Unlike more well-known nutrients like Vitamin C or Vitamin D, people aren’t always aware of what magnesium does and why it’s important. But would you believe it if we said magnesium supports over 300 enzyme processes that keep us healthy?
That's right — magnesium is an irreplaceable nutrient, and magnesium deficiency can increase health complications like heart disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.
Here’s a quick guide to understanding magnesium’s role in your health, and 7 signs of magnesium deficiency to look out for:
Why is Magnesium Important?
Magnesium is a mineral that helps your body build proteins, reinforce bone strength, and facilitate proper muscle and nerve functions. Magnesium is so essential because it’s an electrolyte, an electrically charged mineral that dissolves in water to support fluid balance, blood pressure regulation, muscle contraction, and proper blood acidity. These minerals carry an electric charge and regulate acid-base balance in your body.
A well-tuned magnesium balance is necessary since too much or too little magnesium won't do you any good. Too much magnesium (hypermagnesemia) in your body can cause digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Of higher concern, however, is too little magnesium (hypomagnesemia), which can affect your mental and physical health.
And while the recommended amount of magnesium for adult males is 400-420 mg daily and 310-320 mg for adult women, it’s estimated that up to 50% of the United States population may be magnesium deficient.
So, it’s more important now than ever to recognize the signs of magnesium deficiency. Here are 7 signs to look out for:
7 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Are your eyes drooping more than usual? Struggling to summon enough energy to get through the day? Magnesium plays an irreplaceable role in supporting proper metabolism, and deficiency can be behind your fatigue.
More specifically, magnesium is required to activate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), molecules that provide energy to all living cells. So when your magnesium levels start to drop, your body isn’t facilitating energy production as it should; as a result, you can feel tired and weak.
2. Nausea and digestive discomfort
Nausea is a universally-hated experience, and magnesium deficiency may be the culprit to nausea at times.
Magnesium and your digestive system are tied in multiple ways. For instance, magnesium helps regulate your blood sugar level, and any disruption to proper blood sugar levels can result in nausea. Additionally, your digestive system relies on muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to comfortably digest food; since magnesium supports proper muscle contraction, your digestive tract may cease to function less than optimally. Ultimately, this results in digestive discomfort.
3. Muscle stiffness and cramps
We can't understate the importance of electrolytes when it comes to proper muscle function. Electrolytes, like calcium and magnesium, are key for normal muscle contraction. In particular, magnesium helps your muscles relax after contraction. Without adequate magnesium stores, you'll have difficulty with this process, resulting in muscle stiffness or cramping. These symptoms can be common after exercise, but unwarranted or constant muscle stiffness and cramps could point to a more serious electrolyte deficiency.
4. Numbness and tingling
Magnesium affects not only our digestive and muscular systems but also our nervous system. If you're experiencing numbness in your fingers or toes, it may be due to magnesium deficiency. This is because magnesium is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses (electrical signals generated by our nerve cells). However, decreased magnesium in the body can disrupt this process, resulting in numbness or tingling.
In a more severe turn of events, magnesium deficiency can cause seizures. As established above, nerve transmissions are supported by magnesium. When these transmissions are disrupted, electric signals in your brain can go haywire and unfortunately result in a seizure.
6. Abnormal heart rhythm
Heart health and magnesium? Most people wouldn't immediately connect the two, but lo and behold — magnesium is very much a necessary nutrient for proper heart function. Magnesium affects how electricity moves through your heart and thus affects your heart function, too. Too much or too little magnesium causes abnormal heart rhythms (also known as arrhythmias) that can lead to life-threatening complications like stroke or heart failure if left untreated.
7. Personality changes
Because magnesium plays a large role in the chemistry of your brain, a lack of magnesium can cause you to start acting differently. Changes spurred on by magnesium deficiency include anxiety, depression, apathy, agitation, and general confusion. These conditions can cause widespread disruption to your well-being that go on to cause more serious problems, like poor sleep and more.
How Do I Avoid Magnesium Deficiency?
The good news is you can curb magnesium deficiency by eating magnesium-rich foods. If you’re low on magnesium, try adding the following to your diet:
- Dark chocolate
- Nuts, like almonds and cashews
- Beans, like chickpeas and black beans
- Whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice
- Fish, like salmon
- Leafy greens, like spinach and chard
Additionally, you can use supplements to help regulate your magnesium levels, like NatureWise Magnesium Powder and Magnesium caps.
- NatureWise Magnesium Powder is great for those who want flexibility in how they take their supplements. Since this powder includes organic flavors from strawberries, lemons, and carrots, this is an excellent addition to your morning smoothie, chia pudding, or any food or beverage of your choice.
- NatureWise Magnesium is an allergen-free soft gel that’s easy to swallow and take on the go. Our magnesium caplets don’t contain artificial fillers, which isn’t a guarantee with other magnesium soft gels on the market.
Both our products are made with pure Aquamin™ magnesium derived from seawater. And of course, both are free of milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and gluten.
Maintaining balanced magnesium levels may be a journey, but it can be done. Now that you know how crucial magnesium is for your health, say goodbye to a magnesium-deficient future!