5 Signs you may not be getting enough magnesium

18th July 2018 / Health

5 Signs you may not be getting enough magnesium

Emily Hedgman

Magnesium is an essential micronutrient that is responsible for more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body. When we don’t get enough of it, it can manifest in many subtle ways that we might not immediately attribute to inadequate magnesium intake.

Because magnesium is involved primarily in enzymatic reactions, it can be found in the highest quantities in metabolically active organs like the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. If your diet is low in magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish and you have any of the following symptoms, more dietary magnesium or a high-quality supplement like our Magnesium Plus may be of help.


  1. You get headaches or migraines

Headaches can be caused by several factors, or by no discernible factor at all, but one contributing cause is low levels of magnesium. In fact, one study demonstrated that people who experience migraines typically have lower levels of magnesium, compared to those that don’t. Further study showed that when migraine sufferers were given regular magnesium supplements they experienced a 41.6% decline in the frequency of migraines they experienced.


  1. You struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep

Similar to headaches, magnesium is tied to sleep quality because of the role in plays in the functioning of the central nervous system. In particular, low levels of magnesium can interfere with the REM portion of sleep; which is the most essential for feeling properly rested. One reason why magnesium is so essential to good sleep is that it has been shown to decrease cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and it has a nasty habit of keeping you up at night when levels are high.

That said taking a magnesium supplement is different to taking a sleeping pill. It won't ‘knock you out’ so to speak, or make you feel drowsy even once you’ve woken up. Rather, it will help improve the quality of your sleep so you wake up feeling well rested and more energised.


  1. You get muscle cramps or spasms

If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to experience a rude awakening in the middle of the night courtesy of a painfully spasming calf muscle, you’ll know that muscle cramps are no laughing matter. If you do experience these regularly, there’s a good chance that your magnesium levels are sub-optimal. Muscle spasms are the result of involuntary muscle contractions. Because magnesium helps to relax muscles throughout your body, a lack of magnesium can cause your muscles to contract involuntarily.


  1. Poor digestion

Your calf isn’t the only thing which suffers involuntary contractions when magnesium is running low. Your digestive tract can be affected too. Low magnesium can cause your intestines to contract more, which in turn can make it harder for waste to pass through and lead to constipation. Magnesium also helps to pull water into your intestines, which facilities the easier movement of waste.


  1.   You crave chocolate a lot

Obviously, this isn’t the only reason you might crave the sweet stuff, but to an extent, our cravings do actually reflect what our body needs. If you find yourself regularly reaching for the chocolate, there’s no reason not to indulge, as it actually provides a good source of magnesium. Unfortunately, there is a caveat; it needs to be dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa percentage the better (70% plus is ideal). Just one square of good quality dark chocolate can provide up to 24% of your daily magnesium needs.

Boost your magnesium intake with our one-a-day Food Based Magnesium