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9 Reasons You Should Supplement Magnesium

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Last Updated on September 7, 2021

An eye opening burst of scientific data in relation to just how important magnesium really is. If you’re unsure about the importance of magnesium, read this. If you’re not currently supplementing with magnesium, read this and start.

You Should Supplement Magnesium

Keto Electrolytes from Cardnl

How I supplement:

Couple of goals while taking a magnesium supplement: Best if it’s calorie free (no sugar), with a high quality, absorbable Magnesium Malate, AND solid overall electrolyte balance including quality sodium and potassium.

Cardnl Essential Electrolytes: 0 Calories, 830 mg Sodium, 250 mg Potassium, 240 mg Magnesium


What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a chemical element that’s found in nature in a variety of compounds. It’s the fourth most common mineral in the human body after calcium, potassium, and sodium.

What does Magnesium do?

Magnesium plays an important role in cells throughout the body by helping support proper muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, regulating blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and helping to maintain normal bone density. In this post we’ll get in to 9 reasons you should be supplementing with Magnesium.

Your body DOES NOT make magnesium on its own. You need to consume it via food or supplementation.

How much Magnesium do I need every day?

Popular recommendation: If you’re an average size adult male, you’ll need 400-420 mg of magnesium per day. Women need 310-320 mg of magnesium each day. If you’re sweating a lot or are active, you’ll need more than this.

What are natural sources of Magnesium?

Can you get Magnesium from your diet? Yes. However, not all sources are equal. Here’s a post on natural KETO sources of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds (100g = 550mg) High Fat / High Calorie / Paleo / Keto
  2. Brazil Nuts (100g = 376mg) High Fat / High Calorie / Paleo / Keto
  3. Almonds (100g = 270mg) High Fat / High Calorie / Paleo / Keto
  4. Dark Chocolate (100g = 228mg) Paleo / Keto – depending on brand/type – might be too much added sugar or unwanted additional ingredients.
  5. Black Beans (100g = 171mg) If you’re at risk for iron or zinc deficiency, avoid legumes, they contain phytic acid. Phytic acid impairs the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium and may promote mineral deficiencies. While the actual magnesium content of black beans is high, the absorbable overall value may be low.
  6. Whole Wheat Flour (100g = 137mg) Contains Gluten which likely irritates the gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption.
  7. Spinach (100g = 87mg) Low Calorie / Paleo / Keto – 100g of Spinach is a lot.

Why is supplementing Magnesium a better idea?

While you can get ample magnesium from food sources, it’s unlikely that you’ll routinely get enough. Your body wants a routine when it comes to proper magnesium consumption. The drawbacks to getting enough magnesium from food sources may include: poor absorption, higher than necessary calorie consumption, or auto-immune trigger from the food.

Correct magnesium supplementation guarantees proper absorption, quality control, and calorie management.

Reasons you SHOULD supplement with Magnesium

Here’s my list of the top 9 reasons you should be taking a magnesium supplement right now.

9. Supplementing with Magnesium Provides: Better Absorption, Calorie Management, and Consistency

When supplementing with magnesium you don’t need to worry about the absorption as much as with food sources. Some foods sources of magnesium (like: legumes) may end up impacting your body’s ability to absorb the magnesium.

Many of the higher quality magnesium food options are high in fat (which is great) but it also means that you’ll be consuming more calories so it may be difficult to manage caloric intake while trying to hit your daily magnesium goals. Remember: 1 gram of fat = 9 calories while Protein and Carbs per gram = 4 calories. While fat is more satiating than carbohydrate, if you’re consuming more than your body needs, there may be negative health impacts from caloric overload.

When you supplement with a high quality magnesium source daily, you provide your body with consistency, your body craves consistency when it comes to electrolyte balance. Magnesium is a VERY import element when balancing electrolytes. Here’s what magnesium is going to help you with:

8. Magnesium Supplementation Lowers Inflammation

Chronic low intake of magnesium may lead to inflammation which can lead to serious health problems. Moderate magnesium deficiency may seriously induce chronic low-grade inflammation alone. And it may be exacerbated by inflammatory stress caused by other factors. This concept is supported by numerous studies showing association between poor magnesium consumption and pathological conditions for which chronic low-grade inflammation is considered a risk factor. The pathological conditions include: hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

“Many factors affect the determination of the extent to which magnesium deficiency has a role in the occurrence of chronic low-grade inflammation that increase the risk for chronic disease. However, because of magnesium’s role as a physiologic Ca2+ channel blocker, the indication of widespread inadequate intakes of magnesium, and large number of reports associating magnesium deficiency with inflammatory and oxidative stress, the role of magnesium can be considered extensive.”source

Consume more magnesium on a regular basis and improve your inflammation, especially if you have metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

7. Lower Blood Pressure with Magnesium Supplementation

“Mg supplementation at a median dose of 368 mg/d for a median duration of 3 months significantly reduced systolic BP by 2.00 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.43–3.58) and diastolic BP by 1.78 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.73–2.82); these reductions were accompanied by 0.05 mmol/L (95% confidence interval, 0.03, 0.07) elevation of serum Mg compared with placebo.”source

What’s the underlying mechanism causing improved blood pressure with magnesium supplementation? Mg directly stimulates “prostacyclin and nitric oxide formation modulating endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilation, reducing vascular tone and reactivity, and preventing vascular injury via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions.

