Magnesium: The Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available!

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Magnesium - The Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available
Magnesium – The Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available Graphic © Background photo: Shutterstock #1338770453 (under license)

Vitamins and minerals are crucial for our overall health. But while they all play important roles, some have more profound effects on the body than others. Case in point, magnesium.

“Magnesium is mostly ignored because it’s not a drug—even though it’s more powerful in many cases than some drugs, which is why we use it in life-threatening and emergency situations like seizures or heart failure in the hospital,” says Mark Hyman, M.D, a #1 New York Timesbestselling author and family physician who specializes in functional medicine.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the body needs magnesium for more than 300 enzymatic reactions and biochemical reactions—including energy production, blood pressure regulation, muscle function, DNA synthesis, bone development, and nerve function. [1] Likewise, a magnesium deficiency can have an adverse effect on your health.

In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of magnesium, the health risk of diminished levels, and some magnesium-rich dietary sources to help you get enough of the mineral.

List Of Health Benefits Of Magnesium

Magnesium is in nearly every nook and cranny of your body! While most of it (60%) is found in your bones, every cell needs the mineral to function. [2]

It mainly acts as a helper molecule—supporting hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. This includes energy creation, protein formation, nervous system regulation, gene maintenance, and muscle movements. [3]

More specifically, here are some health benefits of adequate levels of magnesium:

Enhance Exercise Performance: Studies suggest that magnesium may enhance your workout performance by increasing muscle power and reducing fatigue. [4][5][6]

Cardiovascular Health: You need magnesium to maintain a strong and healthy heart. A nutritional mineral intake may reduce your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. [7]

Fight Inflammation: Magnesium deficiency is linked to oxidative stress and increased inflammation, which is associated with chronic disease and aging. On the other hand, taking magnesium supplements may help fight inflammation. [8][9][10]

Help with Depression and Anxiety: Magnesium plays an important role in healthy brain function. Studies suggest that a deficiency of the mineral may be linked to anxiety and depression. Along the same lines, taking magnesium supplements may improve the symptoms of these mood disorders. [11][12][13]

Bone Health: As mentioned earlier, up to 60% of magnesium in your body is found in your bones. An adequate magnesium intake is linked to healthy bone formation, higher bone density, and a reduced risk of fractures and osteoporosis (weak bones). [14][15][16]

Sleep Quality: Struggling with insomnia? There are a number of reasons that could be behind your sleep disturbances—including inadequate magnesium. The mineral is believed to regulate gamma-aminobutyric acid, which are neurotransmitters that influence your sleep patterns. Research suggests that taking magnesium supplements may lower the amount of time it takes to fall asleep while improving the overall sleep quality. [17][18][19]

Relief from Migraines: According to a study published in Biological Trace Element Research, people who struggle with migraines are more likely to have a magnesium deficiency than those who don’t. [20] Other studies suggest that magnesium therapy may prevent and provide quick and effective relief from migraines. [21]

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels: Some studies report that around 48% of diabetics (type 2) have low magnesium levels in their blood. [22][2] It‘s suggested that magnesium may play a role in supporting insulin sensitivity and improving blood sugar levels. [23][24]

Help with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Premenstrual syndrome is a common condition characterized by abdominal cramps, water retention, irritability, and tiredness. [25] And according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “Taking magnesium supplements may help reduce water retention (“bloating”), breast tenderness, and mood symptoms.” [26]

Signs Of Magnesium Deficiency

The vital role of magnesium is clear. To enjoy all the health benefits of adequate magnesium levels, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 310-320 mg for women and 400-420 mg for men. [1]
Nonetheless, research shows that around 1 in 2 American adults do not meet the recommended daily intake of this all-important mineral. [27][2] So, are you deficient?

Dr. Berg recommends thinking of magnesium as a relaxation mineral. If anything is tight, irritable, crampy, or stiff, it may signify magnesium deficiency. Some early signs of magnesium deficiency include [1]:

• Loss of appetite
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Fatigue
• Weakness

As magnesium deficiency progresses without effective treatment, the symptoms may worsen. They may include personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, numbness, coronary spasms, muscle contractions and cramps, tingling, and seizures.

People At Higher Risk Of Magnesium Deficiency

The following groups of people are believed to be at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency [1]:

• Older people; due to increased excretion of the mineral and decreased absorption in the gut.
• Those with alcohol dependence.
• People with type 2 diabetes.
• Those with gastrointestinal diseases like celiac and Crohn’s—which may lead to poor absorption of magnesium and increased loss.
• People who use medications that interact and reduce the magnesium status in the body.

List Of Magnesium-Rich Foods

Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of magnesium deficiency or not, it’s important to meet the recommended daily intake for optimal body functioning.
You can easily get enough magnesium from healthy whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, and some fatty fish. Here are some delicious and nutritious magnesium-rich foods to add to your diet plan:

• Avocados.
• Dark chocolate.
• Cashews and Brazil nuts, and almonds.
• Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, peas, and beans.
• Mackerel, salmon, halibut, and other fatty fish.
• Pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds.
• Leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens.
• Tofu.
• Whole grains, including wheat, oats, and barley.
• Pseudocereals like quinoa and buckwheat .
• Bananas.

