What happens if I don’t get enough magnesium?
A chronic lack of magnesium in the body yields many consequences – including low energy levels. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, weakness, anxiety, and irritability.
Research on red blood cells has shown that lower levels of magnesium can make the cells more fragile – leading to a decrease in available red blood cells. Red blood cells are vital for increasing your energy levels because they deliver needed oxygen to tissues.
A 2002 study also revealed that low magnesium levels disrupt the body’s efficiency for using energy stores. The researchers assessed the effects of dietary magnesium restriction during exercise in postmenopausal women. They found low magnesium levels led to higher oxygen use and higher heart rates during exercise.
This suggests magnesium helps to optimize the use of oxygen in order to burn calories and feel more energized, and a lower level of magnesium hinders that process.
Where can I get magnesium?
Magnesium is widely available in different foods – especially green vegetables, cereals, and fruits. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium for young adults is around 400 mg/day for men and 310 mg/day for women. For adults over 30, the RDA is 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women. However, despite how easy it is to find magnesium, studies have shown that between 68-75% of adults are magnesium deficient.
How do I maintain my magnesium levels?
In order to maintain proper levels of magnesium, taking a supplement may not be the best idea. The body needs a steady supply of magnesium throughout the day. Most supplements will not contain more than 100 mg of magnesium because of bulk. However, because magnesium is so plentiful, a diet rich in magnesium is the best way to keep your stores up, and it’s easy to maintain.
Because the body consistently uses up its stores of magnesium, eating a magnesium-rich diet throughout the day – instead of taking it all at once – will also keep the body’s magnesium stores elevated. Research has also suggested that B vitamins (especially vitamin B6) promote the absorption of magnesium in the gut.
What foods can I eat to get my daily dose of magnesium?
Eat at least 5 servings of any of these magnesium-rich foods throughout the day:
- ½ cup of boiled spinach
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 1 cup of kidney beans
- 1 cup of lentils
- 1 cup of raisin bran
- 1 cup of shredded wheat
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 bananas
Benefits of Magnesium:
1. Better sleep – The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.
2. Relaxes the nervous system – Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on Magnesium.
3. Bigger, stronger muscles – Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles. Furthermore, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the cell’s energy store, and is created with help from Magnesium.
4. Better flexibility – Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.
5. Bone integrity and strength – Magnesium helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people’s mind that the calcium supplements they’re taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.
6. Remineralizes teeth – Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
7. Alkalizes the body – Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
8. Hydrates – Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.
9. Helps to relieve constipation – Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.
10. Enzyme function – Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.
11. Diabetes – Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without Magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage, including the nerves in the eyes.
There are many other benefits of Magnesium: It helps prevent stroke, heart disease, period pain, and more. You can check out my website for further information on Magnesium and how exactly to increase magnesium levels effectively.