10 Questions to Help You Know If You’re Getting Enough Magnesium | NUTRITION
Many people are actually not getting enough magnesium. In fact, according to the Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 1 in 3 Australians who are 2 years old and over, don’t get the right amount of magnesium in their diet. Unfortunately, only 29% get the adequate magnesium they need.
It’s important to ensure that you get enough magnesium before signs of deficiency occur. Poor magnesium intake has symptoms that can include chronic pain, poor sleep, facial tics, and muscle cramps. But how can you know if you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet?
Below are questions that can help you determine whether you’re getting enough magnesium or not, and learn about what you can do to ensure magnesium balance, so you are in good health.
1. Do you regularly eat sweet foods?
The more likely you’ll become deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients if you have more processed baked goods and sweet foods you have in your diet. Here’s why:
Refined sugar has no magnesium content. During the refining process, molasses are removed from sugar cane to produce sugar. This strips off magnesium in the sugar cane entirely. Plus, refined sugar causes the body to flush out magnesium through the kidneys.
Sugar can also reduce levels of other vital nutrients in the body. Sweet foods are considered “anti-nutrients”, which are foods that consume nutrients when digested. All foods in your body, to power the process of digestion, require vitamins and minerals. Eating sweet foods depletes nutrients in your body that it needs to digest food. If food is not properly digested, your body is not able to absorb nutrients enough.
2. Do you consume carbonated drinks every day?
Majority of dark-colored sodas today have phosphates in them. These substances actually make magnesium unavailable to the body by binding itself with magnesium once inside the digestive tract. You can’t therefore, absorb magnesium.
3. Do you experience a lot of stress on a regular basis?
Stress, whether physical or emotional, can lower magnesium levels in the body. According to The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean, the release of stress hormones, especially cortisol and adrenaline, can be controlled with the right amount of magnesium in the body. If you are constantly stressed, magnesium in your body is used up often, depleting its storage.
4. Do you take an estrogen replacement therapy drug, diuretic, asthma medication, or heart medication?
These types of drugs can reduce magnesium levels in the body. They flush out magnesium through the kidneys, increasing magnesium loss.
5. Do you drink caffeinated drinks daily?
Caffeine can cause the kidneys to release extra magnesium from your body, whether you have enough magnesium in your body or not.
6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week?
According to a study published in the book, Irwin and Rippe’s Intensive Care Medicine, clinical magnesium deficiency can be found in 30% of alcoholics. Alcohol apparently, can have a similar effect as diuretics have in the body. It lowers magnesium levels by increasing the excretion of magnesium through the kidneys.
Increased alcohol intake can also lessen the efficiency of the digestive system. This prevents your body from properly absorbing vital nutrients.
7. Do you experience neurological symptoms?
Neurological symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, and hyperactivity – all of which are signs of magnesium deficiency. Adequate magnesium is associated with electrolyte imbalances that affect the nervous system. It’s also necessary for nerve conduction. Low magnesium meanwhile, is associated with depression and personality changes.
8. Do you take calcium supplements?
Studies have shown that taking calcium supplements can reduce absorption and retention of magnesium. However, taking magnesium supplements can actually improves the body’s absorption of calcium. According to Dr. Mildred Seelig, author of The Requirement of Magnesium by the Normal Adult,
“The body tends to retain calcium when in a magnesium-deficient state. Extra calcium intake at such a time could cause an abnormal rise of calcium levels inside the cells, including the cells of the heart and blood vessels… Given the delicate balance necessary between calcium and magnesium in the cells, it is best to be sure magnesium is adequate if you are taking calcium supplements.”
9. Do you experience any neuromuscular symptoms?
Neuromuscular symptoms include involuntary eye movements, muscle cramping, painful muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, eye twitches, or facial tics - all of which, like neurological symptoms, are signs of magnesium deficiency.
10. Are you age 55 or older?
People at any age can be at risk of magnesium deficiency. However, if you answered yes to many of the questions above and are 55 years old or older, you have a higher chance of being magnesium deficient. The body can’t metabolize magnesium properly at older age. Plus, old people don’t usually eat foods high in magnesium like they did when they were younger.
What You Can Do About It
If you are showing medical symptoms or lifestyle signs related to low magnesium, it’s important that you start today to work to improve your magnesium intake. What you can do to increase magnesium intake is to take add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet and take magnesium supplements. You can check out our wide range of products with magnesium.
If you’re unsure about taking magnesium supplements, you can consult with our qualified nutritionist. At Aussie Supps Nutrition Hub, we have an in-house qualified nutritionist that can provide you with a healthy diet plan that's personalized to your body and goals.
We use the principle of calories for all our meal plans, with some clients tracking, but most clients using simple serving sizes instead! Meaning you get to pick and choose foods you like and enjoy, but without having to track it all every day!
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