What if I told you there was one mineral that was super important to the earth and our bodies. It’s so great that it could give you more energy, increase fat loss, and improve your overall performance in the gym. But unfortunately, you and roughly 75% of the population are probably deficient.
Not on my watch.
Let’s talk about magnesium.
Magnesium is a critical mineral for both the ecological system of our planet and the functionality of almost all of the systems in our body. It plays a primary role in our nervous, muscular, and digestive systems, which results in 300 critical functions, according to the NIH Fact Sheet:
Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
In fact, magnesium deficiency is known to be associated with the following side effects:
- Autoimmune conditions such as MS and Fibromyalgia
- Carbohydrate and/or Sugar Cravings
- Dental Health Issues
- Digestive Tract Disorders
- Eye Twitching
- Facial Tics
- Joint Pain
- Kidney Stones
- Muscle Spasms
- Muscle Cramps
- Short Term Memory Issues
- Thyroid Issues
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
Yeah. It’s that important.
So how are almost all of us deficient?
The kicker is that most of us are walking around magnesium deficient but don’t know it. Due to multiple lifestyle and environmental factors, the amount of magnesium we have access to or can absorb has been greatly reduced over the last century.
- Nutrient Depleted Food: We used to get magnesium from the food that we ate. However, due to modern farming methods the soil has been all but depleted of essential minerals. In the last 100 years, our magnesium intake has been cut in half. In 1900, most people consumed around 500 mg per day. As of the turn of the century, we are only getting 175-225 mg per day.
- Increased Exposure to Fluoride: Fluoride was added to our water supply in the 1940s in an attempt to improve dental health. Fluoride, however, inhibits may of the enzymatic properties of Magnesium. But don’t just blame the water supply- we are exposed to fluoride through many other sources, such as prescription drugs and tooth paste.
- Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages: Too many alcoholic beverages will put stress on the body, which inhibits magnesium absorption. Not to mention the vomiting, diarrhea, and liver disease that are associated to excessive alcoholic will deplete stored magnesium.
- Stress and other Illnesses: When we’re stressed out, our body lose the ability to absorb most key nutrients, including magnesium.
- Prescription Medication: Many prescription medications can cause magnesium malabsorption or stored magnesium to be excreted quickly. Medications containing estrogen, fluoride, antibiotics, corticosteroids, and diuretics have all been associated with magnesium deficiency.
- Over Supplementation of Calcium: Similar to the Omega-3/Omega-6 conversation, it’s not just the amount but the ratios as well. Adding calcium without magnesium can cause the body to go into a magnesium deficient state, not to mention increase the risk of osteoporosis, heart attack, and kidney stones.
So You Think You’re Magnesium Deficient…
Since I’m not a doctor (and I don’t play one on TV), if you think you may be magnesium deficient and would like to know more about oral supplementation, I would encourage to to work with a functional medicine practitioner. I would discourage you from taking the first magnesium pill you see on the shelf or advertised on Facebook without doing your research. There is a good chance it may be complete crap.
However, I am a big fan of adding more magnesium into my life through transdermal methods. AKA- topically. Here are my favorite three ways:
Magnesium Lotion: Finding a good magnesium lotion is always quick option, but they can be pricey.
Magnesium Soak: My preferred way to get more magnesium is a warm bath. This is simple: one to two cups of magnesium flakes in a bath of warm water. Soak for 20 minutes. Good book optional (but not really).
Magnesium Body Spray: Buuuuut- living in the real world, I know the time commitment for a 20 minute soak is not always feasible. This is why I’ve started incorporating a magnesium spray into my daily routine.
Magnesium Body Spray
1/4 Cup Magnesium Chloride Flakes
1/4 Cup Water (Distilled is optimal for extended shelf life… but mine never lasts that long)
Bring water to a boil. Place the magnesium flakes in a glass bowl. Pour the boiling water over the flakes and whisk together until completely cool. Pour the solution in a spray bottle.
Use the spray once a day on damp or dry (not wet) arms, legs, and abdomen. Allow it to absorb for 5 minutes before moisturizing or dressing. It may tingle the first few applications. If this bothers you, you can further dilute the mixture with water.
I hope I’ve opened your eyes to the potential of Magnesium. Even if you’re skeptical, I would encourage you to just try a magnesium soak every once in awhile. With a good book, of course.
So what about you? Do you add magnesium to your life? Are you going to try? Comment below!!