Men and Magnesium: What Guys Really Need to Know
Guys, magnesium is one of those nutrients we don’t hear about too much about. It’s not as sexy as muscle building creatine, or any of the amino acids our body requires to function despite it being the fourth most abundant mineral that we have in our bodies.
In fact, here’s a list of a few critical roles magnesium plays in our physical health:
Magnesium is sometimes called the “relaxation mineral” because of its ability to help lower our stress levels. In fact, serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer found mostly in our digestive system, requires magnesium for its production. As such, a magnesium deficiency can negatively affect our stress level and emotional state.
Hospitals routinely administer magnesium intravenously to patients having heart palpitations in an attempt to help slow their heart rate.
Our bodies rely upon magnesium for the numerous chemical reactions needed in the production and maintenance of our DNA.
In addition to helping manage stress levels, magnesium also aids in brain function by smoothly relaying electrical synapse between our brain and the rest of our body. It prevents overstimulation of nerve cells, which could result in brain damage.
Opposite to the contractile function of calcium on our musculature, magnesium helps regulate and release muscle contractions – oftentimes, magnesium is prescribed for the treatment of chronic muscle cramps.
Despite the abundance of magnesium our bodies require to maintain proper health and function, many of us don’t get enough of it. Some studies estimate that as high as 68% of the adult population don’t get enough of their recommended daily intake (RDI).
And, unfortunately, magnesium deficiency has been linked to the risk of developing many diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Several studies also seem to indicate a correlation between migraine headaches and low levels of magnesium.
That said, how much magnesium should we be consuming on a daily basis to keep our body functioning as it should?
Adult men should consume 420 mg/day (And, if you’re curious, adult women should consume 320 mg/day).
Although generally considered to be safe, there are a few caveats to make a note of when it comes to magnesium supplementation, like: Magnesium overdose can produce various symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and an irregular heartbeat.
That said, you might want to forgo magnesium supplementation if you are already regularly consuming a diet rich in magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency (called hypomagnesemia) could lead to various health conditions, including muscle twitches and cramps, osteoporosis, fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.
Where do we find natural magnesium? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of magnesium-rich natural food sources.
Here's a small list:
Raw almonds and cashews (raw nuts are best because magnesium is lost during the roasting process)
Black beans, peas, and soybeans
Green leafy vegetables (spinach)
Whole grains (oat bran)
Herbs (coriander, chives, dill, sage)
Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin, so consider warm Epsom salt baths, and if you want a double punch of relief for sore muscles, follow it up with a moisturizing magnesium oil/lotion.
However, perhaps the most natural way of getting in your daily magnesium dosage - is to ensure that your diet has plenty of whole food sources high in this multi-tasking mineral, such as the ones I listed above.
One Final Note:
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