Our increasing reliance on processed foods means that magnesium deficiency is a common problem. This is worrying as magnesium is key to several bodily processes. So, find out how to up your intake and reap all the benefits of this important nutrient here!
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. From muscle contraction to bone health, it is involved in a whole range of processes.
In this blog, I look at how magnesium is specifically of benefit to men. We'll cover how magnesium supports the following:
Low magnesium levels may contribute to a slight fall in testosterone levels; however, we can correct this by eating more magnesium-rich foods.
Research shows that increasing your magnesium intake can raise testosterone levels within a month.1 The increase was most likely to affect those who exercised regularly, though those with a more sedentary lifestyle also saw benefits to their testosterone levels.
What is testosterone? Testosterone is the male sex hormone and it plays a key part in sperm production and sex drive. Levels naturally decline around the age of 30, causing some men to experience symptoms like weight gain and low libido. This is sometimes referred to as Andropause or Irritable Male Syndrome.
2. Low energy
Low energy can be caused by a multitude of factors, including poor sleep and lack of exercise. It can also be an indication of low testosterone and Andropause.
Andropause usually develops over several years and can be so mild that not all men will experience symptoms. For others, issues such as fatigue and trouble sleeping, as well as irritability, weight gain and low mood, can become evident.
Magnesium may be of benefit in this instance as it can improve energy levels and tiredness. For example, it plays a key role in converting the food we eat into energy, and may improve sleep by transmitting signals encouraging the brain and muscles to relax.
Magnesium deficiency has been connected to various cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure.2 On the other hand, higher magnesium intake, either via supplementation or diet, has been found to offer a degree of protection against high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (CVD).3
The reasons for magnesium's positive effect on the heart are complicated. Basically, the nutrient is important for heart tissue and without it, the heartbeat may become more erratic and the heart tissue unhealthier. As this mineral is involved in a whole range of bodily processes and biological pathways, it is not surprising that it influences heart health.4
Although there are other factors that increase the risk of CVD, such as obesity and smoking, and experts agree that more research is needed into the connection between heart health and magnesium intake, the results thus far are promising and offer more reason to keep magnesium levels up.
Did you know? Key signs of low magnesium include muscle cramps/twitches, fatigue, nausea and poor muscle co-ordination.
How much magnesium should men get?
Guidelines state that men should aim to consume 300mg of magnesium a day. Foods that are high in magnesium include nuts, brown rice, spinach, seeds and legumes.
Remember, processed foods, particularly ready meals and takeaways, are unlikely to hold much magnesium, if any at all, so it's helpful to keep your intake of these to a minimum. It's also worth bearing in mind that alcohol and some medications can deplete magnesium levels further.
For an extra top-up, you could consider a magnesium supplement. We would recommend opting for a liquid magnesium supplement as this is easier for the body to absorb. Also, a supplement will be much more effective when taken every day, rather than every few days.,
Certain forms of magnesium are thought to be more readily absorbed than others. A pure magnesium citrate product may be preferable to magnesium oxide, for example, which isn't thought to be so well absorbed. Magnesium gluconate is another favourable option to look out for.