The 4th most abundant mineral in our body, Magnesium plays a huuuge role in our metabolic reactions.
It’s essential for our health, as it aids in energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction.
I wrote a blog a while back about Magnesium deficiency. It detailed how common this deficiency is and how often it goes unnoticed. I also went over some signs and symptoms so that you can hopefully catch them a little sooner.
Today, we’ll briefly go over many types of Magnesium, how it works in your body, who might need to supplement, when to take it, and when to avoid it.
Read on if you want to learn more!
What is it?
Magnesium is a mineral naturally found in our body, but that can also be found in our food as an additive, as a dietary supplement, and is present in some medicines, such as antacids or laxatives.
It helps to regulate biochemical reactions in the body, such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood gucose control, and blood pressure regulation!
It’s a great, easy-to-take, everyday supplement, yet about 75% of Americans are not currently meeting their recommended intake!
Let’s dig a little deeper and find out why that is!
How does it work?
There are several types of Magnesium, so this isn’t a one-size-fits-all product.
You’ll want to do your research before you throw money at a product, but in the end, any type should be okay. You may simply notice one is gentler on the stomach, while others are a little bit harsher.
I won’t be able to go over all the types of Magnesium in this blog, but I’ll certainly take you through the most popular options.
- Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium + citric acid (found naturally in citrus fruits). One of the most common magnesium formulations because of its bioavailability. Helps replenish low magnesium levels, has a laxative effect, and helps to calm depression and anxiety.
- Magnesium Oxide: Magnesium + Oxygen. White and powdery, so usually sold in powder or capsule form. Helps in the short term with constipation, indigestion, and heartburn, although fairly hard to absorb for the digestive tract. Some also use this to prevent migraines.
- Magnesium Chloride: Great for treating low magnesium levels, heartburn, and constipation. Often in tablet form, but can also be found in lotions as well. This is a good option for those wanting to soothe and relax sore muscles.
- Magnesium Malate: Naturally occurring in wine and fruit, this one usually has a sour taste and is added to food to enhance flavor or add acidity. Malate is very well absorbed in your digestive tract, so it’s a great option for replenishing magnesium levels. Often recommended to those with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Magnesium Lactate: Magnesium + lactic acid (produced by your muscles and blood cells). Easily absorbed and gentler on your digestive system than other types, making it great for those who need large doses. Often used for stress and anxiety.
- Magnesium Glycinate: Elemental megnesium + amino acid Glycine. Naturally occurring in foods like fish, meat, dairy, and legumes. Glycine is often used to improve sleep and reduce inflammation. This easily absorbable amino acid has calming properties and may help to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia!
Other forms include Magnesium orotate, Magnesium sulfate, Magnesium L-threonate, Magnesium taurate, and more.
My favorite form of supplementation is a nice warm bath at night with Epsom salts! Epsom salts are a form of Magnesium Sulfate, which is a bit tougher to ingest. It’s great for relieving stress, anxiety, and depression, and helps relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck, and back.
Simply add 2 cups of Epsom salt when running a bath in a standard size bathtub. The salt will quickly dissolve if put under running water. Then you can soak in the water for 15-20 minutes.
Research is constantly coming out with more information on how effective Magnesium supplements really are, but this can vary from person to person. Always consult a medical professional before purchasing or consuming a Magnesium supplement to make sure it’s right for you!
Who would benefit from Magnesium?
Most people could benefit from taking supplemental Magnesium.
This is not a gimmick to get you to buy a certain product. The quality of our food is subpar nowadays, and we all need a little boost from supplements to ensure we are able to absorb all the nutrients we require to function to the best of our ability.
Take a look at my list in this blog if you want to learn more about magnesium deficency, and therefore, why you may need to supplement with Magnesium.
Remember to always consult a doctor or medical professional when it comes to dosing this supplement. Some may need more than others, but you’ll never know until you figure out what your body is missing via a Naturopathic doctor or Dietician. They will make sure you receive the correct testing to ensure you’re taking all the right vitamins and supplements.
How to incorporate it into your life?
So now that we know what types there are out there, you might have a better idea of what you may be lacking or could use more of.
Adults need about 400 mg of Magnesium a day, but this does not need to come from only supplements. In fact, you’ll find a lot of magnesium in your everyday foods.
My favorite source of Magnesium comes from natural foods!
Here is a list of foods that are high in magnesium that could help boost your levels:
- Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
- Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts)
- Fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries)
- Nuts and seeds
- Legumes (like black beans, kidney beans, or even baked beans)
- Seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
- Whole grains (brown rice and oats)
- Raw cacao
- Dark Chocolate
I’ve recently started using the NutraChamps Magnesium, which is enhanced with Zinc and Vitamin D3. All three are essential for hundreds of enzymatic processes in your body that support your bones, brain, muscles, nerves, vitality, digestion, gut and immune system.
Each serving (2 capsules) of Magnesium, Zinc, and D3 provides a full 225 mg of pure elemental magnesium, just like nature intended. Open wide for your daily dose of Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Malate and Magnesium Glycinate – the most bioavailable forms of this key mineral. There’s also 8mg Zinc (as Zinc Gluconate, Zinc Picolinate) and 25mcg Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol from Lichen), making this a Vegetarian-friendly formula!
Got stress? Magnesium’s got relief. It promotes brain health, enhances serotonin and keeps cortisol low.
“Stress hormones, insomnia, and inflammation don’t stand a chance, meaning more energy, circulation, and better mood. And there’s a reason why magnesium is called nature’s chill pill — it’s relaxation and recovery benefits will have you feeling refreshed and ready after a great night of restorative sleep.”*
Like with many other supplements, there are some things to note when taking (or avoiding) Magnesium.
Some people will experience stomach aches, diarrhea, dehydration, nutritional deficits, electrolyte imbalance, and weight loss.
In healthy people, the kidneys can get rid of any excess in the urine. But magnesium in dietary supplements and medications should not be consumed in amounts above the upper limit (400 mg) unless recommended by a healthcare provider.
Here are some contraindications, or medications that do not interact well with Magnesium*:
- Bisphosphonates, used to treat osteoporosis, are not well absorbed when taken too soon before or after taking dietary supplements or medications with high amounts of magnesium.
- Antibiotics might not be absorbed if taken too soon before or after taking a dietary supplement that contains magnesium.
- Diuretics can either increase or decrease the loss of magnesium through urine, depending on the type of diuretic.
- Prescription drugs used to ease symptoms of acid reflux or treat peptic ulcers can cause low blood levels of magnesium when taken over a long period of time.
- Very high doses of zinc supplements can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and regulate magnesium.
As stated earlier, please consult a doctor before adding Magnesium to your daily routine!
Whether you’re using it to manage daily stress, minimize pain, improve sleep, or simply boost your immune system, Magnesium is essential to our body’s wellbeing and survival. Low levels are linked to a variety of illnesses, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, and migraines.
It says a lot about our nutrition and quality of food that even though this mineral is found in a lot of our food, 2/3 of people in the Western world are still not able to meet their magnesium needs with diet alone.
Have you considered using Magnesium or do you currently use it? I personally love to use it to help with sleep and to help my body recover after workouts. Let me know about your experience with this mineral!