Is Your Body Getting Enough Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential part of our body’s chemical reactions. In fact, it’s essential to more than 300 biochemical reactions in our body that happen simultaneously. For those that are deficient in this mineral (and this is a large percentage of the population due to its lack in our current food supply), proper supplementation will be recommended.
What does magnesium do for us, anyway? Not only will it help convert food into energy, but it will aid in the creation of proteins, muscle movements, regulating neurotransmitters, and repairing/forming new DNA and RNA.
Outside of that, magnesium can indirectly help your athletic performance, fight depression, lower blood pressure, promote a healthy heartbeat, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
How Much Magnesium Do We Need?
Studies show that nearly half of all Americans are deficient in magnesium or simply don’t get enough on a daily basis. If you’re trying to figure out how much magnesium you need on a daily basis, it will largely depend on your body type and gender.
Let’s take a look at what your goal should be every day:
- 310 mg for an adult woman
- 400 mg for an adult man
- 50-400 mg for a child (ask your healthcare provider)
It should be noted that these numbers will fluctuate as we grow older. When we hit the age of 30, we should increase our magnesium intake by 20 mg a day. Likewise, a pregnant woman will need 40 mg extra to support her baby.
The good news is our body will automatically excrete excess magnesium if necessary. The only downside of taking too much is the possibility of nausea, cramps or loose stool if you’re taking the citrate form -- not to mention wasting the magnesium when you excrete it.
Where Do We Get Magnesium?
Magnesium is found in a variety of foods we eat on a daily basis, so if we’re diligent, we may be able to get the amount we need every day from our diets. We’ve listed some of the healthiest sources of magnesium and how much you can expect to get from them.
Outside of that, 1 cup of soy milk contains 61 mg of magnesium, ½ cup of black beans contains 60 mg, whole wheat bread will have 46 mg per 2 slices, and peanut butter will contain 49 mg per 2 tablespoons.
You can also get quality servings from edamame, avocado, rice, potatoes, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Is It Time For Supplementation?
The first thing you should do when trying to figure out if magnesium supplementation is right for you is to see your doctor. They’ll be able to perform a blood test that can tell you whether or not you’re getting enough as it is.
If you are receiving enough, it’s best to continue your diet as you normally would. If not, taking a supplement can help your body store magnesium throughout the day. If you don’t get enough from your diet -- either because you don’t eat foods that contain it or don’t eat enough of them -- a supplement will be there to save the day.