How do you recognize a magnesium deficiency?
When we think of magnesium deficiency symptoms, we usually think of calf and muscle cramps. The mineral fulfills many other tasks.
For example, it ensures functioning nerves and muscles and improves fat metabolism. Lesser-known deficiency symptoms include depression, sleep problems, and low-stress tolerance.
In this article, we dive into the mysteries of your magnesium metabolism. You will get answers to the following questions, among others:
When it is missing, you only realize how essential magnesium is for figure and fitness.
Magnesium is one of the most critical minerals in the body.
Nobody puts their horsepower on the road with empty magnesium stores. Not during strength training, not during cardio training, and not in everyday life.
The signs are uncool but avoidable:
The performance drops, you feel weak and irritable, and your fat metabolism reaches a standstill.
Studies indicate that almost half of the people in Europe and the USA do not meet the recommended magnesium intake.
As soon as you optimize the magnesium concentration in your body, you will feel energetic, stress-resistant, and balanced.
You perform better in training. In simple words:
Magnesium helps you to look good in a swimsuit.
Even cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, or cardiac arrhythmias can be caused by a magnesium deficiency – and disappear as soon as you are optimally cared for.
What is the function of magnesium in the body and for health?
The better your body is supplied with micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, the more efficient your metabolism will be.
But if you are not optimally cared for, you will notice this through signs such as:
Even a slight micronutrient deficiency can reduce cell energy production and weaken the immune system.
Then the metabolism only runs at half speed.
One of these vital micronutrients is magnesium. It is an essential mineral found in the earth and all living things.
Your body stores about 60% of its magnesium stores in bones, while the rest is found in muscles, connective tissue, blood, and other bodily fluids.
Magnesium is found throughout the body:
Every cell in your body needs magnesium.
Because it needs the mineral for its metabolism, among other things, it acts as an “auxiliary molecule.”
Magnesium supports your body’s enzymes in more than 300 biochemical reactions.
Any examples? Here is a selection of the many metabolic processes in which magnesium is significantly involved:
- Provision of energy: Magnesium helps to convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from food into energy that your body can use ( ATP ).
- Muscle building: Magnesium helps build new protein structures from amino acids.
- Preservation of genetic material: Magnesium helps to build and maintain genetic material (DNA).
- Muscle Movement: Magnesium is needed for muscles to contract and relax. Without magnesium, performance in strength and cardio training falters.
- Nerve Function: Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters that carry signals throughout the brain and the nervous system.
Unfortunately, studies repeatedly show how widespread a magnesium deficiency is.
In the US and Europe, many people fail to get the recommended magnesium intake from food:
Depending on the study, insufficient magnesium supply was observed in 25-29% or even 48-56% of the population.
For example, the daily magnesium intake of the US population has fallen from 500 mg/day to just 150 mg/day in the last 100 years – less than half the minimum recommended value.
Scientists see the cause in two main factors:
- Due to modern agriculture, food today contains fewer micronutrients.
- There is more and more factory food. They provide calories but few micronutrients.
In the next section, you will learn why magnesium is a mainstay of your physical and mental fitness.
KEY FACTS – What is the function of magnesium in the body?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports hundreds of metabolic processes in the body – for example, energy supply and nerve function.
Many studies show that many people do not get their recommended dietary magnesium intake.
What positive effects does magnesium have on the body?
The mineral is a real all-around talent: the magnesium effect is evident when you lose weight, build muscle, and achieve your sporting goals. And in several respects:
- Magnesium optimizes the provision of energy in all body cells.
- No performance in training without magnesium.
- Magnesium requirements increase with chronic stress.
- Magnesium controls the function of nerves and muscles.
- Magnesium supports carbohydrate and fat burning.
Let’s quickly go through the five qualities one by one.
#1 Magnesium optimizes the provision of energy in all body cells.
Your body’s energy currency is ATP.
