Magnesium is an essential macromineral (required in large amounts) that is needed for numerous critical functions in the body. Approximately 60% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones and teeth with the remaining 40% found primarily in the muscle as well as tissue cells and body fluids.1
Magnesium is lacking in our diets
In an ideal world we would get all the magnesium we require from the diet. However, sizeable gaps have been found for magnesium intakes compared with intake targets in the UK, particularly amongst young adults in their twenties.1 By eating magnesium rich foods we should be aiming to consume 375 mg of magnesium a day.
Food sources of magnesium include spinach, seeds, nuts, legumes, white potatoes, unrefined (whole) grains and green leafy vegetables. Factors such as excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine can deplete magnesium stores from the body and research also suggests that stress may increase magnesium loss. Low magnesium levels may also enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress – creating a vicious cycle.2
There are a lot of good reasons to make sure you are getting enough magnesium each day. Through warding off tiredness and fatigue magnesium can support energy and vitality.
Magnesium, like several other minerals, is also an electrolyte. Electrolytes carry an electrical charge and help spark important processes that occur within our cells. When we sweat during prolonged or strenuous exercise water and electrolytes are lost from the body and requirements for magnesium have been reported to increase by 10-20%.3 Taking a magnesium supplement can help to restore this balance.
Magnesium also supports muscle function as it’s needed for protein synthesis and regulating contractions, helping muscle to relax. Research has shown that higher magnesium levels are associated positively with sleep duration, which may be due to the effects that magnesium has on neurotransmitters.4
Magnesium is also needed for the conversion of vitamin D into its active form helping to raise levels in people who are deficient.5 Conversely, you need vitamin D to support optimal absorption of magnesium. If you are following the government guidelines and taking vitamin D during autumn and winter, make sure you are getting enough magnesium too!
Including magnesium-rich foods and taking a supplement can help you meet you daily needs. Due to its bulky size, most multivitamins, especially those in capsule form do not contain large amounts of magnesium. This is why taking a separate magnesium supplement can be a good idea. Our magnesium is suitable for vegans and provides a whopping 250 mg per tablet, providing you with 67% of your daily requirements.
- Derbyshire E. Micronutrient Intakes of British Adults Across Mid-Life: A Secondary Analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Front Nutr. 2018 Jul 19;5:55.
- Pickering, G et al. Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3672.
- . Nielsen FH, Lukaski HC. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnes Res. 2006 Sep;19(3):180-9
- Ji X, Grandner MA, Liu J. The relationship between micronutrient status and sleep patterns: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr. (2017) 20:687–701
- Qi Dai, Xiangzhu Zhu et al. Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018; 108 (6): 1249