What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in many bodily functions, as well as providing a variety of other health benefits.
For starters, magnesium regulates around 325 enzymes within the body, it is also essential to maintaining bone mineralisation, aiding muscle contraction and is used in the passage of nerve impulses throughout the body. But most significantly, magnesium is required for the body to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is essentially the body’s source of energy.
Research also suggests that magnesium supports exercise performance and muscle recovery by helping move blood sugar into the muscles and dispose of lactic acid, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue. It can also be a vital aid in the treatment of muscular pain and cramps by helping to relax the muscles and remove stress to the kidneys.
Magnesium also helps to regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin signalling and reducing insulin resistance which has great benefits on overall energy levels and brain function.
There are many illnesses, symptoms and behaviours that are associated with a magnesium deficiency. Some of the most prevalent include; heart disease, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma, PCOS, diabetes, depression and so on. As you can start to see it’s pretty important stuff right?!
An example of magnesium deficiency related behaviour is women suffering from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) — magnesium can be extremely beneficial for women around the menstrual time, some women also tend to notice an increased craving for chocolate due to its magnesium content!
How Can We Improve Our Magnesium Status?
A simple way to increase your magnesium intake is by consuming foods that contain a high content of the mineral such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds. But the easiest way to add a sufficient amount of magnesium to your diet is through supplementation. Research shows that supplementation with around 200-300mg of magnesium per day can help to reduce PMS, anxiety, improve sleep, assist in muscle recovery, boost brain function and even help to reduce sugar cravings. The best time to take magnesium is about 60-90 minutes before going to bed and as a bonus, it may even help you sleep better!
Guest Blog Post By Clinical Nutritionist Kara Ivy (@karaivy_)