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Why Do We Need Magnesium?

24 September 2021, by i-sopod

When you’re in the floatation industry, you hear a lot about magnesium, as it’s at the crux of much of what makes floating beneficial for our health. As it’s such a key aspect of floatation, if you work in the world of floatation it’s important you know and understand what makes this mineral so mighty.

Magnesium is the body’s fourth most abundant mineral, and it is responsible for a huge number of crucial biochemical reactions (over 300 in fact). The functions of this mineral in the body are widespread: it helps keep your blood sugar steady, heart and brain ticking healthily, and keeps your nervous system in check too.

While magnesium is so important, many of us (if not the majority) are at least slightly deficient in the mineral, as the body cannot produce it internally, and we’re not getting enough of it from our diet.

Why are we magnesium deficient?

Magnesium deficiency is very common, and a lot of that is to do with our agricultural systems and food habits. Industrialised mono-culture farming has drastically reduced the level of magnesium in our soil, which means there is less magnesium in our food than before. The foods many of us are used to eating are very low in magnesium – refined sugar and flours, and processed foods for instance.

Our dietary habits also have an impact on magnesium intake. Sugar and caffeine consumption can deplete the body’s magnesium levels, and a diet which is excessively high in protein, fats and carbs can interfere with magnesium absorption too.

So, when you take into account the fact that our food no longer contains sufficient levels of magnesium (due to how it’s farmed), combined with the eating habits which either don’t provide us with enough magnesium, or actually drain it from our systems, the outcome is a pretty magnesium deficient population.

8 Signs You Might Be Magnesium Deficient

If you regularly feel a combination of any of the following symptoms, it could be to do with your magnesium levels:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Insomnia
  3. Fatigue, low energy
  4. Weight loss
  5. Muscle cramps and spasms
  6. Heart palpitations
  7. Depression and/or anxiety
  8. High blood pressure

5 Reasons Your Body Needs Magnesium

Magnesium assists the body in literally hundreds of essential processes, so we’re not going to list them all here! Instead, here are 5 of the important roles that magnesium plays in the body:

Boost and sustain energy levels: Magnesium is needed for the body to create ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the molecule which carries energy to all the cells around the body. This is why when you’re low in magnesium it’s common to feel tired and have low energy levels.

Strong healthy bones: Magnesium supports the bones to absorb and retain calcium, and so it is a crucial component for bone health and strength. Without adequate magnesium, bone mineral density reduces and bone conditions such as osteoporosis can develop. Magnesium also has an important role in repairing and relaxing muscles. `
Healthy Heart: Your heart needs magnesium to keep its beating strong and consistent. Magnesium regulates heart palpitations, and also relaxes the arteries so that blood flows easily, which lowers blood pressure. Magnesium is therefore a key player for preventing heart disease.

Keep Calm and Boost Mood: Magnesium plays a role in reducing our anxiety levels, as it reduces stress hormone cortisol levels in the body, whilst supporting the production of happy hormone serotonin. Times of high stress can actually deplete magnesium levels, making it extra important to have a boost when you’re feeling stressed.

Other important functions of magnesium include:

  • Regulating blood sugar levels
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Fighting headaches and migraines
  • Easing symptoms of depression
  • Helping to create protein from amino acids
  • Creating and repairing DNA and RNA.
  • Regulating neurotransmitters, the nervous system’s messengers.
  • Easing PMS, reducing fatigue, water retention and irritability.

Float to get a magnesium boost

Now we’ve gone through what makes magnesium so important in the body, it’s time to consider some natural ways we can boost our levels.

Magnesium rich foods include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Dark chocolate (hurray)
  • Almonds
  • Mackerel
  • Avocado
  • Salmon

Recommended dietary intake of magnesium per day to maintain healthy levels in the body is 400-420mg for men, and 310-320 mg per day for women. Magnesium is not easily absorbed through food however, and can easily be drained through urine by consuming too much of certain foods (as mentioned, sugar, caffeine, refined flour are big culprits).

The optimum way to take in magnesium is transdermally (i.e through the skin) as this way the mineral bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to every cell in the body. Floatation is therefore the ultimate way to get a magnesium boost! In a float tank, the water is dense with Epsom salts, which are a magnesium + sulphate compound.

If you’re dealing with any of the symptoms related to magnesium deficiency, try floating a few times a month to see how effective it can be. For a more in-depth look at the health benefits of floatation, check out some of our other blog posts, including float therapy for better sleep, and how floatation helps with anxiety.