Ahhhhh Magnesium. Is it weird to call it my favorite mineral? It helps me sleep better, it soothes my sore muscles, and it also helps (a LOT) with bloating. The best.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant (and crucial!) minerals in our bodies. And there are so may health benefits to eating a magnesium rich diet, yet most of us are magnesium deficient. For the average adult, our levels of magnesium are actually too low. Magnesium deficiency comes mostly from eating a diet that is too low in magnesium (keep reading for supplement ideas and scroll to the end of this post for more magnesium-rich posts to consider adding to your diet/eating more of!) but certain foods we consume (caffeine for example, yikes – coffee addict over here) can actually deplete magnesium levels.
It’s hard to tell if you’re actually magnesium deficient (a blood test won’t tell you). But if you are deficient you may experience difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, and a lack of energy. There are more serious side effects though, and studies show that getting enough magnesium can also help to prevent heart disease.
Magnesium can help with everything from sleeping better to losing weight. It’s sort of a magical mineral, if you ask me. (A supplement that can help you calm down, improve sleep, AND wake up with a flat stomach? Sign. me. up.)
A while back I wrote about magnesium for sleep and anxiety. That’s when I started taking a magnesium supplement regularly. A few of you told me about this magnesium supplement, which I ordered immediately off of Amazon based on your comments. It’s amazing for sleep. Three before bed and I sleep like a baby. I’m NOT a doctor but I think it’s better than Ambien. You fall asleep right away but you don’t wake up with any Ambien-y side effects.
Today we are going to talk about Magnesium Citrate.
Prior to taking MyoCalm for sleep, I used to take two magnesium citrate tablets every night (per my old nutritionist’s recommendation) along with two probiotics. I have been reading about it a lot recently (in particular, for weight loss and water retention) and recently switched back to my old routine of taking magnesium citrate before bed (instead of MyoCalm, I’ve been sleeping better on my own lately and I’m no expert but I think it’s one or the other. Taking both would be wayyyy too much magnesium).
Personally the biggest difference I’ve noticed is that I feel considerably less bloated and wake up with a flatter stomach. It definitely helps with sleep and muscle soreness too though.
What is Magnesium Citrate?
The magnesium citrate I take is a mix of magnesium citrate and calcium citrate. (As with everything, I get it on Amazon). The main claim from Metagenics is that it helps to support muscle contraction and relaxation responses, as well as healthy bone structure. Magnesium citrate also helps work to attract and absorb water in the gut and helps the body’s ability to break down foods. (For that reason magnesium citrate is frequently used to treat constipation by drawing water into the intestines.)
Is it Safe?
Yes – magnesium citrate is totally safe to take, just (as with any supplement) consult your physician before taking magnesium supplements.
Is it Healthy?
Yes – just be sure to take a supplement from a reputable company. I always buy my supplements from Metagenics, mostly because my old nutritionist recommended them and I really trusted his opinion. I’ve had good results with this magnesium citrate supplement in particular. Too much magnesium citrate can cause a laxative effect, if this happens to you, talk to your doctor about another form of magnesium such as magnesium glycinate – it’s said to be gentler on the stomach.
Magnesium Citrate for Weight Loss
This isn’t a post about dieting BUT in all of my research it seems like magnesium can really help with weight loss, especially if you are retaining water or tend to bloat easily. It isn’t (at least from everything I’ve read), going to help you burn fat but it will definitely help with water retention and improved digestion. (Also, Lauryn Evarts swears by it and her recommendations have never once let me down.)
For belly fat and bloating.
You cannot spot treat belly fat. We’ve been over this, le sigh. BUT, it helps those of us who retain water and get bloated easily. As I mentioned above, I have noticed I’m considerably less bloated after taking magnesium citrate supplement every night. And according to this article, a study from England showed that a magnesium supplement has beneficial effects on reducing water retention and bloating during your period.
Magnesium can also help a lot with constipation (another thing that can make you bloated). A lot of medicines for constipation are made with magnesium citrate.
How to Get More Magnesium In Your Diet
Supplements are great but it’s even better if you can get your magnesium through what you eat. I personally like a mix. I make a point to eat a lot of dark, leafy greens and other magnesium-rich foods (it’s good to have an excuse to eat more dark chocolate right?) but I also take a supplement since I’m a big coffee drinker and also work out a lot.
Eating a clean diet that is full of fruits + veggies and rich in minerals and vitamins is the most important thing; dietary supplements are intended to literally “supplement” a healthy diet. In my opinion, unless the situation is dire (aka you are traveling in a desert with no access to fruits and vegetables), you should never fully rely on vitamins and supplements. A good diet comes first. (And you want to be careful – too much magnesium can have a laxative effect… yikes!)
Foods High in Magnesium
The best magnesium rich foods are leafy green vegetables, beans, and nuts. Think swiss chard, kale, flaxseeds, white beans, avocado, peanuts, and dark chocolate. (YUM to that last one). Pumpkin seeds, salmon, and prunes are also very high in magnesium.
What about you? Do you take a magnesium supplement?