Magnesium - easing those tense muscles

7 Nov 2012 12:00 AM Magnesium - easing those tense muscles

Magnesium is one of your body's most important minerals - it helps alleviate muscle tension, cramps, spasms and so much more.

Magnesium - to ease those tense muscles

Magnesium is one of your body's most important minerals.

It plays a vital role in helping your body to:

  • Produce energy.
  • Maintain healthy cellular function.
  • Metabolise protein, carbohydrate and fat.
  • Regulate calcium metabolism, helping you to keep your bones strong.
  • Keep your blood pressure low and improve blood flow.

 

Magnesium stores not readily available

Magnesium is so important that your cells have special membrane pumps to keep it inside them. Around 99% of your magnesium is locked up inside your cells. Effectively this means your day-today supply of magnesium is dependent on your diet and/or daily supplementation.

Most diets are deficient in magnesium

The bad news is that while magnesium is found in a wide range of foods, especially green vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes and chocolate, an adequate supply of magnesium is difficult to achieve, particularly in view of the increased demand for it associated with modern diets and lifestyles.

Alcohol depletes magnesium

In terms of lifestyle effects, alcohol consumption dramatically reduces magnesium levels, increasing the excretion of magnesium through your urine. The resultant loss of magnesium contributes too many of the problems associated with chronic alcoholism.

What's the best form of magnesium?

Being such a widespread and useful mineral there are many forms of magnesium, but all types fall into two basic classes:

  • Poorly absorbed inorganic or organic magnesium salts; and
  • Better absorbed organic magnesium chelates.

 Magnesium salts

Magnesium salts, whether organic or inorganic, are a very common form of magnesium. Often found in sports drinks, magnesium salts tend to break-up (dissociate) in your digestive system to release free magnesium. Strangely enough this is not actually what you want because having a lot of magnesium floating around in your digestive system can cause diarrhoea, which anyone who has taken a large dose of magnesium salts will be able to tell you is not nice.

Chelated magnesium

Chelated magnesium, on the other hand, does not dissociate and so does not cause diarrhoea. This is because the chelation process locks the magnesium into the molecular structure of an amino acid. The smallest amino acid, and therefore the best absorbed, is glycine, so it follows that the most digestive system-friendly and absorbable form of magnesium is magnesium diglycinate.

Choosing the right magnesium supplement for you

At Petrie’s Cottage of Natural Therapies we will advise you about the right magnesium supplement for you, but here’s a few things to think about.
 

  • If you are basically well, but need to keep your energy levels up to get you through your busy day, a simple maintenance formula is sufficient.
  • For relief of muscular aches and pains, a mixture of magnesium, calcium and relaxing herbs would be ideal.
  • If you need support for athletic performance and recovery, we may recommend a physiologically balanced, magnesium-rich electrolyte formula combined with carbohydrates for energy.
  • For improving depleted energy production due to problems with sugar metabolism (hypoglycaemia, and pre-diabetic conditions characterised by insulin resistance and/or fatigue), a more comprehensive formula featuring chromium, selenium and taurine might be necessary.


Everyone needs it - some more than others

The list of conditions that can benefit from magnesium supplementation is enormous and includes:

  • Tiredness, lethargy and fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Eating high levels of fat sugar and salt

 Nerve and muscle conditions:

  • Muscle cramping and spasms.
  • Poor athletic performance.
  • Tension headaches and migraines.
  • Stress, anxiety, panic disorders, dementia and epilepsy.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, pregnancy, pre-eclampsia and osteoporosis.
  • Heart and blood vessel disorders.
  • Prolonged diarrhoea.