If you’re worried about your blood pressure, start magnesium supplementation today.

Magnesium helps to reduce blood clots in those with coronary artery disease: Oral magnesium supplementation inhibits platelet-dependent thrombosis in patients with coronary artery disease – read more.

6. Proper Magnesium Supplementation Assists with Blood Sugar Control (especially those with elevated blood sugar)

Twenty-six publications involving 35 cohorts were included in this analysis: Compared to the lowest magnesium intake, the highest level was associated with a 22% lower risk for T2D; the risk was reduced by 6% for each 100 mg increment in daily magnesium intake.” Additional analysis of 26 RCTs (1168 participants) was performed, revealing that magnesium supplementation significantly reduced the fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, and fasting insulin level. – source

If you have high blood sugar, you need to get it under control to improve health outcomes. The first step is to limit carbohydrate intake (most carbs consumed are turned in to sugars when consumed). The second step is to properly supplement with electrolytes (in particular: magnesium).

5. Magnesium Helps Glutathione Production (prevents unwanted cell damage)

Glutathione is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body. It is composed of three different amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Glutathione is an important antioxidant because it helps to maintain healthy cells and to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.

When you have proper magnesium intake, your body is more equipped to produce Glutathione naturally. “Mg in the given doses exerts antioxidant activity and influences the glutathione redox system.”source

Help to prevent cellular damage with proper magnesium supplementation.

4. Magnesium Helps Improve Mood

Magnesium helps improve mood because magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that send messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

“… magnesium treatment has potential benefit for the symptomatic treatment of stress-associated mood and anxiety, and may improve self-reported QoL. There now exists a growing body of evidence supporting the use of magnesium to improve stress-related mental health”source

Low magnesium intake is associated with depression.

“We found a significant association between very low magnesium intake and depression, especially in younger adults. The finding of the potential protective effect of low magnesium intake in older adults is surprising and warrants further investigation.”source

3. Magnesium Boosts Athletic Performance

“A number of studies evaluated the association between Mg status/supplementation and exercise performance and found that the need for Mg increased as individuals’ physical activity level went up. Animal studies indicated that Mg might improve exercise performance via enhancing glucose availability in the brain, muscle and blood; and reducing/delaying lactate accumulation in the muscle.”source

Even when fasted and on a Ketogenic diet, I’ve observed that my blood sugar rises in relation to need during workouts. I’ve fasted for several days and attempted a difficult workout, my blood sugar elevated due to NEED (power output) even though there was no food intake to bump blood sugar.

What’s interesting, I believe proper magnesium supplementation significantly aids in your body’s ability to produce glucose (without food) as needed. This aid may provide more power output and better endurance in athletes. Better magnesium supplementation may help aid in blood sugar response during strenuous activity.

Scientists have found that increasing magnesium in your blood results in improved muscle performance. The better balanced your body is with Magnesium, the more likely you’ll improve performance.

According to studies, magnesium also appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.

“The results of this research indicate that lactate increases with exhaustion. However, magnesium supplement may positively affect performance of sportsmen by decreasing their lactate levels.”source

Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster.

Exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate.

“… intake of oral magnesium and its favourable effects on exercise tolerance and left ventricular function during rest and exercise in stable CAD patients” source

2. Magnesium Helps Activate ATP

“Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the source of energy for use and storage at the cellular level…. ATP is consumed for energy in processes including ion transport, muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, substrate phosphorylation, and chemical synthesis.”source

In other words, ATP takes the chemical energy it gets from food/supplement molecules (amongst other things) and uses it to fuel important cellular processes. You need ATP to function properly.

“ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main source of energy in cells, must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active.”wikipedia

Proper magnesium intake encourages better cellular processes and in turn, a healthier you.

1. Magnesium Helps Prevent Migraines and Helps Improve PMS Symptoms

And finally, last but not least… avoidance of unnecessary pain. If you’re not supplementing with high quality magnesium, it’s likely you’re not getting enough. You may be able to find relief with a simple supplement! Let’s look at migraines and PMS and how magnesium may be the key to helping you find relief.

Migraines and Magnesium

“Lack of magnesium may promote cortical spreading depression, hyperaggregation of platelets, affect serotonin receptor function, and influence synthesis and release of a variety of neurotransmitters.Considering these features of magnesium, the fact that magnesium deficiency may be present in up to half of migraine patients, and that routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.” source

If you’re suffering from headaches, there’s a strong probability that you’re deficient in magnesium (among other essential electrolytes). Start supplementing and then document your incidences of new headaches. Note your intake and improvements.

