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Magnesium For Anxiety: Does It Help?

Magnesium For Anxiety: Does It Help?

Did you know that anxiety affects 18 percent of the US population? That’s nearly 1 in 5 people! If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. You may have heard that magnesium can help with anxiety. But does it really work? This article will explore the research on magnesium for anxiety. We will answer the question: "Does magnesium help with anxiety?"

We’ll also look at what the experts have to say about the benefits and risks of taking magnesium supplements. An informed health decision is your best decision!

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that's found naturally in the human body. It's necessary for many different functions, including keeping the heart healthy, maintaining proper muscle function, and regulating blood sugar levels. 

Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the "relaxation mineral" because of its role in calming the nervous system.

Magnesium deficiency can result in a lot of health concerns and in fact, can be quite serious. To avoid this, many have turned to magnesium supplementation as part of their daily health and wellness regime.

How Does Magnesium Affect Mental Health?

Magnesium is an essential nutrient involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. It's involved in nerve and muscle function, energy production, and the formation of bones and DNA.

Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. Researchers believe that magnesium may help to regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and that magnesium may help to reduce inflammation in the brain. Many health professionals believe in the value and benefits of using magnesium supplementation for mental health.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Magnesium?

So, how does one know if they are low in magnesium? Our bodies are very good at giving out signs when there's a problem. However, we often aren't aware of what we should be on the lookout for. Here are some common symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

Insomnia

Magnesium plays a role in producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. When levels of magnesium are low, melatonin production is disrupted, leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

Magnesium helps to relax muscles and calm the nervous system, both of which are important for achieving a good night's rest. Magnesium plays a role in managing stress levels. When we're stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can interfere with sleep. Magnesium is needed to offset the effects of cortisol, so we can relax and sleep.

Anxiety

Magnesium is involved in regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, which are known to play a role in mood and anxiety. It’s also needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced. Imbalances can lead to feelings of anxiety.

Chronic inflammation is also linked to anxiety and depression. Studies have proven that magnesium helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Less inflammation, less anxiety and depression.

Since magnesium plays a role in managing stress hormones like cortisol, low levels can lead to increased feelings of anxiety.

Depression

While there are many factors that can contribute to depression, one greatly overlooked cause is magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium plays an important role in brain function, and research has shown that low levels of magnesium are linked to depression and other mood disorders. This is because magnesium helps to regulate neurotransmitter activity, and low levels of magnesium are linked to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Muscle Cramps

Magnesium is responsible for muscle contraction and relaxation. When levels of magnesium are low, muscles can't relax properly, which often results in cramping.

It also plays a role in regulating calcium levels in the body. Calcium is another mineral that's essential for muscle function. When calcium levels are off, it can cause muscle spasms and cramps.

Magnesium plays a role in nerve function. Nerves send signals to the muscles to tell them when to contract and when to relax. If nerves aren't functioning properly, it can cause muscles to cramp up. 

Sleepiness

Low magnesium can lead to feelings of fatigue and sleepiness. This is because magnesium has a part in energy production and muscle relaxation. When your body doesn't have enough magnesium, it can't produce energy efficiently or relax muscles, both of which can lead to fatigue and sleepiness.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are often associated with anxiety and stress, but they can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in the regulation of heart rhythm. Without enough magnesium the heart muscle can become irritable, leading to palpitations.

Brain Fog

Brain fog can be a frustrating and puzzling symptom. You know that you're not firing on all cylinders, but you can't quite put your finger on why. It turns out that brain fog might be a sign that you're not getting enough magnesium.

Magnesium is a vital mineral for healthy brain function. It helps to regulate neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending messages between nerve cells. Magnesium deficiency is quite often one of the causes of brain fog.

Body Odor

Body odor can be caused by a number of factors, including poor hygiene, certain foods, and medical conditions. It’s important to know that it can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium helps to regulate sweat production. When levels are low, sweat glands can become overactive, leading to increased sweating and body odor. 

Gut Disorders

There's growing evidence that gut disorders may be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. In one study, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who took magnesium supplements for eight weeks had a significant reduction in symptoms. Other research has found that magnesium may help to relieve constipation and diarrhea.

Magnesium helps to keep our digestive system running smoothly. It helps to relax the muscles in the gut and encourages regular bowel movements. Magnesium also plays a role in helping the body to absorb other nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. All of this works together for proper gut health.

How to Take Magnesium For Anxiety

Nutritional and herbal supplements have become increasingly popular these days, and magnesium is among the trends. There are a few different ways that magnesium can be taken as a supplement for anxiety. One of the most common methods is to take magnesium citrate powder, which can be dissolved in water and drunk.

Another option is to take magnesium glycinate pills. It can also be applied topically in the form of lotions or oils. 

Enjoy soaking in the tub? Some people find that they can get relief from anxiety by taking Epsom salt baths, which are rich in magnesium sulfate.

