Magnesium (Mg2+) is a dietary mineral that’s required by more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body. 


There are many health benefits to maintaining optimal levels of magnesium, Here are just a few examples.


  • Optimum muscle function
  • A healthy immune system
  • A steady heartbeat
  • Normal glucose levels
  • Strong bones - just to name a few benefits. 


Magnesium is also referred to as an anti-stress mineral because it stabilizes the nervous system, soothing the body into a more relaxed state [1].


The importance of this wonderful mineral, unfortunately, isn’t common knowledge. Almost half of all Americans are magnesium deficient [2], preventing vitamin D from being effectively metabolized [3], which, in turn, inhibits a strong immune system [4].

11 Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

A possible reason why so many Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency, also known, hypomagnesemia, could be because the symptoms are easily mistaken for common bodily reactions and natural degenerative processes.


Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:


  1. Muscle cramps [5]
  2. Twitching muscles [6]
  3. Osteoporosis [8] 
  4. Fatigue [9] 
  5. High blood pressure [10]
  6. Asthma [11]
  7. Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) [12] 
  8. Loss of appetite [13]


Magnesium deficiency also impacts brain health. Over the past decade, a high number of research efforts have discovered a clear relationship between magnesium and brain function [14].


The following additional symptoms are linked to magnesium deficiency in the brain


  1. Reduced cognitive abilities (attention, concentration, etc) [15] 
  2. Irritability [16] 
  3. Depression [7]

What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency is caused by a wide range of factors. By being aware of them, lifestyle habits can be adjusted accordingly to naturally raise magnesium levels.


The following could cause magnesium deficiency:


  • Poor soil quality - Produces micronutrient-deficient foods that fail to maintain optimal magnesium levels when ingested.
  • Drinking distilled water - Distilled water is water that has had all of its minerals removed, including magnesium.
  • Bad eating habits - Processed food contains very low levels of magnesium.
  • Excessive consumption of vitamin D and Calcium - Both nutrients compete with magnesium for absorption in the body.
  • Excessive sweating - Magnesium is lost in perspiration.

How Does Magnesium Impact Stress Levels?

Stress is a normal process that triggers the release of catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine) and corticosteroids (cortisol). 


There are two primary categories of stress.

Physical Stress

Physical stress is caused by environmental factors such as extreme weather, sickness, or excessive physical exercise. 


Emotional Stress

Emotional stress is triggered by extreme emotions such as depression, anxiety, pain, and excitement.  


In times of stress (both physical and/or emotional), the resulting reduced levels of magnesium could increase the risk of cardiovascular damage, hypertension, and arrhythmias. So it’s important to ingest adequate amounts of magnesium during such stressful seasons in life.


Chronic stress initiates a harmful cycle of magnesium depletion. High-stress levels cause magnesium to leach from the body, resulting in magnesium deficiency, which puts the mind in a highly stressed state, further amplifying magnesium deficiency.


Magnesium is an essential ingredient for modulating the body’s stress response system. When magnesium levels are low, your body is continuously sending a signal to your brain that danger is imminent. This is a very exhausting state to be locked into, so it’s no surprise that magnesium deficiency could eventually cause chronic diseases.

Impact of Magnesium on Brain Health

The impact of magnesium on brain health, with a particular focus on cognitive function, is a rapidly evolving field. 


So far, the following fascinating discoveries have been made about the brain’s response to magnesium.

Magnesium Boosts Energy

Magnesium can be found in high concentrations in the mitochondria - the powerhouse of the cell - where it’s required for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 


ATP is the energy cells need to fuel everything they do. To create this essential fuel, magnesium needs to be present in the mitochondria to activate ATP (ATP-Mg2+), so without minerals like magnesium, ATP is virtually inactive.


The brain accounts for 2% of your body weight and 20% of its energy requirements. This makes sense because your brain, like a supercomputer, requires high amounts of energy to process high amounts of information.


It has also been shown that neurons consume 75-80% of the brain’s energy [17], demonstrating the vast amount of fuel required to send and receive brain signals.