If getting enough magnesium from your diet is a challenge for whatever reason, you may want to consider taking magnesium supplements.

And suppose supplementation seems like the best path for you (with advice from your doctor). In that case, you’ll notice that there are several forms of magnesium supplements on the market. While a number of factors may influence absorption, forms that tend to be absorbed better include magnesium glycinate, orotate, citrate, and carbonate. [27]



[1] National Institutes of Health (Office of Dietary Supplements):

[2] Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in prevention and therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199-8226:

[3] De Baaij, J. H., Hoenderop, J. G., & Bindels, R. J. (2015). Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiological reviews:

[4] Wang, R., Chen, C., Liu, W., Zhou, T., Xun, P., He, K., & Chen, P. (2017). The effect of magnesium supplementation on muscle fitness: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Magnesium research, 30(4), 120-132:

[5] Welch, A. A., Kelaiditi, E., Jennings, A., Steves, C. J., Spector, T. D., & MacGregor, A. (2016). Dietary magnesium is positively associated with skeletal muscle power and indices of muscle mass and may attenuate the association between circulating C‐reactive protein and muscle mass in women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 31(2), 317-325:

[6] Zhang, Y., Xun, P., Wang, R., Mao, L., & He, K. (2017). Can magnesium enhance exercise performance?. Nutrients, 9(9), 946:

[7] Rosique-Esteban, N., Guasch-Ferré, M., Hernández-Alonso, P., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2018). Dietary magnesium and cardiovascular disease: a review with emphasis in epidemiological studies. Nutrients, 10(2), 168:

[8] Zheltova, A. A., Kharitonova, M. V., Iezhitsa, I. N., & Spasov, A. A. (2016). Magnesium deficiency and oxidative stress: an update. BioMedicine, 6(4), 1-7:

[9] Nielsen, F. H. (2018). Magnesium deficiency and increased inflammation: current perspectives. Journal of inflammation research, 11, 25:

[10] Simental-Mendia, L. E., Sahebkar, A., Rodriguez-Moran, M., Zambrano-Galvan, G., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2017). Effect of magnesium supplementation on plasma C-reactive protein concentrations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Current pharmaceutical design, 23(31), 4678-4686:

[11] Tarleton, E. K., & Littenberg, B. (2015). Magnesium intake and depression in adults. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 28(2), 249-256:

[12] Tarleton, E. K., Littenberg, B., MacLean, C. D., Kennedy, A. G., & Daley, C. (2017). Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PloS one, 12(6), e0180067:

[13] Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress—a systematic review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429:

[14] Rondanelli, M., Faliva, M. A., Tartara, A., Gasparri, C., Perna, S., Infantino, V., … & Peroni, G. (2021). An update on magnesium and bone health. BioMetals, 34(4), 715-736:

[15] Groenendijk, I., van Delft, M., Versloot, P., van Loon, L. J., & de Groot, L. C. (2022). Impact of magnesium on bone health in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Bone, 154, 116233:

[16] Castiglioni, S., Cazzaniga, A., Albisetti, W., & Maier, J. A. (2013). Magnesium and osteoporosis: current state of knowledge and future research directions. Nutrients, 5(8), 3022-3033:

[17] Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress—a systematic review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429:

[18] Mah, J., & Pitre, T. (2021). Oral magnesium supplementation for insomnia in older adults: a Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 1-11:

[19] Zhang, Y., Chen, C., Lu, L., Knutson, K. L., Carnethon, M. R., Fly, A. D., … & Kahe, K. (2022). Association of magnesium intake with sleep duration and sleep quality: findings from the CARDIA study. Sleep, 45(4), zsab276:

[20] Dolati, S., Rikhtegar, R., Mehdizadeh, A., & Yousefi, M. (2020). The role of magnesium in pathophysiology and migraine treatment. Biological trace element research, 196(2), 375-383:

[21] Shahrami, A., Assarzadegan, F., Hatamabadi, H. R., Asgarzadeh, M., Sarehbandi, B., & Asgarzadeh, S. (2015). Comparison of therapeutic effects of magnesium sulfate vs. dexamethasone/metoclopramide on alleviating acute migraine headache. The Journal of emergency medicine, 48(1), 69-76:

[22] Barbagallo, M., & Dominguez, L. J. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World journal of diabetes, 6(10), 1152:

[23] Veronese, N., Watutantrige-Fernando, S., Luchini, C., Solmi, M., Sartore, G., Sergi, G., … & Stubbs, B. (2016). Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. European journal of clinical nutrition, 70(12), 1354-1359:

[24] Simental-Mendia, L. E., Sahebkar, A., Rodriguez-Moran, M., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacological research, 111, 272-282:

[25] Gudipally, P. R., & Sharma, G. K. (2022). Premenstrual syndrome. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing:

[26] American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):

[27] Razzaque, M. S. (2018). Magnesium: are we consuming enough?. Nutrients, 10(12), 1863:

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