NERD ALERT! Magnesium is the 12th element on the periodic table. Coincidentally 12 is the number I chose for all of my ultimate jerseys. It may be the single most important element for the function of our body.
Here is a chemistry lesson on magnesium. Magnesium is part of the main group of elements on the periodic table. This group of elements has different layers of electrons and the outermost layer is its shell.
These elements want to have 8 electrons in their outermost shell, also called their valence shell, as that creates the most stability in the molecule. In the case of Magnesium it contains 2 valence electrons.
Because of these 2 valence electrons, it is more likely to be become donor of electrons. The giving nature of Magnesium makes it the ideal element to be used as a cofactor for a plethora of biochemical reactions in the body.
One of the most important interactions is the use of magnesium to make ATP (adenosine-triphosphate).
ATP is our body’s fuel. Last I checked, we need fuel to keep working. Magnesium also is important in bone and muscle health. In the brain magnesium is important in gating the release of calcium into the neuromuscular junction.
Too much calcium released post-injury can cause a phenomenon called excitotoxicity and lead to potential cell death. These are only small examples of what magnesium is doing on a daily basis.
It is difficult to get an adequate amount of magnesium in our daily diet. Good sources of magnesium are typically green leafy vegetables like spinach and nuts.
The current RDA for magnesium is 420 mg per day for males, and 320 mg per day for females. If you plan to supplement I suggest finding a supplement that has a majority of magnesium chelated to an amino acid.
The reason for this is because when attached to an amino acid it increased the bioavailability. Magnesium is best taken by splitting the dose to half at breakfast and half at dinner. This allows for better absorption and maximizes the use by your body.