Magnesium function and deficiency

The best source of magnesium comes from leafy green vegetables. However, people who strive to eat a healthy diet can sometimes fail to consume optimal levels of magnesium due to deficiency in soils and long transport and shelf life in our grocery foods.

Magnesium deficiency

Over 80% of Canadians are magnesium deficient. Manifestations of hypomagnesemia might include tremor, agitation, muscle fasciculation, depression, cardiac arrhythmia and hypokalaemia. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions,  seizures, sudden changes in behaviour caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain, abnormal heartbeat and coronary spasms might occur.

Magnesium deficiency should be considered in all patients especially ones who are:

  • on prescription drugs
  • experiencing chronic pain, muscle hypertonicity or spasticity
  • experiencing insomnia
  • the elderly population
  • experiencing digestive problems

Role of magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions. This mineral is responsible for stabilizing enzymes and energy production. ATP is required universally for glucose utilization, synthesis of fat, proteins, nucleic acids and coenzymes, muscle contraction, relaxation and normal neurological function.

  • Glucose utilization
  • Normal neurological function
  • Synthesis of fat, protein, nucleic acids, coenzymes
  • Release of neurotransmitters
  • Muscule contraction and relaxation
  • Regulation of vascular tone, heart rhythm, bone formation

Magnesium is responsible for body composition and sports performance. Clients typically see an improvement in glucose regulation and sleep with the supplementation of magnesium. Magnesium is also responsible for insulin sensitivity, thus supporting glucose metabolism and aids in fat loss.

Source of magnesium

The best source of magnesium is in chlorophyll, found in green vegetables. Nuts and seeds are also very high in magnesium. Supplementation in magnesium is very important if you’re active, as magnesium is depleted during exercise.

We recommend a blend of magnesium in its most comprehensive bioavailable complex.

Magnesium glycinate: effective calming muscles, sleep and pain Magnesium Apartate: reduces fatigue
Magnesium malate: muscle tenderness and recovery, fibromyalgia Magnesium ascorbate: Bone health reduce damage created by excessive calcium
Magnesium Citrate: laxative Magnesium Orotate: Cardiovascular function

Table 3: Forms of magnesium.

 

Book a consultation with a Biosignature Practitioner to learn about how supplements can improve your well-being or learn more about Biosignature Modulation here.

Do you suffer from lower back pain?

Dr. Frank Nhan, Chiropractor at KX Yorkville, talks about lower back pain and how treatment along with strengthening and stretches can help.

 

The most common condition, by far, of all the musculoskeletal injuries that I see in my chiropractic practice is lower back pain. Low back pain causing sciatica can be one of the most debilitating of them all. The most common question I get from patients is usually how do I get better? Which is then followed by, how did this happen?

 

Causes of lower back pain

Many times, people will tell me all they did was bent down to pick up a pen or to put on their socks and threw out their back. How is this even possible? The cause in these cases cannot be attributed simply to just the act prior to the pain onset, but rather, this may merely be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The real culprit is usually a case of repetitive strain injury or a cumulative trauma disorders. This can be from either sitting for prolong periods, or repetitive movements or exercises with poor posture or form. To figure out what exact structures are injured, a full chiropractic examination would have to be done.

 

Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Stretching and Strengthening for Low Back Pain

At Kx Yorkville, this would include a full health history, physical examination which may include range of motion, neurological and orthopedic testing, along with functional movement screening. Chiropractors are experts in treating all different kinds of lower back pain and sciatica, or what some would describe as sharp shooting leg pain due to a pinched nerve in the back. For those seeking pain relief, effective treatments that I like to include in my treatment plans which have been scientifically proven to help include manual spinal mobilization, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and specific back stretches and exercises. Stretches and exercises can either be very helpful if done properly, or very damaging if the wrong ones are performed. To find out which ones are best suited for your lower back pain, make sure you get diagnosed first, which will then dictate which back stretches and exercises would be most effective for you.

 

Dr. Frank Nhan

Hon BSc, DC, CSCS

 

Need help with your aches and pains? KX Yorkville integrates therapy and exercise to customize a treatment and training program most effective for you. Book an appointment with our Chiropractors and Exercise Coaches to see how we can help.

How to get weaker with exercise machines

Most clients have logged hours exercising on a conventional gym machine (ab crunch machines, tricep extension, shoulder presses, knee extension, abduction/ adduction machine). Looks like they get a great “pump”, but what are they really working?

 

Muscle recruitment on exercise machines

Your nervous system only activates the muscles in direct relation to demand. The machine only challenges the outer units, which are the bigger muscles designed to move your limbs, with very little activation of your stabilizer muscles.

 

Consequences of exercise machines

You will strengthen your outer units while your stabilizers remain dormant. This leads to undertrained stabilizers, and when you decide to do real life tasks, such as lifting up a box or picking up your squirming toddler, your structurally imbalanced body will fail, risking injuries.

 

Need help creating a workout program? Take advantage of our 12-Week Transformation Program promotion here.

 

Train smarter.

Overcoming Back Pain

Causes of Low Back Pain

The most common cause of low back pain is postural stress. Poor posture, prolonged bending in a working position, heavy lifting, standing or lying down for a long time in a suboptimal position can lead to back pain. Weakness in the core may cause spinal pain as well as increase chance of injury. 

 

Loss of integrity in lower back

Most people suffer from a flattened lower back over a long period of time causing long and weak posterior muscles and short and tight anterior muscles. Without care and training, people will eventually lose their lordosis and experience back pain.

 

Overcoming back pain

  1. Sit properly, or better yet, sit in a squat. Sit in position where your chest is open with maximal lordosis, knees above hips. Sitting in a bodyweight squat allows you decompression the spine.
  2. Recognize muscle imbalances. When a muscle becomes short and tight, the antagonist (opposite) muscle becomes long and weak. This creates structural imbalances, leading to pain.
  3. Recruit the proper muscles for specific movement. This could be a result of muscle imbalances. The short and tight muscles will compensate for the long and weak muscles, leading to excessive compression, torsion and shear in the joint. This can lead to inflammation, pain and eventually injury.

 

Most common mistake for back pain

One of the most poorly executed exercise for low back and glutes is the back extension (this includes the horizontal, 45* or on a ball). As you are at the bottom position, you should INITIATE the movement from your glutes! Not just at the top! By engaging your glutes throughout concentric, isometric, and eccentric motion while engaging the low back isometrically, you take the compression off your lumbar spine and activate your glutes. DO. NOT. EXTEND. WITH. YOUR. LOW. BACK! I cannot stress this enough!

 

Your body is brilliant at compensating for injuries. When one muscle becomes hypotonic, surrounding muscle will compensate for being hypertonic. If any of this sounds familiar to you, get a professional functional movement assessment. Performing exercises which induce pain will only make the injury worse.

 

Train smarter, not harder.

Valentine’s Day – Paleo Chocolate Nut Fudge

The Only Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Egg, Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate Nut Fudge Recipe You’ll Ever Need

It’s that time of year again where chocolate is passed around and you may crave for something sweet. You may have a hard-to-impress partner who is on a highly-restrictive-everything-free diet, or you just want better alternatives to dairy and refined sugar chocolate. Nevertheless, if you want to impress your date in under 15 minutes, use this fool-proof, Paleo-friendly recipe. You can add just about anything to nuts and chocolate and it will still be divine.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnuts, pecans or macadamia, lightly toasted with coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of maca (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl stir together the coconut oil, cacao powder, almond butter, honey/ maple syrup, vanilla, peppermint extract and salt
  2. Heat the mixture slowly on low heat over simmering water (double boiler) for 5 to 10 minutes until all ingredients are combined
  3. Chop the nuts (I like to break with into pieces with my hands)
  4. Add the chopped pecans and shredded coconut to the melted chocolate mixture and stir together
  5. Pour in a 7×5” dish, lined with parchment paper
  6. Freeze until chocolate is set then cut into pieces. Store in airtight container in freezer.

Want more Paleo-friendly, gluten, dairy, soy, egg, refined sugar-free recipes? Opt in to our mailing list here!

What causes bloating after meals?

Clients often complain about bloating and gas after meals. Sometimes it could be eating foods that you are intolerant to, such as gluten, dairy, soy, eggs or nightshades. If you’ve been free of those allergens, sometimes it could just be low digestive capacity; not enough enzymes to break down the foods.

Common factors that causes bloating

  1. Stress: there are two branches of the nervous system, “fight or flight” and “rest and digest”. Chronic stress leads an imbalance in the nervous system, favouring of the “fight or flight” branch, demonstrating symptoms such as reflux, spasm, cramping, gas and bloating.
  2. Side effects of prescription drugs: NSAIDs, antibiotics, diuretics, acid-blocking drugs all induce IBS-like symptoms.
  3. Insufficient HCl and digestive enzymes by the body.

 

The first step to digestion starts when food enters your mouth. You voluntarily chew and grind the food into slush as your salivary glands release amylase to break down carbohydrates. The process is completely involuntary right after you swallow your food, but don’t sweat, you can still debloat and heal low stomach acid and enzymes with these foods and supplements.

 

Foods and Digestive Enzymes to Improve Digestion

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: the acidity will safely lower the pH in your stomach and prevent candida overgrowth.
  2. Probiotics: Intestinal bacterial provides digestive, immune and metabolic support.
  3. HCl Supplement: HCl breaks down protein molecules and acts as a defense against pathogenic organisms such as bacteria, yeast and viruses. Sufficient HCl is required to absorb essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin C, B12, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, chromium, copper, vanadium, selenium and maganese.
  4. Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates into amino acids, fatty acids and sugars to be absorbed by the body.

