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Magnesium - The Spark of Life?

So, if I say magnesium, what's the first thing that pops into your head? I knew what my first encounter with magnesium was - it was a metal ribbon that I used to steal from GCSE Chemistry and then set down with my lighter friends in the school yard during recess; it burns like a spark, burns with bright white light and then disappears immediately! Oh, and it's hard to get out, when you see a teacher coming! For that matter, I do not realize how important a life that 'triggers' actually!

You see, Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the human body. In fact, there are 17 minerals that are considered essential to human life 10 that make up 99% of the body's mineral content - there is no notion here that one of these is Magnesium - but oddly enough Magnesium is one of the most thirsty minerals in the body? !

So what does Magnesium need to do that makes it "essential" to survive?

Well, for starters it controls about 325 enzymes in the body, it's also important to maintain bone mineralization, it helps muscle contraction, it's used in the nerve impulses around the body. But perhaps most importantly it is necessary for the body to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is essentially a source of energy.

So without magnesium there is no ATP, no ATP no energy, no energy without life! Easy !!

It doesn't just stop there; There are many diseases, symptoms and behaviors related to Magnesium deficiency. Some of the most important ones include; heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma, PCOS, diabetes and depression etc. - I can go here but I risk your boredom! However, can you start to see the shit that matters?

So why is it exhausted ??

Basically it's depleted because of the modern-day lifestyle. In fact, the current estimate is that about 80% of westerners have magnesium deficiency!

Let's start at the bottom, for starters there is a reduction in our native minerals due to several factors including acid rain, soil erosion etc. This then leads to plants that usually contain magnesium (green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds) that are deficient in them as they are unable to remove themselves from the thin air. So if there is little magnesium in the soil then the plants we eat will contain little or no (the exception here is organic farming). The processed foods and snacks found in modern diets are also low in magnesium as most minerals are lost during the cooking and processing of these foods.

Fluoridization of tap water in the UK has a devastating effect on the body's magnesium supply. Fluoride from tap water essentially binds with the body's magnesium to form magnesium fluoride, making it unusable by the body; This reduction then results in a knockout effect and a decrease in enzyme activity in the body.

Other things like medications and medications, stress, excess foods such as soy and heavy exercise can reduce your body's magnesium supply. When I was just on my muscle-in-the-month journey, the exercise was intense and the results needed to be supplemented with 600mg of magnesium per day - even more!

So what can I do?

The answer is simple enough, eat more foods containing Magnesium. As I mentioned buying organic food because there are more opportunities for organic farmers to use the full spectrum of nutrients in their fertilizers. Eat as much raw food as possible; like when you cook or cook them many nutrients are lost. Beans like almonds, cashews and brazil also contain high magnesium content - so include some foods in your diet as well. One of the foods that contains the most magnesium is chocolate !! But that's NOT a reason to go out and eat a lot of shit !! However, this is why many people crave chocolate, not necessarily the chocolate they crave as Magnesium.

An example of this is a woman suffering from PMS - now we don't really understand all that much Haha !! But basically, magnesium is deprived of women around menstruation and as a result many women crave chocolate - but instead of eating chocolate you should look to increase your magnesium intake by eating more leafy green beans and vegetables or even taking supplements!

Supplements

The easiest way to add magnesium to your diet is with supplements. Research shows that supplementing with about 400mg of magnesium a day works for most people. There are two ways you can supplement with magnesium, either verbally using a tablet or transdermal using a spray to apply to your skin.

If you want to take your magnesium orally, you need to shoot for something like magnesium citrate - once your tablet goes to make sure it is not a cheap magnesium oxide variant as it is widely used as pissing against hurricanes to replenish your body's magnesium supply !!

Using a transdermal spray you apply Magnesium "oil" to your skin and then it is absorbed into your bloodstream, it's not really oil, it's just a super solution of magnesium chloride in water. Applying transdermal is a faster way to get into your system as tablets and capsules must first go through the digestive system before absorption.

So the best? It's my personal preference - be a little geek I use both and mix and match properly!

When should I take it?

The best time to take magnesium is 60 - 90 minutes before bed, so it will help you sleep better as well, but if you need to split your dose then take the first thing in the morning and the rest before going to bed.

Make sure you build your dose slowly, too, as a surefire way to know that you've taken too much too early is that you'll end up with a surprise! Believe me, I went from 200mg in the evening to 600mg and yep, that blew the next day! Therefore, increase your dose slowly!

Be careful and make sure YOU have enough magnesium in your diet!



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