Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral and one of the common nutritional deficiencies in the world, especially in the US and other western countries. This is because magnesium is typically only found in high-fiberm unprocessed foods such as nuts, leefy green vegetables, and whole grains, and would require large amounts of those foods to be eaten to get your daily recommended amount.
Magnesium is actually one of the primary dietary electrolytes along with sodium, calcium, and potassium, and is only found in negligable amounts even in electrolyte containing drinks. It plays countless roles in the body, including the regulation of heart health, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and is critical for maintaining proper brain health.
Magnesium acts as glutamate modulator, specifically as a smart NMDA antagonist.1www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280813/2www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6320006 Glutamate acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter, leading to increased neuronal activity among the synapses. However, excessive neuronal activity can actually cause cell death, a term known as excitotoxicity. This is most often caused by unchecked levels of circulating glutamte.
Glutamate binds to three different types of receptors, with the NMDA receptor being a major target. Magnesium does not aggressively block glutamate from binding to NMDA receptors, it acts as more regulator and ensures that the receptors to not get oversaturated. As such, magnesium can promote a very calming effect on the mind without drowsiness3www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/197804054www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9932380
Magnesium has been shown to improve sleep6 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/121639837 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21199787, and deficient levels of magnesium have been strongly implicated in numerous dysfunctions in the regulation of mood and attentional regulation.5www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/93682368www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/192714199www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002839080400258811www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1882594612www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19085527910www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002839081100305411www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1882594612
Where to Purchase Magnesium[Vendor Info]
- Magnesium glycinate is recommended due to having high bioavailability and possessing virtually zero side effects (unlike other forms of magnesium such as magnesium citrate which can cause GI problems)
Magnesium Dosage Information
A standard dose is between 200-400mg of elemental magnesium. The best forms to take are magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate, which contain 11.23% and 14.10% of elemental magnesium respectively. Mgnesium glycinate is quite effective since glycine actually acts as a glutamate modulator similarly to magnesium, providing rather synergistic benefits.
If correcting for a deficiency, 400mg of elemental magnesium should be taken for the first week, then 200-300mg would be reasonable for daily doses afterwards. If taking magnesium citrate, 400mg of elemental magnesium would require a dose of 3.6g; with glycinate that dose would be about 2.8g. Magnesium does not generally cause sedation unless you are deficient and take a high dose, so it can be taken at any time of day, though many people prefer to at night to help with sleep.
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