For those of you who have taken my classes or trained with me one on one, you will know how passionate I am about my favourite topic of conversation....the importance of taking this one very over looked but super awesome supplement......magnesium glycinate.
If you want to sleep better, get rid of stress, improve brain function, enhance overall health and well being then magnesium may just be the answer you're looking for! And these are just a few of the many incredible benefits of getting enough magnesium. Add losing belly fat and having a leaner body composition to that list and you have a nutrient that everybody needs to know about!
Certainly one of the most important nutrients for the human body, magnesium is involved in all of these issues, as well as at least 300 essential biochemical reactions. These include protein synthesis, testosterone production, insulin sensitivity, calcium absorption, and regulation of the sympathetic nervous system. Plus, magnesium has been shown to enable the metabolism of vitamin D, meaning it is essential for bone health and treatment of osteoporosis.
Three things you should know about magnesium to begin are:
First, most people are deficient in magnesium and this pattern of scarcity is evident across the Western world.
Second, the standard test used by medical doctors for magnesium measures serum magnesium levels in the blood, but only about one percent of this mineral is found in the blood. Rather, about 66 percent is found in bone and 33 percent in skeletal and cardiac muscle. In order to effectively asses magnesium levels that reflect how it works in the body you need to test content in the red blood cells. It’s very common for individuals with serum magnesium lab results in the normal range to actually be deficient in magnesium.
Third, magnesium plays a role in physical performance and muscle function, meaning that athletes and recreational trainees are commonly deficient because strength training increases magnesium requirements.
Here are the 8 most compelling reasons you should make sure your magnesium levels measure up.
1. Sleep Better and Reduce Insomnia
Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. If you are deficient your heart rate and sympathetic nervous system will be sent into overdrive. Additionally, lack of magnesium has shown to alter electrical activity in the brain, causing agitated sleep and frequent awakenings.
THE TAKE AWAY: Take Magnesium to help you sleep restfully throughout the night and de-stress.
2. Improve Brain Function and Fight Depression
Magnesium is essential for a great memory. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to increase brain function by improving brain electrical activity, allowing for improved learning and memory functions.
Research from MIT has shown that magnesium regulates a key receptor in the brain that supports memory and learning. Adequate magnesium content in the cerebrospinal fluid is essential for maintaining the plasticity of synapses. Further, magnesium is necessary for the proper activity of many enzymes within brain cells that control cellular and memory functions.
TAKEAWAY: Magnesium makes your brain work better and improves memory!
3. Get Stronger and Maximize Protein Synthesis
Magnesium supports protein synthesis because it enables enzyme function in the body. Additionally, research shows that magnesium supplementation paired with resistance exercise can make your stronger.
This study found that a group that took 8 mg/kg of body weight a day of magnesium while strength training three times a week improved strength significantly more than a control group that only trained.
TAKEAWAY: Optimal magnesium levels are necessary for muscle development.
4. Decrease Inflammation: Improve Heart Health
Inflammation is not only an obstacle to recovery from hard workouts; it also contributes to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes. A study by George Washington University found that magnesium deficiency led to increased inflammation in the body, affecting blood vessels, cardiovascular, and intestinal tissues.
TAKEAWAY: Magnesium is critical for cardiovascular health because it decreases inflammation.
5. Get Stronger Bones: Prevent Osteoporosis
Calcium is necessary for stronger bones, but it does nothing if you don’t have adequate levels of magnesium and vitamin D. Magnesium activates cellular enzyme activity, allowing the body to convert vitamin D into its active form to help with calcium absorption and bone building.
Magnesium leads to the release of the hormone calcitonin, which helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues and back into the bones. Plus, magnesium suppresses parathyroid hormone, which breaks bone down.
TAKEAWAY: A calcium supplement is useless without adequate magnesium.
6. Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Prevent Diabetes
Low magnesium levels will decrease your insulin sensitivity, making it harder for you to lose fat and get lean. It will also hamper the body’s storage of glycogen, meaning a longer recovery from workouts. Also, increased insulin resistance and poorly controlled diabetes results in more magnesium loss, magnifying the whole problem.
TAKEAWAY: Magnesium supports a lean body composition AND prevents diabetes.
7. Stress: Magnesium is Necessary for Metabolism of Cortisol
Remember that magnesium affects the sympathetic nervous system and norepinephrine release, which causes cortisol release as part of your stress response. Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of cortisol as well and adequate levels help return you to more relaxed state faster.
TAKEAWAY: Healthy magnesium levels lower cortisol, a hormone that causes weight gain.
8. Digestion: Magnesium Deficiency Causes Constipation and Digestive-Related Diseases
There are a number of symptoms of magnesium deficiency including constipation, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, muscle tremors and twitching, and poor mental function.
Studies shows that magnesium improves digestion and researchers suggest the beneficial effect of dietary fibre on a healthy gastrointestinal tract is due to its high magnesium content. An added benefit to faster transit time through the GI tract is to reduce the risk of disease including colon cancer and diabetes.
TAKEAWAY: Magnesium improves digestion and eliminates constipation. This lowers diabetes and colon cancer risk.