PMS and Magnesium

If you’re dealing with symptoms including: cramping, feeling tired, irritable, or suffering with abnormal water retention, you may be magnesium deficient. Your first action should be: start taking a high quality magnesium supplement.

In studies, magnesium has been shown to aid in improving PMS symptoms, let’s take a look:

Mood Changes

“Reduced magnesium (Mg) levels have been reported in women affected by premenstrual syndrome (PMS). To evaluate the effects of an oral Mg preparation on premenstrual symptoms, we studied, by a double-blind, randomized design, 32 women (24-39 years old) with PMS confirmed by the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire… These data indicate that Mg supplementation could represent an effective treatment of premenstrual symptoms related to mood changes.”source

Fluid Retention

We investigated the effect of a daily supplement of 200 mg of magnesium (as MgO) for two menstrual cycles on the severity of premenstrual symptoms in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study… A daily supplement of 200 mg of Mg (as MgO) reduced mild premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention in the second cycle of administration.” – source

What Magnesium Supplement Should I Take?

The focus of this post has been on MAGNESIUM because it’s vital in maintaining body function and proper health outcomes. However, magnesium shouldn’t be the sole focus when trying to find the right supplement for overall health. It’s best to combine a balance of high quality essential electrolytes that will absorb well.

The short answer: THIS ELECTROLYTE BLEND – and here’s a post on how to pick the right natural electrolyte blend.

But here’s why including a full blend is better than just taking Mg on its own:

Include Potassium in Your Supplementation

“Potassium and magnesium balance are frequently altered by common pathological conditions. Isolated disturbances of potassium balance do not produce secondary abnormalities in magnesium homeostasis. In contrast, primary disturbances in magnesium balance, particularly magnesium depletion, produce secondary potassium depletion. This appears to result from an inability of the cell to maintain the normally high intracellular concentration of potassium, perhaps as a result of an increase in membrane permeability to potassium and/or inhibition of Na+-K-ATPase. As a result, the cells lose potassium, which is excreted in the urine. Repletion of cell potassium requires correction of the magnesium deficit.source

If you’re not getting enough magnesium, it’s likely that you also have a potassium deficiency.

The Role of Sodium in Supplementation

“Magnesium plays a role in the movement of sodium and potassium across membranes… Therefore, low intracellular magnesium will cause potassium efflux and result in hypokalemia. Other possible mechanisms are likely linked to the dependence of sodium-potassium, ATPase, Sodium/Potassium co-transport, and other transport processes on magnesium.”source

“… Intracellular and extracellular magnesium may be an important physiological regulator of the sodium and potassium pathways in the cell.”source

Why is sodium so important?

“Sodium plays a key role in your body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body’s fluid balance.”Mayo Clinic

From the Mayo clinic: Hyponatremia (concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low) signs and symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma

I’ve found that balanced electrolytes (including the ever-important sodium) significantly reduces headaches and cramping. When I’m not consistently supplementing with electrolytes I tend to get headaches and muscle cramps in my calves more often.

This is especially true for those of us on a low carbohydrate diet. Eating low carb or Keto acts as a diuretic and means water weight is quickly shed. When this occurs, your body depletes the salt too quickly. This is also true for those who are very active too, the more you sweat, the more salt supplementation you’ll need to stay properly hydrated.

The Right Electrolyte Blend

Keto Electrolytes from Cardnl

How I supplement:

Couple of goals while taking a magnesium supplement: Best if it’s calorie free (no sugar), with a high quality, absorbable Magnesium Malate, AND solid overall electrolyte balance including quality sodium and potassium.

Cardnl Essential Electrolytes: 0 Calories, 830 mg Sodium, 250 mg Potassium, 240 mg Magnesium

Original Electrolytes
Endurance Electrolytes

What’s the difference between these two options?

Original Essential Electrolytes

Contains NO Beta-Alanine (that’s the only difference)

Redmond Real Salt, Citric Acid, Magnesium Malate, Potassium Chloride, Reb M (stevia leaf)

  • 0 Calories
  • 830 mg Sodium
  • 250 mg Potassium
  • 240 mg Magnesium
  • Perfect for the Keto Diet †
  • Incredible Taste
  • Supports Recovery From High Intensity Workouts †
  • Prevents Cramps, Headaches, and Fatigue †
  • ZERO Calorie, ZERO Carb, NO SUGAR!

Pre-Workout Endurance

Redmond Real Salt, Beta-Alanine, Citric Acid, Magnesium Malate, Potassium Chloride, Reb M (stevia leaf)

  • 0 Calories
  • 2,000 mg Beta-Alanine
  • 830 mg Sodium
  • 250 mg Potassium
  • 240 mg Magnesium
  • Improved Workout Capacity †
  • Incredible Taste
  • Supports Recovery From High Intensity Workouts †
  • Prevents Cramps, Headaches, and Fatigue †
  • ZERO Calorie, ZERO Carb, NO SUGAR!

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The data on this page is for informational purposes only. If you’re unsure about outcome, please visit with a trusted medical provider.

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9 Reasons You Should Supplement Magnesium

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