Magnesium is a common mineral in the human body as it is found in many foods for many diets. Additionally, it is involved in around 300 biochemical reactions which include protein synthesis, muscle, and nerve function and regulates blood pressure. Furthermore, magnesium is needed to transport calcium and potassium to cell membranes and helps with muscle contraction.
There are many reasons why magnesium is so important due to the number of biochemical reactions within the human body. Furthermore, 50-60% of magnesium in our body is present in our bones. Here are several reasons why magnesium is so important and why many people will take supplements to ensure they get their daily requirements.
It May Help Boost Exercise Performance
There are many reasons why magnesium is believed to help improve performance when exercising. As mentioned in the introduction, magnesium will assist in moving blood sugar into your muscles and get rid of lactic acid in your body, allowing you to exercise for longer.
There have been a few studies that have shown magnesium supplements can help with exercise performance, especially with elderly adults who are likely to be deficient in magnesium.
As it stands, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that magnesium supplements can help with improving exercise performance. Nonetheless, there has been enough evidence to allow supplement and nutrition-based brands to promote magnesium in this way.
May Help Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that around 48% of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes have low blood levels of magnesium in their system. It is believed that a magnesium deficiency affects the body in a way that it struggles to manage blood sugar levels.
Other studies have shown that people who have high amounts of magnesium in their bodies will have a lower risk of diabetes type 2. In fact, one study has shown that it may help enhance insulin sensitivity which is needed for managing your blood sugar.
Moreover, despite the number of studies that have shown it can help with type 2 diabetes. There have been some studies that have shown that consuming magnesium supplements won’t improve blood sugar levels or even insulin levels for those who weren’t deficient in magnesium already.
It May Help You Sleep Better At Night
There have been some studies in recent years that have suggested magnesium can help improve sleep. Due to these studies, many people will take magnesium supplements to help with sleeping difficulties such as insomnia. The reason for this is that magnesium controls multiple neurotransmitters that are involved with sleeping.
One of the neurotransmitters is gamma-aminobutyric acid. Gamma-aminobutyric, also known as GABA, will block brain signals and decrease the overall activity within the central nervous system. This amino acid will attach a protein to the human brain which then creates a calming effect. Furthermore, it may help with several feelings such as anxiety, stress, and fear. It is also believed that it may prevent seizures as well.
One study showed that adults who suffered from insomnia and took magnesium supplements reduced their time to fall asleep by around 17 minutes. Not only has it helped to reduce the time to fall asleep but, another study has also shown that it improves the quality of sleep for a longer time.
Magnesium is Believed to Assist with Bone Health
Magnesium is believed to play a vital role in keeping your bones healthy, along with calcium. Around 50-60% of the magnesium that is found in your body is located in your bones. Some scientific studies have shown that lower levels of magnesium mean that it can lead to a higher risk of osteoporosis. Your bones may be more brittle and are more likely to fracture if you have low levels of magnesium.
Recommended Daily Amount of Magnesium
Ensuring that your body has a well-balanced diet is something that is highly recommended. If you are eating the correct foods throughout the day then you will be getting the right nutrients that you need. We require some vitamins and minerals much more than others so make sure you are researching the requirements you need.
Like most vitamins, our daily requirement for magnesium varies for gender and age. For males aged above 19, it is suggested that you have between 400-420 mg however for females, it is recommended that you have between 310-320 mg during the day. Additionally, for much younger age groups, the daily requirement may vary.
Three Foods that Contain High Amounts of Magnesium
Many foods are rich in magnesium so, it should not be difficult to meet your daily requirement. Just remember to have a well-balanced diet and you should be able to naturally achieve your daily requirement. Here is a list of the foods which contain magnesium.
#1. Dark Chocolate
I’m sure this makes everybody happy, seeing dark chocolate at the top of the list. An ounce of dark chocolate contains 64 mg which is 16% of the recommended daily intake. Dark chocolate also contains Iron, copper, manganese, and prebiotic fibers. We suggest that you eat dark chocolate which contains around 70% of cocoa solids, as this will contain more magnesium.
Avocados are also rich in magnesium and they can contain around 58 mg. Again, these are highly nutritious foods that contain multiple vitamins and minerals which are required in the human body. Some of these include potassium, B vitamins, vitamin K and healthy fats. It is believed that avocados can help fight inflammation and improve cholesterol levels.
Finally, nuts contain 82 mg of magnesium per ounce of serving. The nuts that you would want to prioritize in your diet are cashews, almonds, and brazil nuts which provide 20% of recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Several foods contain magnesium and there are several supplements that you can consume as well. Many supplements will help with different things. The available magnesium supplements are; magnesium gluconate, magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium glycinate.
As mentioned previously, there are many health benefits to magnesium however, there is no solid scientific evidence as of yet. If you believe that you are deficient in magnesium then we suggest that you see your local GP. They will be able to perform blood tests to indicate what you are deficient in and how you can help it.