In a healthy human brain, ATP production is highly dynamic. The requirements can dramatically increase especially in times of high cognitive demand, such as multitasking, completing complicated tasks, and persevering through stressful situations. Decreases in ATP production are associated with a decline in cognitive performance.  


Because magnesium is required for ATP production, and the brain needs copious amounts of energy for optimal performance, there is a direct link between magnesium levels and cognition.


Dynamic changes in energy in the brain are critical not only for cognitive function (your ability to think and process information) but also for brain plasticity.

The Relationship Between Magnesium, Brain Plasticity, and Cognition

Magnesium plays a key role in brain plasticity. Brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to make or modify its connections. In other words, it’s the brain’s capacity to re-wire itself when you’re learning something new.  


From birth to adulthood, brain plasticity is active and dynamic.  The brain interacts with the environment to make and develop new connections.  


Brain plasticity is the hallmark of a flexible young brain prepared for optimal learning, memorization, and complex tasks. As you get older, very fewer mature neurons are formed and plasticity decreases. 


Increasing brain magnesium levels can promote brain plasticity. Adults aged 50-70 with mild cognitive impairment, demonstrated improvements in memory, brain plasticity, and cognitive abilities when prescribed magnesium supplementation over 12 weeks.


Adequate amounts of magnesium in the brain appear to be really important for learning and memory function, especially as you get older.

Magnesium and Mental Health

Deficiency in magnesium has long been associated with mental health issues. Studies have demonstrated [18] rapid recovery from depression with the use of magnesium glycinate, and taurinate.  

This mineral is a co-factor for converting the amino acid tryptophan to the neurotransmitter serotonin.  The proper balance of this neurotransmitter is a determining factor for mental health and mood. 


Another mechanism promoting mental health occurs through the interaction of magnesium with the glutamate receptor N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA).  Recent research has shown that drugs like Ketamine block the NMDA receptor and have rapid antidepressant effects.  


Magnesium is a natural NMDA blocker and may have antidepressant effects similar to ketamine.


It’s no surprise that depression is so prevalent in the United States [19], given that half the population is magnesium deficient.

Magnesium and Quality of Sleep

Sleep is the elixir of life. Despite the wide range of health benefits that come from getting enough sleep, more than 30% of the population suffers from sleep problems like insomnia. 


Lack of sleep, or lack of quality of sleep, is associated with degraded cognition, impaired attention, irritability, degraded memory, and the rise in mental health problems like depression.  Quality sleep is extremely important for brain health. 


Magnesium has been shown to facilitate sleep in people with insomnia [20]. Studies show that magnesium (magnesium oxide) supplementation can improve sleep time, efficiency, onset latency, and insomnia in elderly people. 


Similar to the mechanism of the amino acid, L-theanine, magnesium blocks the NMDA receptor, which promotes the release of the neurotransmitter GABA, which can have a relaxation effect and promote better sleep. 


Furthermore, magnesium glycinate, a chelated form of magnesium (which means, in this case, magnesium is stuck to the amino acid glycine), has been shown to promote quality sleep. 


Glycine can act as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been shown to improve sleep quality, without drowsiness. 


If quality sleep has always been a struggle for you, high-quality magnesium glycinate could help you achieve the rest you’ve always longed for.

Magnesium and Physical Performance

During physical exercise, magnesium is involved in energy metabolism and facilitates normal muscle contraction and relaxation. It’s widely accepted that magnesium deficiency can impair muscle function and exercise performance.  

Can supplementation with magnesium increase physical performance?  

The scientific data suggest that magnesium supplementation may improve physical performance in people who have low levels of magnesium. In male athletes, there has been some positive data linking performance with magnesium supplementation.  However, in a healthy young population, this is still up for debate.  


It’s important to note that many of these studies have not considered baseline concentration of magnesium in participants.  Furthermore, the dosage and type of magnesium vary across different scientific studies. 


In the older, healthy and active population, especially in older women, magnesium supplementation appears to be helpful in increasing physical performance such as grip strength, and lower leg muscle power. 


