Magnesium - What Does It Do & Why Is It Good For The Body?
Why is magnesium important?
Magnesium is an essential micronutrient that contributes to a wide range of biochemical reactions within the human body. It's the fourth most abundant mineral in the human system and serves several critical roles to keep our bodies functioning day-to-day.
But what does magnesium do for the body, how much should we consume per day, and what are the best ways to add it into your diet? Here's everything you know.
What does magnesium do for our bodies?
Magnesium plays a crucial part in ensuring several areas of the body run smoothly, assisting in over 300 of its enzymatic reactions. Among other things, magnesium contributes to the regulation of the nervous system, heart and muscle function, blood pressure levels, energy, and the synthesis of bones, protein and DNA.
Early signs of a lack of magnesium include a loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, general weakness/fatigue, muscle cramps, trouble sleeping and abnormal heart rhythms. Longer-term deficiency in magnesium can lead to more concerning health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
How much magnesium do we need per day?
The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for an average adult male is between 400 and 420mg of magnesium per day. For an average adult female, the recommended daily intake is between 310 and 320mg.
1 in 3 Australians don't get enough magnesium in their diet
Despite its necessity within our diet, the most recent Australian Health Survey conducted on national food and nutrient consumption found staggering results regarding the Australian population's magnesium intake. The report from the ABS concluded that one in three Australians currently do not meet the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for their daily intake of magnesium.
What foods are high in magnesium?
As a rule of thumb, eating foods that are high in fibre is a great way to provide yourself with high levels of magnesium. Some rich sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Other good places to source your daily requirement of magnesium are:
- Bananas, apples and avocados
- Fatty fish (think salmon and mackerel)
- Low fat yoghurt, milk and soymilk
- Broccoli and carrot
Does magnesium help with sleep?
Increasing the amount of magnesium that you consume may indeed have a deeply positive impact on your ability to get a restful night's sleep. Firstly, magnesium assists the sleep process by aiding in activating and regulating neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the mind and body. Moreover, we know that a lack of magnesium is associated with troubled sleep, even contributing to insomnia. Therefore, increasing your average daily intake to recommended levels may have a profound effect on your sleep.
What's the best time to take magnesium?
Supplements containing magnesium can be taken at any time of the day. To avoid an upset stomach, we recommend always taking magnesium supplements on a full stomach. If you are taking magnesium supplements for their sleep benefits, we highly recommend taking them just after dinner (ideally 1 to 2 hours before bed). For a pre-bedtime multi-vitamin solution that will assist in a restful sleep, as well as prepare you for tomorrow's challenges, try our new Nightly blend. Just stir a sachet into 250ml of water, sip it down, and unwind…