Male testosterone levels peak at the age of 20.
They generally hold steady at an average of 679 ng/dl until you turn 30 and then they gradually decline.
Fortunately, it is possible to reverse this decline by focusing on building muscle; but one question many people are now asking is how magnesium can help support muscle growth?
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a multi-purpose mineral that naturally occurs in many foods we eat and even in even the tap water we drink.
This chemical element is essential for nearly every aspect of our physical health including testosterone production.
Even though it is the ninth most abundant element in the universe, a report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee found that half the adult American population is deficient in this mineral.
It is therefore more than likely that you are deficient too. This is having an impact on both your overall health and T levels.
Testosterone in the Body
You know testosterone is essential for men; it encourages protein synthesis to repair and build muscle.
However, you may not have realized that 60% of the testosterone in your body is attached to the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG); a naturally occurring protein in your body.
Unfortunately, testosterone attached to SHBG cannot be used to repair or grow muscles. Your body can only use that which is not attached and is referred to as ‘free testosterone’.
Magnesium can actually inhibit SHGB by binding to this globulin therefore freeing up more testosterone for your body to actively use.
Of course, T is important to many other body functions and has been linked with reducing your chances of contracting many long term illnesses.
However, as bodybuilders its role in testosterone levels is particularly important.
The Role of Magnesium in Your Body
Research shows that as much as 60% of the magnesium in your body is in your bones, with just 1% in your blood stream and the rest in soft tissues.
You cannot absorb too much magnesium as your body will expel any excess.
Magnesium has been shown to improve your levels of testosterone in the following study.
This study demonstrates the effect of magnesium supplement provided over a four week period to three different groups and concluded it improved levels of free testosterone and total testosterone.
The three groups were split into sedentary males who were given 10mg of magnesium per kilo of body weight.
A second group with the same dose but which completed tae kwon do for 2 hours every day. There was also a third group which completed the tae kwon do but did not have magnesium supplements.
The study showed that while a supplement increases magnesium levels the best results are gained by taking a supplement and exercising.
Magnesium does not increase production of testosterone directly but it does help support this natural production and give you the maximum possible levels.
It also suppresses other systems which allow more testosterone production to occur naturally.
It does this through its ability to reduce the amount of stress hormone in your body and naturally reduces inflammation. Both of these processes divert your resources from the process of making testosterone.
Magnesium is essential to all the organs in your body, having enough means your body is working at peak efficiency; in itself this will help to improve your supply of testosterone.
Of course, it will also make you feel healthier and stronger as well.
What is perhaps most important thing to understand about the element magnesium is that it is a completely natural.
Magnesium occurs naturally on the planet and is actually in many of the foods you eat; just not in high enough quantities to ensure you get the recommended daily amount.
Magnesium is not usually found in its pure form so you should be wary of any food source which describes itself as having pure magnesium.
It will bind with virtually any other element, such as oxygen to form magnesium oxide. There is a good reason for this, magnesium is a very volatile metal and will react with virtually anything.
This is why it is important to verify what the magnesium supplement you are taking has bonded with.
The easier it is for your body to break the bond between magnesium and another mineral the more useful the metal will be to your body.
The most absorbable variant of magnesium is magnesium bisglycinate but even this is only 14% pure magnesium.
It is best to take this at the same time as vitamin B6 as this will help your body to absorb even more of it.
It is worth noting that the worst variant of magnesium for your body to absorb is magnesium oxide; your body will struggle to separate the oxygen and the magnesium.
This means you will not get any of the benefits you think you will!
When choosing a supplement ideally look for magnesium aspartate on the label.
The Benefits of Magnesium
Having enough magnesium in your body is essential as it offers the following benefits:
- Promotes healthy heart and bones. This is one of the most known about benefits of magnesium but it’s not the only one!
- Prevents bonding of testosterone to SHBG allowing more to be available for use by your muscles.
- Improves your mood and can decrease anxiety.
- Magnesium helps your blood to flow round your body, resulting in better blood pressure levels.
- It has been linked with reducing or even preventing muscle soreness and cramps.
- Magnesium reduces the levels of insulin in your body which allows you to make more testosterone.
- Better sleep. Magnesium helps to lower cortisol levels in your body, reducing stress and allowing you to rest properly. In the process it increases the amount of testosterone available to the body.
- Muscle strength improves through increased oxygenation allowing you to perform more aerobic activities than previously possible. This was verified by a study lasting four weeks. All participants with magnesium supplements benefitted from improved performance.
- Increased testosterone helps to build muscle. This is confirmed by another study on 26 men. All performed a short workout three times a week for seven weeks. Half of them were given a magnesium supplement. At the end of the study although all had gained muscle the group with magnesium supplements gained much more than the other group.
How Magnesium Increases Testosterone Levels
It is believed that magnesium plays a part in approximately 300 hundred chemical reactions in your body on a daily basis!
This makes it one of the most important nutrients to take on a regular basis.
Scientists do not fully understand why SHBG levels appear to rise as you age but the result is clear.
More SHBG means less free testosterone.
The theory is that testosterone will bind to magnesium instead of SHBG which helps to ensure you have enough free testosterone to continue building muscle and improving your health for years to come.
Adding Magnesium to Your Diet
The fact is that many people do not get enough magnesium from their diets.
The World Health Organization even goes as far as to say that 75% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium.
It is possible to eat foods which are rich in magnesium. However, you may struggle to get enough magnesium through this method. Examples of magnesium rich foods include:
- Fish; particularly tuna, mackerel or salmon
- Peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds and even brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli
- Black beans or kidney beans
The recommended daily amount of magnesium for an adult male is 420mg although you may wish to increase this amount to improve muscle growth.
However, it has been very difficult to ascertain an exact measurement of what is in the body and how much you need to take as most of the magnesium is in your bones.
Measuring your blood magnesium can give you an approximation as this is assumed to be 1% of the magnesium in your body.
However, your body processes magnesium extremely quickly. It is best to take regular doses; especially after a workout session.
Magnesium is known to be excreted from your body through the kidneys and via your sweat.
It is generally easier to add magnesium to your diet through a supplement.
You can purchase dedicated magnesium tablets, multi vitamins or opt for a testosterone booster. Magnesium is generally an important ingredient in T-Boosters as it improves testosterone production.
Of course, you should always check the label to ensure you know what is in your supplement or test-booster.
Check that it is magnesium aspartate you are getting on the label; this has one of the most effective absorption rates which means you benefit from more of the nutrient in your system per dose.
Magnesium helps to raise levels of free testosterone in your body.
By restricting the sex hormone binding globulin it frees up more of your testosterone for your body to use.
It also encourages the right situation for the production of the male hormone, allowing you to produce more naturally.
This avoids the need to add potentially dangerous steroids to your diet to build muscle.
Perhaps the most significant point to take from this article is that magnesium’s effect on testosterone is multiplied when you are exercising regularly.
This means that an oral supplement or even a T-Booster will encourage your body to grow stronger and fitter while you continue to do the exercise routines you are already doing.
Alongside this it is worth remembering that magnesium provides a huge range of other benefits to your body.
It can also be taken with other supplements without affecting its ability to boost testosterone. Despite what you may have heard your body can handle roughly 800mg of minerals at any given time.
This means that unless you are taking huge and pointless doses of magnesium you will be able to take it and benefit from it at the same time as other minerals.
As always, if you are on medication it is advisable to speak to your medical professional before adding any new supplements to your diet.
Magnesium and testosterone are linked within your body. You will find that magnesium provides an effective and safe way to increase your production and uptake of testosterone.