Exercising in the Heat? Why You Might Want to Pay a Little More Attention to This Micronutrient

Sad woman fanning and sweating suffering a heat strokeIf you live in certain parts of the continent, you could be trapped in a heatwave. Some days, it’s so hot and muggy that you’re in a full sweat the moment you step outside… if you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning!

This can make exercise even more of a challenge. Of course, you know you’ve got to stay hydrated while exercising, especially if you’re doing it outdoors. But all that sweating and urinating means one thing: you could be low on magnesium.


Your muscles need magnesium to function efficiently. This essential micronutrient helps with oxygen uptake, electrolyte balance, movement, blood sugar, blood pressure, bone strength, and even sleep.

The demands of exercise on your body, especially in the heat, mean that you can run through stores pretty quickly. Even if you’re hitting the daily recommended intake or 320-420 milligrams (mg) (for women and men, respectively), your active lifestyle might mean you need up to 20% more.

Magnesium deficiency is rather uncommon, with estimates suggesting only about 2% of Americans are suffering from it. But there is also research to suggest that although not deficient, up to 75% of the population might not be getting enough each day.

Deficiency is marked by a number of symptoms, including weakness, cramps, irregular heartbeat, and trouble sleeping.


If you’ve been keeping up with your outdoor workouts, drinking plenty of water, and sweating profusely, you might be noticing one of these symptoms regardless of how packed with magnesium your diet might be. It’s possible you could use a little more.

So, where do you get it? Food is always the best place to get nutrition. Thankfully, there is a diverse array of options that can help you easily boost magnesium intake. Some of the best places to get it include:

  • Spinach (97mg per 100 grams (g))
  • Nuts, particularly almonds and cashews (70-80mg per 30g)
  • Wholegrain bread (one slice has around 23mg)
  • Avocado (56g per one medium-sized fruit)
  • Salmon (30mg from a 3 oz. serving)
  • Banana (30mg in a medium-sized fruit)

Get the most out of your workouts and beat the heat by making sure you’re getting plenty of magnesium.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.