Your body converts food energy into ATP. This happens in your cell power plants, the mitochondria.
However, the ATP supply only gets “into full swing” with magnesium.
The more magnesium you have, the better your cell power plants work.
Magnesium dampens and avoids the negative effect of stress reactions in the cell and protects the cell’s energy depots.
In the case of a magnesium deficiency, ATP energy production stagnates.
Optimal magnesium intake accelerates it.
ATP is not only needed in the muscles but in all cells – including the brain. Did you know that the mind consumes 30% of your daily basal energy consumption?
If the magnesium concentration is suboptimal, the brain will tire more quickly. But when you raise low magnesium levels, you’ll feel the effect immediately:
Fatigue and poor performance disappear. You become calmer and more energetic at the same time.
You benefit from this not only in everyday life but also in sports.
KEY FACTS — Magnesium is the turbo in energy metabolism
Magnesium plays a major role in the energy metabolism of all body cells. A stagnant supply of magnesium also stalls the supply of energy. Result: you feel limp.
Those who are optimally cared for have more power and are physically and mentally more resilient in everyday situations.
#2 No performance in training without magnesium
Top athletes know that you can’t win a competition without supplemental magnesium.
With low magnesium levels, performance drops, and training becomes ineffective.
That’s why there is hardly a professional athlete who does without magnesium supplementation. Also, athletes need more of:
The need for magnesium increases by 10-20% during intensive training.
The power mineral also helps pump blood sugar into the muscles and remove lactate, which accumulates during training, impairs performance, and can cause pain.
Studies show that people who take magnesium perform better during training.
In a study of triathletes who took magnesium capsules for four weeks, the researchers not only observed better swimming, cycling, and running times. The triathletes’ blood also showed lower levels of stress hormones and insulin.
KEY FACTS — Optimal magnesium intake, optimal training performance
Magnesium also improves the provision of energy in the muscles during training, accelerates the removal of lactate, and thus prevents the muscles from becoming acidic.
Studies suggest that taking magnesium capsules or powder is associated with increased performance.
#3 Stress increases magnesium requirements.
Chronic stress is the disease of our generation.
We want everything: success at work, time for the family, a loving partnership, being healthy and fit, and – of course – looking good naked. In short:
We place extremely high demands on ourselves.
At the same time, the possible stress factors are increasing: conflicts at work or in a partnership, noise, lack of sleep, dissatisfaction, lack of sleep, and a world that is changing ever faster.
In addition, there are the “good” stressors such as willingness to perform at work, in sports, and personal goals.
Chronic stress increases the need for magnesium enormously.
The magnesium concentration in the body drops at the pace of Formula 1 because two effects add up:
- Stress increases magnesium consumption in the cells.
- Stress causes increased excretion of the mineral from the body.
The result is not surprising:
People with high levels of stress almost always have low magnesium levels.
That is why people who are permanently stressed usually feel the typical magnesium deficiency symptoms:
Chronic fatigue, sudden hearing loss (or tinnitus), migraines and other headaches, muscle tension, sleep problems, and high blood pressure.
These situations have one thing in common:
The magnesium enzymes are depleted and need to be reactivated.
Anyone who has been stressed for decades and lives with a low magnesium concentration in the cells also accepts a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, strokes, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart attacks.
But it doesn’t have to come to that.
If you are stressed, you can increase your magnesium intake to have enough vital enzymes ready again.
KEY FACTS — Magnesium increases your stress resistance
Chronic stress has become a widespread disease. This increases the consumption and thus the need for magnesium.
A stress-related magnesium deficiency promotes symptoms such as fatigue, sudden hearing loss, migraines, tension, and high blood pressure.
An increased intake of magnesium can prevent complaints and increase stress resistance.
#4 Magnesium helps build muscle protein.
Magnesium is essential in utilizing food protein and protein synthesis – among other things, in building new muscles.
Magnesium supports muscle protein synthesis.
