Muscles Need Minerals
Healthy muscles require nourishment as well as exercise. When most people think of improving and strengthening their muscles, they immediately think of getting more exercise, and that is an important factor. But proper nourishment is critical for healthy muscle function, especially related to minerals required for muscle contraction and relaxation.
Nervous System Initiates Contraction
Muscle contraction begins with a signal from the nervous system, a voltage created by the exchange of sodium and potassium (the sodium potassium pump). Nerve endings connect with skeletal muscles at neuromuscular junctions. The nerve releases calcium ions, which in turn trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This binds to the gates that allow sodium to come into the muscle fiber, and as it comes in, potassium goes out.
Calcium – Contributes to Contraction
Calcium is released, through a network of tubes surrounding muscle fibers, called the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The calcium unblocks actin sites on a thin muscle filament, allowing a thick filament to attach. As these filaments slide over one another, the muscle fibers are shortened – or contracted.
Magnesium – Contributes to Relaxation
The actin sites are blocked when calcium is no longer present. This occurs when acetylcholine is degraded or magnesium is available in sufficient quantity. A good supply of magnesium will compete with calcium, allowing potassium to re-enter cells and the muscles to relax.
Diet and Supplements
To help support healthy muscle function, your body needs a good supply of nutrients supporting a healthy nervous system and the minerals involved in muscle contraction and relaxation.
Unfortunately, a typical American diet can contribute to deficiencies in potassium and magnesium. Increasing potassium-rich and magnesium-rich foods in our diets is a good start towards achieving a better mineral balance. A good natural supplement can also be a great help.
Magnesium provided in REDD Remedies’ Muscle Ease™ includes magnesium glycinate, bonded to glycine, a main calming neurotransmitter, and magnesium rice protein chelate, which is chelated to all 9 essential amino acids. Our formula also includes potassium citrate and a helpful blend of trace minerals.
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