Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays an essential role in maintaining overall health and well-being. From promoting heart health and reducing fatigue to supporting bone and muscle health, magnesium is involved in numerous bodily functions.
However, despite its importance, it is believed that up to 50% of the population struggle to meet their daily magnesium requirements with 2.5% to 15% meeting the clinical criteria for magnesium deficiency.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of magnesium, how much magnesium you need, the different types of magnesium supplements available, and the best magnesium-rich foods to incorporate into your diet.
Whether you’re looking to boost your magnesium levels, improve your health, or address a specific concern, this article has got you covered.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and serves as a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems, making it an indispensable component of various biological processes.
As an essential mineral, magnesium must be obtained through the foods we eat or supplements, as our bodies cannot produce it on their own. Once ingested, magnesium is primarily found in our bones, muscles, and soft tissues, with small amounts also present in bodily fluids and blood.
What are the benefits of magnesium?
While numerous anecdotal reports and clinical studies suggest that magnesium may benefit a wide range of health concerns, as a supplement company, we’re only allowed to discuss those benefits that have been authorised and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
As per authorised health claims, magnesium supplementation contributes to:
- Normal functioning of the nervous system – Magnesium plays a vital role in the transmission of nerve impulses and supports the normal functioning of the nervous system. By regulating the activity of neurotransmitters, magnesium helps maintain healthy communication between nerves.
- Normal muscle function (including the heart) – Magnesium is essential for muscle contraction and relaxation, including heart muscle. It aids in the regulation of muscle contractions, thus contributing to normal muscle function throughout the body.
- Normal psychological function – Magnesium has been shown to support normal psychological function by influencing various neurotransmitters and receptors involved in mood regulation and cognitive processes.
- Reduction of tiredness and fatigue – Magnesium is involved in energy-yielding metabolism, helping to convert the food we eat into energy. By supporting this process, magnesium contributes to reducing tiredness and fatigue.
- Normal energy-yielding metabolism – As mentioned earlier, magnesium plays a critical role in the process of converting food into energy. It participates in various metabolic pathways that generate energy, supporting normal energy-yielding metabolism.
- Electrolyte balance – Magnesium contributes to maintaining electrolyte balance in the body, which is essential for the proper functioning of cells and organs. It helps regulate the balance of other minerals and ions, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium.
- Maintenance of normal bones – Magnesium is a vital component of bone structure and plays a significant role in bone mineralisation. By contributing to the maintenance of normal bones, magnesium supports overall skeletal health.
- Maintenance of normal teeth – Similar to its role in bone health, magnesium is also crucial for the maintenance of normal teeth. It is an essential component of tooth structure and contributes to the mineralisation of teeth, ensuring their strength and durability.
- Magnesium contributes to normal protein synthesis – Protein synthesis is a fundamental biological process, and magnesium plays a crucial role in it. By supporting normal protein synthesis, magnesium helps maintain and repair tissues and contributes to overall growth and development.
- Magnesium has a role in the process of cell division – Cell division is a vital process for growth, development, and repair within the body. Magnesium is involved in various stages of cell division, ensuring the proper functioning of this essential process.
By understanding the health benefits of magnesium, you can better appreciate the importance of this mineral in supporting a healthy lifestyle.
How much magnesium do you need per day?
To ensure you’re reaping the full benefits of magnesium, it’s essential to meet the recommended daily intake for your age and gender. According to the NHS, the daily magnesium requirements are as follows:
- Men (19 to 64 years) – 300 mg/day
- Women (19 to 64 years) – 270 mg/day
It’s important to note that these recommendations are general guidelines, and individual needs may vary depending on factors such as lifestyle, overall health, and specific nutritional requirements. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate magnesium intake for your individual circumstances.
The Department of Health and Social Care advises that you should be able to get all the magnesium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you choose to take magnesium supplements, do not take excessive amounts, as this could be harmful. Having 400 mg or less a day of magnesium from supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
What foods have the most magnesium?
A balanced and varied diet is key to meeting your daily magnesium requirements. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your meals can help ensure you’re getting the necessary intake to support your overall health.
- Nuts – Nuts are hands-down one of the best magnesium sources. You will find the most magnesium content in Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds containing an impressive 410, 270 & 270mg of magnesium per 100g serving respectively.
- Seeds – Considering their tiny size, seeds are giant powerhouses of nutritious goodness with the biggest boost of magnesium coming from flaxseed, sesame and sunflower seeds packing a potent 392, 390 & 370mg of magnesium per 100g serving.