This is not only important if you want to build muscle. You also recover faster from the strain.
A British study from 2017, in which researchers followed a total of 156,575 people, comes to an interesting conclusion:
Men and women who consume a lot of magnesium (about 500 mg/day) are stronger, leaner, and more muscular.
They weigh 2-3% more fat-free mass than subjects who take only half as much magnesium.
This suggests that they have more muscle and less body fat.
KEY FACTS — A good magnesium intake goes hand in hand with an athletic figure
Magnesium plays a vital role in protein metabolism, including repairing and building new muscle protein.
A large 2017 study observed that people who consume more magnesium are stronger and leaner.
#5 Magnesium supports fat metabolism.
Magnesium is not only important in high-performance sports. Your fat loss will also benefit from it.
Magnesium boosts fat-breaking enzymes and helps you stay on top of cardio workouts.
In addition, it improves your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and glucose transport into the cells.
High insulin sensitivity is good because it means your body can handle larger amounts of carbohydrates better and reacts less often with blood sugar and mood swings.
KEY FACTS – Magnesium supports fat metabolism
Magnesium supports fat-degrading metabolic processes such as the provision of enzymes. It provides enough energy for cardio training.
The mineral also improves insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance.
What are the causes of a lack of magnesium?
Magnesium deficiency is widespread and affects all age groups.
Adolescents, people suffering from stress, older people, and athletes are particularly affected.
A magnesium deficiency can arise in three ways:
- increased consumption in the body,
- low dietary intake
- increased elimination from the body.
Let’s go through the three causes one by one.
Magnesium Deficiency Cause #1 – You USE more magnesium
Weight training, endurance training, and other forms of physical exertion increase the need for magnesium.
For example, researchers observed in marathon runners that the magnesium concentration in blood serum and urine dropped significantly during a competition.
Your muscles use more magnesium when you use them.
The same effect was also observed in other studies with athletes.
The stress of all kinds also drains full magnesium stores.
Whether it conflicts at work or in a relationship, fears or deadline pressure doesn’t matter.
Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system.
It reduces the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. It is a “sympathetic damper” and can reduce physical stress as it arises.
Magnesium Deficiency Cause #2 – You EAT less magnesium
A healthy diet does not always protect against a magnesium deficiency.
Here are the most common reasons for not getting enough magnesium:
- Calorie deficit to lose weight: If you want to lose weight, you often reduce the amount of high-calorie magnesium sources (e.g., nuts and grains).
- Not enough vegetables and fruits: Most people eat too many processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables.
- Blind spot with vitamins and minerals: Athletes often pay attention to their macronutrients but forget the micronutrients. As a result, many athletes are undersupplied with vital substances.
- Beverages low in magnesium: Some mineral waters are rich in magnesium. Others contain almost nothing. Magnesium is the most important mineral to look for when buying. Heppinger, Gerolsteiner and Apollinaris are good suppliers of magnesium.
- Water filters: Water filters are designed to remove pollutants from drinking water. Unfortunately, they often filter out the water’s magnesium and other vital minerals. Some even release pollutants into the water.
- Poor bioavailability: The bioavailability of magnesium from food varies greatly. The intestine can absorb the mineral better or worse, depending on the food. For example, dietary fiber and phytic acid interfere with magnesium intake. Some foods (like whole grains) are high in magnesium but contain phytic acid. And it inhibits magnesium absorption. Equally high-fat food: because it foams up in the intestines, less magnesium reaches the body.
- Soft drinks: Beverages containing phosphate, such as cola and other soft drinks, significantly disrupt magnesium absorption. It is best if you switch to mineral water.
Magnesium Deficiency Cause #3 – You EXCITE more magnesium
Anyone who reaches for a “small glass” of alcohol more often pulls the plug out of their magnesium store:
Drinking alcohol flushes magnesium and other water-soluble nutrients out of the body.
