It’s tough to overestimate just how much we need magnesium. In fact, this important mineral plays a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. But there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough magnesium from your diet alone—and that makes supplementation essential.
- Up to 80 percent of the population may be magnesium deficient. This critical mineral provides energy for our cells, helps our muscles recover after heavy exercise, assists with thyroid metabolism, promotes clear thinking, and so much more! But because magnesium has been depleted from the soil and is often stripped from foods during processing, it’s commonly in short supply in our diets.
- Magnesium enhances physical performance. Studies show that adequate magnesium levels help athletes score big in strength and movement tests, including trunk flexibility, rotation, and jumping. On the flip side, moderately low magnesium levels can have ill effects on nerve transmission—and that can lead to disturbances in the way your muscles contract and relax. That’s why one common sign that you need more magnesium is muscle cramps.
- Half of all migraine sufferers have magnesium deficiency. Clinical studies show that pretreatment with magnesium reduces migraines in children and actually stops them in adults.
- Magnesium is critical for a healthy cardiovascular system. A large population-based study of over 9,000 participants in the Netherlands found that without enough magnesium, arteries thicken and the tone and overall health of blood vessels decline. The good news? Other research shows that getting enough of this key mineral promotes healthy, flexible arteries regardless of age or weight, and that can ultimately lead to better blood pressure and less strain on the heart. Another reason to up your intake? A Finnish study discovered that, because of magnesium’s essential relationship to cellular energy and heart rhythms, low levels are also a risk for heart failure in men.
- Magnesium reduces the markers of inflammation. A clinical study of middle-aged men with chronic inflammatory stress and low magnesium levels saw an improvement in their C-reactive protein scores and experienced better sleep following magnesium supplementation.
- A magnesium deficiency can make you more susceptible to the effects of chronic stress. Stress sends your adrenal and pituitary glands into overdrive, leaving you feeling exhausted and less able to cope.
Maximize Magnesium’s Benefits
- For the best absorption and benefits, check the label for the magnesium bisglycinate form. The most bioavailable form of magnesium is bound or chelated to the amino acid glycine. Glycine helps shepherd the mineral through the intestinal wall so it can be readily used by the body’s cells.
- How much should you take? The typical minimum dose ranges from 300 to 400 mg daily for adults.