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Do you really need more magnesium? Here’s when to add a supplement to your diet

You might not need more magnesium in your diet.

In recent years, magnesium has taken the health and wellness world by storm. Social media influencers, health professionals, and wellness enthusiasts have been touting the benefits of this essential mineral. In fact, magnesium supplement sales have jumped up 10%.

Studio 5 Health Contributor Miki Eberhardt shares whether or not you really need to jump on the magnesium bandwagon.

Check out Miki’s Wellness Wednesdays in September, where she delves deeper into various wellness topics through a 45-minute class at noon. Find her on Instagram, @nutritionbymiki.


When to Consider More Magnesium

The Magnesium Basics

First things first, what exactly is magnesium? It’s a mineral, one of the most abundant in our bodies, and it plays a crucial role in hundreds of biochemical processes. From protein synthesis to regulating muscle and nerve functions, blood glucose, and blood pressure, magnesium is a true multitasker in our bodies.

But here’s the kicker: most of us aren’t deficient in magnesium. Why? Because it’s naturally present in many of the foods we commonly eat, such as whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fortified cereals. Plus, our kidneys are smart—they regulate magnesium levels by adjusting how much is excreted and can even pull some from our bones if necessary.

What Can Lead to Low Magnesium?

While magnesium deficiency is relatively rare, certain factors can contribute to lower absorption. These include excessive alcohol and caffeine intake, gastrointestinal issues like celiac disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and medications like heartburn relievers (e.g., Prilosec or Prevacid). If you experience any of these, you might be at risk of lower magnesium levels.

Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

How do you know if you might be deficient in magnesium? Look out for signs like muscle twitches, restless legs, insomnia, and overall fatigue. While these symptoms can be caused by various factors, magnesium deficiency could be a contributing factor, especially if you have other risk factors.

Safe Ways to Increase Your Magnesium Intake

If you’re considering upping your magnesium intake, remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to health issues. Start with a balanced diet rich in magnesium-containing foods. Ensure there are no underlying medical conditions affecting magnesium absorption, like kidney or gastrointestinal problems.

Supplementing with magnesium can be an option, but don’t exceed 350 milligrams without consulting a doctor. Multivitamins typically contain around 100 milligrams, and there are magnesium powders available, but moderation is key.

Magnesium and Stress

Did you know that chronic stress can also impact magnesium absorption? To combat stress, consider incorporating relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or even an Epsom salt bath into your routine. Epsom salt is a magnesium source that can help relax muscles and improve sleep quality.

Is Magnesium Gender-Specific?

While magnesium benefits everyone, it may have a slightly more noticeable impact on women, particularly concerning sleep and children’s health.

So, before you go chasing every magnesium-related headline you see on social media, remember that magnesium is already abundant in many foods. Instead, focus on maintaining a balanced diet, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, managing stress, and considering magnesium supplementation if necessary.

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