Other factors also increase magnesium excretion:
- Caffeine. Caffeine hinders the absorption of the mineral through digestion. Coffee junkies should, therefore, either reduce their caffeine consumption, fill up on magnesium separately at different times or increase their magnesium intake overall.
- Stress. People who are often stressed excrete more magnesium. In addition, the need for magnesium increases. Therefore, a higher magnesium intake recommendation applies to people suffering from stress.
- Sweat. If you sweat during training or in the heat, you also lose magnesium with your sweat.
- Medication. Many medications, including birth control pills, diuretics, cortisone, and digitalis preparations, can cause magnesium deficiency. Unfortunately, the list of drugs is long.
Anyone taking medication should consult their doctor or pharmacist to find out how they affect the mineral and vitamin balance in the body.
KEY FACTS – How does a magnesium deficiency develop?
A magnesium deficiency occurs when more magnesium is used or excreted in the body than is supplied by food.
Alcohol, caffeine, and many medications flush magnesium out of the body. Stress and exercise can greatly increase magnesium requirements.
Not enough magnesium: how do you recognize a magnesium deficiency?
Depending on the severity of the deficit, various, sometimes nonspecific, magnesium deficiency symptoms can occur.
Here are the 29 most prominent signs, organized by category.
- missing energy
- muscle weakness
- low stamina
- noise sensitivity
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- lack of concentration
- muscle tension
- Calf cramps, muscle cramps
- Muscle tremors during training
- restless legs when sleeping
- muscle twitching (especially in the eyes and corners of the mouth)
- stomach cramps
- menstrual pain
Hands and feet
- tingling in the hands
- cold hands
- cold feet
- high blood pressure
- heart racing
- cardiac arrhythmias
- angina pectoris
- cardiac insufficiency
Low magnesium levels in the body could be the trigger if you spot any of these potential deficiency symptoms.
Many of these signs are nonspecific. You should further narrow down the cause in the next step.
Are these really magnesium deficiency symptoms? The following checklist will help!
In the case of symptoms of illness, a (nutritional) medical examination – including measurement of the magnesium concentration in whole blood – makes sense.
Checklist: How well do you cover your magnesium requirements?
Here is a list of lifestyle factors that can significantly increase your magnesium needs – and contribute to magnesium deficiency:
- Do you exercise regularly?
- Do you have regular stress?
- Do you often drink alcohol? Alcohol consumption increases the excretion of magnesium.
- Do you regularly drink phosphate-containing drinks like Diet Cola or Zero? Phosphate interferes with the absorption of magnesium in the body.
- Did you have a hearing loss?
- Do you suffer from migraines regularly? (In America, every 10th person is affected.)
- Are you prone to PMS (like every third woman in America)?
- Do you sleep badly?
- Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
- Do you have cardiovascular disease or diabetes?
- Are you pregnant?
- Are you on the pill?
- Have you been prescribed diuretics, cortisone, ACE inhibitors, or digitalis preparations?
- Do you take calcium, e.g., to prevent osteoporosis? Calcium is a magnesium antagonist.
- Do you suffer from diarrhea or indigestion?
Anyone who answers one or more of these questions with “yes” usually has an increased magnesium requirement and should pay attention to their magnesium intake.
Q&A – “I often have calf cramps when I exercise. Could this be a magnesium deficiency?”
This is possible because calf cramps and, in general, muscle cramps and twitching are among the typical symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Most muscle cramps can be treated well with magnesium.
The explanation for fitness nerds: Magnesium is responsible, among other things, for transporting potassium back into the cells.
Potassium, in turn, ensures that muscle contraction is not only triggered but also terminated. It also allows calcium ions to flow into the sarcomere.
Magnesium, therefore, takes on the role of the calcium antagonist and reduces the electrical excitability of the nerve cells.
Therefore, the guidelines for diagnostics and therapy in neurology recommend trying therapy with magnesium intake via dietary supplements before considering medication.
In contrast to medication, magnesium has comparatively few side effects.
Studies have shown that magnesium is particularly effective for muscle cramps in the legs of pregnant women.
A randomized controlled trial shows that taking 300 mg of magnesium (n=41) as magnesium bisglycinate can reduce the incidence of muscle cramps by 50% (p=0.007) compared to taking a placebo (n=39).
Likewise, the intensity of muscle cramps decreased by 50 percent with magnesium intake compared to placebo intake (p = 0.048).
Magnesium intake and dosage: how much do you need?
Real food is the best source of nutrients. How much magnesium does the body need to be supplied after long endurance training sessions?
Or after intense strength training?
Suppose we do not get enough magnesium through food, and the magnesium concentration in the cells decreases.
The result is deficiency symptoms and metabolic disorders.
The following table shows the official guidelines for magnesium intake.
The US authorities give slightly higher recommendations than the upper limit set for competitive athletes.
Recommended intake Men
Reference values USA 400-420 310-320
Competitive athlete 350-1,000 300-1,000
The magnesium requirement can vary greatly depending on the individual’s life circumstances. For example, alcohol consumption plays a crucial role:
A glass of wine can ensure that an additional 50 mg of magnesium is excreted through the kidneys.
That’s why you don’t have to do without it. But it is good if you are aware that your magnesium requirement will increase.
A higher magnesium intake makes sense, depending on your lifestyle.
You need more of the mineral if you:
- Do sports frequently and/or intensively, but also
- are often exposed to stress,
- depression manifests at or
- get pregnant.
Even if there are signs of deficiency symptoms, it makes sense to increase the magnesium intake in a controlled manner.
- Sleep disorders
- Muscle cramps or leg cramps
Magnesium can also be overdosed, although the side effects are quite harmless.
What are the side effects of an overdose?
A magnesium overdose is unlikely to even when eating magnesium-rich foods and using supplements.
If you are healthy, it is practically impossible to overdose on magnesium.
Because when taken orally, the kidneys ensure that excess magnesium is simply flushed out of the body via the urine.
However, if you eat too much magnesium at once, you can get diarrhea.
These magnesium side effects mainly occur with magnesium compounds not well absorbed by the body.
Organic compounds such as magnesium citrate, glycinate, or gluconate are well tolerated and are best absorbed.
You can also spread the dose over the day for better tolerability.
Inorganic compounds such as magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride can often be found in supermarkets, drugstores, or on the Internet.
They are poorly absorbed and are more likely to lead to gastrointestinal problems.
That’s why it always makes sense to look at a magnesium supplement’s composition.
KEY FACTS – Can magnesium cause side effects?
If you are healthy, it is practically impossible to overdose on orally ingested magnesium. What the body doesn’t need is excretes through the kidneys.
At high doses (or magnesium compounds with poor bioavailability), digestive problems such as diarrhea can occur. Magnesium citrate is one of the best-tolerated compounds and should be taken throughout the day if possible.
How to get a grip on deficiency symptoms – in 3 simple steps
Even if a deficit has already been diagnosed or some of the magnesium deficiency symptoms sound familiar to you:
If you proceed with a system, you can prevent deficiency symptoms.
And free yourself from the misery on your own if the magnesium concentration is already on reserve.
The foolproof path to optimal magnesium supply is based on the 3-step process
How to prevent magnesium deficiency in three simple steps:
- Foods and drinks containing magnesium
- Magnesium intake as a supplement
- Measure and specifically optimize the magnesium concentration in the blood
Let’s go through the three stages one by one.
Stage 1: Magnesium intake through food
What role does magnesium play in a healthy diet? Just as all 11 players on a football team each play a leading role, magnesium is an irreplaceable team player for your health and fitness.
Healthy foods provide you with all the essential nutrients.
Because no dietary supplement and certainly no industrially manufactured finished product can do it better than nature.
Natural foods that are processed as little as possible provide you with more than just magnesium.
