Magnesium for Your Anxiety

What is the Best Magnesium for Anxiety?

Anxiety dates back to antiquity, and humanity has constantly tried to find cures to heal it and remedies to alleviate its symptoms. In the 21st century, anxiety disorders affect millions of people and are the most widespread mental health problem today.

Known as “nature’s Valium”, Magnesium can be used for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and in this article, we tell you how.

What is anxiety?

What is anxiety

Anxiety represents a feeling of unease, like worry or fear. Everybody experiences anxiety at some point in life, often caused by specific events like preparing for a job interview, taking an exam or waiting for a medical investigation’s results. 

But for some people, anxiety is a constant feeling they cannot fight against because as soon as one anxiety-generating thought is handled, another occurs. 

Generalised Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, causes people to feel anxious about various situations, events and issues rather than for one specific event. 

Anxiety affects people’s daily activities as they can feel tired, restless or worried all the time and can experience concentration issues and sleep problems.

What is magnesium, and what roles does it have?

Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the human body. It is involved in more than 300 enzyme processes that regulate various reactions in the body, such as the synthesis of protein or control of blood glucose.

Magnesium has a physiological role in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles, helping regulate blood pressure and assisting the immune system.

 

Magnesium can be naturally found in many foods and added to others, is available as a dietary supplement, and is included in medicines like laxatives.

There are around 25 grams of magnesium in an adult’s body, primarily found in the bones (about 50 to 60 per cent) and the rest in the soft tissues. 

Insufficient magnesium in the body causes anxiety and is associated with health issues like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, metabolic syndrome, asthma, migraine headache and cardiovascular disease. 

Does magnesium help reduce anxiety?

magnesium help reduce anxiety

In the past 70 years, magnesium intake has dropped, and the rates of anxiety have increased substantially. 

Self-reporting studies of anxiety (where patients reported the results) have established that magnesium decreases GAD and postpartum and mild anxiety.

 

When under stress, the human body releases cortisol – a stress hormone that triggers physical responses that consume magnesium. Supplementing the magnesium intake prevents the release of this hormone and acts as a filter by keeping it from entering the brain.

The brain “hosts” Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can slow down the brain’s activity. Low levels of GABA cause anxiety, putting a person into a permanent state of worry without being able to relax. Magnesium helps calm down anxiety and reach a state of relaxation. Optimising magnesium intake enables a person to feel more energised, relaxed, and focused. 

How much magnesium should I take for anxiety?

magnesium for anxiety

The doses of magnesium the body needs to conduct all the functions involving this mineral are 400 to 420 mg for men and 320 to 360 mg for women. 

 

The best way to get the magnesium the body needs is from foods. Spinach, plain yoghurt, soy milk, brown rice, baked potatoes, peanut butter, beans like edamame and black beans, nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, peanuts, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds contain per serving ten or more per cent of the recommended daily magnesium intake. 

The problem is that many foods people consume today are highly processed and don’t contain (sufficient) magnesium. When the diet is insufficient to ensure the needed intake, magnesium can be obtained from dietary supplements such as pills, powders, and creams. The dose of magnesium required for alleviating anxiety depends upon factors like gender, age and the type of anxiety experienced (postpartum, GAD). 

Many supplements provide between 200 and 400 mg per day. But you can take more if your levels of magnesium are deficient. 

How quickly does magnesium work for anxiety?

People are different, and the types of anxieties they experience are different. That is why the time needed for magnesium to work for anxiety varies from one person to the next.

This time can also be affected by elements like the dose taken and the form of the supplement used (pill, cream, powder).

Some people can feel the magnesium supplement works in just a few days, whilst for others, it may take several weeks.

What is the best magnesium for anxiety?

Magnesium supplements

With many variables involved (gender, age, type of anxiety experienced, time since the anxiety’s debut, diet consumed), researchers concluded the best magnesium supplements for anxiety are those that the body and brain can absorb most easily.

Magnesium bisglycinate, obtained by combining magnesium with the amino acid called “glycine”, is known for its higher absorbability and bioavailability. This makes it very effective for treating magnesium deficiencies and for addressing anxiety.

How to choose magnesium supplements

best magnesium for anxiety

When choosing your magnesium supplement, you should pay attention to the following:

ingredients: all must be listed on the label or in the instructions of use and free from heavy metals, pesticides and mould;

dosage: must be stated clearly for each issue the supplement addresses;

serving size: the safe dosage recommended by the manufacturer;

Certifications and proof of testing: the manufacturer must include this data in the medicine’s leaflet or label to prove it has been tested and approved.

 

Many perceive anxiety as the “toll” of the fast pace and the increasing demands of modern life. In many cases, anxiety is caused not only by low levels of magnesium in the body but also by the pressure people place on themselves while juggling daily tasks and responsibilities.

The good news is that both these causes can be addressed, one by taking the best magnesium for anxiety and the other by being able to acknowledge, understand and find the best solutions to address the thoughts and events that cause you to feel anxious.