Magnesium deficiency is common in the general population, and seems to be even more common in the ketogenic population unless it is properly addressed. When we are in ketosis our bodies naturally excrete magnesium and to retain a healthy level of magnesium in our body it’s important to replace that loss.
Magnesium is required for over three hundred biochemical processes in the body, including:
- Energy production
- Maintenance of lean muscle tissue
- Muscle contractions
- Blood sugar regulation
- Blood pressure regulation
- Insulin sensitivity
- Nervous system functions
- Nitric oxide production
- Vasodilation of blood vessels
- Pain intensity
Symptoms of being low in magnesium include:
- Muscle cramping, eye and muscle twitches
- Low appetite
- Elevated blood glucose
- Elevated blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Weakness and tiredness
- Foggy brain
- Pre-eclampsia in pregnancy
- Depression, irritability, poor concentration
- Sodium and water retention
- Reduced vitamin D regulation
- Sleep disturbances
Where can we get our magnesium from?
There are only a few keto friendly foods that are high in magnesium. Some of them include spinach, swiss chard, cacao, hemp seeds, and avocado. Magnesium supplements can help, and I like magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate, magnesium malate, magnesium aspartate, magnesium chelate, magnesium citrate, magnesium orotate, and magnesium l-threonate as good absorbable forms.
How much magnesium do we need?
500mg of elemental magnesium per day is the general recommendation. You may need more or less than that depending on your health status or if you are taking medications that interfere with mineral absorption. If you are uncertain or concerned, seek the advice of the person who prescribed the medication, or a nutritionist. Remember to read the label on the back of the magnesium bottle to see how much elemental magnesium you’re getting per serving!