What Is Magnesium Glycinate Good For?
What is magnesium glycinate not good for might be the better question here!
I’m not joking when I say magnesium is a wonder mineral. In fact, it’s one heck of an essential nutrient which is literally impossible to live without.
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and there’s a huge amount of evidence to support its therapeutic benefits.
But before getting familiar with what it does, let’s talk about what it is.
What Is Magnesium Glycinate?
Magnesium is a silverish element that has been used by humans - in some form or another - for centuries. However it was only scientifically ‘discovered’ in 1808.
It’s found in dolomite, industrial alloys and Epsom Salts (those muscle-soothing bath salts).
The human body uses magnesium for everything from ATP production (the energy units that power cells) to bone and muscle health, to metabolism and hormone synthesis.
It’s a multi-talented, miraculous mineral!
We’ve included magnesium in Athletic Greens in the form of magnesium glycinate. This is made up of magnesium and glycine - a non-essential amino acid. It’s a popular supplement form of magnesium because it’s easily absorbed by the body and may have less of a laxative effect (more on this later).
Fun fact: magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe and is produced by large, ageing stars as they decay.
What Is Magnesium’s Role In Our Body?
Magnesium is a co-factor, meaning it speeds up chemical reactions in the body so they can happen efficiently and effectively, meeting our human needs.
Without co-factors, things like DNA transcription, cell division and energy production would grind to a halt.
There’s no understating the importance of co-factors - and magnesium!
Here’s a snapshot of magnesium’s functions:
As a muscle relaxant
For nervous and immune function
For bone formation and protein synthesis
To enhance the function of antioxidants
For insulin sensitivity and blood pressure management
For the conversion of food into energy
Paints a pretty impressive picture, right!?
Here’s some of the therapeutic benefits of magnesium glycinate:
Magnesium is easily remembered as a relaxing, relieving, restorative and regulating mineral.
Many therapeutic benefits of magnesium glycinate relate to smooth muscle relaxation, a ‘dampening down’ of inflammation, loosening of tightness and constriction, and a calming effect on the central nervous system.
✔ For insomnia - magnesium deficiency has been linked to poor sleep quality
✔ For muscle spasm, cramping, pain and soreness - such as in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and for athletes. Skeletal muscle stores up to 35% of the body’s magnesium, and deficiency has been linked to cramping and pain.
✔ For PMS and dysmenorrhea - magnesium deficiency has been linked to PMS and painful periods.
✔ For anxiety and depression - associated with magnesium deficiency and chronic activation of the nervous system.
✔ For diabetes
Lowers blood sugar levels
Improves the function of insulin
✔ For cardiovascular health
Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
Regulates heart rhythm
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces general risk of heart disease
✔ For reducing stroke risk
✔ For osteoporosis - by regulating calcium metabolism and deposition
✔ As an anti-inflammatory - via complex mechanisms that involve immune cells and the reduction of inflammatory markers such as C-Reactive protein
✔ For migraines - as a relaxant, vasodilator and anti-inflammatory
✔ For constipation - to encourage healthy peristalsis (muscular movement that pushes food and waste through the intestines)
✔ For asthma - as an antispasmodic and to improve lung function
✔ For preventing eclampsia and pre-eclampsia in pregnancy - thanks to antispasmodic, blood-pressure-lowering effects
✔ For hormonal balance - as a vital co-factor in the creation and regulation of hormones. Some studies suggest magnesium can slightly increase testosterone levels.
Magnesium And Muscle Cramps
Definitely one of the most popular reasons to take a magnesium supplement is to help prevent muscle cramps.
For people suffering cramps, the positive effects of magnesium can be felt VERY quickly, especially when consumed with enough water.
However: the form of the magnesium really matters. For example, cheap magnesium like magnesium oxide will not only have a hard time being properly absorbed but will have a laxative effect at moderate to high doses.
Magnesium glycinate, the form we use in Athletic Greens, is much preferred due to its high absorption rate and low risk when it comes to causing a laxative effect. Many endurance athletes take magnesium glycinate during an event along with other electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to prevent cramps during a race.
Side note: Magnesium as a laxative
Magnesium oxide is deliberately taken in high doses by some people because of the laxative effect. They do this in the hope of detoxing and cleaning out their digestive system.
Also - remember those epsom salts we mentioned? The common name for these is magnesium sulfate - which some people also ingest for the same reason as oxide: To cause a laxative effect.
If you’re taking a magnesium supplement, be aware that diarrhea may occur at high doses for some. It pays to check with your healthcare provider, particularly if you have kidney disease or are on prescribed medication, to find the correct individual dosage.
What Is Magnesium Glycinate’s Role In Athletic Greens?
Needless to say, magnesium as magnesium glycinate plays a hugely important role in our superfood supplement.
It works well with:
Calcium, phosphorus and manganese for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis
Copper for preventing muscle spasms
Chromium picolinate, copper and alpha lipoic acid for regulating blood sugar levels
CoQ10 and Hawthorn for heart health
Licorice and citrus bioflavonoids for preventing and suppressing asthma symptoms
- Ginger as a natural anti-inflammatory
We love magnesium and you should too!
So what is magnesium glycinate? Summing up the key benefits:
Magnesium is an extremely well-studied mineral, proven effective for a variety of health complaints and conditions.
Even though it’s a fairly abundant mineral, it’s pretty easy for an active person to become low or deficient in magnesium. It’s also safe to take at high doses, so it is something that most people could benefit from taking more of.
There’s strong evidence that supplemental magnesium, like magnesium glycinate, can help manage and prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of stroke, assist in diabetes and other metabolic disorders, reduce muscular pain, cramping, soreness, pregnancy complications, asthma and insomnia...
It truly is a miraculous mineral!