Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, playing a part in more than 300 enzyme reactions. This is why magnesium supplement benefits span nearly every part of the body. If you suspect you’re deficient and have asked yourself, are magnesium supplements beneficial? keep reading.
How Do I Know if I Need a Magnesium Supplement?
Considering the fact nearly 75% of Americans are not getting the recommended amount of magnesium in a day, you should consider the possibility you’re deficient. Causes of magnesium deficiency vary, but many people don’t get adequate amounts of this vital mineral through their diets.
Not getting enough magnesium over a long period of time can lead to hypomagnesemia, which is linked to several chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hungry bone syndrome and celiac disease.
The only way to know if you suffer from magnesium deficiency is through a blood test. However, most people can determine if they’re not getting enough magnesium by evaluating their symptoms.
If you suffer from the following ailments, you could have a magnesium deficiency:
- Muscle cramps/twitches
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
While the majority of these symptoms may not be more than a day-to-day hindrance, an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia could lead to more serious complications. This condition increases the chance of stroke or heart failure, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing them.
What Are the Benefits of Magnesium?
Because magnesium is a vital macromineral required by many bodily systems, you can expect some health setbacks if you are deficient in magnesium. On the other hand, ensuring that you have enough magnesium in your body can make a huge difference in your overall health.
Do you have trouble getting to sleep or getting a full night’s rest? Studies show not having enough magnesium in the body can lead to difficulty getting the rest you need.
Magnesium helps sleep on multiple levels by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to feel relaxed and calm. Magnesium also regulates melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycles in your body. Magnesium binds to GABA receptors, which allows the nerve activity in the brain to calm, alleviating anxiety - a common issue that negatively impacts sleep quality.
With magnesium supplements, it’s possible to soothe and calm the nervous system in a natural way and prepare your body for a restful night of sleep.
Improved Brain Function
Have you ever experienced brain fog? While it’s common to have this occasionally, dealing with it regularly could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium manages the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors found in your brain’s nerve cells. The NMDA receptors must be working at optimal levels to promote memory, learning, and brain development, as outlined in this study.
When magnesium is abundant in the NMDA receptors, the signals flow as they should. However, when there is a lack of magnesium, weak signal triggers can cause the nerve cells in your brain to become overstimulated or malfunction. Allowing this overstimulation to continue could cause nerve cells to die, causing brain damage, as found in this study.
With a magnesium supplement, you allow brain signals to flow as they should. In return, you may experience heightened awareness, alertness, and memory functions.
Muscle Pain Relief
Magnesium benefits the muscles in multiple ways. If you are an athlete, you will be pleased to know that magnesium can move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which often builds up during exercise. It might also naturally heighten performance. One study of volleyball players that took 250 mg of magnesium each day found an improvement in arm and jumping movements.
And while calcium helps the muscles contract, magnesium is needed for relaxation. This is why, if you suffer from muscle spasms or twitching, you could find relief with a magnesium supplement. Magnesium has demonstrated to be effective in reducing muscle spasms in pregnant women and the elderly.
Stress and magnesium deficiency go hand-in-hand. When you experience a lack of magnesium, the effects of stress seem to become worse. One study shows the correlation between cortisol and adrenaline production in patients with magnesium deficiency. The body requires more magnesium during stressful times, leading to higher levels of deficiency.
Another study shows that magnesium supplementation might reduce the effects of anxiety and stress. Further studies show that magnesium can promote restful sleep because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience a greater sense of calm and relaxation.
Immune System Boost
Studies show magnesium plays a role in strengthening and supporting the immune system as well. Getting the right amount of magnesium may help boost immune responses and reduce inflammation. Magnesium can also reduce stress, as explained earlier, which further impacts your immune system.
What is the Best Kind of Magnesium to Take?
Ideally, you’re obtaining enough magnesium daily through your diet. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends getting between 350 to 400 mg of magnesium each day. If you suspect you’re not getting enough, consider adding some of these food options to your diet:
- Nuts, including almonds and cashews
- Black beans
- Soy milk
- Shredded wheat
- Peanut butter
- Brown rice
- Plain yogurt
If you need to increase your daily intake with a magnesium supplement, you need to know what your options are, as not all magnesium supplements are the same. For example, magnesium oxide is the main ingredient in milk of magnesia, making it ideal for constipation issues because it has a laxative effect.
Magnesium citrate powder: Magnesium citrate powder is the most commonly used form of magnesium. Mixed with water, either warm or room temperature, it is better absorbed than in pill or capsule form.
Epsom salts: “The Salts” have been used in baths and foot baths for centuries, popularized by midwives and promoted by grandmothers for relaxing muscles. The magnesium compound is magnesium sulfate; be wary of cheap forms that may be impure and contain heavy metals.
Magnesium Chloride: liquid magnesium chloride is recognized to be a highly absorbed, beneficial form of magnesium.
Consider these other factors when selecting a magnesium supplement:
Backed by Research: Not all dietary supplement companies are the same. Look for a product line that is backed by research and clinical evidence.
Absorption: many pills and powders are poorly absorbed. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, recommends a liquid form of magnesium chloride may offer the best absorption.
Versatility: Liquid magnesium offers versatility not captured with a pill or a powder. Not only can you adjust the dose easily, but liquid magnesium products can be used orally, topically and in a foot soak.
Quality: Look for a magnesium brand that is properly manufactured. Your dietary supplement company should have professional staff dedicated to the adherence of all quality standards of the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices which stipulate that manufacturers must evaluate the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of their dietary ingredients and dietary supplements to help guarantee that our products are safe and accurately labeled
Customer Service: Buying a magnesium supplement is just the beginning of establishing a daily intake routine. Be sure to select a magnesium backed by powerful education and sound customer service practices to support you on your journey to health.
Liquid Magnesium Supplement Benefits
When you choose a liquid magnesium supplement, you get a more soluble form than a pill. Many pill magnesium supplements are considered hygroscopic, which means they attract water. If the supplement is exposed to moisture, it can be destroyed. This is why many supplements have extra ingredients, to keep the material dry. Do you really want to be taking additional ingredients with your magnesium?
Liquid magnesium benefits from its solubility because it absorbs much faster than pill form supplements. If you want to retain the magnesium you take, it’s best to choose a liquid. In doing so, you ensure that the valuable nutrient doesn’t get flushed down the toilet. You also save yourself from the uncomfortable laxative side effects that some pill supplements include. While it might seem easier to take a few gummies a day, it doesn’t matter if the supplement is wasted because it doesn’t get absorbed.
When you choose a liquid supplement, you have complete control over the dosage. Taking a pill means you have to take the dosage you are given or attempt to fight with a pill-splitter. When you consume a liquid, you can easily adjust how much you are taking for more flexibility.
Side Effects And Risks
While we’ve explained the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is, some people may benefit from a higher dose. It is possible to consume too much magnesium, but a definitive maximum amount has yet to be determined.
You can eliminate most concerns by taking a soluble form of magnesium supplement and following the recommended dosage instructions. However, you should always speak with your doctor first.