Magnesium is an essential mineral that effects muscle function including oxygen update, energy production and electrolyte balance.  Having suffered for over 3 years with problems effecting my lower leg muscles, I have recently found magnesium supplementation to be one of the most important things I can do myself to treat the symptoms I suffer from.
It is important to understand that magnesium is proven to regulate muscle and nerve tone which plays a vital role in muscle contraction.  Since the symptoms of my problem are characterised by tightness and cramping of the anterior and lateral compartments of my lower legs, and after consulting a nutritional therapist I decided to enhance my diet with magnesium food supplements and apply magnesium oil spray to the effected areas prior to exercise.  Whether you are training for strength or aerobic fitness, magnesium is important for post workout recovery.  When levels are restored it is found that it may help protect against inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness.  Research shows that a small deficiency in magnesium levels can impair exercise performance and heighten the negative effects of strenuous exercise e.g. oxidative stress.  Strenuous exercise as we know dehydrates your body due to increased urinary and sweat losses, this can increase your magnesium requirements by a further 10-20%.  By keeping hydrated throughout exercise you can assist in maintaining your athletic performance and muscle function.  It is common to see dehydrated athletes suffering from cramping muscles, you only have to watch a televised marathon to see the competitors pulling up with cramping of the calf, hamstring or quads. The primary benefit that magnesium oil spray has brought to me, is that I now no longer have to stop mid spin class to massage out my cramping calfs, it just doesn’t happen anymore.  I now feel confident and able to reintroduce other cardiovascular exercises such as stair climbs to my training program that I haven’t done in over 12 months.
I would recommend to anyone that suffers from frequent cramping to try transdermal application of magnesium in an attempt to ease or prevent there symptoms.  I am personally going to continue supplementing my diet with magnesium and using the oil spray indefinately.