The vicious cycle of magnesium deficiency and stress
We all go through stressful situations from time to time. But chronic stress can take a toll on our bodies. From general fatigue to decreasing our immune response, prolonged periods of stress can be hard on our overall mental and physical health.
In addition to that, prolonged stress can deplete our bodies of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. And when it comes to stress-induced depletions, magnesium is one of the most affected minerals.
Magnesium’s role in stress and sleep
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and plays a significant role in several metabolic and biochemical processes within our bodies. It also acts as a cofactor in various enzymatic reactions including protein and nucleic acid synthesis, regulating the cardiac rhythm, and supporting neurological function.
Magnesium plays a distinct role in stress and anxiety. It helps calm down an overexcited or over-stimulated nervous system by regulating the HPA axis and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Studies show that increasing your intake of magnesium can prove beneficial in relieving migraines, chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
Its role in helping the body wind down also promotes better sleeping patterns. This is because magnesium is involved in the production of melatonin, our body’s primary sleep hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Making sure you have optimal magnesium levels is vital for falling and staying asleep.
The relationship between stress and low magnesium levels
Chronic stress has been long associated with low magnesium levels in the body. This is because prolonged stress can lead to increased elimination of magnesium. One study showed that university students had high levels of magnesium excreted through their urine during exam season.
And an already existing magnesium deficiency only worsens stress and anxiety symptoms because a deficiency causes our bodies to be overexcited. Magnesium is the gatekeeper for NMDA receptors located on our nerve cells, which are responsible for stimulating our nervous system. Magnesium sits inside NMDA receptors, preventing them from stimulating nerve cells unnecessarily. But with a magnesium deficiency, there isn’t enough magnesium to block the receptors from overexciting the brain. And with additional stress, our bodies only feel the effects more intensely.
Any form of stress on the body including exercising, fasting, sleep deprivation, and anxiety, can make you use up your magnesium stores at a higher rate.
Why is magnesium deficiency so prevalent these days?
Eating a well-round diet filled with magnesium-rich foods should be enough to prevent magnesium deficiency, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Modern farming practices that prioritize increased yields and minimal pests, have depleted our soil and thus, foods, of magnesium. With nutrient-depleted soils, our vegetables and fruits don’t have as much magnesium in them to begin with. And by the time our bodies process these foods, we only extract minimal amounts of magnesium from them.
How can you make sure you’re getting enough magnesium?
Although dietary sources of magnesium don’t always give us all the magnesium we need, including them in your diet is still important. Some magnesium-rich food sources include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Dark chocolate
Adults need between 310 and 420 mg of magnesium per day. Taking a magnesium supplement is a great way to ensure you’re getting all you need. CanPrev’s Magnesium Bis-Glycinate 200 Gentle contains as much as 20% more elemental magnesium than other magnesium supplements, offering a potent, therapeutic dose of 200mg of pure elemental magnesium. Plus, it’s in bis-glycinate form, known for its superior absorption and gentleness on the bowels.
If you’re looking for a formula that’s designed for stress management, try CanPrev’s Magnesium Stress Release. This formula contains ashwagandha, an adaptogen that’s long been used to heal stress, as well as key vitamins B5, B6, and C for quelling stress hormone production. It helps restore mental calmness, aids irritability and concentration, and encourages good quality sleep.
In life, we may not be able to avoid stress altogether. But taking precautions, such as making sure you’re getting enough magnesium from diet and supplements, to help you manage stress and anxiety better.