Magnesium

It is nearly impossible to have too much magnesium because the body can easily control the removal of it which is beneficial because the roles it plays in the human body are quite vital, especially with regards to muscle contraction and relaxation, which is needed to perform all the various exercises available.

Magnesium benefits

The body is provided several benefits from magnesium. It contracts and relaxes muscles, it plays a role in protein function/production, and it also helps produce and transport energy.

Sources of magnesium

Magnesium is commonly found in dark green, leafy vegetables. Other sources of magnesium include: fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados), nuts (such as almonds and cashews), peas and beans (legumes), seeds, soy products (such as soy flour and tofu), whole grains (such as brown rice and millet). One can also receive magnesium from taking a dietary supplement.

Recommended amounts

Set forth by the Institute of Medicine, the daily recommendations for magnesium are below (some individuals may be placed on a plan that requires higher than normal amounts to manage a specific issue they may be experiencing).

Table 1: Recommended Daily Requirements for Magnesium1
Age Amount
1-3 years 80mg/day
4-8 years 130mg/day
9-13 years 240mg/day
Males 14-18 years 410mg/day
Females 14-18 years 360mg/day
Males 19+ years 400-420mg/day
Females 19+ years 310-320mg/day
Pregnant Females 350-400mg/day
Nursing Females/td> 310-360mg/day

Magnesium side effects

The body is able to expel most excess magnesium so the majority of side effects that occur originate from a lack or deficiency of magnesium. Individuals who are at a high risk for a magnesium deficiency generally fall in into the following categories: those that abuse alcohol, have recently suffered burns, are experiencing medication interactions, having low calcium levels in the blood, people who are susceptible to intestinal absorption issues, or someone who has recently undergone surgery.

The symptoms associated with a lack of magnesium in the diet are divided into three categories: early, moderate, and severe.

Early symptoms of a magnesium deficiency

  • Anorexia
  • Apathy
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle twitching
  • Poor memory
  • Reduced ability to learn

Moderate symptoms of a magnesium deficiency:

  • Heart (cardiovascular) changes
  • Rapid heartbeat

Severe symptoms of a magnesium deficiency:

  • Continued muscle contraction
  • Delirium
  • Numbness
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
  • Tingling

Sources:
1Magnesium in diet - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002423.htm

Nutrition Categories: