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n International SportMed Journal - Serum magnesium in professional footballers during training and after a week of reduced training : original research article
Background: Serum magnesium (SMg) has been used as part of the pre-participation physical examination of athletes but the clinical usefulness of this biochemical index is unknown.
Research question: Do footballers have lower SMg during active rest than footballers involved in full training?
Type of study: Prospective descriptive study.
Aim: To compare the SMg of 3 groups: 23 professional footballers after active rest for a mean of seven days (RT), 23 professional footballers in active training (AT), and 63 less physically active males (CG).
Methods: After an overnight fast, blood was drawn by a standardised protocol from players belonging to the RT, AT and CG groups respectively. Each group was analysed on a separate occasion.
Results: The median SMg (IQR) in the RT, AT and CG groups were 1.3 (1.2, 1.4); 2.0 (1.9, 2.1) and 1.9 (1.8, 2.1) mg/dl respectively (p<0.0005 for the difference between RT and both AT and CG groups).
Conclusion: SMg in the RT group was significantly lower than that found in the CG and AT groups. The SMg of the RT group lay at the low end of the normal range for magnesium, and this may represent the chronic effect of football on this biochemical index. SMg may have a role as a marker of reduced training load in professional footballers. Physicians should enquire about the training status of these players before interpreting SMg levels.
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