We love a multitasking mineral, and magnesium hustles hard to help support healthy brain function, improve sleep, support a calm, healthy stress response, and more.
But what is magnesium? What’s considered enough? And what does magnesium do, anyway?
This mineral is vital for your body to function. You’ve probably heard that it activates over 300 biochemical reactions in the body — the unofficial tagline of magnesium — but as impressive as that sounds, let’s dig a little deeper and explore what that means for you.
Magnesium: The Ultimate Micro-Manager
Like the chief of staff in a busy office, magnesium keeps the place running and makes sure all departments — your cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, brain, and nervous systems — perform their jobs, such as producing energy, regulating blood pressure, supporting the immune system, and maintaining muscle, cognitive, and nerve function. Those enzyme reactions we mentioned earlier are various tasks and projects that can only get started once magnesium is in the building.
“Magnesium doesn’t do the jobs itself but others can’t do their jobs without it,” says Dr. Kerri Masutto, a functional medicine expert and Lifeforce’s VP of Clinical Operations. “It’s so foundational that magnesium is my desert island supplement.”
And while true magnesium deficiencies are rare, having sufficient levels will only just support your core functions. When you optimize your magnesium levels — going above and beyond what’s generally considered good enough — is when you start raking in those “best places to work” awards.
"Making sure you're getting enough magnesium is a great place to start if you're looking to support better relaxation, exercise recovery, and a positive mood,” says Dr. Masutto. “In some people it can help decrease the need for other supplements. All with a safe and essential element.”
How to Level Up Your Magnesium Intake
Green leafy vegetables, including spinach and green juices
Lean protein, especially wild Pacific halibut and tofu
Whole grains, like quinoa and wheat bread
Legumes, such as black beans and edamame
Nuts, including almonds, cashews, and peanuts
Seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds
But unless you’re incorporating lots of these foods into your diet, you still might not be meeting your magnesium needs. In fact, 48% of Americans don’t.
“There’s just not much magnesium in our food anymore,” says Dr. Masutto. “Farming practices in the U.S. have stripped the soil of substantial magnesium so many people don’t get enough magnesium with diet alone.” Plus, as we age, our bodies don’t absorb nutrients as well.
Magnesium supplements can help ensure you get enough to support your core functions. And the concentrated amount also lets you use it in a more targeted way to help you sleep, calm down, improve memory, mood, relax your muscles, and even ease occasional constipation.
“Almost everyone could likely benefit from being on at least a little bit of magnesium, in your multivitamin or otherwise,” says Dr. Masutto. “It’s low risk, safe, and most people need it.”
Making Sense of Magnesium Supplements
In your body, magnesium is magnesium, but shopping for a magnesium supplement can become overwhelming fast because there’s a seemingly endless variety of them, all with different names.
That’s because magnesium can be bonded to various different salts for stability and as a vehicle to get into your body. “What it’s bound with appears to completely change the properties of how it’s absorbed and where it gets utilized in the body,” says Dr. Hector Lopez, Lifeforce’s Scientific and Innovation Advisor and dietary supplement formulation expert.
The types you’re most likely to buy off a grocery store shelf or on Amazon are magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. These forms of magnesium are lower cost, but the gut doesn’t absorb very well. They actually work great, particularly magnesium oxide, as laxatives for this reason. It’s also the reason they’re not in Lifeforce Magnesium.
“Lifeforce Magnesium utilizes two clinically studied magnesium compounds — magnesium bisglycinate and dimagnesium malate — that are better absorbed and utilized by your muscles and brain, as opposed to just sitting in the gut,” says Dr. Lopez. “But since this is a systemic and comprehensive magnesium solution, we also included two patented magnesium compounds, Magtein® and TauroMag® that are effectively delivered to the brain.
Magtein®, a patented compound of magnesium L-threonate, is the most bioavailable type of magnesium for the brain. It has been shown to effectively support healthy magnesium levels in the brain, and in human clinical trials has demonstrated improved executive function, memory, and attention, Dr. Lopez notes.
Lifeforce Magnesium also includes magnolia extract, which has been shown to soothe your body and support how you manage day-to-day stress by maintaining healthy levels of cortisol.
By supporting a healthy diet and lifestyle with Lifeforce Magnesium, you’re upping your chances to think clearer and feel sharper, more alert, and focused. You might also feel calmer, more optimistic, and primed for good sleep — the kind of sleep you brag about.
This article was medically reviewed by:
Kerri Masutto, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner
Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FISSN, Fellow of the International Society for Sports Nutrition, bridging the gap between regenerative & longevity medicine, human performance, healthspan, and nutritional biochemistry
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult physician prior to use if pregnant/nursing, taking any medication or have any medical conditions. Use caution when driving, or operating heavy machinery. Keep out of reach of children.