Magnesium is the second most abundant electrolyte inside of our cells, and involved in over 600 biochemical reactions - we’ll explain the top reasons we use it in clinic.
We consider magnesium to be one of the ‘forgotten’ electrolytes - while it’s incredibly important in the body, it’s frequently overlooked as in sports drinks and many electrolyte formulas, which is unfortunate. It's included in our Muscle Cramp Tension formula in decent amounts - this is one reason we use this product so much!
We use magnesium for two main reasons in our athletes in clinic:
For a gentle muscle relaxer - Magnesium antagonizes the actions of calcium in the muscles. Calcium binds to proteins which generate a contraction, or tightening of the muscle. Magnesium will compete with calcium, ‘blocking’ it from working in the muscle. If you’re deficient in magnesium, your muscle may contract too much resulting in spasms or cramps.
For calming the mind (for anxiety and sleep) - Stress hormones (catecholamines and corticosteroids) will enhance a shift of magnesium from inside the cells to outside of them, leading to increased urinary excretion and of course low magnesium levels in the blood as well.
In turn, low blood mag increases the release of stress associated hormones (catecholamines and corticosteroids) in response to stress and leads to a viscous cycle of reduced stress resistance and further magnesium depletion.
The second way that magnesium calms the mind is by binding to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain – GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that slows things down in the nervous system. This is where the sleep and relaxation-enhancing effects come from. A lot of people find that just by taking a small amount of magnesium at bedtime ensures a good night’s sleep.
Magnesium is also extremely useful for several other conditions and symptoms like:
High blood pressure
Irregular heart beats
improves blood sugar control in type II diabetes.
We like to use Magnesium Citramate which provides a mixture of the two of the best absorbed forms of magnesium, citrate and malate in a 1:1 ratio for enhanced absorption.
Too much magnesium will lead to diarrhea. This is the first sign of overdose! Only use what's directed on the bottle.
Lastly, you'll be more successful in absorbing magnesium if it's taken with vitamin B6. B6 helps escort magnesium into the cells, where it's needed most. Ideally, it should be consumed in a 10:1 ratio (300mg magnesium to 30 mg vitamin B6.)