What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for the human body that plays a pivotal role in various biological processes such as energy production, muscle and nerve function, and protein synthesis. Some foods high in Magnesium are green leafy vegetables, avocado, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Inadequate magnesium intake can lead to deficiencies, resulting in health problems such as muscle cramps, fatigue, and weak bones.
Magnesium: Benefits & Uses
These are some science-backed health benefits of Magnesium.
- Heart healthy: It supports heart health by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. Healthy magnesium levels indicate a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Support healthy brain functioning: Magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function by helping transmit nerve impulses and supporting muscle contraction and relaxation.
- Promote healthy bones: We need Magnesium to maintain a strong bone density as it aids in the absorption and use of calcium.
- Anti-diabetic: Magnesium may help regulate blood sugar levels by influencing insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
- Relieve stress: This mineral has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by affecting neurotransmitter levels and regulation.
- Healthy digestion: Supports healthy digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and reducing symptoms of indigestion.
- Anti-inflammatory: Magnesium is anti-inflammatory in nature. It relaxes muscles and reduces inflammation by reducing the levels of the pro-inflammatory markers.
- Enhance athletic performance: Active people and athletes must ensure adequate magnesium intake to boost their physical performance and energy production and reduce muscle fatigue.
- Promote healthy sleep: Promotes restful sleep by regulating the production of hormones such as melatonin.
- Necessary for genetic material: Magnesium is essential for forming DNA and RNA, which are critical components in the growth, development, and function of tissues.
How does Magnesium work?
Magnesium acts as a cofactor for enzymes in many cellular processes in the body, including energy production, muscle and nerve function, DNA formation, hormonal regulation, heart and bone health, and blood sugar control.
These are the most popular magnesium types found in supplements.
- Magnesium Oxide: Good source of Magnesium for those with constipation or digestive issues.
- Magnesium Citrate: Helps with digestion and elimination, also used as a mild laxative.
- Magnesium Chloride: Easily absorbed, supports heart and immune function and helps regulate electrolytes.
- Magnesium L-Threonate: Easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, promotes cognitive function, and improves sleep.
- Magnesium Glycinate: This form is well-tolerated and quickly absorbed. It supports mental and physical relaxation.
- Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt): Good for skin and muscle health, can be used as a bath soak or added to hot water for soaking feet.
- Magnesium Carbonate: Good source of Magnesium for those with acid reflux; antacid properties neutralize stomach acid.
- Magnesium Taurate: Supports heart health and helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Magnesium Aspartate: Helps improve energy levels, endurance, and physical performance.
- Magnesium Malate: Supports healthy energy metabolism and helps reduce muscle pain and fatigue.
How to choose the right Magnesium for you?
These are some tips for choosing the right Magnesium supplements.
- Some Magnesium forms are better absorbed than others, such as magnesium citrate, glycinate, and threonate. Hence one can choose the form and dosage accordingly.
- If you have a specific health concern such as constipation, acid reflux, or heart health, consider a form of Magnesium that specifically addresses that concern.
- Different forms of Magnesium have different recommended dosages; it is advisable to follow the instructions on the label or consult an expert.
- Look for a reputable brand and ensure the product is third-party tested for purity and potency.
- The supplement should be FSSAI-approved and free from unwanted fillers.
- One must check the serving size and dosage. It is always apt to consult a healthcare professional before starting a Magnesium supplement regimen.
How to use Magnesium?
- Magnesium supplements are widely available in various forms like capsules, tablets, syrups, gummies, and powders. Choose the form that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
- It is advisable to follow the label instructions or consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dose for you.
- Some forms of Magnesium are best taken with food to reduce the risk of digestive upset, while some can be taken on an empty stomach. It is better to consult a doctor to determine the best time to take it.
- If you are taking other medications or have a medical condition, consult a doctor before starting magnesium supplements, as they can interact with certain medications.
- Regular monitoring of blood magnesium levels is recommended, especially if you are taking high doses or have a medical condition.
Where to buy Magnesium?
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Is Magnesium safe to use?
Magnesium is generally safe when taken in the recommended doses and forms. However, high amounts of Magnesium can lead to adverse effects such as digestive upset, loose stools, and impaired kidney function.
People with medical conditions, such as kidney disease, heart disease, or bowel obstruction, or on regular medications should consult a healthcare professional before starting a magnesium supplement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How much Magnesium per day is recommended?
As per ICMR, the daily Magnesium requirement for an adult male is 440 mg and 370 mg for females. However, the recommendation may vary during medical conditions, strenuous exercise, and deficiency.
2. What are low magnesium symptoms?
Here are a few magnesium deficiency symptoms:
- Muscular weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Bone pain
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
3. Are there any magnesium side effects?
Magnesium supplements are safe when taken in moderation as per the need. Overuse can result in diarrhoea, nausea, cramps, and abdominal distress.
4. Does Magnesium help you sleep?
It may support sleep health by maintaining healthy GABA levels. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that promotes restful sleep.
5. What are some Magnesium benefits for women?
Magnesium supplements can help women by aiding in strong bone health. Studies support that women are more prone to osteoporosis. Magnesium also affects hormone regulation, including the menstrual cycle and menopause. This nutrient is vital for foetal growth and development and may also help reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and other complications during pregnancy.