Magnesium is one supplement that I take on a very regular basis. It is just too important for overall health and performance for me to ignore.
For those of you that don’t know, magnesium is an essential mineral. By essential, I mean that without sufficient levels of magnesium, you cannot live.
I can’t overstate the importance of this mineral. Magnesium is needed for the synthesis of several hormones. It is a cofactor in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. It helps control blood sugar levels. It regulates your heart beat by causing your heart muscles to relax (calcium then causes them to contract). It is necessary fro normal nerve functioning.
In short, magnesium is one hell of an important nutrient for the human body!
Of course proper magnesium deficiencies – to the point where your health will suffer in a major way – are very rare. Most people consume enough magnesium to get by.
But few people consume optimal amounts of magnesium.
Whether your goal is to optimize recovery, enhance cognitive function, or maximize muscle growth, magnesium is something you will want to consume more of!
It’s surprising to me than that so few people take magnesium supplementation seriously.
As is so often the case, they overlook the simple but genuinely important stuff and instead focus on the complicated but probably ineffectual factors.
In this article, I’ll explain why magnesium supplementation is important, and how to choose the best magnesium supplement for you.
Choosing a supplement is not always just a case of looking for the lowest price. If you know how to choose the best magnesium supplement for your specific needs, you’ll find that you get a lot more out of it!
As always, if you have any questions, please post them in the comments section at the end.
Why You Should Use A Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is too often one of the last things people think of when designing a supplement stack.
Protein, B Vitamins, Omega-3s, creatine; these are the things that people focus on first when building their regimen.
But for most people, a magnesium supplement would have far more of an impact, and far more wide-ranging effects, than creatine or B Vitamins ever will.
That’s because people generally find it more difficult to load up on magnesium than they do these other nutrients.
For example, if you’re running low on B12 or Omega-3s, eating a nice bit plate of salmon, mackerel or rainbow trout will fix that problem right away.
But if you’re looking to fix a magnesium deficiency, then you’ll have to up your intake of spinach, quinoa, almonds, edamame beans, black beans, or avocados. While these foods are all delicious, people don’t eat anywhere near enough of them.
Here is a list of the 9 foods highest in magnesium:
- Spinach (21% DV per cup)
- Kale (18% DV per cup)
- Swiss Chard (36% DV per cup)
- Pumpkin Seeds (37% per 1oz)
- Brown Rice (20% DV per cup)
- Almonds (18% DV per 1oz)
- Brazilnuts (25% DV per 1oz)
- Dark Chocolate (54% DV per 100g)
- Avocados (14% DV per portion)
As you can see, these foods should all be a big part of our diets anyway.
But you also know full well that the average Western man’s diet does not contain enough of these foods.
Not even close!
People will regularly consume small amounts of magnesium through side salads or the handful of spinach they put on their sandwiches.
However, if you’re looking to optimize your health and performance, getting enough magnesium isn’t the goal.
To improve your cardiovascular health, maximize testosterone production and enhance your sleep, you need to consume large amounts of magnesium.
To do that, you probably want to use supplements.
Choosing The Best Magnesium Supplement For You
So you’ve decided that you need to start utilizing magnesium supplements.
But there are literally hundreds of products on the market. Some are very expensive, some cost very little. A few contain very large doses of magnesium, while others provide multiple different magnesium salts.
With so much choice, it can be hard to spot the genuinely good supplements.
So how do you choose the best magnesium supplement for you?
Which magnesium supplement is right for your specific goals?
Generally speaking, there are a few things to look out for when choosing a magnesium supplement. You will want to stick to these guidelines regardless of your specific needs.
1) Always opt for highly bio-available forms of magnesium, or those that are as close to the forms found in foods.
Many magnesium supplements simply provide pure magnesium. If they contain magnesium salts, they will typically just be salts that keep the magnesium stable; no effort has gone into maximizing bio-availability.
A small number of manufacturers do go the extra mile though.
For example, all of the vitamins and minerals in Performance Lab’s products are made via their patented BioGenesis process.
Instead of making pure magnesium in a lab, they “grow” it on probiotic bacteria. This produces a form of magnesium that is identical to that found in soil, but which is even easier to digest.
Other brands opt for magnesium salts extracted from seawater. So instead of getting pure, plain magnesium (which the body never encounters in nature), you get a stack of salts like magnesium chloride and carbonate.
This way, your body is getting the kinds of magnesium that it is used to encountering in nature.
The same goes for brands that use more bio-available forms of magnesium, such as bisglycinate or taurate.
Many brands offer higher quality forms of magnesium. Don’t settle for basic stuff.
2) Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium for your needs.
Unlike with some vitamins or minerals, you do not actually want to be consuming very large quantities of magnesium.
This mineral is responsible for relaxing your muscles, including your heart muscles. It also reduces nerve activity.
So ensuring that you have plenty of magnesium is important, but you don’t want to be taking excessive amounts.
How much magnesium you need to take will vary depending on your needs.
Boosting testosterone production doesn’t require much extra magnesium. Most guys will see a bump in testosterone production from an extra 20% of their RDI of magnesium.
If you want to get better quality sleep, then about 25% of your RDI is enough.
If you have high blood pressure, then up to 50% of your RDI from supplements is a good goal.
You really want to be getting more magnesium from food. Magnesium supplements should be used to “top up” your magnesium intake.
Magnesium should also be used strategically. Decide what you want to achieve, and construct your supplement stack accordingly.
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