10 Reasons You Need to Up Your Magnesium Intake
Anxiety. Insomnia. Migraines. Those low-energy days when nothing seems to get done. Sound familiar? We’ve all experienced them, unfortunately, but there’s a method to this madness. It’s simple: magnesium deficiency. It’s easy to forget about the importance of magnesium in our bodies. It’s not as popular as calcium or B16, and not the first vitamin bottle you reach for when you’re browsing the vitamin aisle. But aside from remedying the above mentioned all-too-familiar symptoms, magnesium has a slew of other benefits you didn’t even know could result from one mineral.
Calms Nerves and Anxiety
Have you ever heard of GABA? If you’ve ever sought relief for anxiety or nervousness, it’s likely that you have. GABA stands for Gamma-AminoButyric Acid. It’s an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter to help relieve stress and anxiety. It’s occurs naturally, but those who deal with anxiety often take supplements to increase production. GABA is proven not only to increase relaxation, but actively lessen symptoms of anxiety.
This is where magnesium comes in: it stimulates GABA receptors, increasing GABA production to calm us down. Magnesium also actively inhibits the release of stress hormones in your brain — it’s been called the original chill pill! Magnesium helps maintain calmness in your daily rituals.
If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, you might struggle with depression as well; approximately 90% of anxiety sufferers also deal with depression. The two have many shared symptoms. If this sounds like you, magnesium is essential for you. It helps both! There is a strong correlation between depression and low magnesium intake, especially in younger adults.
Magnesium boosts serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter important for keeping you in a good mood. Without enough magnesium, serotonin levels could drop off, adding to feelings of depression. Magnesium is essential to a healthy and happy brain’s biochemistry. In a world of corporate pharmacies and a lack of focus on holistic health, this information is crucial for those who try to heal their minds and bodies as naturally as possible.
Eases Muscle Pain
Muscle pain is pervasive in our daily lives. Whether it be through playing sports, working out a little too hard at the gym, or even bringing in a heavy load from the grocery store, muscles aches can be a daily problem. Common home remedies include taking a bath filled with epsom salts or icing your muscles.
Increasing magnesium intake has been proven to help relax muscles. Muscle pain lifts away when muscles are relaxed and at ease. Upping magnesium levels is beneficial not only to heal existing muscle pain, but to prevent it in the first place. It helps to improve muscle strength, which makes injury less common and less severe.
Increase Energy Levels
If you ask any passerby on the street whether or not they’d like more energy throughout the day, it’s unlikely anyone will answer “no.” Magnesium is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, so if your levels are even a tad low, it’s bound to show somewhere.
One study showed magnesium-deficient women expending more oxygen to do simple physical tasks than after their magnesium levels were restored. This means we work harder and get tired faster when we are magnesium deficient.
Magnesium keeps us energized and keeps our bodies working efficiently for the entire day. Without enough magnesium in your system, you’ll find yourself more and more exhausted after bringing the groceries inside, or taking the dog for a walk.
Sleep is one of the most important things for overall health. As impossible as it sometimes seems, adults need on average 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Good sleep is sometimes viewed as a luxury. Sleeplessness is often glorified in our society as a sign of a hard worker. In reality, sleep deficiency leads to lack of focus, irritability, and long term health issues— not exactly helpful for productivity!
Sometimes insomnia is the culprit; the brain seems to be going a mile a minute while our bodies are ready for rest. Daily stresses and worries can cloud the brain and make it hard to relax. Magnesium increases GABA production, which helps calm down the brain and prepare it for sleep.
Magnesium supplementation aids sleep time and sleep efficiency. It helps you sleep better, for longer. It also aids in production of melatonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps you fall asleep. If you are prone to sleepless nights, magnesium will help turn the lights out.
Helps Prevent Migraines
Migraines are many people’s worst nightmare — these headaches can become so severe that they can cause nausea. Often, only resting in a cold, dark, quiet room for hours on end can alleviate a migraine. They ruin your dinner plans and leave you wanting a solution; even better, a way to stop the headache before it even starts.
A likely cause of many migraine sufferers’ problems: magnesium deficiency. If you suffer from migraines, it’s very likely that you have a magnesium deficiency and don’t even know it. Magnesium’s efficacy in preventing and helping migraines has been proven so strongly that it is recommended that all migraine sufferers take magnesium supplements regularly. Many people who deal with regular migraines actually have a genetic difficulty absorbing magnesium. This makes proper magnesium intake extra important to keep migraines at bay.
Magnesium helps to alleviate inflammation by reducing the effectiveness of serum C-reactive proteins, indicators of inflammation in the body. One study even showed individuals with chronic diseases including frequent inflammation as magnesium deficient.
Improves PMS symptoms
Okay, ladies, tell me this isn’t a familiar scene: you’re lying on your aching back in bed, heating pad on your stomach turned all the way up, turning your skin red, moaning in pain as you watch the latest Orange Is the New Black episode and wonder when the Midol is going to kick in. Magnesium can help, and it’s a lot more natural than most of the painkillers you’ll find on the shelves at the drugstore.
One study showed that magnesium supplements significantly decreased the painful cramps of PMS that you’re all too tired of. Another study even found women reporting lessened mood swings while taking magnesium supplements! This could be related to the increased serotonin that magnesium causes. Magnesium is a safe and natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers that wreak havoc on the liver, trading short term pain relief for long term damage.
Fiber! It’s good for regularity, but how exactly can we get enough of it in our diet? If you’re not a superfan of superfoods like green leafy veggies, increasing your magnesium intake through supplementation is a perfect solution for relieving constipation and helping you “go.” We’ve all been there; it’s uncomfortable to talk about, but even more uncomfortable to live through!
Supports Healthy Bones
When you think “healthy bones,” you think calcium— right? Our whole lives, we’ve been told that calcium is the key to strong bones. Milk jugs celebrate their calcium content, convincing us that it is the primary vitamin for growing big and strong. It may be important, but it’s not the only vitamin our bones need to stay sturdy.
Magnesium is also an essential mineral that supports bone health. One study even showed magnesium to be more effective than calcium in strengthening bones over a period of a year!
You can up your magnesium intake naturally by eating green leafy veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). You can also find magnesium in “hard” water, as it’s a naturally occurring mineral. It’s not so hard to incorporate more magnesium into your diet— magnesium is sneakily present in a lot of your favorite foods, even coffee and chocolate! You can also supplement by taking magnesium pills or tablets. The recommended daily intake for women is 300 milligrams and 350 milligrams for men. Keep your magnesium levels in the 300’s for a sound body and mind!