Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body, from energy production to muscle function. We need magnesium for heaps of reasons, yet as many as 70% of us get less than the recommended 350 - 400mg needed per day, which can lead to magnesium deficiency. Here we look at why we need magnesium and what we can do to make sure we’re getting enough.
1.Magnesium may strengthen bones and protect against osteoporosis
Magnesium is involved in bone formation through its influence on bone turnover, as well as its influence on vitamin D, which is also important for bone health. Magnesium may also play a part in keeping muscles strong and healthy, which can help to prevent falls and fractures, especially in the older population.
2.Magnesium relaxes muscles
As well as keeping them strong and healthy, magnesium is also known to act as a muscle relaxant. It is involved in sending nerve signals that help your muscles and brain to relax. 90% of the body's magnesium is found in muscles and bones, and so when levels are low, magnesium is pulled from these areas, which leads to muscle cramps and twitches. This discomfort is likely to keep you awake at night and may make you feel tired come morning.
3.Magnesium can improve sleep
By acting on the nervous system and instructing your muscles and brain to relax, magnesium can help you get to sleep. It would also appear to help you sleep better and for longer, and achieve a more restful night’s sleep.
4.The link between magnesium and migraines
Significant research has shown that people with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium than those without them. One study found that regular intake of magnesium reduced the number of migraine attacks by over 40% , and another, that daily magnesium supplements can prevent menstrual-related migraines.
5.Magnesium and PMS
In addition to menstrual migraines, studies suggest that magnesium alone and in combination with vitamin B6 may help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS, including anxiety, stress, mood swings and bloating.
Simply put, life is easier with magnesium! From eating foods reach in magnesium to choosing a supplement to up your intake, there are several ways to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium. You can…
1.Source magnesium from food
Natural food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, spices, nuts, almonds especially, cereals, oily fish, dark chocolate and quinoa. But do be mindful that modern farming methods often leave our soils depleted of nutrients, meaning many of us obtain less-than-optimal amounts of magnesium from food.
2.Supplement with magnesium
A magnesium supplement can certainly help to keep levels topped up. PrizMAG Magnesium Bisglycinate provides filler-free, high quality magnesium and glycine, an amino acid that works hand in hand with magnesium to enhance its absorption. Take two to four capsules daily.
Not keen on tablets or capsules? Mag365 Magnesium in powder form is a great alternative, providing 100% natural magnesium that is easily absorbed and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. A passionfruit flavoured powder is also available.
There’s also Floradix Liquid Magnesium . Each 20ml serving provides 250mg of elemental magnesium, a slightly lower dose and a good option for those who already get an amount of magnesium from their diet.
3.Spray yourself with magnesium
If you’re not a fan of liquid supplements or tablets, BetterYou Magnesium Oil Body Spray is the perfect choice. You spray it directly onto the skin where it absorbs quickly and efficiently. It is common to feel a slight tingling from the high-speed absorption – particularly if you are magnesium deficient. 10 sprays deliver 200mg of magnesium, and while this is lower than some supplements you can be confident that most of it will be absorbed by the body as it bypasses the digestive system completely.
4.Moisturise with magnesium
A magnesium lotion can also be used to increase levels of magnesium. Try BetterYou’s Magnesium Body Lotion , a nourishing blend of magnesium and shea butter formulated to improve skin elasticity, soften skin and relax muscles. A magnesium body butter is also available.
5.Bathe in magnesium
Finally, bathing with magnesium flakes can also help to restore magnesium levels in the body.Try BetterYou Magnesium Flakes or for especially tired muscles, BetterYou Magnesium Muscle Flakes . They both provide Zechstein magnesium chloride, which comes from a natural source, deep inside the Earth’s crust, protected from man-made pollutants for over 250 million years, ensuring its purity. Simply add 250g of flakes to your bath water, lie back and relax for 20 minutes.