may not have enough for the amount of exercise they are doing or other requirements specific to their body and routine.

Some of the functions of magnesium in our body are as follows

  • Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.

  • Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.

  • Gene maintenance: Helps create and repair DNA and RNA.

  • Muscle movements: Is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.

  • Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.

Sounds pretty important right? When we are exercising at almost any intensity above a resting state we require 10-20% more magnesium to help shuttle glucose to our muscles and get lactate out of our muscles to allow us to maintain performance.

We do get magnesium from foods, with some examples below:

  • Pumpkin seeds: 46% of the RDI in a quarter cup (16 grams)

  • Spinach, boiled: 39% of the RDI in a cup (180 grams)

  • Swiss chard, boiled: 38% of the RDI in a cup (175 grams)

  • Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa): 33% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

  • Black beans: 30% of the RDI in a cup (172 grams)

  • Quinoa, cooked: 33% of the RDI the in a cup (185 grams)

  • Halibut: 27% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

  • Almonds: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (24 grams)

  • Cashews: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (30 grams)

  • Mackerel: 19% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

  • Avocado: 15% of the RDI in one medium avocado (200 grams)

  • Salmon: 9% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams)

And natural foods are usually the best way to get our minerals in, however if you have a limited diet or need excess magnesium, a supplement may be right for you.

Have questions? Send me an email at

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