Stress comes at us from all angles, and some of it is out of our control. What you can control, though, is how well your body can cope with stress.
Your stress response happens on a cellular level, and Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining your body’s cellular balance and function. Cellular balance means your body is better equipped to handle everyday stressors and primed for sleep and calm.
But evidence suggests that most people aren’t getting enough of this critical mineral.
Here’s how to use Magnesium for relaxation and how to make sure you’re getting enough.
How Magnesium Influences Brain Chemistry
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate brain chemistry, along with an impressive 300+ other bodily processes.
There are also a few magnesium brain benefits. Without Magnesium, your brain can’t properly regulate neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers important for healthy cognitive function. Magnesium specifically regulates the release of the following neurotransmitters:
- Glutamate. It plays an essential role in learning and memory, and too much of it can cause cell death and even result in brain damage.
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). A brain-slowing neurotransmitter that can leave you feeling wired if levels are too low. Low levels are also associated with mental health conditions like anxiety disorders.
Additionally, Magnesium acts on serotonin receptors to regulate this important mood-related hormone. Abnormal serotonin levels — either too high or too low — can negatively impact your overall mental health.
The mineral also helps control cortisol production, also known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol can impact your mood,Excess levels can also make it tough to sleep.
Magnesium also plays a vital role in regulating the memory and learning receptor N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), a glutamate receptor of glutamate that helps form new neuron connections. Researchers believe that problems with this process may lead to oxidative stress and cell death.
The Link Between Magnesium and Relaxation
Some research suggests that Magnesium may help with everyday stress and anxiety. That’s because
Magnesium regulates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, the part of your brain responsible for your body’s stress response, which can help prevent anxious feelings and promote relaxation.
Getting enough Magnesium and learning ways to cope with stressors may help keep your body in balance and support a relaxed state of mind.
Raising low magnesium levels isn't just beneficial for stress relief and better sleep quality. Besides balancing brain chemistry, Magnesium is also involved in regulating muscle contractions, which hints at another reason it may be beneficial for promoting relaxation.
And there’s a link between Magnesium and blood pressure. It’s possible that because Magnesium promotes calm, that may lead to lower blood pressure readings over time.
Alongside taking magnesium for relaxation, it also regulates melatonin, the hormone that dictates your sleep-wake cycle, so getting enough is essential for achieving quality restful sleep. A deficiency in Magnesium might even lead to sleep problems
And thus starts the vicious cycle. Not enough Magnesium means poor sleep, which, in turn, can lead to problems coping with stress, leading to, and further contributing to challenges with sleep starting the cycle all over again.
Different Ways to Increase Magnesium Intake
One way to manage magnesium deficiency is through diet. Many foods are rich in Magnesium, including:
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
But it can be tough to meet the daily recommended Magnesium intake from food alone.
The reality is that modern agricultural practices, like the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and monocropping, have stripped important nutrients from the soil — Magnesium, included. That means there are a lot fewer minerals like Magnesium in our food.
And the body isn’t great at synthesizing Magnesium, so supplementing with a daily Magnesium supplement can help fill in the gaps to ensure you’re getting an adequate daily dose of this essential mineral.
But not all supplements are created equal. Look for a Magnesium supplement containing bioavailable types of Magnesium to ensure your body can adequately absorb it and put all of Magnesium’s benefits to use.
Magnesi-Om® contains 3 bioavailable forms of Magnesium plus L-Theanine to help restore cellular balance for relaxation, better sleep quality, brain health, and regularity.* Chelated Magnesium Gluconate and Acetyl Taurinate support muscle relaxation and cognitive function, while Magnesium Citrate supports regular bowel movements.* L-Theanine promotes alpha‑wave activity in the brain, shown to encourage a focused calm.*
Potential Side Effects of Magnesium
While raising low magnesium levels is important, it's just as important to avoid high magnesium intake. You can’t really get too much Magnesium through food sources because your kidneys are great at flushing out any excess your body doesn’t need. But it’s possible to take too much Magnesium in supplement form.
Experts recommend not taking more than 350 mg of Magnesium supplements per day. Taking more than this might lead to the following symptoms, which indicate a possible overdose:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Low blood pressure
In severe cases, overdoing it on Magnesium supplements can lead to heart problems and cardiac arrest. Always check product labels for dosage and serving size info. More isn’t always better.
And, if in doubt, talk with a doctor about a safe Magnesium supplement dose for you.
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