Habitude Fitness

Good Habitude: Magnesium!

The other day, I had a student in my swim class come down with an acute muscle cramp. As she swam to the side to rest and stretch, many people started to chime in on their own struggles with muscles spasms and how they tend to treat them at home. One idea that was new to many of them was the use of magnesium. As the conversation continued, they asked me if I would do some research and present some evidence and ideas on the use of magnesium.

Maintaining a balance of magnesium in the body may help prevent muscles spasms and cramping. -Livestrong.com

To learn more about how magnesium is transported throughout the body, you will need to know about Ion transportation. It is an activity that allows magnesium to directly engage with your muscles. Truly amazing!

Essential for more than 300 reactions in the body and needed by every organ, magnesium, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, is essential for optimal health. Magnesium is particularly crucial for the kidneys, heart and muscles; it also helps energy production, is important for bones and teeth and regulates some vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and zinc. Low magnesium levels can cause restless leg syndrome, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, irritability and even seizures. The University of Maryland notes that people who suffer with ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and diabetes are at particularly risk of low magnesium levels. A doctor should always be consulted before taking any magnesium tablets. -Livestrong.com

When it comes to dealing with muscle soreness, cramping, or spasms, we have all heard: eat a banana! It’s the potassium found in bananas that helps to treat that Charlie hoarse attack in the middle of the night. Potassium is a mineral that is vital for metabolism and helps to provide the optimal function of the body systems (think tissues, cells, and organs).

You can always choose to take vitamins and mineral supplements to ensure you are getting the proper amount. However, many minerals, including potassium and magnesium, are found in the whole foods that we can intentionally choose to eat daily.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium for men is 420mg, and for  women, 320mg. The RDA for potassium for adults is 4,700mg. -Livestrong.com

Seeds, nuts, and nut butters are one of the richest sources of magnesium you can consume. I have been enjoying pumpkin and sunflower seeds lately. Pumpkin seeds are the richest food source of both magnesium and potassium. A 1/4-cup serving provides 162mg of magnesium and 233mg of potassium. I like to keep a stash in my car to snack on while I am running errands! Check out how to make your own nut butter.

Fish is a lean protein that is also rich in these minerals. Salmon is among the highest. Check out one of my favorite five-minute meals and see how I effortlessly incorporate salmon into my diet.

Getting enough magnesium is yet another reason to eat your green leafy vegetables. But don’t stop there! Be sure to include broccoli, artichoke, beet greens, carrot juice, Swiss chard, kale, okra, spinach, and carrot juice! Potatoes, wheat bran, and oatmeal are also good choices to supply you with your mineral needs.

Beautiful and delicious Swiss chard. Check out hot to incorporate this into your meal planning!

Beautiful and delicious Swiss chard. Check out how to incorporate this into your meal planning!

Beans and legumes are also rich in magnesium. White beans offer the most magnesium and potassium. There is over 1,000 mg of potassium and 113 mg of magnesium in just one cup! All beans are a great source of these minerals including the black bean. One of my favorite Black Bean dishes is Beans Ranchero!


Personally, I enjoy eating a variety of foods and strive towards a balanced diet. Nature’s greatest source of health can be found in the foods we eat. I also choose to take a magnesium supplement at night as I find it helps with calcium absorption, muscle relaxation, and better quality sleep. (This has been approved by my doctor as I hope you choose to consult yours as well!)

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this research for you!

Your Trainer,

Works Cited

“List of Foods Rich in Magnesium & Potassium.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2013.

“List of Foods Rich in Magnesium & Potassium.” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2013.

“What Are the Benefits of Taking Magnesium Tablets?” LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2013.

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1 CommentLeave a comment

  • So glad the homemade nut butter worked for you. Calcium magnesium powder really helped with my leg cramps when I was pregnant. Such key minerals that our bodies need, and I like to tell myself that Hershey Kisses are a totally legit source. 😉

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