Sports and exercise performance are influenced by many factors. Athletes can differ in natural ability, as well as skill level, developed through practice and training. Physical differences can, of course, be of a genetic nature. However, to have the energy to perform and to increase strength and muscle mass, nutrition is key.
Of all of the minerals, magnesium plays the greatest overall role in the energy systems. Magnesium participates in the high-energy phosphate transfer reactions. Magnesium and magnesium chelates act as cofactors in the regulation of the majority of the enzymes involved in glycolysis, the process of turning glucose into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Phosphorus is essential to many of the glycolytic enzymes as well and is a building block of ATP. Magnesium is essential for making a key catalytic cofactor of a multi-enzyme system, which is poised as a regulatory switch between anaerobic and aerobic metabolism.
When reviewing the roles that minerals play in energy production, there is a crossover between energy production and the building of strength through muscle growth or production. Strength and muscle require energy, and there are several minerals involved in muscle development. However, two of the minerals play the largest roles: magnesium and zinc.
Learn more about the role these important minerals play in sports nutrition in the INSIDER article “Minerals: Key Factors to Strength and Energy in Sports Nutrition" in INSIDER’s Sports Nutrition Energy Digital Issue.