I considered pouring some of my magnesium powder on my lovely cutting board and taking a pic of it for this post (because WTF are you supposed to display in a post about magnesium?!?) but then I thought it would probably look a little suspect. So, pomegranate arils it is.
When I first started researching whole body health, I noticed that most of the health blogs I visit seemed to share a common recommendation: get most of your nutrients from real food, but supplement these: K2 (which I told you about here), Vitamin D (coming soon), Asthataxin (also coming soon) and Magnesium (today’s topic).
Every single cell in the body requires adequate magnesium to function. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and it is necessary for over 300 reactions in the body. Proper magnesium ratios are important for the body’s cells to correctly use calcium. Even a minor deficiency can lead to a dangerous calcium imbalance and lead to problems like calcification. This manifests itself with symptoms like heart trouble, migraine headaches, and muscle cramps.
What depletes magnesium in our bodies? Here’s the big offenders:
- Consumption of caffeine
- Consumption of sugar (It takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single glucose molecule)
- Consumption of processed food
- Consumption of alcohol
- Consumption of produce from depleted soil
- Consumption of foods high in phytic acid
- Consumption of fluoridated drinking water
- Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications (for ulcers and acid reflux)
It is likely that you are deficient in magnesium… 80% of today’s adults are. Blood tests for magnesium can be an ineffective gauge since less than 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood, so instead, we look to symptoms as a sign of deficiency:
- Sensitivity to noise
- Mental disturbances
- Anxiety, depression or restlessness
- Muscle soreness or spasms
- Infertility or PMS
- High levels of stress
- Heart “flutters” or palpitations
- Fatigue or unusual tiredness
- Coldness in extremities
- Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
- Allergies and sensitivities
- Lack of appetite
- Back pain
- Body odor
- Bad short term memory
- Poor coordination
- Insulin resistance
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Frequent cavities or poor dental health
- Gut disorders
- Kidney stones
- Thyroid problems
Before I started supplementing with magnesium, eight of those symptoms applied to me. All eight have improved.
There are three great ways to get more magnesium through supplementation. Transdermally with magnesium oil (good for people with digestive issues), in liquid form (add it to food or drinks) or powdered form. We use the powdered form, specifically a product called Natural Calm for a few reasons:
- you can start with a small dose and work your way up to your own best level/bowel tolerance (or as Calder calls it, “rumbly tummy”)
- the kids like it (it tastes kinda like lemonade)
- it comes in a jar or in convenient single serve packs
- magnesium citrate in ionic form is better absorbed by the body
If you prefer to supplement in pill form, look for a salt chelate, like magnesium citrate and magnesium malate as these are fairly well absorbed. If your magnesium supplement is giving you “rumbly tummy” even when you vary the dose, you might want to try an oral supplement that is chelated to an amino acid, such as magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate, which some consider to be better absorbed than the salt forms and less likely to cause digestive issues.
Depending on symptoms, aim for 3 to 10 mg of magnesium per pound of body weight. If you are shooting to get closer to 10 mg per pound, split up your doses. If you are on the moderate to low end, one dose is ok, and some say taking it at bedtime increases the positive effects it has on sleep.
And, if you are a health nerd like me, The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean is really really interesting.
How Many Americans are Magnesium Deficient? from Life Extension
The Neglected Mineral We Can’t Live Without from Weston A. Price Foundation
Combating Acid May Bring A Host of Ills from New York Times
Throw Away Your Supplements from Chris Kresser
Are You Low on Magnesium? from Wellness Mama
The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean