10 Reasons Why Your Body NEEDS Magnesium

Magnesium plays many crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production. Low magnesium levels usually don’t cause symptoms. However, chronically low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

1. Involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body

Magnesium is found throughout your body. In fact, every cell in your body contains this mineral and needs it to function. About 60% of the magnesium in your body occurs in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood. One of its main roles is to act as a cofactor — a helper molecule — in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes. It’s involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25540137/):

  • Energy creation: converting food into energy
  • Protein formation: creating new proteins from amino acids
  • Gene maintenance: helping create and repair DNA and RNA
  • Muscle movements: aiding in muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Nervous system regulation: regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system

Nonetheless, studies suggest that approximately 50% of U.S. adults get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium.

2. May boost exercise performance

During exercise, you need more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622706/).

Studies show that magnesium may be particularly beneficial for improving exercise performance in older adults and those with a deficiency in this nutrient. One study in 2,570 women associated higher magnesium intake with increased muscle mass and power.

3. May combat depression

Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748766/). In fact, an analysis of data from more than 8,800 people found that those under age 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of depression.

4. May support healthy blood sugar levels

Studies suggest that about 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low blood levels of magnesium, which may impair the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels effectively (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26404370/). Additionally, research indicates that people who consume more magnesium have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. According to one review, magnesium supplements help enhance insulin sensitivity, a key factor involved in blood sugar control.

5. May promote heart health

Magnesium plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy and strong. In fact, studies show that magnesium can help lower high blood pressure levels, which may be a risk factor for heart disease (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27402922/).

Another review linked high magnesium intake (speak to your doctor about your optimal amount of magnesium intake) to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

6. May improve anti-inflammatory benefits

Low magnesium is linked to increased levels of inflammation, which plays a key role in aging and chronic disease (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29403302/). One review of 11 studies concluded that magnesium decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, in people with chronic inflammation.

7. May improve PMS symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common conditions in female-bodied people of childbearing age. It often causes symptoms such as water retention, abdominal cramps, tiredness, and irritability. Some research suggests that magnesium may help relieve PMS symptoms, as well as other conditions such as menstrual cramps and migraine attacks, perhaps a nice soak in the bath?? (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28392498/).

8. May promote bone health

Magnesium is crucial for maintaining bone health and protecting against bone loss. In fact, 50–60% of your body’s magnesium is found in your bones (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/). Some studies associate lower levels of this mineral with a higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and weak.

9. May support better sleep

Magnesium supplements are often used as a natural remedy for sleep issues such as insomnia. This is because magnesium regulates several neurotransmitters involved in sleep, such as gamma aminobutyric acid. One review in older adults with insomnia found that magnesium supplements lowered the amount of time it took people to fall asleep by an average of 17 minutes. I am thinking a cup of Melt Into Zzz’s before bed can remedy this!

10. May help reduce anxiety symptoms

Some research suggests that magnesium helps treat and prevent anxiety (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27869100/). For example, one study in 3,172 adults associated increased magnesium intake with a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

Magnesium is essential for maintaining good health and plays a key role in everything from exercise performance to heart health and brain function.

Enjoying a variety of magnesium-rich foods may ensure that you’re getting enough of this important nutrient in your diet. Spinach, chia seeds, peanut butter, and avocados are a few examples that make great additions to smoothies, snacks, and other dishes.