The best way to go about weight loss is to think about nutrition and understand what your body needs to function properly. As strange as it might sound, magnesium is one of the nutrients which could help you lose weight.
Will magnesium help you lose weight?
First off, in order to lose weight with magnesium you have to be deficient in the first place. If your body is replete with magnesium then taking extra in the form of supplements won’t help you.
How does magnesium help with weight loss?
Magnesium is needed for about 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body meaning that if you’re deficient, your body isn’t able to work as well as it should.
For instance, you might have a tendency to binge on comfort foods when you’re feeling depressed. Well, magnesium will help with your depression because it’s needed to help convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and also melatonin.
Serotonin is one of the hormones that make you feel happy whilst melatonin helps you get to sleep. So if you’re feeling happy and you’re getting a good night’s sleep, chances are you won’t feel the need to binge on high fat and high sugar foods.
Here’s another example, a lot of women crave chocolate around the time of their menses. Why should this be? Well, cocoa is one of the best sources of magnesium and helps relieve cramps and can generally provide you with a sense of well-being.
Magnesium is also needed to give you enough energy to exercise. This is because the mitochondria in your muscles produce a kind of energy called ATP. In order for this energy to work properly it needs to bind to magnesium.
Are you deficient in magnesium?
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, sensitivity to light and noise, mood swings and anaemia.
Magnesium has an interesting relationship with calcium in that they work with and against each other. This means that you need to have the correct balance between these two nutrients. It’s said that the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1. However if you eat a lot of dairy products, chances are you’re getting more in the region of 10:1.
Calcium and magnesium both compete for absorption so if you’re getting too much calcium it means that magnesium won’t be absorbed properly.
Also, Western diets are becoming more and more deficient in magnesium particularly because of the amount of refined grains we eat. When grains are processed, so many of the nutrients are stripped out. In some countries flour has been fortified with certain nutrients such as folic acid, however this hasn’t been the case with magnesium.
How do you get more magnesium?
Magnesium is found in good amount in cocoa powder, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. So do your best to eat plenty of these kinds of foods. If you want to ensure you’re getting enough then you can take supplements.
Unfortunately most magnesium supplements on the market use magnesium oxide. The problem with this is that it’s poorly absorbed by the body and can produce a laxative effect.
There are some superior forms of magnesium on the market which costs a bit more money but are 4 times as effective. These include magnesium malate, glycinate, citrate and taurate. However it has been reported by some people that Magnesium glutamate and aspartate makes depression worse.
Some people even enjoy adding Epsom salts into a bath and having a good soak. This will be particularly good on days when you’re muscles are feeling tight and sore. 600g of Epsom Salts in a bath for 15 minutes will significantly increase the levels of magnesium in your body.
In order to get the most out of magnesium you also need to ensure you have good levels of vitamin D to help with absorption. If you live in a cold climate chances are you’re not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight which means you’ll probably want to take a supplement of at least 1,000 iu.
Magnesium isn’t some sort of miracle weight loss product however it’s absolutely essential for a healthy body and most people today are deficient in magnesium. So if you feel you might be deficient and want to health benefits of magnesium then this is a very healthy route to take.