Impact of Magnesium Supplementation in Muscle Damage of Professional Cyclists Competing in a Stage Race

Alfredo CórdovaJuan Mielgo-AyusoEnrique RocheAlberto Caballero-GarcíaDiego Fernandez-Lázaro

August 2019


Magnesium is a cofactor of different enzymatic reactions involved in anabolic and catabolic processes that affect muscular performance during exercise. In addition, it has been suggested that magnesium could participate in maintaining muscle integrity during demanding effort.

The main purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of magnesium supplementation in preventing muscle damage in professional cyclists taking part in a 21-day cycling stage race. Eighteen male professional cyclists (n = 18) from two teams were recruited to participate in the research.

They were divided into 2 groups: the control group (n = 9) and the magnesium-supplemented group (n = 9). The supplementation consisted of an intake of 400 mg/day of magnesium during the 3 weeks of competition.

Blood samples were collected according to World Anti-Doping Agency rules at three specific moments during competition: immediately before the race; mid competition; and before the last stage. Levels of serum and erythrocyte magnesium, lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine kinase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, myoglobin, aldolase, total proteins, cortisol and creatinine were determined.

Serum and erythrocyte magnesium levels decreased during the race. Circulating tissue markers increased at the end of the race in both groups. However, myoglobin increase was mitigated in the supplemented group compared with the controls. We conclude that magnesium supplementation seems to exert a protective effect on muscle damage.

Keywords: cycling; exercise; muscle damage; performance; supplementation.

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ACTH, Cortisol and IL-6 Levels in Athletes following Magnesium Supplementation

November 2016

Gordana Dmitrašinović, Vesna Pešić, Dušanka Stanić, Bosiljka Plećaš-Solarović, Marijana Dajak, Svetlana Ignjatović 


Background: Physical exercise activates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and induces the body’s inflammatory response. Due to contemporary dietary habits and increased energy expenditure, athletes are susceptible to depletion of magnesium ions. The aim of our study was to investigate, through assessment of plasma ACTH, serum IL-6, and salivary/serum cortisol levels, if chronic magnesium supplementation might reduce damaging stress effects in amateur rugby players.

Methods: Rugby players (N=23) were randomly assigned to intervention and control group. Basal samples were collected before intervention group started a 4-week-long supplementation with magnesium (500 mg Mg/d). Blood and saliva sampling were done a day before the match (Day-1), on the morning of competition (Game), and during a six-day-long recovery period (Day1, Day3 and Day6). ACTH, serum/salivary cortisol, IL-6 and total/differential leukocytes counts were determined at each time point.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in ACTH concentration in intervention group compared to control group, while reductions in cortisol concentrations between the two groups were the greatest at Day-1 (p < 0.01) and at the day of competition (Game) (p < 0.01). Our results revealed that magnesium completely abolished the increase in IL-6 level noted in control group on Day1 and Day3 vs. Day-1 (p < 0.01) and also diminished the rise in neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in intervention group vs. control group (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: These results suggest the possibly important influence magnesium supplementation might have on the change of parameters of HPA axis activity and reduction of immune response activation following strenuous physical exercise such as a rugby game.

Keywords: ACTH; IL-6; amateur rugby; magnesium supplementation; serum/saliva cortisol.

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