For many people, when the clock strikes 2pm they feel they have hit a wall. They are suffering from low energy and need an energy boost just to get through the rest of the day. Often times, this low energy is related to a lack nutrients in their diet, but one nutrient in particular – Magnesium.
The List of Functions Can Go On For Pages
Magnesium is a very important nutrient for many different bodily and cellular functions and has been shown to be a co-factor in over 350 different biochemical reactions. These functions include proper bone and cartilage formation, effective blood vessel function (vascular tone), muscular contraction, nerve transmission, hormone production and regulation including insulin, serotonin and sex hormones and proper metabolism of minerals and vitamins. The list of functions that Magnesium is critical in, can go on for pages.
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency include (1):
Agitation and anxiety
Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
Nausea and vomiting
Abnormal heart rhythms
Low blood pressure
Muscle spasm, soreness or weakness
Poor nail growth
Why Magnesium is Required For Energy
Of these 350+ reactions, they all have one specific thing in common – Magnesium is required for the proper production of energy in our cells. Inside each of our cells is an organelle called Mitochondria. This is the “engine” of the cell which converts the food that we eat and nutrients that we absorb, into the our energy currency – ATP.
Think of ATP as cash. If you have a lot of cash, you can do many things and experience many aspects of life. If you have only a little bit of cash, you will not be able to experience as much. In this scenario, Magnesium is the ATM or the teller at the bank. When you receive your paycheque, you need to go to the bank to deposit the money and take out cash. Without the ATM or the teller, your bank is not very useful to you as your paycheque cannot be cashed. In the same way, the food that you eat cannot be converted to energy (ATP) without a sufficient level of magnesium in your cells.
The Connection to Digestion
Low magnesium levels result in lower energy production in the body. This shows up quite readily in digestion as low magnesium levels have been correlated with constipation and low transit time (time from food eaten to bowel movement occurring). The average American has a bowel movement of food that they have eaten 4 days ago. Ideal transit time should be between 18-24 hours. You can just imagine that food you ate 3-4 days ago may be sitting inside your gut causing inflammation and building up unwanted guests in your microbiome.
How to Get More
If you are constipated or have low energy levels as the day goes on, low magnesium levels could be the cause. There are many food sources of Magnesium that you should consider adding to your diet. Some of these food sources include: Green leafy vegetables like Spinach, Kale and Chard, nuts and seeds such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and flax, other vegetables such as broccoli, wild caught fish, bananas, avocados and yes, even dark chocolate.
If you have lower magnesium levels, suffer from low energy or constipation, stop eating processed and refined foods. 80% of magnesium is taken out of wheat to make white flour, 83% of magnesium is taken out to make white rice and 97% is taken out to make corn starch. Use unprocessed, whole foods when you are cooking so you can maximize the amount of magnesium and other nutrients that you absorb.
Magnesium is incredibly important for the proper function of our cells and the higher energy levels that your body wants. Your body doesn’t want to be tired at 2pm. Eat foods that are high in nutrients such as magnesium to help make sure it functions well – that way you can do more be more and achieve more every day.