December 03, 2020 4 min read

The Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation (2020)

Overview

Magnesium is an essential mineral that mediates a myriad of physiological and biochemical functions. This element is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, which should give you an idea of how important it is.

While everyone should be getting sufficient amounts of magnesium through their diet or by taking supplements, active people would particularly benefit from having adequate blood serum levels of this mineral.

Unfortunately, studies show that approximately 50% of the people in theUnited States andEurope do not meet their daily recommended amount of magnesium.

In this article, we will cover the top benefits of taking magnesium supplements.

What the benefits of taking magnesium?

1.      Boosts physical performance

Magnesium plays a major role in muscular contraction and physical performance. In fact, whenever you’re exercising, you will need 10-20% more magnesium compared to being at rest.

This mineral also optimizes the process of moving glucose into the cells and disposing of lactate, which reduces feelings of fatigue and energizes your muscular system.

According to several studies, taking magnesium supplements boosts exercise performance in athletes, elderly adults, and people with chronic illnesses.

In one study, athletes who took magnesium supplements for four weeks recorded faster times during triathlons (e.g., running, swimming, cycling).

When the blood of the participants was analyzed, researchers found lower levels of insulin and cortisol (the primary stress hormone).

2.      Optimizes energy production

Perhaps the most important role of magnesium is the mediation of most biochemical reactions to ensure the proper function of the cells.

By being a cofactor in more than 600 enzymatic reactions, magnesium interferes with the energy-producing process, which is a crucial property for athletes.

In fact, researchers found that magnesium assists the cells to synthesize new protein molecules from amino acids to mediate muscle hypertrophy after microscopic tears of the fibers.

Moreover, magnesium is an integral part of the contraction/relaxation cycle that occurs every time you exercise.

Despite these amazing benefits, many athletes are on the verge of being magnesium-deficient.

3.      Reduces risk of injury

Studies found that low magnesium intake is closely related to chronic inflammation, which is the cornerstone of multiple pathological conditions, including premature aging, obesity, chronic disease, and susceptibility to musculoskeletal injuries.

Reports state that individuals with low magnesium concentrations have abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

In a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that magnesium supplementation increases bone mineral density, which reduces the risk of traumatic fractures and also supports the connective structures (e.g., ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage).

The underlying mechanism is still being debated, but scientists believe it is due to the boost in osteoblastic activity and the anti-inflammatory properties exerted by magnesium.

4.      Fights depression

Magnesium is a vital mineral for cognitive functions and mood regulation.

According to research, low levels of magnesium increase the risk of depression, along with other mental disorders.

One particular analysis found that participants over the age of 65 with magnesium deficiency were at a greater risk of developing depression.

In fact, some experts theorize that the low levels of magnesium in our modern diet is the primary reason for the rise in depression incidence.

Fortunately, supplementing your body with this mineral improves the symptoms of depression, leading to dramatic changes in the mood and mental status of the patient.

In one randomized controlled trial, giving participants 450 mg of magnesium on a daily basis improved mood in a way that’s as effective as taking antidepressants.

5.      Promotes glycemic control

Magnesium aids glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, around 48% of people with diabetes have low levels of magnesium. As a result, this can impair the ability of insulin to promote glucose entrance into the cell.

Moreover, scientists found that low magnesium levels increase the risk of diabetes in healthy individuals.

According to one study, proper intake of magnesium reduced the risk of developing diabetes by up to 47% compared to individuals with poor intake.

Another study demonstrated that taking magnesium supplements improves blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c levels.

6.      Lowers blood pressure

In addition to blood sugar levels, magnesium lowers blood pressure in a variety of ways.

Chronic blood hypertension is an extremely common medical condition that wreaks havoc on all organ systems, especially the heart and vessels.

This condition has several risk factors and complex pathophysiology that’s constantly changing.

Fortunately, and with the help of medications (e.g., antihypertensive drugs), we can manage blood pressure to reduce its toll on the vessels.

Additionally, some foods have been shown to have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

Conversely, magnesium can dramatically improve blood pressure, which eventually reduces the risk of sequela. In a 2009 study, people who took 450 mg of magnesium per day had lower levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

However, these benefits were only noticeable in individuals with chronic high blood pressure.

7.      Tempers down inflammation

Low magnesium intake precipitates chronic inflammation, which is a primary driver of aging, chronic illnesses, and age-related complications.

In one study, children with low blood magnesium levels had higher markers of cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), and prostaglandins.

Additionally, these children had high blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels.

The good news is that magnesium supplements reduce the levels of CRP and inflammatory markers in older adults, overweight individuals, and people with prediabetes.

Similarly, high magnesium foods (e.g., fatty fish, dark chocolate) significantly improve inflammation.

Takeaway message

Magnesium is an essential mineral that mediates hundreds of biochemical reactions to optimize the athlete’s performance and recovery.

Hopefully, this article managed to shed some light on the importance of supplementing your body with magnesium, but if you still have any questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.

Note that before taking magnesium supplements, you need to consult with your primary care physician to make sure that you actually need them.


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