What is Magnesium and What Does it Do?
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in your body’s health. Magnesium functions as a co-factor for numerous enzymatic reactions and is vital for many physiological functions. Some functions of magnesium include the following:
- Maintaining normal muscle functioning
- Maintaining heart functioning and normalizing heart rate
- Functioning as a cofactor for energy production and protein synthesis
- Regulating blood glucose
- Supporting the immune system functioning
Is Magnesium an Electrolyte?
Yes, magnesium is one of the main electrolytes that your body needs. Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity and dissociate into ions when placed in a solution. Other common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride, in addition to magnesium
Are Magnesium Levels Affected on the Keto Diet?
Entering the metabolic state of ketosis via the ketogenic diet may cause a drastic decrease in electrolytes. This is in part due to low insulin levels and increased water and mineral excretion by the kidneys. Thus, magnesium levels typically decrease when first starting a ketogenic diet. In fact, loss of magnesium is one of the causes of the keto-flu.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Magnesium Levels (Hypomagnesemia)?
The most common symptoms of low magnesium levels are muscle cramps and twitching.
What are the Benefits of Magnesium on the Ketogenic Diet?
Low magnesium levels can occur, especially when first starting the ketogenic diet. If you have noticed muscle cramps, muscle spasms, body aches, or headaches, chances are, your magnesium levels are probably low. Increasing magnesium intake (either through food or supplements) can help prevent muscle cramps/spasms, body aches, and/or headaches.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for magnesium is 210-420mg for adults in the US. However, since magnesium levels are depleted on the ketogenic diet, supplementation of around 250-400mg may be beneficial.
What Are Good Sources of Magnesium?
You don’t have to take magnesium supplements to obtain enough magnesium on the ketogenic diet. Magnesium can be obtained primarily through diet. Foods rich in magnesium include the following: