MgCl2, the miracle mineral
Magnesium is the ultimate supplement that I’d recommend to most anybody looking to optimize their short and long-term health in general. It is the master electrolyte mineral that plays a vital role on the cellular level on the path towards vibrant, extreme health, helps regulate blood pressure, induces neurogenesis by literally regenerating the brain, and is necessary for RNA, DNA and protein synthesis among several other functions.
I believe that you cannot out-supplement a poor diet and lifestyle, that no supplement can replace finding balance through proper nutrition, detoxification, daily sunlight exposure, movement, forgiveness, human touch and connection, sweating/cold exposure, (possibly) meditation, time spent in nature, proper circadian rhythm entrainment, restorative sleep and connecting to your purpose, but a magnesium supplement is one exception.
A magnesium supplement is safe, affordable, natural, and gentle. It’s an important enzyme cofactor essential to several metabolic processes and Mg-ATP development, one of the main forms of energy that take place in every process of the body. Magnesium must ideally be repleted on a daily basis as a preventative approach to mitochondrial dysfunction. It benefits all areas of your body and mind, is critical for bone health, and you can use it as much as it benefits you, as one nutrient with many downstream effects.
What a magnesium supplement does:
- Facilitates ATP production
- Required for DNA/RNA synthesis
- Supports neurotransmitters
- Regulates electrolytes
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves immune system
- Antioxidant defense
- Supports proper heart function
- Accelerates wound healing, though application may sting a bit (if you’ve had cuts and scrapes heal faster in ocean water, you know what I’m talking about)
- Supports endothelial function
- Regulates blood pressure
- Prevents atherosclerosis
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Balances thyroid hormones
- Improves testosterone production
- Optimizes fat oxidation
- Cofactor for vitamin D synthesis; adequate levels of magnesium are necessary for the body to fully produce, utilize, and store vitamin D from the sunlight
Magnesium is the biggest detoxification and repair agent in the entire biology and is one of the most important defenses against the hyperinflammatory modern environment today (especially in urbanized, built up areas, indoors, and in major cities). Every single activity, process and form of waste created all depend on magnesium to make it happen and eliminate the waste. Magnesium is alkaline, directly countering the acidic PH levels of everything, including wastes and oxidative waste. Magnesium is necessary for Ca+2 and calcium (mineral regulation), implicated in optimal immune system function and cellular signaling in the whole body. It’s also required for the conversion of cholesterol sulfate in the skin from daily sunlight exposure into the active form of vitamin D in your body.
Because it is a water-soluble, rapidly depleted mineral in which you pee out the excess instead of storing it, and the planet’s unsustainable farming practices have left most agricultural soils (therefore your food) depleted of minerals, magnesium ought to be taken daily, especially as stress (physical, environmental, emotional) and refined sucrose consumption (including grains and some fruits) also depletes magnesium levels by depleting the body’s natural defense against all inflammation and oxidative stress.
MAGNESIUM HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BENEFIT THOSE WITH:
- high blood pressure and cholesterol
- poor blood circulation and clotting
- pain and inflammation
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome/slowed metabolism
- substance addiction
- tense muscles and cramping
- panic attacks
- poor nerve and brain function
- PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps (I can confirm this)
- and more!
Stress has permeated people’s social, emotional, and psychological issues more than ever, often without the knowledge, awareness, or a proper framework implemented in order to process it all in a healthy manner.
What’s more is that stress has manifested itself as a chronic disease, and people are living life in a constant fight-or-flight state, sapping magnesium levels more than ever before.
Without enough Magnesium, cells simply don’t work.Lawrence M. Resnick, MD
68% of Americans are estimated to be deficient in magnesium according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Other sources estimate that even up to 80% are deficient. It’s not a far stretch to apply this pattern to most other industrial, developed societies in the world today, with processed, nutrient void diets such as the Standard American Diet rampant around the globe and agricultural mineral depletion, along with mass disconnect from the earth.
Studies have revealed that those who experience PMS also exhibit significantly lower levels of magnesium in red blood cells compared to those who don’t. One study found that those who took a daily dose of 360 mg of magnesium experienced noticeably fewer PMS symptoms. I can even confirm this from my own experience.
Root causes of mag deficiency include: soft unfiltered tap water, soda, alcohol and caffeine, depleted soil nutrients from industrial agricultural mono-cropping, calcium supplements, and chronic stress. Magnesium deficiency may be hard to pinpoint, but just might be your “magic bullet”. I know it works for me.
Magnesium is naturally present in many whole plant and animal foods. It also richly and naturally occurs in seawater, abundant in the hydrosphere, and goes into over 3,000 different processes in the body with 350 different biochemical reactions that help your cells function properly. Every organ needs this stuff. Considering that we as organisms likely emerged from the sea before the dawn of civilization, it isn’t far-fetched to make the connection to our biological requirement for this important mineral.
For thousands of years, we evolved along the coasts, feasting on mineral and bioavailable DHA-rich shellfish and fish that grew our brains, where the majority of human development occurred in the context of salt water and ocean spray. Sea mineral exposure from the aerosolized air of beach towns with the glittering jewel of the ocean gives coastal and beach living an unmistakably relaxing and health promoting significance. Bathing in magnesium-rich sea water is preventative in that it reduces inflammation and mood disturbances, reverses skin conditions, nourishes you through porous skin and is naturally anti-microbial in acidic environments (such as your skin—bathe your cuts in it to heal them!). Supplementing (orally and/or transdermally) with magnesium is necessary especially if you don’t have access to the ocean to swim in.
Magnesium is also highly beneficial for brain health, bringing down inflammation, and along with proper nutrition, barefoot earthing and sunlight, balancing out our biochemistry that drives compulsions and addictions (emotional, mental, physical) down the line that are caused by modern society.
