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Magnesium Supplement Guide: Should You Really Supplement with It?

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magnesium supplement guide

Magnesium plays a critical role in the healthy function of your bodies’ bone structure, metabolism, and heart. Supplementation with magnesium can be beneficial for people who experience symptoms of heartburn or constipation, many people supplement wit magnesium as a way to reduce low energy levels as well amongst other conditions.

Magnesium plays a major role in over 300 different chemical processes in your body which make us the basis on which you can sustain life.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a readily available mineral that naturally occurs within our bodies’. It is responsible for assisting the bodies’ over 300 enzyme systems in performing a diverse set of biochemical processes that maintain things such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function. Our cells use magnesium in order to complete the transfer of calcium and potassium ions across the cell walls, it promotes the healthy function of things such as muscles contraction, and maintaining a healthy heartbeat.

What is Magnesium Used for?

Magnesium is commonly used to treat high blood pressure, low glucose tolerance, preeclampsia, eclampsia, heart attacks, premenstrual syndrome and symptoms of neural excitation. Constantly ensuring that you have the correct amount of magnesium in your blood system is also known to help fight against depression and ADHD. People who suffer from chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome often supplement with magnesium to reduce the impact these conditions could potentially have on their bodies’ overall health.

The Magnesium Claim

The hype behind magnesium as a supplement claims to be a cure all for depression, irritability, anxiety, osteoporosis, sleep problems and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as deficiencies in magnesium have been known to irritate these symptoms.

The Research

There has been a lot of research into magnesium over the past few years. Magnesium is well known for its laxative and antacid properties; some research suggests that magnesium could potentially boost workout efficiency, prevent hearing loss, stop kidney stones, and reduce the symptoms of sleeping related issues. Deficiencies in magnesium will almost always cause noticeable health side effects.

Magnesium, as a supplement, has been proven to help with problems related to heartburn and irregular bowel movements.

However, the main ‘benefit’ to supplementation is to counter magnesium deficiency. The overall potential health effects that supplementing with magnesium can have in people who experience deficiencies is staggering, with magnesium playing a major role in the proper facilitation of nutrients, energy, and biochemical reactions that are produced by our bodies’ over 300 enzyme systems it is in a sense the “building block” for maintaining a regularly functioning body. Studies indicated that magnesium carries some very potent health benefits that can have an impact on your entire body.

Magnesium supplementation can be especially beneficial for people who experience symptoms related to ADHD or depression. While it was once believed that magnesium could aid in weight loss and pain reduction due to camps, research has since then disproven these claims.

Below are links to the most credible research studies revolving around Magnesium:

  • Research has shown that magnesium can provide noticeable effects related to reducing blood pressure. Link to Study
  • Slight reductions in symptoms of asthma have been reported with magnesium supplementation. Link to Study
  • Increases in aerobic exercise capacity & intensity have been noted. Link to Study
  • Very noticeable effects in muscle oxygenation levels has been noted with the use of Magnesium. Link to Study
  • Slight reductions of symptoms related to migraines has been reported with the supplemental use of magnesium. Link to Study
  • Increases in bone mineral density has been observed with magnesium supplementation. Link to Study
  • People who have poor sleeping habits have noted improvements in the amount and quality of sleep they are able to get with magnesium supplementation. Link to Study

Most of the research conducted on magnesium for its potential supplemental benefits has been subjected to multiple rounds of testing under different variable conditions. All of the results above are an average based on the consistency of trials performed. As you can see magnesium has some pretty solid evidence backing many of its promised claims.

Who is at risk of a Magnesium deficiency?

A deficiency in magnesium can be very difficult to detect. Most commonly the symptoms related to a magnesium deficiency are not exclusive to the condition itself, which can make figuring out what the potential causes are that much more frustrating. People who are at risk for a magnesium deficiency generally don’t share any common profiles, making the problem much more wide spread than one would believe. People who are prone to sleeping issues, headaches, chest pain, epilepsy, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome are among the most likely to be at risk for a magnesium deficiency. Poor dieting practices and a lack of exercise are also factors that can expose you to a magnesium deficiency.

If you are constantly performing actions or running errands and don’t’ eat adequately or drink enough water you are putting yourself at risk of a magnesium deficiency. People who suffer from magnesium deficiencies often have no prior medical history or condition which typically prolongs the amount of time that elapses before they seek the attention of a professional.

A magnesium deficiency can affect you in several areas of your life and health that are critical to your main everyday functions such as productivity and energy levels. If you are an athlete you should especially consider checking to ensure that you have the right amount of magnesium in your system to regulate your body correctly for any sports or events you may be participating in.

Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage for magnesium supplementation is 200-400mg.

Magnesium should be taken daily alongside a meal. Magnesium supplementation comes in many different forms that be used for supplemental purposes. Most commonly people choose to supplement with “magnesium citrate” for any issues that may be experiencing as a result of a magnesium deficiency.

Possible Side Effects of Magnesium Supplementation

These are side effects commonly associated with magnesium supplementation

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The possibility of you experiencing any of these side effects is not a guarantee. Many factors will go into play concerning exactly what effect magnesium supplementation will have on your body. Things such as any pre-existing medical conditions, allergic reactions, and your current level of magnesium will all decide what side effects you may or may not experience.

Does Magnesium Supplementation actually work?

We’ll take a look at some of the most frequented studies that have proven the most verifiable fact as it pertains to the effectiveness of magnesium as a supplement.

