When we are experiencing headaches, we often have a long list of ‘I should have’s’. I should have had more water this week. I should have gotten more sleep. I should have eaten better this week. The list goes on. Let’s talk about a magical mineral: Magnesium.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral in our bodies that contains an electrical charge. It is often referred to as an ‘electrolyte’. Some of the other minerals that also hold a charge in the body include Calcium, Potassium and Sodium. In the periodic table of elements, Magnesium is written as Mg, with a capital M. In terms of dosage, when you see ‘mg’ after a number, it refers to milligrams.
What does Magnesium do for us?
Magnesium does a lot of work in the body. It is important for our cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems, and it’s also an important mineral for our muscles, kidneys, liver and brain. When we get adequate amounts of Magnesium in our diets, our chances of experiencing insomnia, calf cramps, constipation, and migraine headaches are reduced.
Why is Magnesium recommended for headache sufferers?
It is thought that over 50% of people who experience migraines are Magnesium deficient. The recommended daily amount (minimum) is around 400 mg. The average person consumes less than 300 mg per day. Magnesium is touted for normalizing the diameter of the blood vessels, which can cause headaches if they are too large or too small.
What foods contain Magnesium?
There are many natural sources of Magnesium. Some of these include:
- dark green leafy vegetables (kale, Popeye’s favorite – spinach & swiss chard)
- fish (cod, halibut & salmon)
- liquid chlorophyll*
- nuts** (almonds, hazel nuts & peanuts)
- whole grains (buckwheat, oat bran & whole wheat)
*This stuff is so amazing that I created a new post just to explain the benefits of taking liquid chlorophyll. **Nuts may cause headaches for some people.
Can we take a supplement?
Absolutely. When we are specifically trying to alleviate migraines, it is recommended that we take Magnesium by itself, not combined with Calcium, for better absorption. When combined, the Calcium tends to absorb better than the Magnesium. The best types of Magnesium to take are those ending with ‘ate’. My own preference is Magnesium Citrate.
*Learn more about Magnesium, why I recommend Citrate verses other combinations, and what else I recommend for better health in my FREE 5 Days to Better Health eCourse.
How much Magnesium should we take?
That depends on how much Magnesium our intestines are absorbing from the food that we eat each day. The best way to determine a dose is to start low, and increase if needed. Personally, I take one 150 mg capsule of Magnesium Citrate in the morning, and an additional two capsules approximately four hours before I plan to go to bed. Start with one capsule at bedtime, then increase to two capsules in the evening, if needed. Then increase to one in the morning, and 2 at night, if needed.
Why take Magnesium a few hours before bed?
Magnesium helps with insomnia, by making us feel sleepy within 3-4 hours of consumption. If too much Magnesium is consumed too early, we may feel sleepy at 8 pm, and if it’s taken right before bed, it may cause us to feel drowsy when we awaken. Those who are taking Magnesium specifically for migraine headache relief may want to split the dose up and take one Magnesium pill with each meal.
Can we take too much Magnesium?
Certainly, and it is totally obvious when/if we do, as we end up with the ‘trots’. We find ourselves trotting to the toilet because our bowels are much too loose. If this happens, reduce the dose of Magnesium by one pill per day until bowel movements are normal.
Note: I am not a Doctor, Dietitian or Nutritionist. I can not prescribe vitamins or minerals. The recommendations above are for informational purposes only. If you have heart disease, kidney disease, you are prone to kidney stones, or you are unsure about taking vitamins or minerals, please speak to a medical professional prior to taking any supplements.
If you’re ready for a new opportunity, for a new mindset, for a new life, learn more about a new powerful system to help you leave your headaches behind and start your own journey to greatness.