5 Whole-Body Health Benefits of Magnesium

over 50% of Americans do not get enough magnesium from their diets

When you think about supplements, what do you picture? Maybe vitamin C, vitamin D, and a handful of gummy vitamins?

If you’re not thinking magnesium, you should be. This macronutrient is integral to bone health and over 300 enzymatic reactions throughout your body, keeping just about every organ, nerve, and muscle in tip-top shape.

Meanwhile, over half of Americans are not getting their recommended daily serving of magnesium. The National Institute of Health recommends that women consume at least 310mg per day (and more when pregnant or breastfeeding), and men consume 400mg.

Deficiency is more common in teens, the elderly, and people with diabetes or gastrointestinal diseases, but it can happen to anyone.

Benefits

magnesium supports whole-body health as an important player in over 300 enzymatic reactions

Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Magnesium is best-known for its effect on bone health. This macronutrient plays a critical role in the formation of strong, healthy bones, which is why a higher magnesium intake is correlated with a higher bone mineral density.

Type-II Diabetes

Deliberate magnesium intake is particularly important for type-II diabetics because the higher insulin serum levels associated with insulin resistance interferes with magnesium resorption. In simple terms: diabetes causes you to lose more magnesium in urine, and become magnesium deficient.

This is especially important because magnesium actually helps in the breakdown of sugars, and may combat insulin resistance. Higher magnesium in the diet has also been correlated to a lower risk of developing diabetes.

Athletic Performance

Among its many other functions, magnesium is involved with oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance. That’s why even slight deficiencies can hurt athletic performance.

Experts recommend a minimum of 260 mg/day for men and 220 mg/day for women athletes, though getting your full 400 or 310 mg will allow you to reach your full athletic potential. Any magnesium consumed in excess of these recommendations is not likely to help your performance further.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Although the research is mixed, many studies have found that regular magnesium supplementation can improve bloating and negative emotional symptoms of PMS. Many women have since used magnesium to manage their own PMS.

Indigestion

One of the most common uses of magnesium is as a treatment for indigestion; in fact, magnesium is a frequent ingredient in antacids and laxatives. If you’d like to take magnesium for stomach problems, try a less bioavailable compound such as magnesium hydroxide.

How to Get It

magnesium supplements are an easy and convenient way to get your daily dose of magnesium

Be sure to work plenty of magnesium-rich foods into your diet--that means legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy greens, milk, and mineral-rich water.

And if you can’t change your diet right now, consider supplements. There are many different magnesium compounds available, and each has its own benefits. For instance, magnesium citrate is highly bioavailable but is also more likely to upset the stomach.

However you choose to incorporate magnesium into your routine, make sure to do it! Because of how widespread magnesium is in your body, making the effort to get enough--especially if you’re deficient--will bring a huge range of health benefits.

Safety

Magnesium from food sources is perfectly safe to consume in large quantities; this magnesium is in a form that is easy for the body to filter out and remove.

Magnesium from supplements and medications are harder for the body to remove in cases of excessive consumption. Adults are advised not to consume more than 350 mg supplementary magnesium per day, due to risks of diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Taking magnesium supplements with bisphosphonates (osteoporosis medications) or antibiotics could reduce the absorption and efficacy of those medications. Meanwhile, diuretics and supplementary zinc can both reduce magnesium absorption and contribute to deficiencies.


Magnesium is a truly powerful nutrient. Appreciate all that it can do for your health and work more of it into your diet; your body will thank you!

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