Whichever method or combination you choose, be sure your magnesium supplements are from a reputable company to ensure good quality.

What Are The Other Benefits Of Taking Magnesium?

You know what magnesium is, why your body needs it, and that it's beneficial in treating anxiety. Would you like to know what other health benefits come with magnesium supplementation? Keep reading....

Better Sleep

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including the regulation of neurotransmitters like GABA, which help to promote relaxation. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. 

Reduced Pain

Magnesium has shown its ability to block pain signals from the nerves, as well as being a natural muscle relaxer. As a result, those suffering from migraines, tension headaches, menstrual cramps, and even arthritis have had excellent results treating their pain with magnesium.

Migraine Treatment

Taking magnesium supplements is an effective migraine treatment because magnesium is a mineral that's known to relax muscles and nerves. 

A migraine attack can be caused by muscle contractions, changes in brain metabolism, or nerve triggers. Some people find that they need to take magnesium supplements on a daily basis in order to prevent migraines, while others only need to take them when they feel a migraine coming on.

Reduced Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. It's quite possible then that taking magnesium supplements can reduce the risks for this condition.

Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with Type 2 diabetes. 

Lowered Blood Pressure

Studies show that magnesium supplements can lower blood pressure by up to 4 mmHg, which is a significant amount. This effect is thought to be due to magnesium's ability to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Magnesium helps to prevent excess calcium from building up in the arteries, a leading cause for high blood pressure. 

Improved Mood

When it comes to feeling our best, mood is everything. It's no surprise that many turn to magnesium supplements as a way to improve their mood. 

A large-scale study of over 8,800 adults found that those with the lowest magnesium intake were 22 percent more likely to develop depression than those with the highest intake. Magnesium supplements have shown to improve the moods in people with known magnesium deficiency. 

Are There Side Effects of Magnesium?

Generally, magnesium supplements are safe to take. However, they can cause some side effects, such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.

In rare cases, magnesium supplements can also cause more serious side effects like low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor.

Overall, magnesium is a safe and effective way to get the nutrients your body needs. Starting with a lower dose and increasing gradually as needed greatly minimizes any potential side effect.

How to Increase Your Magnesium Levels?

Of course we know that magnesium supplements will increase our magnesium levels but are there any other ways? The answer is yes. Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet, enjoying an Epsom salt soak in the tub are two natural ways to boost your magnesium levels.

Foods That Are High in Magnesium

Foods considered to be high in magnesium are readily available making it easy to add such foods to your diet. You just need to know what these foods are. Here's a list of some of the most common magnesium rich foods:

  • nuts: almonds, cashews, peanuts
  • leafy greens: spinach and kale
  • beans: black beans, kidney beans
  • soy milk
  • wheat
  • avocado

Types of Magnesium Supplements

There are a few different types of magnesium supplements which come in the form of powder, liquid and capsules:

  • Magnesium oxide is the most common type of magnesium supplement. It's inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Magnesium citrate is a more expensive type of magnesium supplement. It's more easily absorbed by the body than magnesium oxide.
  • Magnesium chloride is a less expensive type of magnesium supplement. It's not as easily absorbed by the body as magnesium oxide.
  • Magnesium sulfate is the least expensive type of magnesium supplement. It's not as easily absorbed by the body as magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate.
  • Magnesium glycinate is a newer form of magnesium supplements that's slowly gaining popularity. It's more expensive than magnesium citrate, but it's more easily absorbed by the body and does not cause gastrointestinal distress like some other forms of magnesium supplements. 

If you're looking for a magnesium supplement that's both affordable and effective, magnesium oxide is a good option. However, if you're looking for maximum absorption, magnesium citrate may be the better choice.

When to Take Magnesium Supplements

While it's possible to get magnesium from your diet, many people don't get enough of this important nutrient. If you're wondering whether you might need magnesium supplements, there are a few key signs to look out for

Do you frequently feel stressed or anxious? Are you struggling to sleep well? Do you have muscle cramps or pain? These are all common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium supplements may be recommended for people who have certain medical conditions or who are taking medications that interfere with the body's ability to absorb magnesium. Experts suggest that magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for people who are at risk for developing osteoporosis or who have already experienced a bone fracture. 

How Long Does it Take For Magnesium Supplements to Work?

You may be wondering how long it will take to see results after starting to take magnesium supplements. The answer depends on a few factors, including your diet, overall health, and the severity of your deficiency.

In general, it takes about four to six weeks for most people to see results from magnesium supplementation. Some people may see benefits in as little as two weeks. 

The Takeaway

So does magnesium help with anxiety? Absolutely! Struggling with anxiety? Talk to your doctor about magnesium supplementation and its proven health benefits in the field of mental health. 

Not sure if you are deficient in magnesium? Did you know there are at-home mineral tests available to you?

For more health resources and health tips be sure to check out our blog. You will also find lots of great information on our podcast for living your healthiest life! 

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