Magnesium is a necessary vitamin that your body needs to function. If want the uber nerd definition:
it is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. And it contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione.
But for us – we just need to know that it’s important.
Now in most healthy humans, we have about 25 grams of magnesium inside us at all time, divided between the bones and the tissues. And if you don’t have enough magnesium in you – you could be asking for a whole lot of health issues. But for the gym junkie, magnesium deficiencies, even just the slight ones, can stop your progress in the gym.
So here are 6 solid reasons why you should get your magnesium levels checked – and if they are low, start supplementing immediately.
1. Improves Sleep Quality
Magnesium has a calming effect on your central nervous system. One study found that those who took a magnesium supplement had lower levels of inflammation which improved their sleep quality.
The supplement also decrease the sympathetic nervous activity, altering the electrical activity in the brain allowing people to relax more easily. And sleep is hugely important for muscle regeneration, recovery and repair.
2. Improves Brain Function and Fights Depression
That altered electrical activity is the reason magnesium helps improve your memory and brain function! Research shows that magnesium regulates a key receptor in the brain that supports memory and learning. It also helps many enzymes within the brain develop that control cellular and memory functions. Muscle memory anyone? Magnesium is what keeps you from learning those new exercises you keep practicing!
3. Helps Build Muscle
In one study, a group of men took 8mg/kg of body weight per day of magnesium, and then strength trained. That group improved their strength significantly more than the group that only trained without the supplement. The difference – researchers think it was the magnesium.
4. Strengthens Bones
We all know that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but eating calcium doesn’t help anything if you don’t have enough magnesium! Magnesium actives cellular enzyme activity, allowing the body to convert Vitamin D into it’s active form to allow for calcium absorption and bone building!
Magnesium also allows for the release of the hormone calcitonin, which helps preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and puts it back into the bones to strengthen them.
5. Aids in Fat Loss
Low magnesium levels decrease your insulin sensitivity, making it harder for you to control carbohydrate metabolism and lose fat. That means you have to release more and more insulin into the blood, just to metabolize a small amount of carbs. Now, this decreased sensitivity also makes it harder for your body to store and utilize glycogen, which also means it takes you longer to recover those sore muscles!
6. Reduces Stress
When our bodies are stressed, we release a hormone called cortisol. And in order to return to normal, that cortisol must be metabolized and decreased to our regular levels. Magnesium is the agent essential for lowering those levels back down and keeping us out of chronic stress operating mode.
Point is – magnesium is essential. It is one the TOP 5 supplements you should be supplementing regularly.
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