Magnesium: A Nurses Perspective

Hey everyone, my name is Jen White!

I’m a nurse, health and fitness enthusiast. I started my weight loss journey forever ago, but really gotten myself into it in 2018 and since then lost over 50 lbs, fit and now only 3 weeks from starting my prep for my first CPA bikini competition. Being a nurse I hold the body’s health above all and sometimes when being in the fitness industry we forget what our bodies need to assure proper function. You can give your body all the supplements in the world and feed it properly but you need to have a solid foundation and be healthy above all to perform at your best.

So here I am today to talk to you about magnesium!

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral found in high concentration in our bones, heart, muscles, throughout our nerves and inside every cell of our body.
What is the purpose of magnesium? Magnesium keeps the heart rhythms steady, lowers blood pressure with its natural vasodilator, maintains muscle functions, improves insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use and store the glucose it ingests and to excrete the excess, reduces hyper excitability in the central nervous system (ADHD) and helps with Alzheimer and dementia. Magnesium helps stabilize the membranes of nerve cells, regulates mineral concentrations used for nerve transmission. It serves several functions in our endocrine system, through the thyroid and adrenal glands. Without these, our brain cannot relax, leading to anxiety, stress or panic attacks. Magnesium aids with bone and teeth building and regulating the key enzymes that converts the vitamin D to be absorbed by the body. It’s known as an anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant agent (reducing chances of blockage of blood flow to the brain or heart, risks of heart attacks and strokes). Creates cellular energy and helps to synthesize the basic building blocks of life such as our DNA, RNA and proteins.

What is magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia)? Health Canada says nearly half of all Canadians are deficient in magnesium. Without enough magnesium, you won’t have enough cellular energy (ATP) and not enough proteins will be synthesized for our bodies to function correctly. You will start having migraines, muscle cramps, weakness, cardiovascular and neurological problems, anxiety, infertility and so much more.

Where can you find magnesium? You can find magnesium in food such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, vegetables, seafood, whole grain, raw cacao, dark chocolate, tofu and baked beans.
What is the daily dose of magnesium needed? Our bodies need 350mg of magnesium per day for proper function.

Why supplement with magnesium? Food sources now a day are deprived of magnesium due to the soil losing its ability to restore, retain and provide magnesium to crops. Magnesium is also getting harder to absorb. This being said, any type of breakdown such as a weaker stomach acid, gastrointestinal conditions (IBS, crohn’s and colitis), foods, drugs and other substances that block absorption in the digestive process will seriously impede how much magnesium can be absorbed. Magnesium is easier to lose, for example someone that suffers from high stress, their body produces a hormone protein called cortisol and when producing and regulating that hormone means spending and excreting more magnesium. Also the consumption of coffee, alcohol, diuretic drugs and birth control pills can cause your kidneys to eliminate magnesium.

Now that those facts are laid out here’s what I as a nurse have to say. Magnesium isn’t a mineral we take only when we need it. It needs to be taken like a fuel or building block our body uses to function properly just like our body uses carbs, proteins and fats.

Vital organs like the heart and brain simply can’t function without magnesium and without this mineral our body can’t survive. The next time you are doing a high-intensity workout at the gym, see if you experience any muscle cramps, twitching, weakness… Those might be a sign that your muscle cells are not being able to restore calcium balance. Take some magnesium (Drip Fit and Sip Fit) and see what happens. Muscle contraction is the classic example of how magnesium and calcium balance each other in the body. Magnesium regulating calcium won’t just affect the contractions in your biceps it will also affect the strength of your heart and arteriole contraction.

Thanks for reading! For more, find me on Instagram!

Jen White | @futurefit_nurse