Amazing things happen when you are experiencing magnesium repletion. This is just the tip of the iceberg:
- The walls of your blood vessels relax, helping prevent chronic hypertension
- Your cell membranes open up to let in glucose, helping prevent blood sugar from rising
- Muscles stay relaxed, preventing cramps and restless leg syndrome
- Good circulation occurs, preventing clotting in the legs, lungs and brain
- Painful menstrual cramps dissolve into the void!
In my experience, especially when combined with proper nutrition, sunlight exposure, earthing, proper sleep, movement, and herbal medicines, a magnesium supplement continues to relieve my overthinking and anxious thoughts, and has helped me manage forms of stress like no other with near instantaneous zen after administration. It’s a truly remarkable supplement, and I truly believe most anyone in modern times could benefit greatly from its use.
Whole food sources of magnesium include:
- activated nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc.)
- grass-fed and finished beef heart
- wild-caught seafood
- leafy green vegetables
- raw cacao
You might be inclined to question if magnesium is natural as it is an isolated compound: yes, it is comprised of the molecules found in nature, this is the same with other mineral supplements that are pretty useful to consider with the mineral and nutrient depletion in our agricultural foods and soils. You can use any combination of magnesium types available. Most forms of magnesium are actually limited in their absorption via digestion except for magnesium chloride.
MOST BIOAVAILABLE MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENT TYPES:
- Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, or pure magnesium chloride flakes (MgCl2) – among the most bioavailable and my personal favourite
- Magnesium bisglycinate or glycinate
- Magnesium bicarbonate
- Magnesium gluconate
- Magnesium fumarate
- Magnesium taurate
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium threonate
Magnesium chloride oral and topical solutions are available on the market pre-made, but it’s way more affordable, bioavailable and just as effective to use a homemade topical magnesium chloride spray which will last much longer for months and months. It consists of just magnesium chloride flakes dissolved in water. This form of magnesium supplement is also great if you do lots of physical activity, with less side effects than oral administration. To use at least 2 or multiple forms will give you the greatest results. It may be uncomfortable and make you feel unpleasant, slightly itchy, or unhappy at first due to the induced alkalinity, but will subside with consistent use over time.
Magnesium is best taken before bedtime as this is when most detox, cleanse and repair processes occur. Daytime doses can be smaller and spread a few times (3-5x) throughout the day, and you’ll also want to try to take it around having meals. Personally, 1 tsp a day mixed into filtered/spring water works for me!
Two routes of administration for magnesium
Transdermal application: In general, administer the magnesium spray topically, specifically on the back of the head, back of neck, under armpits, and/or full upper body to resolve any underlying nervous system inflammation, and over the lower abdominal area to soothe menstrual cramps. 4-8 sprays will generally suffice. The topical route of administration is absorbed through the skin’s pores where it is most bioavailable with the least risk of side effects. If it gets itchy, this is a sign of candida waste excretion from high consumption of alcohol, grains and refined sugars. Simply have a damp rag on hand to wipe off the salt and reduce itching.
Magnesium gel or oil are also fantastic ways to boost your magnesium levels and to relax before bedtime. You can also visit a float tank to float in a saturated magnesium tank for an allotted amount of time.
Oral consumption: Oral consumption of magnesium solution is also effective, simply take a few sips of the solution, and don’t go overboard or you may experience minor side effects. Powdered or encapsulated magnesium supplements are also available (though I am legitimately unable to swallow pills or supplements, so haven’t tried them myself). High doses of oral magnesium supplements may cause side effects due to the relaxing of muscles in the intestinal tract, such as loose bowels, diarrhea, cramping and stomach aches, and may interfere with various antibiotics, blood pressure meds, muscle relaxants and water pills, making them ineffective. None of this would happen with topical magnesium though, as your skin immediately absorbs it and bypasses all the possible side effects. Do not consume without knowing an accurate dosage, and ask your trusted practitioner to see if any supplement is right for you.
Homemade transdermal magnesium spray recipe
- Amber glass spray bottle
- Water filter
- 150 grams magnesium chloride flakes (100% MgCl2)
- 1/2 liter distilled or filtered or spring water or a ratio of 1:4 flakes to water
- Add the flakes to the glass spray bottle.
- Dispense filtered water over the flakes to fill up the bottle.
- Close the lid on the glass spray bottle and shake to instantly dissolve the flakes in the water.
- Spray liberally about 4-8 times or more onto the skin of different areas of the body, as needed. Avoid face and genitals.
- Click here for magnesium chloride flakes (most bioavailable, no fillers, flavours or additives).
- Click here for amber glass spray bottles to store your solution in.
- This can be used daily or as needed, and before bedtime to support a deeper, more restful sleep, aid in recovery from training, and ease menstrual cramps. Back of head, brain stem, and full upper body work well as a general restorative practice, especially under morning sunlight.
- AVOID using a metal stirring spoon or metal container. When magnesium comes into contact with metal, the metal contaminates the magnesium. There might even be toxic aluminum, so opt for glass containers and wood/bamboo stirring and scooping spoons.
Like most things in life, change takes time. Start off small with the magnesium supplement as you gauge your own tolerance level, be consistent but don’t overdo it all at once. How much you need depends on your activity levels, diet, and other factors, but I believe you’ll know when enough is enough.
- Click here for magnesium chloride flakes (most bioavailable, no fillers, flavours or additives).
- Click here for amber glass spray bottles to store your solution in. Mason jars with a special spray lid are also a great option.
Magnesium benefits, side effects, dosage
Comprehensive article on magnesium with associated studies
Magnesium accelerates wound healing
7 holistic menstrual cramp remedies: a guide to managing cramps once and for all