Everything you should know about magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most popular food supplements, and the world is full of different magnesium products. What magnesium is needed for? How do you recognize a high-quality magnesium? How magnesium forms differ, and what effects do they have? What about timing – should you take magnesium in the morning or in the evening?
What is magnesium?
For humans, magnesium is one of the most important minerals. The human body contains 20-28 grams of magnesium, of which about half is bound to the bones, and the rest to the muscles, as well as other soft tissues. Magnesium is also the fourth most common mineral in our body.
What do I need magnesium for?
Our body uses magnesium for more than 300 different enzyme functions and numerous metabolic reactions. Among other things, humans need magnesium:
- For normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart muscle.
- Magnesium also contributes to the normal health of the bones and teeth.
- To support normal electrolyte balance and energy metabolism.
- To fight fatigue and exhaustion.
- To contribute normal protein synthesis and to participate in cell division.
- To support normal psychological functions.
Where do I get magnesium from?
Magnesium can be found in several foods. Good sources of magnesium include whole grain products, avocados, green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Magnesium is also obtained from drinks, for example coffee and mineral water. Dark chocolate is a source of magnesium too!
Can I get too little magnesium?
A serious lack of magnesium is quite rare if a person is healthy and has a varied diet. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by, for example, diuretic medication, long-time alcohol use, or diabetes if urine levels are high due to poor sugar balance. However, it is known that exercise increases the removal of magnesium from the body, which is why active people may need more magnesium than usual.
Signs of magnesium deficiency may include fatigue or muscle cramping and stiffness, poor muscle recovery, weakness, numbness, heart palpitations, and low blood sugar levels. If there is a lack of magnesium in the cells, it does not always show up in a blood test. That is why it can be tricky to notice deficiency.
Can I get too much magnesium?
The kidneys are involved in regulating the amount of magnesium in the body. If you get a lot of magnesium, excess magnesium will be removed from the body through the urine. Therefore, a healthy person cannot obtain too much magnesium from food or through oral magnesium food supplements. Exceptions include people with renal failure, as well as some elderly people.
What is the recommended daily dose of magnesium?
The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 280 milligrams (mg) for women and 350 milligrams for men. The recommendation for children aged 6 to 9 is 200 milligrams and for children aged 10 to 13 it is 280 milligrams of magnesium per day.
When should I take my magnesium supplement?
You can take magnesium at any time of the day. However, it is recommended to take magnesium in the evening before going to bed, because it may help muscles and nervous system to relax and improve sleep quality. You can divide your daily magnesium dose and take half in the morning and half in the evening.
We recommend to take magnesium with meals. If you use an iron supplement and try to increase your iron levels, do not take magnesium and iron during the same meal, as magnesium may interfere with the absorption of iron.
Did you know this about different forms of magnesium?
The form of magnesium matters in terms of absorption. In food supplements, magnesium is bound to another substance, for example, citrate. The three most commonly used forms of magnesium are magnesium oxide, -citrate, and -bisglycinate.
The chelated forms of magnesium are highly absorbable. In these chelated forms magnesium is bound to some acid. For example, in magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium is bound to an amino acid glycine, with glycine in a ratio of 2:1 to magnesium. Some forms of magnesium may cause stomach problems in some people. For example, magnesium oxide needs acidity of stomach acids when absorbed and can irritate the stomach.
We recommend to read carefully the list of ingredients of the magnesium product. Generally speaking, forms of magnesium with -ate at the end of the name, are well absorbed. High-quality magnesium also contains as few additives as possible.
An optimal combination of three quality magnesiums
Aarja Health's Magnesium3 contains three highly absorbable forms of magnesium; magnesium citrate, -bisglycinate and -taurate. All these forms have their own special characteristics. Read below why we chose these forms of magnesium in particular.
Magnesium citrate is a compound of magnesium carbonate and citric acid, as well as one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium. Magnesium citrate is a very commonly used form of magnesium, and of the most studied chelated forms. It doesn't need stomach acids to be absorbed.
Magnesium bisglycinate is one of the most stomach-friendly forms of magnesium and is efficiently absorbed. Magnesium is bound to the amino acid (glycine), and the ratio of glycine to magnesium is 2:1. If your daily doses of magnesium are high, this form of magnesium is a great choice, since it does not irritate the stomach. Glycine has a calming effect, so this form is good to take in the evening, when it may improve the quality of sleep.
Magnesium taurate, like bisglycinate, is stomach-friendly and well absorbed. Magnesium is bound to an amino acid (taurine). Taurine increases the formation of the neurotransmitter GABA, a soothing and sleep-quality-enhancing neurotransmitter. Taurate is also considered a good form for cardiovascular health.
Aarja Health's Premium MAGNESIUM3 is a great product to support i.e. normal muscle functions, heart muscle and normal energy metabolism