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Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Muscle Soreness and Performance

Reno, Alyssum M.; Green, Matt; Killen, Lauren G.; O'Neal, Eric K.; Pritchett, Kelly; Hanson, Zella

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 8 - p 2198-2203, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003827

Magnesium (Mg) overview:

During muscle contraction magnesium ions (Mg2+) are involved with:

1. Calcium ion (Ca2+) transport in and out of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR).

2. Regulation of glycolytic metabolic pathways, oxygen delivery and uptake,

     and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production.

3. The activation and a cofactor of 300+ enzymatic reactions.

4. Regulation of muscle contraction and nerve impulses.

It also aids in the stability of the immune system and cellular division.

Regarding its role in muscle soreness, a deficiency of magnesium has been linked to reduced strength by disrupting metabolic pathways and neuromuscular contractility, decreased blood glucose clearance via disrupted ion channels and transport proteins, and reduced ability to sustain high oxygen consumption levels because of the disruption of the enzymes responsible for transphosphorylation, aerobic metabolism, and oxygen transportation.


To study examined effects of magnesium (Mg) supplementation (350 mg/day for 10 days) on muscle soreness and performance.


21 subjects (college-aged @ 9 males and 13 females) completed pre-test and post-test eccentric bench press sessions that induced fatigue and soreness using a prescription of repetitions to failure (RTF) with 65%, 75% and 85% of a 1-RM. That was followed by performance sessions with perceptual measures 48 hours later.

The subjects estimated soreness using a Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) scale by striking a vertical line on a 6-cm horizontal line 24, 36, and 48 hours post trial using 0 = soreness up to 6 = intolerable soreness.


Mg significantly reduced muscle soreness from the pre-test eccentric to the post-test trials 24, 36, and 48 hours with no significant change for placebo (Pla) group.

Performance approached significance for total RTF at 65% 1-RM and 75% 1-RM in the Mg vs. Pla groups.

Perceptual responses for the complete session rating of perceived exertion and the immediate rating of perceived exertion were significant for Mg (5.1 to 4.1) vs. Pla (5.0 to 5.5).

Perceived recovery after supplementation was improved vs. pre-test for Mg (5.4 to 7.5) but not for Pla (6.2 to 7.2).

Therefore, the results showed significantly reduced muscle soreness, session rating of perceived exertion, immediate rating of perceived exertion, and improved perceived recovery after Mg (vs. Pla) supplementation along with some evidence for positive performance impact.


To facilitate optimal muscle function and minimize post-workout muscle soreness, assure your diet contains foods that are rich in magnesium so that mineral is available.

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