Magnesium is one thing I always recommend supplementing, especially to active people. It’s important to know that a lot of us aren’t getting enough each day, which can actually affect quite a lot because magnesium has hundreds of functions in the human body and works as a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions. Essentially, if you’re not already supplementing with this mineral, I suggest finding a dietary or topical version that works for you and get it in your routine! I’ll list some of my favorites at the bottom of this post.
I got super interested in the benefits of Magnesium after listening to Chervin Jafarieh of Cymbiotika on the Skinny Confidential podcast (you can listen here).
Magnesium is so important as it supports hundreds of chemical reactions in the body, and yet 50% of adults get less than the recommended daily amount (1). I broke down a few of the main reasons we should all be supplementing with magnesium below! I’ve been loving this one recently.
Mental health: Stress, anxiety, and depression.
First and foremost, magnesium is critical to brain health and brain function. Physical health is easier to track based on how we feel and how we see ourselves, and because we can’t see or feel it, we neglect to consider our brain health.
Magnesium always plays a critical role in mood, and deficiency may increase your body’s susceptibility to stress (2). Given the state of modern life (in which everyone is stressed all the time), increased levels of stress over time amplify symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, low levels of magnesium are linked to an increased risk of depression (3).
Physical health: performance & inflammation.
Magnesium may also improve exercise performance, as it moves blood sugar into your muscles and disposes of lactate, which can build-up and cause fatigue (4). If you’re training frequently (looking at you, GOOD//SWEAT team), supplementing with magnesium is even more important! Additionally, magnesium supplements protect against certain markers of muscle damage (4).
Another huge factor in overall well-being is monitoring inflammation. I developed my 7-Day Added Sugar Detox to help identify sneaky sugars and oils in everyday food to combat inflammation, and adopting a low-sugar lifestyle has made a big impact in my life. Even though I eat an anti-inflammatory diet, I still rely on magnesium to combat inflammation. In general, insufficient magnesium intake is linked to increased levels of inflammation, which plays a key role in aging and chronic disease (5) and magnesium has been shown to help fight inflammation by reducing markers such as CRP and interleukin-6 (5).
Although mental and physical health were the main factors in this post, it doesn’t stop there. Magnesium is critical to so many chemical reactions in the body that contribute to overall health, including reducing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD) (6), preventing migraines (7), improving PMS symptoms (8), and contribute to combating sleep issues such as insomnia (9).
Dietary Sources of Magnesium.
The recommended intake of magnesium for adults is 300-400mg/day. Below are foods that are considered rich sources of magnesium:
- Nuts & seeds
- Whole grains
- Fish (halibut and salmon)