Balancing hormonal health plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. And magnesium plays a starring role in maintaining that hormonal balance. (1,2)
What Magnesium Does for Hormones and Health
Magnesium supports all hormonal functions in the body. Women need magnesium for regular ovulation and a healthy cycle. But it’s not just women’s hormones that are affected by magnesium levels. Everyone’s mood, bone health, and hormones (stress, sex, and happy hormones) are impacted and influenced by magnesium. We all need healthy magnesium levels to lead a healthy life. (1)
The hormones impacted the most by magnesium are the stress hormones, particularly cortisol. Cortisol seems to feed on constant stress. But studies show that magnesium has a positive effect on anxiety and depression. Research also shows magnesium levels affect other maladies like migraine headaches, which are caused by stress or add to stress. (2)
Magnesium acts like a stress-preventer. However, the body eliminates magnesium when stressed because it doesn’t want to be relaxed when facing immediate threats. This mechanism worked fine for when we were dealing with one lion roaring at us at a time. But in today’s world, we have the whole jungle screeching at us– busy schedules, overwhelming inputs, high demands, and other concerns. Our bodies can’t replenish the magnesium needed to help us sleep, relax tense muscles, and maintain balance with our hormones. (1)
Beyond the stress hormones, magnesium impacts our thyroid and sex hormones. In fact, magnesium actually helps create hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. So if your levels are low, increasing your intake can have a profound impact on your hormone health and your general well-being.(3)
Healthy Foods for Healthy Magnesium and Hormone Balance
Magnesium is an essential macromineral, meaning the body needs it in large quantities to stay healthy. However, the body does not produce magnesium on its own. You need to get it from outside sources. Many healthy foods contain magnesium– namely leafy greens, seeds and nuts, some meats, and whole grains. You can even find some levels of this hormone-balancing macromineral in dark chocolate and coffee. Keep in mind that many foods lose their nutrients when refined or processed. So, when looking at whole grains, choose products that don’t contain refined flour. And while some meats and most vegetables contain magnesium, fish contain low levels. The best sources will be whole foods from sustainable sources. (4)
Most experts point to leafy greens as one of the best sources for magnesium. Leafy greens are just about the most nutrient-dense, and underrated foods on the planet. Adding more to your diet is one change that has an almost immediate effect on your well-being. Leafy greens are also an abundant source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin A. But it’s the magnesium that will help your hormones the most. (3)
The Many Ways Magnesium Supports Our Health
If changing your diet doesn’t help raise magnesium levels, supplementing may be an ideal option for you. There are actually many forms and ways to supplement with magnesium.
Because magnesium binds easily to other acids, a wide variety of supplements are available for balancing and supporting hormones. Here are some of the forms of magnesium you can find:
- Magnesium citrate: The most popular types of supplement since it is easily absorbed by the body. It is commonly used to raise magnesium levels. (5)
- Magnesium lactate: This type of magnesium is typically gentler on the digestive system. It’s ideal for those who need large doses as a dietary supplement and don’t tolerate the other forms as well. (5)
- Magnesium taurate: Containing the amino acid taurine, this particular combination may play a role in helping balance blood sugar. Magnesium helps prevent blood sugar spikes and reduce sugar cravings, which is vital when it comes to balancing hormonal issues. (1,5)
- Magnesium L-threonate: This type is often used to help support certain brain disorders. The potential benefits to the brain include managing depression and age-related memory loss. (5)
- Epsom salt: This form of magnesium is commonly dissolved in bathwater to soothe muscles and relieve stress. It can also be found in some skin care products, such as lotions and oils. (1)
- Magnesium glycinate: Glycine, the amino acid bound to magnesium in this easily absorbed form, is often used to improve sleep. Magnesium glycinate can have a relaxing and calming effect, helping to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia. (4,5)
- Magnesium orotate: This easily absorbed type of magnesium doesn’t contain the laxative effects of others, and may promote cardiovascular health. Popular among competitive athletes, it may also benefit those with heart disease. (5,6)
Magnesium to Better Balance Hormones Throughout the Day
So, magnesium helps balance hormones. But not all magnesium compounds work the same. How can we make it work for us to create flow in our lives and support overall health?
Using a magnesium rotation will help promote a healthy cycle throughout the day. To jumpstart your day, you can supplement with magnesium citrate or taurate. If you know you are deficient in magnesium, or have issues with your digestive system, use magnesium lactate. This boost of magnesium will help support the day ahead.(5)
Magnesium L-threonate and oronate are not the most commonly known forms, but they may benefit your lifestyle if you are very active or just need a boost in the afternoon. Studies show that athletic performance improves with magnesium supplementation. It has been associated with faster start times in triathletes and improves exercise tolerance by reducing the stress response exertion. (6)
Toward the end of the day, you may look into using Epsom salt or topical oils to relax and unwind. Using this form of magnesium helps with absorption without digestive issues, and soothes aches and pains. You can also pair magnesium glycinate with your evening routine to help you sleep. (1,6)
Taking Care with Magnesium
Creating a rotation method with magnesium to help balance your hormones can help create wonderful days, which leads to a healthy, vibrant life.
However, it is important to take care with magnesium and consult your primary care professional before beginning a supplementation program. There is no concern that you can get “too much” magnesium from food sources. However, using supplements can sometimes lead to uncomfortable issues, such as nausea, diarrhea, and cramps. There are also rare contraindications, such as those with chronic kidney disease, who should be wary of increasing magnesium in their bodies. (2)
With its ability to promote a healthy hormone balance within our whole body, it’s worth a bit of research to see if magnesium is right for you. With an estimated half of U.S. adults not having adequate magnesium, it’s a choice that could improve your life. Get better sleep, balance your hormones, and rock your every day! (4)
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- Vitti, A. The Woman Code. HarperOne Publication, New York. 2016
- Jardim, N. Fix Your Period. Harper Wave Publications, New York. 2020