Magnesium is not in the headlines, it sounds like something your chemistry teacher used to bore your tits off about on a Wednesday afternoon, and it certainly doesn’t sound nearly as cool as passiflora caerulea, whatever the hell that is.
But…magnesium should be in the headlines, it was something your chemistry teacher explained (and you probably should have listened) and it does a bog load more for you than that passithingywhatsit shite.
There are lots of reasons why people in the third world are deficient in a multitude of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but there are precisely ZERO reasons why the average person in the social-media-infatuated developed first world might ever be deficient in anything in their entire life.
And yet…it’s one of the most common deficiencies in the developed world. Second only to Vitamin D.
And that’s just stupid.
What’s the Big Deal?
Magnesium is an essential mineral – “essential” being the key word here. You can’t love without it and you can’t be healthy with too little of it. You can be okay with just enough of it, and you can be Optimus Prime with the perfect amount of it.
So, if you had the choice, would you want to be a wet fart or the leader of the Autobots?
Here’s what magnesium does for you:
- Keeps your Blood Pressure in the green
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity so you don’t become a Type II Diabetic
- Increases Bone Mineral Density
- Helps you Sleep Deeply
- Boosts Muscle Oxygenation and Aerobic Exercise
- Protects your Brain from Depression, Seizures and ADHD
- Reduces chance of Migraines and reduces frequency if you get them often
- Helps Relieve Symptoms of PMS
If any of the above evokes feelings of longing, then you might be a good candidate for the global magnesium correction program (not a thing) and perhaps you might start thinking about getting more from (a) your diet, or (b) a supplement.
Magnesium is supposed to be the second most prevalent electrolyte in your body. Pretty much wherever there is fluid in your body, there should be a certain concentration of magnesium. And considering we are basically just sacks of fluid held together by bones – which, by the way, also need magnesium – it’s a pretty big deal!
Fair Enough – What About the Diet Thing?
Yes, magnesium is in food. Yes, you can correct a magnesium deficiency with diet. No, most westerners and first worlders don’t eat enough of the right foods.
We’re talking about:
- Leafy greens – e.g. spinach, swiss chard
- Other veg – e.g. potato skins, tamarind, okra (ladies fingers), Edamame
- Nuts and Seeds – e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews
- Fruit – e.g. prickly pear
- Beans and Legumes – e.g. peas, black-eyed peas
- Soy produce – e.g. Tempeh, soy beans, soy nuts, tofu (that’s been made with Mg)
- Fish and Seafood – e.g. salmon, mackerel, crab, pollock
- Other – e.g. quinoa, toasted wheat germ, All Bran
Meats and poultry don’t contain much magnesium at all, and neither do nearly all grains. Basically the food types that much of the first world diets are based on.
When was the last time you took a crab sandwich and quinoa salad to work for lunch, with a little bag of almonds for a snack?
Not only do most of these foods satisfy a good portion of your magnesium quota, but they are good for you in all sorts of other ways.
How much Magnesium do we Need per Day?
Between 200mg and 400mg per day is recommended. Average portions of the example foods above contain between 40 and 90mg.
Some things like shell-less pumpkin seeds give you over 300mg of magnesium per 1/4 cup.
Talk To Me About Supplements
Supplements are a good way to boost your dietary intake so that you are reaching that daily 200 – 400mg.
In fact out of all of the essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, we highly recommend a supplement or supplements that at least fill out your Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Zinc requirements. Others are easier to get from your food, but those three will get you on your way.
There are multi-vitamins available, but they are often dosed according to recommended daily allowances, which come from antiquated studies done by government health agencies about a thousand years ago. For example, most countries’ RDA for Vit D3 is 400 to 800 IU, which is just not enough for an adult that lives above the 37th parallel.
Supplements designed with physical performance in mind are probably your best bet. They usually come with a good Vitamin and Mineral base that takes exercise and sweating into account. They usually contain additional ingredients for helping you grow muscle, burn fat, boost testosterone, or a combination of some or all of them.
Testosterone boosters often have a decent lump of Magnesium, Vitamin D and Zinc in them because they are all associated with elevated testosterone levels.
Vit D and Zinc have been proven in this context and the jury is still out on Magnesium, but whether it does or not, it’s good to have it in healthy doses in those products.
Take a minute to read our review of Prime Male – it’s one such supplement that does it all. We can’t say enough about it. For the modern man, it’s a must-have…