I Love Magnesium…and Why You Might, Too
Did you know that approximately 80% of Americans have a magnesium deficiency? No, that is not a typo. 80%. If you are one of those Americans with insufficient magnesium levels, you might not even know it. I didn’t. That is until I started taking a magnesium supplement on a regular basis and felt a gazillion times better than my old self. All the sudden things that used to bother me, like muscle cramps while running and hitting a 3 o’clock afternoon slump, started to disappear. But that’s not why I decided to give it a try.
I decided to try out magnesium because I was having a hard time falling asleep at night. On nights I have class at UNR, I get out of school late, have to drive 45 minutes over a mountain pass, and by the time I get home, I just want to sleep. But I could’t. It seemed like it took me forever to unwind and actually fall asleep. That’s when I started to look for natural calming remedies that weren’t dependent or addictive and I came across a suggestion to try magnesium.
I did some research on magnesium and found tons of reputable sources that stated its benefits and why it is so important to over 300 of our bodily functions. Magnesium is essential for your heart, muscles, bones, and kidneys. Additionally, magnesium is an anti-inflammatory mineral and helps fight things like high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and constipation. The recommended daily amount is 310 – 320 milligrams for women and 400 – 420 milligrams for men; however, most of us fall incredibly short of this number and it is hard to get enough without supplementing.
After I started to supplement with magnesium citrate, I noticed some pretty kick-ass benefits after just a couple of weeks. I fall asleep and stay asleep better, have sustained energy levels throughout the day that carry me through work, running, and school, don’t have random muscle cramps in the middle of a run, and my bowel movements are more pleasant than ever. TMI? Sorry, but it’s true.
The supplement that works well for me is Natural Calm. I like the unflavored version and take 2 teaspoons every night when I am getting ready to go to bed. I simply put the powdered magnesium citrate into a glass and add about 2 ounces of warm water. After it has fizzed and dissolved in the warm water (about 45 seconds), I fill the rest of the glass with cold water and drink up. It is like you are drinking plain old tap water with a slight taste that is not that noticeable at all.
If you aren’t that hot about adding a new supplement to your diet, you can always try to incorporate lots more of magnesium-rich foods to reap the benefits. Some of the best options include:
- Avocados – My fave!
- Black beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Swiss chard
While I encourage you to give magnesium a try, do your own research and check with your physician. If you are looking for some more information on the benefits of magnesium, check out some of these sources:
CNN – “Magnesium, an invisible deficiency that could be harming your health”
University of Maryland Medical Center
Comment below if you take a magnesium supplement and have any other benefits you would like to share. Has it helped your running performance?
Love magnesium. I normally take it the ZMA format as I enjoy the funky dreams. Helps so much with sleep especially as I train quite late at night.
Who doesn’t love funky dreams? 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll definitely have to give that a try.
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