When it comes to stress, there is no shortage of symptoms. Among the top cited symptoms of mental and emotional stress are:
• Frequent headaches
• Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
• Light-headedness, faintness, dizziness
• Gritting, grinding teeth; jaw clenching
• Tremors, trembling
• Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
• Frequent blushing, sweating
• Cold, sweaty hands and feet
• Dry mouth, problems swallowing
Interestingly, these symptoms of stress are also symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
The Risks of Magnesium Deficiency Under Stress
Under stress, our body acts in ways that are primitive and linked to centuries of association between stress and physical threat:
• Heart rate and blood pressure soar, increasing the flow of blood to the brain to improve decision-making
• Blood sugar rises to furnish more fuel for energy as the result of the breakdown of glycogen, fat, and protein stores caused by adrenalin surging
• Blood is shunted away from the gut, where it is not immediately needed for digestion, to the large muscles of the arms and legs to provide more strength or greater speed
• Clotting occurs more quickly, which in a situation of actual physical threat would prevent blood loss from lacerations or internal hemorrhage
Without enough magnesium, our body can’t cope with stress:
• When blood pressure soars, the smooth muscles in blood vessel walls can go into spasm without enough magnesium. This can cause chronic hypertension;
• When blood sugar rises, magnesium is responsible for insulin opening cell membranes to allow sugar into the cells. When we are magnesium-deficient, blood sugar continues to rise and cells do not receive glucose;
• If the large muscles of the arms and legs are magnesium-deficient, increased circulation can cause muscle cramping and restless leg syndrome;
• Without enough magnesium, blood clotting can cause leg, lung, and brain clots.
The Two-Way Relationship Between Magnesium and Stress
Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral. But the relationship between magnesium and stress works in two directions: stress depletes magnesium, but magnesium counteracts stress.
Any stress, whether mental or physical, will deplete magnesium from the body. The body uses up magnesium stores in reacting to stress. And a body without enough magnesium will exhibit more symptoms of stress.
In addition to the functions listed above, the body under stress needs magnesium to:
• Downgrade the cortisol response and cleanse cortisol from the cells;
• Keep calcium outside the cells where it belongs. Excess calcium in the cells has been shown to cause rigidity and tension in the cell;
• Balance the nervous system and relax muscles, to prevent mental stress associated with physical tension.
So, magnesium is essential for two facets of stress management: it helps prevent the physical tension that leads to stress, and magnesium downgrades our physical response to stressful situations.
But magnesium can only do its job as the ‘anti-stress mineral’ if we have an adequate intake.
Getting Enough Magnesium to Manage Stress
About half the population isn’t getting enough of this essential mineral, and here’s why:
• Most people don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods;
• Even with a healthy diet, it’s hard to get enough magnesium because the soils in which food is grown are magnesium-depleted;
• We deplete magnesium when we drink coffee, eat sugar, sweat from physical activity and experience chronic stress;
• Many medications today drain our stores of magnesium.
Get Naturally Calm
Natural Calm magnesium is a highly-absorbable magnesium drink that comes in a range of organic fruit flavours, sweetened with organic stevia. The magnesium used in the proprietary Natural Calm formula is extracted from deep in the ocean, and as such isn’t eligible for organic status. However, each lot of Natural Calm is rigorously tested to pass Canadian and US standards for purity and safety.
With school around the corner, there’s no better time to think about stress management. Kids and young adults may need magnesium now more than ever.
According to an article in Global News, “Young Canadians are suffering from rising levels of anxiety, stress, depression…” and unless their diets are rich in magnesium foods, they may not have the nutrition to battle that pressure.
To get the right dose of highly-absorbable magnesium for your child, check the age-based dosing instructions on the bottle of Natural Calm Kids. It’s the same award-winning formula as Natural Calm for adults, but with instructions parents can rely on to get the right amount of magnesium for their child.