Nearly half of all Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium, which is contributing to all sorts of underlying health conditions. In my practice, I almost always test for magnesium because deficiency is widespread and can have serious impacts on a person’s health.
- Neurological functions
- Heart rhythm
- Blood pressure regulation
- Blood glucose control
- Muscle functions
- Protein synthesis
- Converting food into energy
- Bone synthesis
- DNA and RNA synthesis
- Glutathione synthesis (your master antioxidant)
If you don’t get enough magnesium, your body starts pulling from stores in your bones. This is incredibly problematic because not only are you not getting enough magnesium, but you start losing stores as your body tries to compensate for the lack of nutrition in your diet. Because magnesium is used so widely, across many different functions, when you aren’t getting enough, you can usually feel it.
16 Signs You’re Magnesium Deficient
Since one out of two people are deficient in magnesium, it’s important you know the symptoms of a deficiency. Here are 16 signs you aren’t getting enough magnesium:
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle cramps and twitches
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Heart problems due to calcification of arteries
- Poor hormone regulation
- Teeth grinding
- Loss of appetite
If magnesium deficiency goes uncorrected for a long period of time, it can lead to a number of diseases including:
- Coronary heart disease
If you’re starting to wonder how you could be deficient in magnesium, it’s usually due to a diet high in processed foods. Additionally, certain conditions can cause poor nutrient absorption, such as celiac disease. If you have a gut related condition, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor that you’re properly absorbing nutrients.
11 Science-Backed Benefits of Magnesium
Making sure you’re getting enough magnesium could give you a big boost in your overall health, if you’re deficient or even have low levels. Here are 11 science-back benefits of magnesium.
- Improves your sleep – Magnesium helps you sleep by activating melatonin and GABA production. This is why I recommend taking your magnesium a few hours before bed.
- Boosts your mood – Magnesium is essential to healthy neurological function, including your mood. People low in magnesium tend to struggle with depression, anxiety, and even mental illness. It’s even been theorized that the high rates of magnesium deficiency could be contributing to higher rates of mental illness overall.
- Boosts energy levels – Magnesium is essential to converting food into cellular energy. When your cells are low on energy, your entire body feels it. This low cellular energy can also cause a reduction in your metabolism function.
- Promotes weight loss – When your body isn’t getting enough energy due to low magnesium levels, it can lower your metabolism, which promotes weight gain. Magnesium also helps your body remain insulin sensitive (the opposite of insulin resistance), which helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Fights type 2 diabetes development – Through keeping your body more insulin sensitive and improving your blood sugar balance, magnesium is very important to resisting developing type 2 diabetes. One study found high magnesium levels significantly lowered a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes development.
- Keeps stool movements regular – One of the more common reasons someone might supplement with magnesium is because it alleviates constipation. Though you don’t need to be constipated to get the benefits from taking a magnesium supplement, it can help keep you regular too.
- Fights inflammation – Inflammation is a major contributor to many diseases. Magnesium reduces inflammation through fighting oxidative stress, which has caused it to be considered an anti-aging remedy.
- Helps balance your hormones – Magnesium is important for hormone balance, especially GABA, melatonin, and cortisol. All of these hormones are important for your overall mood especially when it comes to stress resilience and relaxation. Without sufficient magnesium, you’re more prone to anxiety and panic attacks.
- Improves athletic performance – Your body needs more magnesium when you’re exercising. Not surprisingly, supplementing with magnesium during exercise has been shown to improve athletic performance. One study found improved performance in swimming, cycling, and running in triathletes after magnesium supplementation.
- Reduces migraines – Magnesium is effective in those with migraines because of the important roles it plays in your brain. Not having enough magnesium can also trigger migraines, so if you struggle with headaches it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting plenty of magnesium.
- Alleviates PMS symptoms – Magnesium is great for stabilizing your mood when it’s caused by premenstrual changes. It’s also great for alleviating fluid retention, another frustrating symptoms of PMS.
What Kind of Magnesium is Best for You?
If you take a quick look at the different magnesium supplements available, you’ll notice there are a lot of options. This is because magnesium is often paired with an amino acid for better absorption. Depending on which type of amino acid it’s paired with, your magnesium supplement can offer you slightly different benefits. Here are some of the available options, alongside their associated benefit.
- Magnesium aspartate – Boosts energy
- Magnesium citrate – Alleviates constipation
- Magnesium glycinate – Increases relaxation
- Magnesium taurate – Promotes good heart health
The recommended dosage for magnesium is between 250 mg and 350 mg. You can take too much magnesium, but if you stay within that range you should be safe.
Nutrient testing is something I recommend for many of my patients. It helps us get a clear picture as to what’s going on in the body. Consider having your magnesium levels tested or you can go ahead and up your intake through food or supplements.
It’s time to ask yourself, are you getting enough magnesium?