What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is one of seven essential minerals found in the body and it can be found in an abundance of food sources, including chocolate!
It helps in the process of converting food to fuel, increasing bone density, helping to develop better sleep patterns, relieving muscle soreness, promoting overall wellness, and so many more behind-the-scenes actions that we hardly ever notice.
So, what exactly is magnesium and why should you be taking one of the most highly studied and revered supplements? Read on, we’ve got you covered!
Why Should You Take Magnesium?
It Can Help with a Better Night’s Sleep – Everyone wants to wake up after a good night’s rest feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
But how often does that actually happen?! If you’re one of the 25% of people suffering from insomnia or acute insomnia (a period of restlessness that typically lasts around 3 months), then this feeling may seem like a total pipe dream.
Enter magnesium. This helpful little supplement can increase GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), the neurotransmitter responsible for a better quality of sleep by slowing down your brain activity just before bed allowing you to forget about your busy day and drift off into a deep sleep.
It Will Battle Anxiety and Stress – If you’re a living, breathing, functioning human in today’s society you are guaranteed to be under some level of stress.
While you probably wish you could be as calm as someone sipping Mai Tai’s along the coast of Bali, chances are you’re stress levels more resemble that of the average, overworked adult who’s constantly inundated with work, personal obligations, and social media.
These increased levels of stress have been shown to decrease the natural level of magnesium produced by the body and require an extra dose of the essential mineral from outside sources.
Magnesium has also showed itself to be a worthy combatant against cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, through regulating the amount of cortisol in your body.
It Can Reduce Inflammation Throughout the Body – Inflammation is more than the swelling or muscle soreness in your legs after a hard workout.
Inflammation is associated with many chronic illnesses that are more common in modern society including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some forms of cancer.
A common marker of inflammation, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), has been shown to be reduced by magnesium. This makes sense when you realize that magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 chemical reactions that occur in the body on any given day.
It Can Help Strengthen Your Immune System – As you get older your immune system naturally begins to weaken turning the common cold and other seemingly harmless sicknesses into full blown infections.
You may notice that your appetite has started to decrease making it more challenging to fit in all the nutrients required to help your body stay healthy.
Supplementing with magnesium will let you maintain your diet while increasing the levels of zinc in your blood and decrease your overall oxidative stress which are common factors related to illnesses.
Supplements – Not all magnesium supplements are created equally. Due to it’s vast beneficial properties, different variations of magnesium are needed to help tackle certain ailments.
Use the list below to find the type of magnesium supplement that works best for your condition or activity level:
- Magnesium Citrate – recommended by most health professionals to aid with digestive health and constipation, use if you’re having a little trouble staying regular
- Magnesium Chloride – the most common type of magnesium found in supplements, use if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, anxiety, and digestive health
- Magnesium L-threonate – aids with cognitive function and has been used to help with memory loss, use if you’re having trouble recalling certain things and to combat symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- Magnesium Sulfate – common component of most Epsom salt bath products, use to ease muscle soreness and help reduce inflammation common among older adults
- Dark Chocolate
- Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and brazil nuts
- Black beans, soybeans, and kidney beans
- Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Quinoa and other whole grains
- Salmon and other fatty fish
Magnesium might not be a miracle supplement, but it comes close.
Although you may be ready to start taking magnesium right away, please check this chart to see what the recommended dosage is according to your gender and age group. Also, please consult your doctor before adding magnesium or any other mineral supplement to your diet.
Like any supplement, don’t expect magnesium to kick in instantly. Block off a couple of weeks to take magnesium on a consistent basis and compare the results to how you felt before you started.
You might be surprised at how much better you’ve slept, how much more energized you feel, and how much overall better you are after taking this super supplement.
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Jennings, Kerri-Ann, How Magnesium Can Help You Sleep, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-and-sleep
Spritzler, Franziska, 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magensium, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-magnesium-benefits
Nutritional Magnesium Association, Studies Show Magnesium Reduces Chronic Inflammation, the Cause of Most Chronic Disease, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/studies-show-magnesium-reduces-chronic-inflammation-the-cause-of-most-chronic-disease-229683651.html