By Matt Dustin
US Myprotein Writer
Magnesium is an essential mineral, and the benefits of it are nearly endless. It is one of the six essential macro-nutrients which helps to build bones, plays a key role in nerve function and helps the body to derive energy from foods.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The symptoms of not having enough magnesium in your body can seriously effect your day to day life. In many developed countries, magnesium deficiency is becoming quite a serious problem.
If you begin to run low on magnesium you may notice some of the following symptoms:
✗ Lack of appetite
✗ Muscle cramping
If you stay deficient long enough, you can even expect numbness, tingling, cramps, heart palpitations, mood swings, and even seizures.
These symptoms can be banished by eating the right foods and taking supplementation. Not only can they get rid of the negative aspects of deficiency but they can also bolster your body with extra benefits.
Magnesium Health Benefits
Magnesium is great at preventing many common conditions and even diseases. Within its day-to-day job, it plays a vital part in contracting and relaxing muscles, regulating blood sugar, helping to synthesize proteins and energy metabolism.
Added benefits of taking magnesium supplementation include:
✓ Improved cardiovascular function
✓ Better sleep
✓ Improved mood
✓ Improved bone density.
Foods Containing Magnesium
A big contributor to magnesium deficiency is today’s farming processes. Food is not always grown in the best soil, as farming practices have changed, so even the foods that are typically high in magnesium, may be a bit lacking. Add to that our highly-processed, fast-food diets, and it’s easy to see why so many people are lacking in magnesium.
Fortunately, if you are able to find locally grown, or organic food sources, you’ll be better off. Even if you can’t, eating magnesium rich foods is better than living with a deficiency.
Foods that are rich in magnesium include: dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts, seeds, beans, whole-grains, avocado, fish, and dark chocolate – health foods you know you should eat, but you may be lacking in.
Magnesium Supplement Dosage
If the idea of increasing your daily kale and seed intake isn’t appealing, you can always use magnesium supplementation. The standard effective dose is anywhere between 200-400mg, taken daily. There are multiple forms of magnesium available. They can all work, although with two of the forms, magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride, stomach upset and bloating is commonly reported, since they don’t absorb very well.
If you’re going to take magnesium, look for magnesium citrate.
This will be the easiest to digest, and shouldn’t cause much bloating and cramping. It’s best to take magnesium with food whenever possible. For those suffering from insomnia, who want to improve their sleep, you could also consider using a ZMA supplement. The combination of zinc and magnesium will help offset any magnesium deficiency, with the added benefit of increasing relaxation, and promoting a deep, restful sleep.