- Legumes – Legumes are a super-nutritious plant food family that includes beans, lentils and peas. The highest magnesium content is found in dried soya beans offering 250mg of magnesium per 100g serving.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa ) is very rich in magnesium with a 100mg slab containing 228mg of magnesium.
- Whole Grains – Grains like quinoa, brown basmati and oats are rich sources of magnesium packing an impressive 210, 119 & 114mg of magnesium per 100g serving respectively.
- Leafy Greens – Leafy green vegetables are packed with magnesium. Just a handful of baby spinach (30g) would give you nearly 40mg of magnesium. Other great sources include kale, Swiss chard and mustard greens.
- Tempeh & Tofu – These two soy-based meat alternatives pack a whopping 70 and 67mg of magnesium per 100g serving respectively.
- Fatty Fish – Take salmon, for example, which packs a minimum of 34mg of magnesium into every 100g serving. That means a typical 200g fillet gives you at least 68mg of magnesium.
- Bananas – Bananas are a great magnesium-boosting snack, with one large banana (130g) bringing 35mg of magnesium.
- Avocados – Your average avocado (150g) packs a potent 40.5mg of magnesium.
Incorporating these magnesium-rich foods into your diet can help ensure you’re meeting your daily magnesium needs.
What are the different types of magnesium supplements?
Magnesium supplements come in various forms, each with its own unique properties, benefits, and levels of bioavailability. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common types of magnesium supplements and their characteristics:
- Magnesium Malate – Magnesium malate is bound to malic acid, which is involved in the production of energy in the body. Magnesium malate is known for its high bioavailability and is considered a good option for people experiencing fatigue or low energy levels.
- Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium citrate is formed by combining magnesium with citric acid. This type of magnesium supplement is highly bioavailable and is often used for general magnesium supplementation and to support digestive health.
- Magnesium Glycinate – Magnesium glycinate is magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine. Known for its high bioavailability and gentle effect on the stomach, this form is a popular choice for individuals with sensitive digestive systems and is often used as a natural calming and sleep aid.
- Magnesium Taurate – Magnesium taurate is magnesium bound to the amino acid taurine. This combination is thought to have potential cardiovascular benefits, and it is often used to support heart health. It’s important to note that other highly-bioavailable forms of magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate, can also play a significant role in promoting heart health, as they contribute to overall magnesium levels in the body.
- Magnesium L-threonate – Magnesium L-threonate is a unique form of magnesium that has been shown to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, it is often used to support cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health.
- Magnesium Oxide – Magnesium oxide is the most common magnesium type found in supplements due to its low cost and high elemental dose per serving, however, studies show a very low absorption rate of only 4%, meaning that only a tiny amount is absorbed by the body, approximately 12 mg out of a 500 mg tablet.
- Magnesium Chloride – This form of magnesium is often found in topical preparations, such as lotions and creams. It can also be taken orally and has moderate bioavailability. Magnesium chloride is often used to support skin health and for general magnesium supplementation.
At MAGSUPPS, we believe in combining synergistic types of highly-bioavailable magnesium for maximum benefits. Our flagship triple magnesium complex features three types of magnesium your body is proven to absorb and use best. Each type has its unique benefits, and when combined, they offer superior absorption and maximum benefits.
Should I take a magnesium supplement?
The decision to take a magnesium supplement is influenced by several factors, including individual dietary needs, lifestyle factors, and guidance from a healthcare professional. It’s essential to consider these aspects before deciding whether a magnesium supplement is right for you.
- Individual dietary needs – Some individuals may struggle to meet their daily magnesium requirements through diet alone, particularly if they follow a restricted diet or have food intolerances that limit their food choices. In such cases, a magnesium supplement may help ensure adequate magnesium intake.
- Lifestyle factors – Factors such as stress, excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, and certain medications can all impact your body’s magnesium levels. If you find that your lifestyle is affecting your magnesium status, a supplement may be a helpful addition to your routine.
- Guidance from a healthcare professional – It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a magnesium supplement, as they can help you determine the appropriate dosage based on your unique circumstances and nutritional requirements. They can also advise you on potential interactions with medications or other supplements you may be taking.
- Signs & symptoms of magnesium deficiency – Watch out for the potential signs of magnesium deficiency, such as muscle cramps, fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety and irregular heartbeat.
In summary, magnesium is a crucial mineral that is essential for many bodily functions. From supporting bone health to promoting heart health and reducing fatigue, magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being.
While magnesium supplements can be an effective way to increase your magnesium intake, it’s important to remember that a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits are also essential. By incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, staying hydrated, and reducing stress, you can naturally boost your magnesium levels and optimise your health.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about magnesium and its benefits. We hope this article has been informative and helpful in supporting your health journey.