 

Need help correcting your digestion issues? You may also want to learn about Biosignature Modulation, a method to we use determine the right foods and supplements for your body type or contact our Coaches to help you get started.

 

In health,

The KX Team

You’d Win Friends With Wild Boar Bacon

Wild Boar Bacon

Have you ever had naturally smoked, nitrite-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, locally produced wild boar bacon?

If you haven’t had this bacon, you’re missing out. If you have, you don’t need to drag yourself to the farmer’s market at 7am this Saturday morning to get your hands on a pack. It’s here at Kx Yorkville and we’re open 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday, 9am till 9pm. Make sure you save the fat and use it to fry your eggs in the morning or saute meat and vegetables.

 

Enter your email address for weekly wild meat recipes.

How to build strength and muscle fast: eccentric vs. concentric training

Many people do not focus on the tempo of each repetition. They lower the weight as fast as they pick the weight up and fail to understand that muscles must be stimulated under a specific time under tension to elicit muscle hypertrophy.

There are three types of muscle contractions in a movement:

1. Eccentric contraction is lengthening of a muscle, also known as “breaking” or lowering the weight.
2. Isometric contraction is when the muscle develops tension while its length remains unchanged.
3. Concentric contraction is shortening of the muscle, also known as lifting the weight.

For example, in a squat, when you descend, you are producing force eccentrically, when you’re at the bottom, you hold (may) it isometrically, and you would ascend concentrically.

Between these three contractions, eccentric loading causes more muscle soreness and gain in muscle mass. During the concentric movement, there is more friction due to overlap in muscle fibres. In eccentric movement, your muscle fibres tries to hang on to decelerate, resulting microtrauma in the muscle.

How to incorporate eccentric training

Studies suggest that protein synthesis is greatest after eccentric-enhanced lifting. For example, a simple way to build more muscle is to use a longer tempo for the eccentric motion (4 to 6 seconds) with an explosive or 1-second concentric motion. For example, in a squat, you would descend for 4 seconds, no pause at the bottom and ascend for 1 second for a 4010 tempo. Eccentric-enhanced phase (such as one with longer time under tension) will cause the most muscle damage.

If you would like to gain muscle mass and strength, defy gravity. You should always lower the weight in a controlled fashion and follow a prescribed tempo (a specific number of seconds to lift and lower the weight).

If you don’t change anything in your weight training program besides the eccentric loading, you will see gains. Need help creating an effective training program? Get a free consultation here.

 

Stay strong,

The Kx Team

Top 5 Supplements For Fat Loss

The best source of nutrients is a healthy, balanced diet comprised of fresh, whole foods and an abundance leafy green vegetables. However, people who strive to eat a healthy diet can sometimes fail to consume optimal levels of essential nutrients due to deficiency in soils and long transport and shelf life in our grocery foods. These nutritional deficiencies can cause a wide range of ailments such as chronic inflammation and muscle pain. Nutritional supplements when taken appropriately can be beneficial to almost everyone. Optimal levels of the nutrients below is essential for fat loss.

Here are the top 5 supplements we recommend:

  1. High quality fish oil
    EPA is responsible for reducing inflammation and DHA is responsible for brain function. Research suggests omega-3s improve cardiovascular function and normalizing triglycerides.
  1. Vitamin D3
    Vitamin D3 is a hormone made from cholesterol, responsible for gene transcription. There are Vitamin D receptors in 30 different tissues, notably immune cells. Vitamin D3 supplementation has been shown to improve immune system and lower the risk of depression.
  1. Zinc
    Zinc acts as an antioxidant and is responsible for normalizing testosterone and growth hormone levels, improve male and female fertility, healthy insulin action and regulates dopamine (an energizing neurotransmitter that gives you drive and focus).
  1. Magnesium
    Magnesium is a mineral that is a cofactor in over 300 different enzymes, and is responsible for cell regulation, cardiovascular function, glucose sensitivity and muscle repair. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve sleep and inflammatory markers.
  1. Multivitamin
    Trace mineral and elements supports hepatic detoxification. Excess toxins that are not removed by the liver are stored in fat cells.

Choosing the right supplement

Not all supplements are created equally. Avoid “No Name” brands and look for active forms of vitamins. Many poor quality supplements are made with incomplete, inactive forms or even soy fillers–you get what you pay for!

If you wish to improve your health with supplements on top of nutritious, wholesome meals, make sure you choose:

  • High quality active forms
  • Made without fillers (Note: some fillers are used as a stabilizing agent. Make sure you check!)
  • Third party tested

Unsure how to select supplements for what your body needs? Schedule an assessment with one of our Biosignature Practitioner and learn more about how you may be nutrient deficient and how we can help.

Get in touch with us!

Or, schedule a free session with a personal trainer! Results guaranteed.