A Magnesium-Rich Electrolyte Hydration Mix Reduces Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps in Half-Marathon Runners Direct Original Research

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Sourabh Kharait


Magnesium, Sports Drinks, Cramps


Introduction: Magnesium is an uncommon electrolyte in a sports hydration drink despite the fact that many endurance athletes suffer from muscle cramps and soreness during marathon events.  We tested if an optimal amount of elemental magnesium (100 mg/serving) in an electrolyte mix during a marathon can reduce the incidence and severity of muscle cramps.

Methods:  The open survey was conducted using a questionnaire about muscle cramps that participating athletes completed after finishing the half-marathon race. The half-marathon course was identical in two separate events held at the same location.  Participating athletes had magnesium-rich electrolyte mix, MAGNAK or water for hydration. The number of athletes who had mild-moderate and/or severe muscle cramps were recorded in this post-event survey.

Results: A total of 86 athletes participated in the survey during event 1 and 98 in event 2. Amongst the athletes who only had water for hydration, approximately 46% of athletes had muscle cramps as compared to 21% in those who hydrated with MAGNAK (p=0.002). Hydration with MAGNAK reduced the incidence of both, mild-moderate as well as severe muscle cramps in both events. Mild-moderate muscle cramps occurred in 12% of athletes who hydrated with MAGNAK as compared to 26% in those who used water for hydration (p=0.02). Incidence of severe muscle cramps was reduced from 20% to 9% by MAGNAK on average in the composite data (p=0.04).  

Conclusions: Magnesium-rich electrolyte mix MAGNAK was highly effective in reducing mild to severe exercise associated muscle cramps in half-marathon runners.

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