Magnesium plays a crucial role in various bodily functions yet its significance often remains underestimated. It acts as a cofactor (aka a ‘helper’) in a huge range of enzymatic reactions, thereby influencing processes like energy production, muscle function and even nerve regulation. Despite its importance, many suffer from inadequate magnesium intake, leading to a myriad of health risks
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The Magnesium Paradox
Despite being one of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium deficiency is surprisingly common. Factors such as poor dietary choices, soil depletion, certain medications, and health conditions contribute to this deficiency. Symptoms may be subtle and often go unnoticed, leading to a silent but impactful threat to one's health.
Health Implications of Magnesium Deficiency
1. Muscle Cramps and Spasms
Magnesium plays a pivotal role in muscle function and relaxation. Inadequate levels can result in increased muscle cramps, spasms and even involuntary shaking. Athletes and individuals engaging in physical activities often experience these symptoms due to increased magnesium usage during heavy sweating, so be sure to replace them. Enter Better Fuel Carb Drink.
Packed with low GI carbs and key electrolytes including magnesium, Better Fuel is your perfect training companion
2. Cardiovascular Complications
Low magnesium levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. Because magnesium helps regulate heart rhythm and blood pressure, a deficiency may contribute to arrhythmias, hypertension and an elevated risk of heart disease.
3. Mental Health Challenges
Magnesium deficiency is associated with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and even migraines. Its role in neurotransmitter regulation and stress management underscores its significance in maintaining mental well-being.
4. Bone Health
While calcium is often touted as the mineral for bone health, magnesium is equally important because it aids calcium absorption and thus indirectly impacts. You can consume all the calcium you want, but if magnesium is forgotten that calcium won’t be utilised.
It's not JUST calcium that contributes to bone health...
5. Fatigue and Weakness
Feeling persistently fatigued or weak might be indicative of magnesium deficiency because it’s involved in energy production within cells. In its absence, the body can struggle to generate sufficient energy, leading to fatigue.
4 Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Now you know the role magnesium plays within the body, the symptoms of a deficiency will likely come as little surprise. They include:
- General tiredness / weariness
- Nausea and / or headaches
- Excessive cramps – particularly when not exercising
- Heart palpitations
- Signs of osteoporosis
- Numbness or tingling in the legs or hands
3 Ways to Cure a Magnesium Deficiency
Nuts and seeds are a fabulous source of magnesium
The most natural way to address a magnesium deficiency is, perhaps obviously, to increase the amount of magnesium-rich foods you eat! Great food sources of magnesium include:
- Whole grains
- Green leafy vegetables
While not entirely natural, the easiest way to address a magnesium deficiency (particularly in winter, when those foods might not be as prevalent in a typical ‘winter’ diet) is through supplementation. There’s plenty on the market – just be sure to consult your doctor before taking anything.
You don't HAVE to get all hippy about it (though go for it if you do!) but sitting quietly and being present with your thoughts - ie, mindfulness - once per day will contribute to an increase in magnesium within your body
The hardest but an effective measure you can take to eradicate a magnesium deficiency is through lifestyle changes. Reducing intake of alcohol, caffeine and processed foods will aid in magnesium absorption.
Stress management techniques are also effective, so taking a few minutes each day to practice meditation would be worthwhile, as would ensuring you get enough high quality sleep.
Magnesium Deficiency - Conclusion
Magnesium deficiency presents a subtle yet significant threat to overall well-being but pinpointing what can be generic symptoms as linked to magnesium is tricky. The beauty is, it’s easy to increase your magnesium intake so, if you’re suffering from any of the above (and in consultation with your doctor), then it’s worth taking steps to increasing it.
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