Magnesium is a mineral needed by every organ in the body your heart, muscles and kidneys especially and adults normally have approximately 25g of magnesium in their body, 50% stored in the bones and most of the rest in soft tissues and under 1% is in your blood.
Magnesium contributes to energy production, helps to regulate calcium,copper, zinc, potassium and Vitamin D levels.
If like many men you have an apparent allergy to eating fruit and vegetables and an addiction to processed or ready made foods then you may be more at risk of deficiency than those eating the ‘healthy diet’. Men tend to consume more alcohol and fizzy drinks and this may also play a part.
Men who suffer from hyperthyroidism,diabetes and hyperthyroidism and some gastrointestinal conditions, could also be at an increased risk of magnesium deficiency.
Depression and anxiety can also increase the body’s requirements for magnesium to help deal with the stress.
Men’s lifestyle and magnesium levels
Dietary and lifestyle habits which increase the need for magnesium include:
- Consuming more than seven alcohol drinks per week. Alcohol lowers the amount of magnesium available to cells by increasing the amount of magnesium excretion through the kidneys.
- Regularly drinking fizzy drinks. Dark coloured fizzy drinks contain phosphates which bind with magnesium and make it unavailable to the body.
- Eating a lot of sugary foods such as cakes, pastries and other sweet foods high in refined sugar.
- Drinking tea and coffee on a daily basis. Caffeine causes the kidneys to release extra magnesium regardless of magnesium status. Caffeine is also a diuretic which means it makes you need to pass urine more frequently.
- If you have a lot of stress in your life, have recently been ill or had major surgery, your need for magnesium will be increased to help your body deal with the physiological and psychological stress.
Signs of magnesium deficiency
Symptoms of low magnesium levels may include: agitation and anxiety, muscle cramps, spasms and weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, sleep disorders or insomnia, restless leg syndrome, irritability and low blood pressure.