Magnesium it is important for protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, regulating blood pressure, energy production, bone health, synthesis of DNA, transportation of calcium and potassium, and for metabolisation and synthesis of vitamin D.
Exercising with low magnesium levels may cause the body to work harder — but not in a desirable way — putting greater demand on oxygen and energy needs. One small study found that when a group of women exercised while low in magnesium, they used more oxygen and had increased heart rates.
Magnesium has been found to be essential for metabolising and regulating vitamin D, increasing or lowering active vitamin D levels as necessary.
Magnesium deficiency has been found to reduce the ability of enzymes to synthesise vitamin D and convert it into the active form that the body can use.
According to one study, magnesium may also support mental health by helping to alleviate signs of depression.
It was found that supplementing with magnesium chloride for six weeks resulted in a clinically significant improvement in measures of depression and anxiety symptoms, with positive effects showing quickly at two weeks.
Food sources of magnesium:
- Seeds such as pumpkin and chia
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Nuts such as almond, cashew
- Legumes such as peanuts, kidney beans
- Wholegrains, such as brown rice, whole oats
- Dark chocolate