We hear so much about vitamins when it comes to daily supplements that we aren’t always thinking about vital minerals we may not be getting in our daily intake of food. Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral and electrolyte that, unfortunately, most people aren’t getting enough of, and that impacts us negatively in a broad spectrum of ways—especially women.
Naomi Whittel, leading nutritional expert and New York Times best-selling author, is no newbie to the tribulations of severe magnesium deficiencies. “I can speak very personally about the effects of magnesium deficiencies in my body as a woman,” she shares.
Studies show that 10 out of 11 women are deficient in magnesium. “The deficiency wreaks havoc on our bodies and brains,” Whittel explains. “Magnesium is responsible for more than 600 chemical reactions in our bodies, making it the absolute most vital and foundational nutrient we need on a daily basis. If there is one nutrient I never skip, it’s magnesium. I have been developing and producing nutritional supplements for two decades, so you can imagine I take a variety of them on a daily basis.”
Whittel details that magnesium is found in every cell of the body. She feels it is the most important nutrient for today’s stress-inducing environment. It can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocado, yogurt, and even dark chocolate, and yet it’s incredibly hard to get an adequate daily intake from our modern diet. “Due to large-scale industrial agriculture practices, much of the soil has become depleted of magnesium, which may be why magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world—and why I highly recommend supplementing it in a variety of forms.”
It aids with moving other electrolytes in and out of our cells and is a key mineral that helps muscles relax. It plays a crucial role in just about every aspect of our well-being: nerve and muscle function, blood sugar, bone health, metabolism, cardiovascular health, mood balance, calcium levels, and brain function, just to name a few big guns.
While we like to do keto cycles to reset, magnesium should be a major consideration, Whittel warns. “For the keto diet in particular, we are more likely to have a mineral imbalance. People will recognize something is off and may even have a symptom (like an eye twitch, headaches, or a bedtime cramp), but they won’t know that a magnesium deficiency likely is the root cause.”
This magical mineral has the ability to both energize and relax us, opening the passageways for thought and movement. “Magnesium is like a natural Valium. It calms us, nourishes our brain, helps us to get better sleep at night, and relaxes our muscles. It’s the key to vitamin D absorption, which makes sense as to why so many of us are deficient in vitamin D. Take magnesium, and you will start to absorb your vitamin D, which in turn will boost immunity, strengthen our bones, and support heart health—it’s like instant liquid sunshine.”
What, when, and how much to take? The recommended daily intake for magnesium is 310-420 mg for women, depending on your age and if you are pregnant. Whittel takes 400 mg daily. “The best time to take magnesium is throughout the day. I take 100 mg in the morning with my coffee, and I feel an extra burst of energy. Take 100 mg at lunch or in the middle of the day when you are needing a little pick-me-up, and the remainder of magnesium before you snuggle into your bed. It will increase the amount of REM you get so you will wake up having gotten some real beauty sleep, and your brain will be deeply nourished while you rest.”
Add magnesium to your daily routine with our Poosh-approved picks below.