Magnesium: 600 Reasons You Need This Mineral
Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth, sea, plants, animals and humans.
About 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood.
In fact, every cell in your body contains it and needs it to function.
One of magnesium's main roles is acting as a cofactor or "helper molecule" in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes.
In fact, it’s involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including:
- Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.
- Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.
- Gene maintenance: Helps create and repair DNA and RNA.
- Muscle movements: Is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
- Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that about 50% of people in the US and Europe get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium
Magnesium also plays a role in exercise performance.
During exercise, you may need 10–20% more magnesium than when you're resting, depending on the activity.
Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up in muscles during exercise and cause pain.
Studies have shown that supplementing with it can boost exercise performance for athletes, the elderly and people with chronic disease.
In one study, volleyball players who took 250 mg of magnesium per day experienced improvements in jumping and arm movements.
In another study, athletes who supplemented with magnesium for four weeks had faster running, cycling and swimming times during a triathlon. They also experienced reductions in insulin and stress hormone levels!
As if you needed more convincing, Magnesium also a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression.
One analysis in over 8,800 people found that people under the age of 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of depression.
Some experts believe the low magnesium content of modern food may cause many cases of depression and mental illness. However, others emphasize the need for more research in this area.
Nonetheless, supplementing with this mineral may help reduce symptoms of depression — and in some cases, the results can be dramatic.