Magnesium is vital for proper nerve function, muscle activation and energy production. It also helps ensure cognitive and bone health.
In addition, research indicates that chronically low levels of magnesium likely increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Supplemental magnesium can help you avoid those conditions while providing an array of additional benefits that we will examine below.
10 Benefits Of Magnesium
Taking supplemental magnesium is a good idea if you are athletically inclined, over 40, suffer from insomnia or simply wish to avoid potential long term problems such as heart disease. The following are some of the most common benefits of taking magnesium supplements.
1: Magnesium helps your body with biochemical reactions.
Magnesium is found in your body and about 60% of it is found in your bones. Your muscles, soft tissues, and fluids contain magnesium too.
Low levels of magnesium are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, migraines, and ADHD (1).
Magnesium is responsible for over 600 enzyme reactions in your body, including energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation (2).
2: Magnesium boosts your exercise performance.
Magnesium is an electrolyte and when you exercise, your body becomes depleted of prevalent electrolytes, including magnesium, potassium, and sodium. This causes dehydration which can onset muscle spasms and cramps.
A study on 20 male chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients found an infusion of 2 g of magnesium sulfate to improve exercise performance (3).
Athletes tend to receive some major benefits when supplementing with magnesium. One study on volleyball players proved taking 250 mg of magnesium daily can increase your jumping and arm movement (4).
Another study showed that after just 4 weeks of taking magnesium, athletes had faster cycling, running, and swimming times during a triathlon (5).
3: Magnesium can help you fight depression and anxiety.
Several studies have linked low levels of magnesium to an increased risk for depression.
According to this 2015 study, low magnesium levels cause young adults to especially experience depression. Over 8,800 people were examined, and it was proven that people under the ages of 65 had a 22% greater risk of depression (6).
A 2017 study linked low magnesium levels to anxiety (7). Magnesium is involved in releasing feel-good chemicals in your brain, such as GABA, which functions as a mood enhancer.
4: Magnesium may prevent you from getting type 2 diabetes.
If you have low magnesium levels, you have a much greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Magnesium helps your body regulate your blood sugar levels.
One study examined over 4,000 young adults aged 18-30 for 20 years and discovered that you’re 47% less likely to suffer from diabetes with higher magnesium levels (8).
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes showed an improvement in their blood sugar levels when they supplemented with magnesium (9).
5: Magnesium lowers your blood pressure.
Magnesium prevents your blood vessels from constricting, which increases your blood pressure. Of course, having bad blood pressure is linked to cardiovascular health issues.
A study found that both diastolic and systolic blood pressure significantly decreases if you take 450 mg per day (10).
6: Magnesium has anti-inflammatory benefits.
You have a higher chance of experiencing inflammation with low magnesium intake. Inflammation can lead to diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders.
Taking less than 250 mg of magnesium a day is associated with serum-C reactive protein concentration, an indicator of inflammation (11).
In fact, older adults over the age of 51, improved their inflammatory response to stress after supplementing with magnesium (12). As you age, your body naturally becomes more inflamed.
7: Magnesium may prevent migraines.
One study found a reduction in headaches in children who took magnesium for 16 weeks (13).
One study demonstrated that taking magnesium is more effective than medication in treating migraines (14).
A wave of brain signaling, cortical spreading depression, causes migraines. Magnesium sublimates this and alleviates pain by blocking pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain.
8: Magnesium improves PMS symptoms.
A common symptom of premenstrual syndrome is lower serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating your mood. Low levels of serotonin are associated with feelings of sadness and irritability, and magnesium deficiency may lower your serotonin levels.
One study showed oral magnesium to improve the mood of premenstrual women (15).
Also, a daily supplement of 200 mg of magnesium alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention (16).
9: Magnesium improves your sleep.
Research in 2012 showed that magnesium improves sleep quality (17).
Since magnesium releases GABA, it helps you feel relaxed, which is important for sleep. Of course, if you aren’t getting adequate sleep, then you’re at risk for a multitude of health issues, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
10: Magnesium strengthens your bones.
According to the European Journal of Epidemiology, low magnesium levels are associated with an increased risk of bone fractures (18).
Being low in magnesium alters the structure and size of bone crystals and helps with the process of bone growth and repair.
Magnesium plays a central role in enabling crucial physiological functions. Not getting enough magnesium can contribute to a slew of long-term problems including heart disease, immune deficiency, osteoporosis and more. Magnesium supplements can help you fend off these and other issues so that you can maintain a higher quality of life.