The bottom line is, if your diet lacks adequate magnesium, physical performance can be affected.  

13 Magnesium-Rich Foods

A balanced diet in foods rich in magnesium is key for physical and mental health. However, magnesium supplementation can be a great choice to fill in nutritional gaps and ensure adequate levels on a daily basis.


Here’s a list of 13 healthy foods that are naturally high in magnesium. Makes you save this list for future shopping trips.


  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Whole grains
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Seeds
  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut)
  • Bananas

Types of Magnesium Supplements


There are many forms of magnesium supplements. Some options are listed below.


  • Magnesium glycinate: This form of magnesium is bound with the amino acid glycine. It’s used to facilitate sleep, and decrease inflammation. It’s easily absorbed and may help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. 
  • Magnesium citrate: This is one of the most common forms of magnesium. It’s bound with citric acid and among the more bioavailable forms. It has a laxative effect and is often used to treat constipation. 
  • Magnesium oxide: Is a salt combining magnesium and oxygen. It has extremely high levels of elemental magnesium but has poor bioavailability.  It has a laxative effect and is often used to treat constipation.
  • Magnesium chloride: Is a salt binding magnesium with chloride. It is easily absorbed and used to increase magnesium levels in the body.  It’s often added to lotions and ointments to relieve muscle soreness. 
  • Magnesium taurate: This form of magnesium is bound with the amino acid taurine.  It’s used for regulating blood sugar and supports healthy blood pressure.   
  • Magnesium malate: This type of magnesium is bound with malic acid, which is found in fruit and wine. This form is well absorbed and is believed to be gentler on the digestive system, with less of a laxative effect.
  • Magnesium L-threonate: Is a salt combining magnesium and threonic acid, which is derived from the breakdown of vitamin C. This form is low in elemental magnesium overall but is sufficiently potent to support brain health.


Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements are deemed safe for most people, but some experience mild side effects relating to laxative responses. These could include diarrhea, upset stomach, and bloating.


Toxic side effects are very rare, usually occurring in people suffering from kidney diseases or who consume a very large amount of magnesium


The following symptoms could be indicative of a toxic reaction to magnesium supplements:


  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing. 


In Canada, the recommended daily requirement for magnesium is 300 mg for males and 250 mg for females.  The National Institutes of Health recommends daily magnesium intake of 400-420 mg for males aged 51+ years and 310-320 mg for females aged 51+ years.

MindGain: Contains one of the Best Magnesium Supplements

MindGain uses Magnesium Glycinate in its formula for promoting optimal cognitive performance.


This particular form of magnesium has been chosen for many reasons


  1. This form of magnesium is easily absorbed by the body
  2. It contains a high percentage of elemental magnesium.
  3. It’s gentler on the digestive system compared to other magnesium forms. 
  4. When absorbed, the amino acid glycine is separated. This amino acid is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can be calming on a stressful brain, without sedative effects.
  5. It’s a well-researched magnesium form that’s linked to better sleep.
  6. It relieves symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. 
  7. It’s also believed that glycine can boost tissue levels of Glutathione [21].  Glutathione is one of the cell's most powerful antioxidants.  Not only does it protect the cells against oxidant damage, but its reduction is also linked to a plethora of health disorders. Maintaining optimal levels of Glutathione, especially in elderly people on low protein diets, could yield great health benefits.

MindGain Can Help You Maintain a Magnesium-Rich Diet

Your body doesn’t naturally produce magnesium, so the only way to maintain healthy levels is by consuming a magnesium-rich diet.


With a busy lifestyle, it can be difficult to keep track of magnesium consumption. MindGain contains the most potent, and absorbable form of Magnesium so taking MindGain adds to your daily magnesium total. 


By also combining other ingredients that fuel the brain, such as the amino acid tyrosine, MindGain capitalizes on magnesium’s positive impact on mental cognition.


Feed your starving brain. Order MindGain today and experience enhanced mental cognition while supporting optimal brain health.



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