10 reasons to consider taking magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral that's consumed in the diet and is used by the body for a myriad of reasons - including almost every major bodily process.1
It's found in a wide variety of foods, including nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains and even chocolate - so it's easy to include in your diet.2
Nevertheless, many people in Australia don't consume the recommended amounts of magnesium in their diets,3 so from time to time, you may like to consider topping up your dietary intake with a supplement - for example if you're experiencing any of the issues below.
1. You get mild muscle cramps, spasms or twitches
Muscle cramps are sudden, rapid, involuntary contractions of the skeletal muscles (especially those in your calves) that affect around one in three adults. They can occur at any time of the day or night, and many people experience them while they're asleep or in association with exercise.4
Magnesium is essential for healthy muscle function, and in particular, is required for the normal contraction of the muscles.
When dietary magnesium intake is below optimal, taking a magnesium supplement may help to decrease muscle cramps and reduce the risk of them occurring. It may also help to relieve muscle twitches and mild muscle spasms.
2. Your muscles need to relax
In addition to its role in muscle contraction, magnesium also facilitates muscle relaxation, so if you're feeling a bit wound up, consider whether it might help.
3. Your muscles are tired
Ever get the sense that your muscles are a bit weary? The term 'muscle fatigue' is used to describe a reduction in the power or force that the muscles are capable of generating. It's often experienced during and after exercise or intense activity and may also become increasingly common with age.5
In people whose diets don't provide adequate magnesium, taking a supplement reduces muscle fatigue.
4. You train HARD
Athletes and others who engage in strenuous or intense exercise sessions may need to consume magnesium in greater quantities than people who don't.
This is especially likely to be the case if you perspire a lot during your training sessions, which may lead to the depletion of magnesium in your sweat.
Taking a magnesium supplement after exercise helps maintain the body's balance of electrolytes (mineral salts) and compensates for magnesium losses in the perspiration.
5. You want to support your muscle performance
Sufficient intake of magnesium is important for sustaining muscle performance, and people who don't consume enough of it may find their performance isn't supported.
On the other hand, in people whose dietary intake of magnesium is inadequate, taking magnesium supports both stamina and muscle strength.
6. You're focused on your cardiovascular system and blood sugar health
If you're not getting enough magnesium from your diet, taking a magnesium supplement supports the health and function of the cardiovascular system, which comprises your heart and blood vessels.
Magnesium also plays an important role in normal blood glucose metabolism and the breakdown of sugars and carbohydrates in the diet.
7. You've been experiencing sleeplessness or restlessness
One of magnesium's roles in the nervous system is to have a calming or sedative effect.
Taking a magnesium supplement relieves sleeplessness associated with inadequate dietary levels of magnesium, and supports healthy sleeping patterns.
Similarly, if you're prone to feeling restless or to having an excess of nervous energy, taking a supplement may help to reduce these symptoms if you're not getting enough magnesium from your diet.
8. You're keen to look after your bones
More than half of the body's magnesium stores are found in the bones, and it plays a key role in supporting bone health - including via its involvement in regulating the body's metabolism of calcium.
9. You're prone to premenstrual tension (PMT)
Magnesium helps to relieve a range of PMT symptoms, including breast tenderness, mood swings and feelings of aggression and irritability.
10. You want to support your energy
Along with some of the B-group vitamins, magnesium is important for the cellular production of energy in the form of the compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Considerations when choosing a magnesium supplement
Some forms of magnesium are more readily absorbed than others, so when shopping for a supplement, look for one that contains forms of magnesium like magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium aspartate and magnesium amino acid chelate - like Fusion Magnesium Advanced tablets.
Alternatively, if you prefer to take a powdered form of magnesium, choose one that also contains B-group vitamins to aid energy production and support your energy levels. Fusion Magnesium Advanced Powder is a great option, and is available in delicious tasting Lemon-Lime Zing and Watermelon flavours.
1. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements., 3rd ed Sydney: Churchill Livingstone, 2010. Kindle edition.
2. SelfNutritionData. Nutrients in food tool. Accessed July 2020 from https://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/nutrient-search
3. ABS. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Australian Health Survey: Usual nutrient intakes 2011-12. Commonwealth of Australia, 2015
4. Blyton, F. et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2012;1CD008496.
5. Wan, J-J. et al. Exp Mol Med, 2017;49(10):e384-e384.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamins and minerals can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.