Hey guys, it’s been a while.
I’ve been up to my normal diet of voracious research and wanted to share some new insights, especially when it comes to cancer, energy, endurance training, and longevity.
Recently I came across the statistics on some key micronutrients that effect energy production. I already mentioned the need for D3 and possibly K2 when we last met. What’s new is magnesium. It turns out that we should be getting somewhere close to 400mg of magnesium a day for normal function; the American average is 200mg.
The thing about magnesium is it doesn’t supplement as well as it’s taken up from real food. So what does magnesium have to do with endurance? Magnesium does many things but it is essential for your mitochondria to make ATP. Your mitochondria live in your cells, making energy from your food, if they don’t have magnesium, repairing damage caused by eating doesn’t happen well. If you can’t repair damage from eating, mitochondria work less efficiently, go down in number, and eventually thin out.
You can compare your mitochondria to soldiers in a war. You need magnesium to protect them and heal them when they get hurt. If not, soldiers die and your army becomes less effective. The main reason for chronological aging and having less energy, all has to do with the health and proliferation of your mitochondria.
When you push yourself to increase your VOmax or running endurance, essentially you’re putting pressure on your cell’s mitochondria to increase their numbers. More mitochondria, more energy production output.
So, the problem with magnesium, it doesn’t supplement well (because all salts structures are similar). If you want to try to supplement magnesium intake I would use magnesium citrate, and only 120mg at a time. This would mean one pill with every meal spread throughout the day.
A better option I’ve found is to eat spinach. Magnesium is at the center of the chlorophyll molecule, so almost anything dark leafy-green has magnesium. There’s some truth to the Popeye the sailor/spinach strength thing. 2.5 cups of spinach should do the trick. If you’re anything like me, I’m not a big spinach fan, especially not every day. Here’s a way I’ve found to get that 2.5 cups of spinach in with zero resistence. Here’s a spinach smoothie recipe that gets all 2.5 cups in at once and you don’t taste spinach at all; You also hit 40-50g of protein and have tons of energy to boot.
Here’s how to automate the spinach smoothie. I’m able to knock this out in 4 minutes. What’s great about this smoothie is YOU DON’T TASTE SPINACH!
From the Store
- Frozen Blueberries (Optional, Costco = two month supply for $8)
- Fresh Spinach (Costco = Pillowcase worth for $4)
- Your Favorite Vanilla Protein (I use Dymatize or Bodytech. Whatever’s cheaper)
- Cinnamon (Some Stater Bros have bulk powder cinnamon for cheap. It won’t be with the spice isle so I’d ask a checker).
- Protein Shaker ( I use blenderball. For this I set out one tall and one short)
- Blender (This works equally well with a $40 blender and a Vitamix.)
- Throw the bag of spinach into the freezer, along with the blueberries.
- Shake up two or three scoops of protein in your big shaker with water or unsweetened almond milk and set next to your blender. The consistency of the protein should be more like liquid than shake.
- Put one cup of frozen blueberries into the blender. If trying to reduce calories, leaving out the berries has no effect on flavor.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to the blender.
- Take out your bag of frozen spinach and add leaves, packing them not too firmly into the blender. The leaves will break a bit so you can fill the blender to the very top, just make sure not to smash too much. I weigh out about 6oz of spinach by frozen weight. It looks something like this first picture.
- Pour your protein evenly over the top of your spinach leaves. The leaves should melt and sink down a bit, making more room near the top. Push any remaining leaves around the edge of the blender down into the liquid (so they get ground and not stuck during blending)
- Run your blender on the high setting for a minute or two. While waiting take the lid of your shaker off and set out your other shaker with the lid off next to it.
- Once done blending, pour the blender contents into each of your shakers and return their lids.
- I find it best to rinse out my blender with a little water right there and return it to it’s stand for easy clean up.
- I usually freeze or refrigerate one of the shakers and then drink the other.
- If you would like to cut out the sugar, this smoothie tastes just as tasty and spinach free if you leave out the blueberries. I use both berry and non-berry methods for meal replacement or protein management respectively. Either way, both are easy, fast and great tasting ways to get in your protein, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.