When I went to my GP a few months ago to ask what could help with my tiredness and sleep problems, she told me: “a little magnesium wouldn’t hurt.” And, she was right.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical of the supplement hype that’s taken off over recent years (they’re good to compensate for any nutrient deficiencies, but you shouldn’t take them indiscriminately). However, informing yourself and consulting a doctor, if necessary, is a must for me. So armed with the intel from my doctor, I felt confident to give magnesium a go.
What are the benefits of magnesium?
Even though you’ve heard of magnesium, you’d be forgiven for being a little unclear on its benefits. Magnesium is a mineral that occurs naturally in the body and supports various vital functions, such as the cardiovascular system, muscle regeneration and energy production. Magnesium also supports the relaxation process, as JSHealth founder, Jessica Sepel, told us. “It is optimal for maintaining a good mood and supporting our nervous system, as well as being a strong ally in stress management. It stimulates GABA, a calming neurotransmitter that helps to reduce the body’s stress response and create a sense of calm and relaxation,” she said.
This is why it is often recommended to take magnesium before bed – which is exactly what I did.
A quick overview of all the benefits of magnesium:
- Supports vital functions, such as the cardiovascular system
- Boosts muscle regeneration
- Can have a positive effect on energy levels
- Supports the nervous system
- Helps to cope with stress and provides a feeling of relaxation
Where to find magnesium in your diet?
As with all other food supplements, magnesium can also be found in food and can also be increased in the diet if you want to. According to the German Society for Nutrition “an estimated value of 350 mg per day for men and 300 mg per day for women is derived for adults aged 19 to over 65 years”, which can be easily achieved with a targeted diet.
In practice, you’ll find a high magnesium content in seeds, cereal products and pulses. So if you like to eat lentil stew or mix linseed into your breakfast muesli, you are already creating a good basis. Green leafy vegetables and fish also provide plenty of the mineral.
As I don’t eat breakfast, and my fish and spinach intake is limited to once a week at most, I’m a very good candidate to treat myself to an extra portion of magnesium via supplements. “Supplements are exactly what their name suggests – they complement a healthy diet to help you feel your best,” explains Jessica.
Here’s what happened when I took magnesium every day for three months
For my self-test, I looked at various magnesium supplements in advance and received recommendations from my doctor regarding the ingredients and intake. For my self-test, I opted for “Advanced Magnesium +” from JSHealth, which you can also buy as a subscription. One pack contains the contents for one month if you take the supplement twice a day, according to the recommended daily amount.
My hope was to achieve plenty of good sleep, to avoid sore muscles after sport and to enjoy more energy. Patience is key – it takes about a month to see an effect, but around day 30, I noticed that I’d slept better than I had in a long time for three nights on the trot. Not only did I fell asleep much more quickly than usual, I also slept all the way through the night – which is unusual for me.
Before I started taking magnesium, it always took me at least 30 minutes to fall asleep, because I’d procrastinate the moment I tried to switch off. I also always woke up at least once during the night. After day 30, I started feeling much more rested day after day and my body feels completely regenerated. I don’t want to snooze, and I get up as soon as I wake up. I also recover more quickly after sport and regain my full energy level more quickly.
After three months, my magnesium supplement is still a game-changer when it comes to sleep, and I wouldn’t want to be without it. If you’re thinking about it now, I recommend consulting your doctor in advance and taking a look at your diet. It may already be full of magnesium.
This feature originally appeared on GLAMOUR Germany.
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