Are you magnesium deficient?
Do you experience low energy, muscular cramps and spasms, headaches, eyelid twitches, poor sleep and have a decreased resilience to stress? If you answered yes to any of these symptoms, you are not alone. The reality is many people may be deficient in this vital mineral because the modern Western diet contains many refined foods that may be lacking in nutrients, including magnesium. In addition to poor dietary intakes, many daily activities and lifestyle choices further deplete your magnesium status worsening those symptoms of magnesium deficiency. For example, during strenuous exercise or times of stress, the body both utilises and excretes more magnesium, and high intakes of caffeine, salt and alcohol are also associated with depleted magnesium stores. Since this useful mineral is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in your body, it is important to ensure you are getting enough magnesium both to counteract the effects of your diet and lifestyle and to meet your health needs.
The mega benefits of magnesium
Rectifying and maintaining your magnesium status has a number of benefits. It is arguably the most important mineral for ongoing energy production and alleviating symptoms of fatigue since it is required for the powerhouses of our cells, known as mitochondria. When you have a lot on your plate and your energy reserves are running low, magnesium can help you refuel. During periods of stress, your body’s demand for magnesium is also increased. Stress of either a physical or mental nature triggers the ‘flight or fight response’ and this intensifies the release of your stress hormones. However, the release of these hormones becomes amplified when your magnesium levels are low. What this means is that right when you need magnesium the most, your body loses it at the highest rate. This can lead you to feeling even more uptight and stressed, due to the vicious cycle of ongoing stress and magnesium depletion.
In addition to supporting energy production, magnesium has long been recognised for its important therapeutic applications in enhancing muscle relaxation and relieving pain and spasms, helping to ease those tense, stiff muscles. Therefore, if you tend to store tension in your neck and shoulder muscles when under stress then magnesium may be the answer. In this scenario, taking a magnesium supplement such as Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium may help to restore your magnesium levels and alleviate the muscular tension associated with stress.
Not all magnesium forms are equal
The supplement you choose will impact how much of this vital mineral is absorbed and therefore the benefits you can achieve. Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium contains a unique form of magnesium: Meta Mag®Magnesium diglycinate. This form of magnesium has a different shape to other types of magnesium, which is the reason that it can be absorbed by your body effectively. In fact, Meta Mag®Magnesium diglycinate has been shown to have over eight times greater absorption than magnesium oxide, and more than three times greater absorption than magnesium sulfate, [i] helping you to benefit from all that magnesium has to offer. Using a highly absorbable form of magnesium such as Meta Mag® also minimises the risk of unpleasant digestive upsets which can be associated with less absorbable forms of magnesium, while delivering a therapeutic amount of magnesium for your body.
The best place to start to maximise your magnesium intake is to incorporate magnesium-rich foods into your diet by focussing on unrefined foods such as wholegrains, as well as reducing or removing refined and processed foods that typically have very little magnesium content. There are plenty of healthy options to incorporate into your diet, such as:
- Poached eggs on wholegrain bread with a side of wilted spinach for breakfast
- Buckwheat or millet through a salad for lunch
- A handful of almonds, cashews, brazil nuts or figs as a snack
- Soy products such as tofu with sesame seeds for dinner
So whether your diet is less than ideal, you are undertaking strenuous exercise or you are just generally under stress, you may benefit from this multi-purpose mineral.
Just remember, high absorption is the key to an effective magnesium, so look for a highly absorbable form for enhanced benefits.
*References available on request.