Why You Need Magnesium! article image

Why You Need Magnesium!

Magnesium is a vital mineral for the body and one of the nutrients we need to eat the largest amount of. Magnesium participates in a large number of the body's biochemical reactions and is needed to activate over 300 different enzymes! It is very important for the function of the muscles, for the bone structure, the nervous system and energy metabolism. Magnesium acts widely in the body in many different areas, which can make it a little tricky to know if you are experiencing symptoms of deficiency, but a very common sign of magnesium deficiency is muscle cramps and so-called "ant crawls" in the legs. It is due to an imbalance between the salts found inside and outside the cell (electrolyte balance) where magnesium is an important factor. Without magnesium, the body's cells cannot produce energy, which means that with low magnesium levels you can experience fatigue and exhaustion, which are also common signs of deficiency.

The list of why you need magnesium can be made almost as long as you want, but to make it as concrete as possible, we will point it out. Magnesium is important in the following areas:

  • Electrolyte balance (salt balance)
  • Teeth
  • Bone frame
  • In case of fatigue and exhaustion
  • Energy turnover
  • Muscles
  • Nervous system
  • Protein synthesis
  • The brain
  • Cell division
  • Heart
  • Calcium metabolism

Magnesium in the diet

Magnesium is found in many foods, but in varying amounts. Good sources of magnesium in the diet are nuts, green leafy vegetables, whole grain cereals, almonds, beans, potatoes, fish, meat and dairy products. Keep in mind, however, that chemical fertilizers prevent the plants from absorbing magnesium from the soil, which means that the magnesium content varies greatly depending on the origin of the plants. The absorption of magnesium can also be reduced with the simultaneous intake of foods rich in phytic acid such as nuts, cereals, vegetables and legumes. Absorption is impaired even with very low protein intake.

As if this were not enough, coffee, tea, soft drinks and other diuretics, such as medication with diuretics, risk stimulating the excretion of magnesium in the urine. Heavy alcohol consumption can also be another factor in magnesium loss, which can cause a lack of the mineral. In other words, there are a number of factors that can significantly increase the body's need for magnesium.

As magnesium is a water-soluble substance, it is less well stored in the body and needs to be supplied continuously through diet and/or dietary supplements.

Magnesium during exercise

Many have probably heard that magnesium can be particularly important during exercise. It is connected with magnesium's role in muscle function, specifically muscle contraction. When we contract a muscle, i.e. perform a muscle contraction, magnesium and calcium work together. Calcium is needed to tense the muscle and magnesium to make the muscle relax again. This also applies to the heart muscle, which makes magnesium an important mineral for the heart's function as well. Furthermore, magnesium is necessary for the muscle to then be able to extract energy in the form of ATP (energy production). As magnesium contributes to reduced fatigue and exhaustion, there are also benefits to magnesium during exercise. Magnesium is also excreted in sweat, so the more you exercise and sweat, the more you need to review your magnesium intake.

Relaxation and recovery

As described above, magnesium is important for muscle relaxation and for the nervous system, and there are several ways to get magnesium, not just by mouth. Magnesium is not only absorbed through the intestinal mucosa when consuming food or dietary supplements, it is also absorbed through the skin. For this reason, Epsom salt has become very popular for sore and tired muscles. Epsom salt is a magnesium salt used in baths and foot baths. This magnesium salt has long been used to relieve stress, tired sore muscles and muscle knots.