Magnesium is one of the most utilised minerals in the human body, supporting over 300 cellular functions. This essential mineral is in high demand! Women often have higher daily requirements, as it supports everything from our stress response to our hormonal development. So, there are some signs that show you might need a little more magnesium in your day. They are below.
During times of stress, magnesium stores rapidly deplete, and yet, it’s also what the body needs to support and reduce the symptoms of stress. Magnesium supports our HPA axis (hypothalamic – Pituitary – Adrenal axis), this triad is responsible for numerous processes including our immune response, metabolism and development of hormones such as cortisol, a hormone that regulates our fight or flight stress response.
When stress negatively influences the HPA axis, we start to see other symptoms arise such as frequent colds, gut issues, IBS, mood disorders and mild anxiety. Supporting the body with magnesium during stress may help to reduce the severity of these symptoms but also change how the body responds to stress in the first place, so we are calmer overall.
Do you start every bleed with cramps, bloating, headaches, digestive issues and mood changes? Firstly, while this may be common, it isn’t normal. Magnesium works by relaxing the muscles within the uterus and can help to reduce period pain as well as other associated symptoms. For optimal results, magnesium needs to be taken daily throughout the month as well as in times of period pain.
Magnesium may work to reduce symptoms of PMS. Thought to be due to its role on our hormonal response, in particular the development of progesterone, which works to calm our nervous system in the second half of our cycle. Research suggests magnesium may work best for PMS when used in conjunction with B Vitamins, in particular vitamin B6.
Irritable moods and anxiety
Anxiety is a condition commonly seen amongst women. This may be contributed to our monthly hormonal fluctuations, high stress and pressures of work and home life balance. Low magnesium levels are associated with lower dopamine production. Dopamine is our relaxing hormone that is produced naturally in a healthy body. Put simply, if we aren’t producing enough dopamine, we aren’t able to enjoy its relaxing magic to calm our nervous system and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Having troubles unwinding? Is you sleep suffering? Sleep has a vital role in our health and can affect our physical and mental wellbeing. Magnesium can support the quality of sleep you are having each night, as well as the time it takes for you to fall asleep, (no more counting sheep). Magnesium acts to relax the muscles, nervous system and is best taken early evening to unwind.
How to increase magnesium intake
Magnesium can be consumed via food and supplementation with the recommended daily intake of 310 grams per day for women. I recommend including a high quality, plant-based supplement into your routine, my favourite is Ora’s Mag3Mood, which is unique blend of three highly bioavailable forms of magnesium, complete with mood-supporting herbs and sustainably sourced vegan Cordyceps. As Australian soil is low in magnesium and many Australians do not meet their required intake, supplementation can be a good way to achieve our daily requirements and replenish stores. Magnesium is best absorbed as a powder or liquid with magnesium glycinate, magnesium biglycinate or magnesium citrate being the easiest for the body to absorb and utilise.
Boyle, NB et al. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 May; 9(5): 429.
Parazzini F et al. Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review. Magnes Res. 2017 Feb 1;30(1):1-7.
Nielsen F. Relation between magnesium deficiency and sleep disorders and associated pathological changes. Modulation of sleep by obesity, diabetes, age and diet, 2015, p 291-296 https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/prevention/diet/vegetable-consumption