As you explore ways to strengthen your health and wellness, should consider adding vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements to the mix. Unfortunately, many of the foods we are eating these days are lacking in the nutrition department, which is why most of us need to supplement in order to get the nutrients we need to perform at our best. Magnesium is a popular supplement for sleep, but it contributes to a variety of functions in your body. It’s also a mineral you might not be getting enough of. Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits of magnesium.
What Are Vitamins and Minerals?
One of the many reasons to eat a diet high in whole foods is to nourish your body with essential nutrients. There are 13 essential vitamins and 89 essential minerals your body requires to thrive. By eating a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains you access many of these nutrients from the most bioavailable source—food. Bioavailability refers to how easy it is for your body to absorb nutrients into your bloodstream and use them to fuel your body.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that contributes to over 350 different internal functions. It’s also a synergistic nutrient, that works with other vitamins and minerals to support the functions your body completes on autopilot. If you aren’t getting enough magnesium, it can lead to low calcium and potassium levels and a deficiency ripple effect.
Essential nutrients work together in complex ways. It’s not as simple as getting enough of one nutrient or another, but about getting the full spectrum your body requires to achieve peak activation and absorption of all nutrients. This is referred to as vitamin synergy.
For example, one of the many health benefits of magnesium is its ability to activate vitamin D. When fully activated, vitamin D (amongst other things) draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissue, back into the bones—promoting healthy bone structure. This also minimizes clogged arteries caused by calcification.
According to Healthline, this powerhouse mineral may also:
- Help convert food into energy
- Transform amino acids into protein
- Create and repair DNA
- Aid in muscle contraction
- Aid in muscle relaxation
- Regulate the nervous system
- Boost physical performance
- Boost physical recovery
- Minimize physical inflammation
- Regulate blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
- Minimize the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Combat anxiety, stress, and depression
- Minimize headaches
- Minimize PMS symptoms
- Promote bone health
- Improve sleep
Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?
According to Science Daily, up to 50% of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium from food alone. This means that vitamin D remains stored and inactive and that the hundreds of other functions magnesium contributes to may not be fully activated.
The National Institute of Health suggests a daily serving of between 310 and 420 mg of magnesium per day for adults.
Food high in magnesium include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Cow’s milk
- Rolled oats
- While wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Fortified milk
You can also take a bioavailable magnesium supplement.
11 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
The body is miraculous and will alert you when you aren’t getting what it needs. However, the signs of vitamin deficiency are often mild symptoms that are easy to confuse with other things. So, it’s important to know what to look for.
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Pins and needles sensation
- Stress, depression, and anxiety
- Weak bones and/or osteoporosis
- Physical and/or mental fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Increased asthma symptoms
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chocolate cravings
If you have several of the symptoms above or other symptoms you can’t account for, schedule a physical—and request a vitamin deficiency test.
Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?
Improved sleep is one of the most well-known health benefits of magnesium. While the hundreds of other functions it supports occur internally, improved quality of sleep is something that is more noticeable.
It contributes to sleep by:
- Calming the central nervous system—studies find that this powerhouse mineral plays a vital role in regulating the central nervous system.
- Regulating melatonin—melatonin is one of 50 hormones in the body. Its primary role is in regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Magnesium helps to regulate melatonin levels.
- Addressing age-related sleep insomnia—50% of adults over the age of 55 struggle with insomnia. Magnesium has been proven to help with age-related insomnia.
- Minimizing anxiety—anxiety can keep you up at night. By minimizing anxiety, the quality of sleep is improved.
Minimizing restless leg syndrome (RLS)—when taken with vitamin B6, RLS symptoms may improve, in turn improving your quality of sleep.
How to Choose the Right Magnesium Supplement?
There are 8 different types of magnesium and your body utilizes each type to perform different functions. For example, Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It is used for a variety of purposes including minimizing constipation and soothing sore muscles when added to your bathtub.
If you are considering a daily supplement, prioritize one that is bioavailable. Otherwise, you will take the supplement and it will pass through your digestive tract without being absorbed into your bloodstream.
YouPlenish offers an excellent Magnesium supplement comprised of a 3-blend bioavailable form of magnesium- —Calm.
Calm is a powder you can mix into water. It contains:
- Magnesium orotate
- Magnesium glycerophosphate
- TRAACS® magnesium bisglycinate chelate
What is the Best Time of Day to Take Magnesium?
To activate the full health benefits of magnesium, consistency is more important than taking it at a set time of day. That being said, if you want to wind down at the end of the day or improve the quality of your sleep, products that contain magnesium glycerophosphate or glycinate should be taken later in the day.
Calm contains both of these sleep-inducing minerals and can be taken with dinner or a light evening snack. Taking it with food aids your body in absorption.
A Proactive Approach Is the Best Approach!
Now that you understand the health benefits of magnesium, you can decide if it’s the appropriate addition to your supplement routine. Discuss all supplements with your physician and remember that nutritional needs change during each season of life.
Here’s to your healthy lifestyle!