The Consensus: What the Research Says

Magnesium has been proven to be a great antioxidant and natural laxative. Being that magnesium plays such a critical role in so many of our key biochemical processes there is research being conducted to prove the theory of scientists and medical specialist alike, which is that magnesium could potentially possess the ability to boost functionality and production In virtually every aspect of our health. The research that has been conducted however has lead medical specialists to gain more confidence in these claims.

View some of the studies below

 

How Effective Is Magnesium

Magnesium has shown substantial evidence to treat symptoms of asthma, high blood pressure, aerobic exercise, and muscle oxygenation. While there are some analysis still being performed to test magnesium’s’ effectiveness for treating ailments and deficiencies in other areas of your body, the staggering evidence that does exist supporting the claims of beneficial results seen from magnesium supplementation has many doctors and medical professionals fully on board.

Magnesium definitely is effective if you are experiencing symptoms related to a deficiency, however supplementing with magnesium to boost your overall performance has not been proven yet.

However, there are a number of different types of magnesium and many are not very bioavailable (i.e. your body doesn’t absorb the magnesium). As such, how effective the magnesium supplement is depends on how much your body can absorb.

For maximum bioavailability, supplement with chelated magnesium.

Should You Supplement With Magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the most predominant electrolytes in our bodies that plays a major role in ensuring that all of our biological processes are regulated correctly. Experiencing a deficiency in magnesium can lead to an array of symptoms that are not exclusive to magnesium deficiencies only, which makes it difficult to detect. You should always contact a medical professional before decking to start any new supplements.

Our Conclusion

If you are experiencing symptoms that could point to a possible deficiency in your magnesium levels it can definitely be beneficial to consider supplementing with it, provided you use a form of magnesium that’s highly bioavailable (such as chelated magnesium supplements). Supplementing with the wrong form of magnesium won’t be effective as the magnesium won’t be absorbed.

Magnesium can be very effective as a sleep aid and a relaxation aid. If you have sleep problems / insomnia, we taking chelated magnesium supplements may help.

Should You Supplement Long Term

There is no evidence leading to the conclusion that magnesium has damaging effects when taken over time. In most cases people who supplement with magnesium over long periods of time report sings of their quality of life improving in all areas.

Magnesium Supplementation for Fighters

Fighters commonly use products such as Gatorade to boost the condition of their electrolytes throughout their workout routine or shows. Many of these products are simply “sugar packs” and provide no real health benefit. If anything most of these products have the complete adverse reaction their claimed statement.

If you want to maintain the condition of your electrolytes and muscle oxygenation, magnesium has been proven to help in those areas. If you are a fighter who commonly experiences fatigue or drowsiness due to low energy levels or a lack of sleep, you should consider trying a magnesium supplementation routine for a specified time to see if t harbors any benefits to your performance and overall feeling of well-being.

Additionally, if you are a hard training athlete, you may suffer from insomnia or face sleep problems due to over training and associated hormonal fluctuations from said training. Chelated magnesium may help you fall asleep.

My Experience with Magnesium Supplementation

I’ve personally taken chelated magnesium supplements along with melatonin while living and training 6 days a week, twice a day for several years while in Thailand. I did find that the magnesium had a calming effect when taking it an hour or so before bed. If anything, it put me into a relaxed, sleepy mood. As a result, my sleep quality improved. You might not need melatonin if you take chelated magnesium if you have a sleep problem. In my own situation, I found taking both helped improve my sleep, though on it’s own Magnesium was effective (just not as much as taking it with melatonin).

Magnesium Supplementation For Fighters: What to do

Supplement if: You experience low levels of energy or notice a decrease in your muscle performance or oxygenation and / or have problems falling asleep.

Don’t Supplement If: You don’t experience any of the symptoms commonly related to a magnesium deficiency.

The Final Word

With the staggering amount of evidence backing the benefits touted by magnesium supplementation, it’s undeniable that magnesium can have a significantly beneficial impact in areas of your health where you may be experiencing problems. If you notice any symptoms that start to appear that could potentially point to a magnesium deficiency, we highly recommend you try magnesium supplementation.

The Best Magnesium Supplements

(in our opinion)

Here are our picks for some of the better magnesium choices.

Best Magnesium
Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Dietary Supplement, 200 mg per 2 tablets, 240 Tablets
"Quality magnesium supplements in Chelated form (the most effective type of magnesium for absorption). These are particularly good supplements for helping you fall asleep and are by far the most popular magnesium brand you can buy"
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39
Affordable
Country Life - Chelated Magnesium, 250 mg, 180 tablets
"You get 180 magnesium capsules with this brand, all in chelated form. The capsules are a bit smaller than the Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium brand"
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39
Soft Capsule
Nature Made High Potency Magnesium 400 mg - 150 Liquid Softgels
"If you don’t want the hard capsule form of the two previous, we recommend these soft capsule magnesium pills. You may or may not prefer these over the hard tablet Chelated form (which some people say have a higher absorption rate)"
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39
*Price checked on 2017-03-24 08:01:39

About Author

Ben has been living, training, and fighting in Thailand for the past 3 years. He has fought in a number of different combat arts such as MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, and Western Boxing. Ben follows the latest fitness and nutrition research and is especially interested in how it can apply to combat sports to improve a fighter's performance in the ring. You can read Ben's full bio page here.

2 Comments

  1. alannewbigging@hotmail.com'

    Thank you for a very informative article….but you omit to let us know how to get the product….I looked on Amazon and they do not ship to Thailand…….I would like to get the product but how?

    • You can buy Chelated Magnesium at local pharmacies. I think there is an Australian brand sold in Thailand and iv’e seen it there. Import, I don’t know any recommendations outside of Amazon.

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