Magnesium is not really a mineral that is talked about all that much. Most of the nutritional focus is on iron, calcium, potassium and others that have been commonly talked about as being important for dietary inclusion.
This is interesting because getting enough magnesium in your diet is equally as, if not more, important that these minerals are for consistent peak body and mind performance.
Once you start to understand the important role of magnesium as it relates to mood and cognitive function, as well as the basic metabolic efficiency of the body, you’ll definitely want to start including a magnesium spray or Epsom salts in your routine. We’ll talk more on why these are better than oral supplements later.
Mood Regulation, Focus, Cognitive Abilities
Magnesium plays an important role in brain function. This also relates to mood control and the ability to focus, because it works on the entire brain as an overall improvement mechanism for brain function.
Magnesium helps suppress cortisol levels and allow a person to return to a “relaxed” state sooner again after a period of fight or flight response. Because it is an essential electrolyte and mineral, it also improves the electrical activity in the brain, improving memory and retention.
Magnesium also acts as a conduit to keep the synapses open and firing more easily, with minimal interference. This means you can think quicker on your feet, focus better and even improve your overall intelligence and cognitive abilities by increasing your body’s stores of magnesium.
Sleep Better – MUCH Better
I didn’t understand when I first started to regularly use magnesium spray and periodically soaking in Epsom salts how profound the impact would be on my quality of sleep. I’m typically a very light sleeper.
I toss and turn a lot, and the slightest disturbance can wake me out of a deep, healing sleep. Since I’ve started supplementing with magnesium via skin absorption, my sleep is deep and very high quality. I would often awaken several times before my alarm went off on the week days.
Not only do I fall asleep faster, but I also stay asleep. And I stay in those deep restful sleeps a lot longer as well. Many times before I would frequently wake up only to drift off again into a nervous, oft-interrupted sleep. Many times, I don’t wake up until my alarm actually goes off in the morning, which was a rarity prior to adding nightly magnesium supplementation.
The reason for this deeper, more restful and restorative sleep is two-fold. First, magnesium acts as a relaxant to the nervous system. It also helps to alleviate the effects of cortisol, the “stress” hormone.
It also acts as a muscle relaxant, helping to relax tense muscles. This is why Epsom salts, which are magnesium sulfate, are used by athletes to soothe sore muscles and by people with afflictions such as arthritis and other painful joint and muscle issues use them as well.
Magnesium plays a key role in the metabolism and utilization of food. It helps synthesize food into energy rather than allowing excess to be transported into the fat stores of the body causing weight gain. If you’ve had trouble losing weight even after modifying diet and getting enough physical activity, you may want to look into using magnesium.
It helps regulate your glucose levels and prevent excessive insulin sensitivity. It also is a pivotal player in metabolizing and efficiently burning off carbohydrate calories. This in itself is a huge help when we’re trying to lose weight or at least maintain a healthy weight for our body type. It also is useful for preventing the development of diabetes since it helps regulate this important function.
Also the fact that magnesium metabolizes the stress hormone cortisol more efficiently means that the impact of stress on weight maintenance is very small. Those with higher levels of cortisol who demonstrate a poor natural resistance to high levels of the hormone typically have higher levels of body fat and an overall higher BMI.
Why a Magnesium Spray or Soak Instead of an Oral Supplement?
Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, most abundantly in darker leafy greens and vegetables, nuts and legumes. However, if you don’t consistently get a lot of these in your diet, you may be deficient. Even if you do eat this type of food every day, there is some evidence that magnesium is simply more effectively absorbed by the body when it is absorbed through the skin.
So supplementing with magnesium by using an external spray (there are a few good ones available online) or an Epsom salt soak (found in any drug store) can be ideal for getting that daily dose. It’s also easy and incredibly inexpensive to get your magnesium this way.