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Magnesium – The Miraculous Mineral

For improved sleep (and more!)
Elemental magnesium is an important mineral for optimal health. It can be obtained from many foods, with leafy green vegetables being one of the best sources. Magnesium (Mg) supplementation has become popular over the past few years and many people rely on it to help with various aspects of health – more than 300 enzyme systems are dependent on it. Studies show that increasing magnesium intake through supplementation can have positive effects on various aspects pertaining to overall health, some of those benefits include: decreased time to sleep onset latency (Abbasi B1, 2012), improved sleep efficiency (Abbasi B1, 2012). Moreover, it is commonly taken to help relieve muscle cramps (especially those experienced during the night) and to help maintain optimal levels for exercise and athletic performance.

In order for elemental magnesium to be absorbed it must be bound to another substance, and therefore you will find multiple options at your local health food and supplement stores. Some of the most popular forms are:
• Glycine
• Bisglycinate
• Glycerinate
• Citrate
• Malate
• Taurate
• Chloride
• Carbonate

Among the common forms, glycine is shown to be one of the most bioavailable, absorbable and least likely to cause Gastro-Intestinal distress. Citrate is a great option for those seeking increased bowel movements while at the same time aiming to increase Mg levels in the body.

Magnesium supplements in effervescent form have become more and more popular. These products are purchased as a powder and are typically the glycine or citrate form. Once the powder is mixed with water the effervescent reaction begins – during this reaction the Mg is bound (or chelated) to the glycine or citric acid therefore making it ready for consumption. This effervescent form is thought to have an increased rate of absorption as it requires much less work from the digestive system when compared to tablet form. Many people find the liquid as a pleasant option since it can mean they have one less pill to take.

Since there are various forms of this wonderful supplement it can be taken in various ways. Due to the high level of absorbability of the effervescent glycine it can be safely added to one’s water bottle for sipping throughout the day or mixed more concentrated and taken as a single serving in the evening (typically 30-90 minutes before bed). As is the case with many natural supplements the most important thing is that it is taken on a regular (daily) basis, and timing the intake so it is convenient for you as an individual is critical. If digestive upset is experienced when taking it on an empty stomach try halving the dose or taking it with food.

In summary, magnesium supplementation is becoming more popular for people of all ages, especially because of its positive effects on sleep and cardiac function. So, find the form that is correct for you and give it a try!

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