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Magnesium: Why you need this mineral for better sleep, mood and more



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Most of us have a closet full of them contribution to be neglected at some point. Whether it̵

7;s because you’ve fallen out of your routine or you forgot why you even started it in the first place, there is one that most Americans could benefit from putting back into their regimen: magnesium.

Studies show that the majority of the population is at risk for magnesium deficiency due to various lifestyle factors, including a diet that is high in processed foods. Certain diseases or health conditions, including type 2 diabetes or alcohol dependence, can make you susceptible to low magnesium levels as well. A 2013-2016 analysis from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 48% of Americans do not get enough magnesium in their diets.

Magnesium supplements have become popular in the health field recently, and many experts recommend them to help with sleep, stress, anxiety and more. But do these claims hold up? Below I give an overview of the science of magnesium, and I also talked to the registered dietitian Amy Gorin to find out more about why magnesium is important and how to know if a supplement may be right for you.

Why magnesium is important for health

Magnesium requirements vary depending on a person’s age, gender and other health factors (such as pregnancy), but the average recommendation is around 300 mg per day.

“Magnesium is important for so many aspects of health. The mineral is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is important for bone health, helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, helps your muscles and nerves function properly, and keeps your blood pressure at healthy levels, says Gorin.

Magnesium levels also affect your brain and mood, which is why low levels of magnesium are associated with mood disorders, although more research needs to be done to determine how important it is for your emotional or mental health.

Magnesium and stress

If you have ever asked a health expert about the best supplements for stress, chances are magnesium is on the list. Why? First and foremost, according to Gorin, magnesium helps the brain deal with stressors. “Research has shown that magnesium supplements can affect brain functions that help reduce stress and anxiety,” says Gorin.

It works by helping the body to kick in the “rest and digest” state, or by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. When you are stressed, your body is probably in the sympathetic nervous system for long periods, which over time can make you tired. Studies also showed that magnesium intake helped to improve heartbeat variation (HRV) scores, which are representative of how well your body can adapt to stress.

Magnesium and sleep

In the same way, magnesium can help you sleep better, as the mineral can have a calming effect on your body. Magnesium helps regulate the hormone melatonin, which is involved in controlling your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm regulates many things in the body, including when you feel tired and how well you sleep.

Many activities and habits can throw away your circadian rhythm, including exposing your eyes to blue light at night. If you are trying to optimize your circadian rhythm or trying to get better sleep with melatonin supplements, you should make sure that your magnesium levels are optimal as they work together to help you get better rest.

Magnesium and fitness

A 2017 study examined the relationship between magnesium and exercise performance and found that the more active you are, the more your body needs magnesium. Some claim that it can help you recover faster after a workout, but the evidence for magnesium specifically for your recovery is limited.

We know that your muscles need enough magnesium to function well and avoid cramps, so it makes sense that optimal magnesium levels can facilitate better recovery from workouts.

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Cereals and seeds contain naturally occurring magnesium.

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Magnesium and vitamin D.

Vitamin D is crucial for your overall well-being and especially for your immune system. However, even if you think you are getting enough vitamin D through supplements or exposure to the sun, you may still be low if your magnesium levels are not optimal.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, low magnesium levels can make vitamin D ineffective. This means that even if you take vitamin D from food, supplements or exposure to sunlight, your body cannot use it or benefit from it if you do not have adequate magnesium levels.

How to get enough magnesium

Magnesium is found naturally in foods, such as leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and milk, but it is usually in smaller amounts and it can be difficult to get the full 300 mg or more needed per day. In addition, researchers predict that only about 30% to 50% of the magnesium you take in is actually absorbed into the body. For these reasons, many turn to a supplement to ensure that they meet their daily needs.

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There are several different types of magnesium supplements that can help specific problems.

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The different types of magnesium supplements

If you go into a vitamin or health food store and are looking for magnesium supplements, you will probably find several different types. You can get magnesium supplements in powder form (like the popular one Natural Vitality Calm supplement) which can be dissolved in water or you can take the mineral in a capsule or tablet.

However, not all magnesium supplements are the same, which is why it is important to not only seek the advice of healthcare professionals on which supplement is best for you, but also understand that different forms of magnesium can have different side effects. For example, magnesium carbonate is a form of magnesium that, if you overdo it, you can end up with upset stomach and diarrhea.

Popular forms of magnesium found in supplements:

Magnesiumglycinat: “This is a common form of magnesium supplement. You may also see it used in heartburn treatments,” says Gorin. Magnesium glycinate is often recommended by experts because it is well absorbed by the body and tends to cause minor stomach upset or upset.

Magnesium oxide: “This form of magnesium can be used as an antacid for heartburn relief, as a short-term laxative or as a dietary supplement when you are not taking in enough magnesium from food,” says Gorin.

magnesium: “This form of magnesium is sometimes used as a laxative or laxative,” says Gorin.

Magnesium L-threonate: “This is a specific type of magnesium that has been shown to have cognitive benefits. It was discovered by MIT researchers, and you can get it in complementary form. Research suggests that it may help improve brain plasticity, which can have positive effects on memory, learning and cognition, says Gorin.






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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.


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