The wonders of magnesium for stress

 

It’s difficult not to feel stressed to some degree thanks to the pressures we face in our busy, modern lives. Overworking, the cost of living, facing big changes or the compulsion to be connected 24/7 can all trigger the body’s internal alarm system, the stress response. The body is designed to cope with some stress, but if the stress response is constantly firing it can have negative consequences for almost every part of the body. If you find that stress is taking a toll on your daily life and health, it is worthwhile looking at your magnesium intake. Magnesium and stress have a two-way relationship. Just as stress can affect magnesium, so too can magnesium influence the stress response.

Do you need more magnesium when you’re stressed?

Stress is characterised by a physical response involving the sympathetic nervous system and a cascade of hormones, enzymes and nerve transmissions. These cause your heart to beat faster than normal, blood and nutrients to be pushed to the muscles and other vital organs, extra oxygen is sent to your brain, your breathing becomes more rapid and your senses sharpen. These changes are all designed to help your body deal with the stressor at hand. A huge number of these processes require magnesium to function and if stress is prolonged, magnesium needs will remain abnormally high. Numerous studies have demonstrated that stress robs the body of magnesium.1 The problem is, the body must have magnesium to respond effectively to stress. Magnesium plays a key role in putting the brakes on the stress response. It influences the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system by regulating stress hormones and calming neurotransmitters such as GABA.1

If chronic stress depletes the body of magnesium, magnesium deficiency can enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress. Thus creating a vicious cycle.1

How do I get more magnesium if I’m stressed?

As important as magnesium is, many people don’t get enough through their diet alone and might benefit from taking a magnesium supplement. Especially since day-to-day stress can deplete magnesium levels and increase magnesium needs. Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium Energy and Stress is meticulously crafted with high strength, easily absorbed magnesium diglycinate (Meta Mag) and other important herbs and nutrients to assist a healthy stress response, reduce stress symptoms, support energy levels and relieve tiredness. B-group vitamins have been included to support energy production and help to maintain a healthy nervous system, allowing the body to effectively tackle stress. Rhodiola is included for its adaptogenic properties, which may increase the body’s stress resistance.

Other steps you can take to reduce stress and increase energy

Along with ensuring adequate magnesium intake, there are a number of practical steps you can take to reduce the impacts of stress on the body, increase energy and build resilience:

  • Try incorporating relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing and yoga into your routine. Even ten minutes a day will help reduce tension.
  • Move your body regularly. Exercise is well-known for its ability to release “feel-good” endorphins and helps release built up tension in the body. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, Pilates, a dance class, rock climbing, surfing, tennis, football or weights training.
  • Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet and not restricting important nutrients or skipping meals. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein sources like lean meat, chicken, fish and legumes, wholegrains like brown rice, spelt bread and oats and healthy fats from avocado, nuts and seeds to help maintain your energy levels and mood. Also look at reducing your intake of processed and packaged foods, which are often high in refined sugar and watch the caffeine, which can overwork your nervous system.
  • Unplug from being “on” and connected all the time. Most of us spend more time glued to our phones than we’d like to admit, and this can have a detrimental effect on our stress levels with the barrage of alerts and constant influx of information. Try to set designated times in your day where you check emails and social media and take a screen break before bedtime.
  • Find ways to include humour and laughter into your life by spending time with family and friends that make you smile, seeing a live comedy show or watching a funny movie. Laughter is one of the best antidotes to stress.
  • Seek emotional support. Reach out to a trusted friend about your worries or seek support at work. If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed and unable to manage the stress you’re experiencing, consult a healthcare professional or a counselling service.

References

  1. Pickering G et al, 2020, ‘Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited’, Nutrients, vol 12, no 12, p3672
Back to blog
1 of 3