We need to talk about magnesium’s magnificence, stat.
Right now, less than 70% of women and 40% of men in the UK are getting their fair share of magnesium. If you are suffering from poor sleep, muscle knots and tension, fatigue or even a modicum of stress, not to mention one of the 22 or so magnesium deficiency triggered ailments, it’s time to get your dosey-dosage on.
So, what exactly does it do?
It provides natural support for a restful sleep
The magic mineral helps you sleep by boosting the receptors that help switch off your brain at night (the GABA receptors). Getting some real zzs also means you’ll enter the R.E.M state of deep sleep that allows us to dream. When we dream big, we can process any unsolved emotional experiences or undealtwithities (definitely a word).
It helps dissipate stress, muscle and joint pain
A major use for magnesium is to naturally reduce, repair and relax those painful muscle knots and built-up tension, heck it can even help reduce PMT cramps. It helps when we happen to be under periods of stress or anxiety when our body is in its “fight or flight” mode. Whilst we‘re then ready for anything, if our bodies don’t get a chance to relax and recover, muscles will stay fixed in this contracted state and begin to calcify and harden. This is where magnesium’s efforts come in handy to neutralise. Without it, the built-up tension will eventually cause deep pain and mobility problems which mean no more ultra-marathons for you, Sir/Maam.
It moisturises skin
In a study carried out by the Department of Dermatology at The University of Kiel, Germany, they proved that bathing in magnesium helps the skin’s barrier function, hydration and reduced skin roughness and inflammation. It’s also an electrolyte, which helps us maintain healthy fluid levels and therefore hydration, just like our good old more famous (and pricey) friend, coconut water.
It balances energy and ups cognitive ability
Magnesium levels play a major part in breaking down glucose in the body. If we’re depleted, this process is slowed right down and we become lethargic, exhausted even as our heart rate and oxygen intake increases. If we have the right amount our brains act optimally ensuring maximum cognitive ability. The mineral also has the incredible capacity to calm and neutralise our negative emotions.
Given most adults are magnesium-deficient anyway, add a busy lifestyle into the mix, then you’ll probably going to need some more magnesium fuelled stamina performance and positivity.
Are you getting enough?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is around 270 milligrams per day for women and 300mg for men, which is just enough to ward off outright deficiency.
High-stress levels, over-use of antibiotics and some other long-term medications, plus if you are partial to imbibing a lot of alcohol,will all go a long way to depleting your magnesium levels as all of these activities ensure you will lose the mineral in your urine.
So you’ve decided to add this into your daily supplements, GREAT, but how and where to use it?
Magnificent magnesium shot recipe
There are so many great health brands on the market now. The two here are amongst my favourites. VITL will send you a postal subscription (and free trial box) ranging from set of greens in handy sachets to a packet of balanced daily supplements, neatly dosed out and labelled with the days of the week, a handy little timesaver and totally idiot-proof. Viridian are also a fantastic all-round range of all organic, vegan supplements with no preservatives, no additives and are widely stocked at most health shops and online.
Most adults also need a boost of greens in their diet as well as magnesium and the microalgae spirulina is jam-packed full of nutrients. I try to add this to my diet every day. It has a list of benefits too long for here but think calcium, niacin, potassium, a touch of magnesium, B vitamins and iron as well as essential amino acids.
There are many expensive nutrient powder mixes out there. Most often I buy a little packet of my local health shop’s own-brand spirulina, no need for any fancy packaging. Do try and buy organic and check sources – as sometimes it can be subject to environmental pollution in the lakes where it’s grown. When you open the packet it has the potential to spread a green puff of sulphur-smelling smoke and green residue, so spoon with caution.
Here’s a lil recipe which you can mix up at will. A word of warning, though, don’t use too much magnesium – it can get bowels moving over-zealously, shall we say…
Ingredients + Method:
– 1 VITL Complete daily superfood powder sachet
– Half a teaspoon of Viridian’s magnesium citrate powder (citrate or chelated forms are more easily absorbed than magnesium sulphate or carbonate). If you want more goodness for hair, skin and nails there’s also their magnesium, calcium and zinc powder.
– 1 teaspoon of spirulina powder
– Half a lemon
Mix it all with a dash of filtered water or even a teeny bit of organic apple juice if you can’t hack the lemon alone. The magnesium will make it taste a bit like fizzy pop with a tang. You can also easily add these ingredients to a smoothie of your choice for less of a sharp taste.
Bathe and Spray
And finally, the best way to efficiently allow the mineral to penetrate the bloodstream is transdermally (through the skin) as when we drink it its efficacy is diluted with our stomach acid.
You can get your dose in the bath too with some magnesium flakes and my favourite method is with this magnesium oil spray . It’s really satisfying to spray it directly onto tight muscles, knots and even into your mouth to help fight plaque and promote healthy teeth. It may sting or tingle when you spray it directly onto muscles but that means it’s meeting your need for it. And it most definitely helps promote the zzzs.