The following foods are rich in magnesium and are usually easy to integrate into a balanced diet:
- Whole grain products,
- Dairy products,
- green vegetables and
- mineral water rich in magnesium.
In the following tables, you will find – sorted by magnesium concentration – the top 50 foods with a lot of magnesium.
Foods High in Magnesium – Top 50 List
[mg per 100g]
|Hemp seeds, hulled||700|
|Dark chocolate, 70-85%||228|
|Whole wheat flour||137|
|White beans, cooked||111|
|Lima beans, cooked||74|
|Whole grain bread||68|
Magnesium-rich mineral water: Some mineral waters with a lot of magnesium are only available regionally, ask in your store or search online.
Stage 2: Magnesium intake as a supplement
Dietary supplements such as magnesium capsules or magnesium powder are the easiest way to close any supply gaps.
They also help you to maintain optimal status and quickly eliminate an existing magnesium deficiency.
I recommend athletes a good magnesium powder for daily basic care.
To ensure that you absorb the preparation well and avoid annoying side effects such as diarrhea, you should consider two things:
- Dose: dose the magnesium intake correctly
- Timing: time the magnesium intake correctly
- Quality: Use the suitable magnesium powder
You have already learned above that the dose can vary significantly from person to person. Nevertheless, it is very easy to find out your optimum.
Thanks to the sports and nutritionist Niels Schulz-Ruhtenberg for the information on magnesium intake.
1. DOSE: This is how you dose the magnesium intake correctly
Laboratory analyzes show that long-term magnesium intake often makes sense.
It is best to start with the recommended dose (300-400 mg/day) and gradually increase the dose.
Especially when there is a magnesium deficiency, the general recommendation is usually too low. Athletes and stressed people can also need considerably more.
Smaller magnesium portions (150 mg) distributed throughout the day are often better tolerated.
TIP: THIS IS HOW YOU FIND THE RIGHT MAGNESIUM DOSAGE
- Start with 300-400 mg of magnesium per day.
- Then gradually increase the dose from day to day to 600-900 mg/day (or up to the so-called “intestinal limit”).
- The “intestinal limit” is reached when the stool becomes soft.
- You reduce the dose slightly, so digestion normally runs again.
- You now maintain this magnesium intake daily.
Note: The soft stool is harmless and is related to the fact that magnesium relaxes all nerves and thus also the intestinal muscles.
2. TIMING: The right timing
Magnesium is the salt of inner peace. It relaxes nerves and muscles, which is usually good, but not always. Hence:
Please do NOT take magnesium directly before strength training.
When you train with heavy weights, you simply need body tension.
I use either a magnesium powder or magnesium capsules, which I take after training and before bed.
The time before bed is ideal.
Because now, the relaxing effect of the mineral on the nerves and muscles also promotes muscle regeneration.
3. QUALITY: The right magnesium compound
The current study indicates that organic magnesium compounds (e.g., magnesium citrate) are utilized significantly better by the body than most inorganic salts (e.g., magnesium oxide).
In the following table, you will find an overview of magnesium compounds that are well and less well absorbed by the body.
The magnesium compounds with poor bioavailability also have a faster laxative effect.
Magnesium capsules and powders, which combine different compounds with high bioavailability, usually achieve the best effect.
Here are two products that I use myself. Experience has shown that magnesium capsules are more convenient than powder because you can easily take them anywhere.
Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate
Neuro-mag magnesium L-Threonate supports healthy memory and cognition by optimizing magnesium levels in the brain.
Magnesium is essential for over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body from cardiovascular and bone health support to energy metabolism, mood, and most especially cognitive function. Unfortunately, it’s hard to maintain optimal levels of magnesium in the brain. And that’s a problem since magnesium deficiency increases with normal aging. But because of its superior absorption into the bloodstream and nervous system, Neuro-Mag provides the ideal form of magnesium for enhanced memory and cognitive function. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions and 600 enzymatic reactions in the body. In addition to support for cardiovascular and bone health, energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, mood, sleep, and vitamin D status, researchers are now focusing intensely on magnesium’s benefits for cognitive function.
If you don’t get along well with magnesium capsules, you can also use a magnesium powder from the pharmacy. I use the following.
Dr. Formulated Whole Food Magnesium 421.5g Powder
If you’re feeling tired, having problems sleeping, or dealing with stress in your life, it’s time to drink-sleep–restore! Dr. Formulated Whole Food Magnesium powder is a delicious, fizzy drink to help calm and relax you so you can get a better night’s sleep while restoring your body’s optimal magnesium levels. Dr. Formulated Whole Food Magnesium features organic brown rice protein magnesium chelate, as well as, live probiotics-1 billion CFU-to support healthy digestion and regularity.
TIP: PAY ATTENTION TO THE INFORMATION ON THE PACKAGING
Some manufacturers obscure the magnesium content by only stating the amount of the bound mineral.
For example: 1,600 mg magnesium citrate . Of these, 1,480 mg are citrate, and only 120 mg is magnesium. While this is permitted, it is misleading.
Therefore, good products state both: 1,600 mg of magnesium citrate corresponds to 120 mg of magnesium. Or you just name the mineral: 120 mg magnesium.
Step 3: Measure the magnesium concentration in the blood
It’s easiest to know exactly what magnesium you need – and measure it in your blood. Then you can tailor the magnesium intake exactly to your individual needs.
A specialist in nutritional medicine can measure what is missing in the blood.
UNDERSTANDING LABORATORY VALUES: HOW GOOD IS YOUR MAGNESIUM INTAKE?
In routine blood measurements, just 10% of the 1,033 people examined had ideal magnesium levels.
70% were in the bottom. Third, which means their metabolism was not firing on all cylinders.
Unfortunately, the magnesium value is measured far too seldom. The following values apply to the analysis of the blood serum:
- 0.5 – 0.8 mmol/l: Acute magnesium emergency in the cells. Typical disorders: cramps during training, migraine attacks, irritability, fatigue, and later cardiovascular diseases.
- 0.8 – 0.9 mmol/l: This value is already in the lower “normal range.” Large laboratories define this normal value based on an average of ALL blood values. Since many are undersupplied, “normal” does not necessarily mean “optimal.” In this lower normal range, there is still a magnesium deficiency in the cells: you feel weak, are prone to stress, and are not very productive. Calf and muscle cramps can occur during long endurance training or competitions (several hours).
- 0.9 – 1.1 mmol/l: Optimal magnesium supply. Your cell depots are full. You will quickly become more efficient during training. Even with long endurance units, your muscles are soft and do not cramp.
If possible, you should have your magnesium status determined in whole blood. Here not only the serum but the entire blood is analyzed.
Since minerals settle primarily inside the blood cells, 50% of magnesium deficiencies remain undetected when examining the serum.
Consequently, other standard values also apply to a whole blood analysis: 1.38 – 1.50 mmol/l (corresponds to 34 – 36 mg/l).
Magnesium deficiency – Conclusion
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in your body. Every cell contains magnesium.
The mineral activates vital enzymes that build proteins and provide energy from fats and carbohydrates.
When it is missing, we only notice how crucial magnesium is for us, and disruptions occur. Then the performance drops not only in training but also in everyday life.
We become listless, irritable, burn less fat, and at some point, the typical deficiency symptoms become noticeable: example, migraines, muscle cramps, or PMS.
A magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in industrialized nations after a vitamin D deficiency.
In this article, you have learned which functions magnesium fulfills in your body, how a deficiency develops and how you can quickly and safely stop it.
The procedure is always the same: healthy food forms the foundation.
If you have an increased need (athletes, a lot of stress, etc.), you should use a suitable preparation as a basic supplement.
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