Imagine a magic potion that could help you simultaneously combat stress, sleep better, and keep your heart healthy. It turns out, you don’t have to look far to find this wondrous solution—it’s hiding in plain sight in the form of magnesium, one of nature’s most essential and powerful minerals.
In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of magnesium, exploring its multitude of benefits, its various forms, and the top dietary sources.
The Health Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium is often overlooked even though it’s required for more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body.[*] Let’s take a look at the top benefits of this mighty mineral:
#1: Bone Health & Development
Magnesium is a vital component in maintaining and enhancing bone health. In fact, 50-60% of your body’s magnesium is found in your bones.[*] Sufficient magnesium intake may even contribute to the prevention of osteoporosis and other bone-related disorders.[*]
#2: Heart Health & Blood Pressure Regulation
Magnesium’s role in heart health is multifaceted. It assists in the transportation of other essential electrolytes like calcium and potassium into cells. These electrolytes are vital for nerve signaling and the muscle contractions required for a regular heartbeat.
Magnesium also helps relax the smooth muscle cells in blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure and improved blood flow.[*]
In line with these benefits, studies have shown that adequate magnesium intake may lower your risk of developing hypertension (aka, high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, and stroke.[*]
What’s more, one review found that magnesium supplements positively impacted several heart disease risk factors, including triglycerides, LDL (harmful) cholesterol, HDL (beneficial) cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure levels. This improvement was particularly evident in individuals with magnesium deficiency.[*]
#3: Energy Production & Metabolism
Magnesium plays an important role in energy production and metabolism. It’s involved in the process of converting food into energy and helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in cells. As such, magnesium supplementation may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.[*][*]
#4: Muscle Function
Magnesium is essential for proper muscle function, as it helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body. It supports muscle contraction and relaxation by acting as a natural calcium channel blocker.[*]
If your body doesn’t have enough magnesium to compete with calcium, your muscles may contract too much, causing cramps or spasms—a common symptom of magnesium deficiency.[*]
#5: Mood Regulation & Stress Reduction
An analysis of data involving over 8,800 individuals revealed that those with the lowest magnesium intake faced a 22% higher risk of depression.[*]
Moreover, magnesium supplementation may help alleviate depression symptoms.[*] A small 8-week study demonstrated that consuming 500 mg of magnesium daily significantly improved depression symptoms in individuals with a magnesium deficiency.[*]
#6: Improved Sleep
Struggling to get enough deep, restorative shut-eye? Magnesium may help. This mineral regulates several neurotransmitters involved in sleep, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid.[*] It also promotes relaxation by reducing the activity of the central nervous system, allowing the body to unwind and prepare for rest.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep duration and quality, particularly in individuals with insomnia and other sleep disorders.[*]
Dietary Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium is found in several nutrient-rich foods. Up your magnesium intake by adding a medley of magnesium-rich munchies to your daily menu, including:
- Green leafy vegetables (i.e., spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- Nuts & seeds (i.e., cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, etc.)
- Whole grains (i.e., brown rice, millet, quinoa, etc.)
- Legumes (i.e., black beans, chickpeas, edamame, etc.)
- Dairy products (i.e., yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.)
- Fish & seafood (i.e., salmon, mackerel, halibut)
- Dark chocolate
Types of Magnesium Supplements
Even when consuming a healthy diet, many individuals still fall short in their magnesium intake. In fact, research shows that up to half of Americans may be magnesium deficient.[*] Yikes! This is where dietary supplements come in handy, bridging the gap between dietary intake and optimal magnesium levels.
Magnesium supplements come in various forms, each offering unique advantages and potential applications to cater to individual needs and preferences. Let’s take a look at three of the most popular options:
#1: Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium citrate is one of the most common and easily absorbed forms of magnesium supplements. It’s created by combining magnesium with citric acid, resulting in a highly bioavailable compound.
Magnesium citrate is a popular choice for those who get easily constipated, as it can help to draw water into the intestines and soften stool.
#2: Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, meaning it’s bound to glycine, an amino acid. This combination creates a supplement with high bioavailability and minimal gastrointestinal side effects—great for those with sensitive stomachs.
#3: Magnesium L-Threonate
Magnesium L-threonate is a specialized form of magnesium that effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier, a protective membrane that regulates the passage of substances between the bloodstream and the brain.[*] This property sets magnesium L-threonate apart from other magnesium supplements, as it can directly impact brain function and cognitive health.
Magnesium L-threonate has been linked to various cognitive benefits, including improved learning, memory, and overall brain function.[*][*] Research also suggests that this form of magnesium can increase synaptic plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form new connections and adapt to new information.[*]
To top it off, magnesium L-threonate has been shown in animal models to alleviate symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and support cognitive health in aging populations.[*]
Thanks to its remarkable brain-boosting benefits and ability to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, we chose to use magnesium L-threonate as the magnesium source in IQMIX, a keto-friendly hydration mix.
Are You Magnesium Deficient?
Recognizing the signs of magnesium deficiency is important, as inadequate intake can negatively impact overall health and well-being. The following symptoms may indicate that you’re not getting enough of this essential mineral:
- Muscle cramps & spasms
- Brain fog
- Insomnia & other sleep issues
- Irregular heartbeat
- Numbness & tingling
- Migraine headaches
Of course, these symptoms could be caused by other health issues, so be sure to check in with your doctor.
The RDA for magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women. However, anthropological evidence indicates that our ancestors may have consumed around 600 mg or more daily.[*]
Embrace the Power of Magnesium
Don’t let magnesium deficiency hold you back from reaching your full potential. Take control of your health by choosing IQMIX as your go-to magnesium supplement.
IQMIX is formulated around four nutrients shown to improve hydration, cognitive performance, and mood. These include:
- Magtein®: A clinically studied form of magnesium (Mg L-Threonate) that supports mood and cognition.[*] Each packet of IQMIX contains 750 mg.
- Lion’s mane mushroom: Supports brain health and function[*]
- Sodium: The most important electrolyte—critical for optimizing fluid levels
- Potassium: A key electrolyte that supports muscle function and blood pressure
Unlike most sports drinks and hydration supplements on the market, IQMIX is safe for those on a low-carb diet or those with diabetes, as it’s sugar-free and contains only one gram of carbs per packet. Simply pour a packet of IQMIX into water to create a magnesium-rich drink that quenches your body’s needs.
Written by Katie Koschalk, a health and wellness writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and certified personal trainer based in California.