Magnesium is underrated.
70% of Americans do not get the recommended daily dose of magnesium. And magnesium is crucial for more than 300 essential chemical reactions in the body. Without magnesium, these vital reactions simply don’t take place.
Without magnesium, systems malfunction all over the map, from bone growth to adrenal health to the ability to fall asleep at night.
Magnesium is also, and perhaps most importantly, one of the primary nutrients involved in the regulation of cellular stress and activity.
And when I say stress here, I do mean stress. Any sort of cellular activity is a stress of sorts, because it upregulates activity and requires energy and resources.
Magnesium’s role is simple: it opens channels on cell membranes. When a muscle fiber, for example, needs to tense up and become active, magnesium will open the membrane and help usher in calcium, which helps make it tense. Then, when the period of stress is over and the muscle can relax, magnesium opens up the cell membrane to usher the calcium out of the cell again.
The problem for most people is that they have enough magnesium to usher calcium into the cell, but not enough to usher the calcium out.
This leaves them in a chronically up-regulated state, leaving muscles tense, nerves firing, and neurons on high alert. This is why magnesium deficiency is associated with muscle tension, with headaches, with poor adrenal health, and with anxiety.
Without magnesium, the body simply cannot calm down.
A lot of paleo people know about magnesium already!
So a lot of paleo advocates and dieters know about the importance of magnesium already.
Most books and websites recommend magnesium.
Usually, you’ll find a recommendation for a product called Natural Calm (at Amazon here), which I also recommend. It’s a great form of magnesium, because it’s in the form of magnesium citrate (and in a fun, fizzy drink form). Magnesium citrate is highly bioavailable – the body can absorb it reasonably well.
Some people find that magnesium citrate gives them some digestive issues, however, because magnesium has a laxative effect. For these people, magnesium glycinate (at Amazon here) is often recommended by paleo and other natural health guturs, because it tends to be easier on the digestive tract.
But I need more than that…
Even though I was once saved by the miracle of magnesium, I have since discovered that I can support my body even better.
Nowadays, I know that there are many different forms of magnesium. Different forms are better suited to different organs and systems in the body.
I struggle with a lot of issues. I once took a pharmaceutical drug (for my acne) which wreaked havoc on my kidneys. Since then, I have had trouble with my heart beating smoothly, with my stress response staying level, with insomnia, and with anxiety.
For adrenal support…
So these days, I still take magnesium citrate about once a week, for the sake of my adrenals. I also just take it after a stressful event or when I feel like I need my adrenal glands needs to calm down.
Natural Calm in the form of magnesium citrate is a great all-purpose, adrenal-supportive magnesium supplement.
For cardiovascular support…
I also take a small dose of magnesium taurate once a week.
My heart is in better shape than it used to be, but I still want to provide it with the best possible support possible. When I first began struggle with heart palpitations and a racing heart, my doctor recommended magnesium taurate.
Magnesium taurate is an excellent form of magnesium for the heart because the heart loves and needs taurate to work well. Magnesium, when chelated to taurate, like it is in this supplement, goes right to the heart, more efficiently than other forms of magnesium.
For brain support…
Finally, and most importantly, I discovered magnesium threonate.
Magnesium threonate is the most absorbable form of magnesium to the brain. It passes the blood brain barrier and acts on neurons with an efficiency paralleled by no other form of magnesium.
When I first took magnesium threonate — and I’m being 100% real, cross-my-heart-hope-to-die honest here — I felt an effect immediately. My eyelids drooped more easily than they had in weeks. I even called my mom, and was like
“mom this is amazing omgggg.”
Magnesium threonate has a potent effect on my insomnia, as well as on my anxiety and my racing thoughts. It’s my favorite supplement of all the ones in my cabinet.
I take a very small dose (I break open a caplet and pinch a bit off the top) of magnesium threonate nightly.
This is the form that I take.
So find the magnesium that works best for you!
If you struggle with mental health or with sleep like I do, then magnesium threonate may be best for you.
If you struggle with heart health, then you may want to consider magnesium taurate.
If you feel stressed out or have a lot of muscle tension, then magnesium citrate will probably work quite well.
And if you struggle with gut problems while on magnesium, give magnesium glycinate a try.
OR, if you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them!
I really do love and swear by my different forms of magnesium. Of course – I readily admit that I may placebo effect my way into being specially affected by them. But I also know that the medical literature describes these forms of magnesium as being particularly complementary and absorable by these different systems — for the magnesium taurate and the magnesium threonate especially.
This is my magnesium regimen and I love it!
How do you get your magnesium?