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Magnesium Glycinate Benefits: Maximizing Health, Performance and Brain Function

By Dennis Buckley

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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could become a better version of yourself simply by adding a supplement or two to your day-to-day routine? This may sound too good to be true, but in reality, boosting performance is all about giving your body the support and fuel it needs. 

Taking magnesium glycinate supplements is one way to boost your mental and physical performance, improve mood, and keep you at optimal performance levels.

If you’re wondering about whether this supplement will make a great addition to your own daily supplement routine, read on for more information. 

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that your body can’t produce it by itself, so you need to get it through diet and supplementation. It is thought that only about a quarter of Americans actually get the recommended dosage of magnesium in their diet. A lack of magnesium may disrupt various systems in the body, including hormones, muscles, heart and brain health. [1]

Why is Magnesium Glycinate Great for You?

Magnesium it is a key chemical ingredient for over 350 bodily processes and reactions. Taking a magnesium supplement may be able to reduce the risk or severity of a wide range of health concerns, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Depression [2]
  • Fatigue [3]
  • Insulin resistance (Diabetes)
  • Lack of aerobic endurance
  • Poor bone and muscle health
  • Sleep problems
  • Brain fog 

The key dietary benefits of magnesium are its effects on blood sugar and insulin resistance. Insulin plays an essential role in the proper breakdown and use of nutrients in food, regulates your metabolism and is closely linked to diabetes. Magnesium combats insulin resistance, and thus may reduce the risks and symptoms of diabetes. [4]

Magnesium Glycinate

Chemical structure of Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium doesn’t only affect the body, however. As magnesium passes across the blood-brain barrier, it has profound effects on mental health and cognitive performance. Supplements like  magnesium glycinate and L-threonate can boost your mental performance, keep your brain healthy, and promote day-to-day mood improvements. Increasing the amount of magnesium in the bloodstream is also a great way to improve recovery and sleep quality. [5, 6]

As magnesium is also shown to improve aerobic performance and endurance, it will boost your ability to gain muscle, lose fat, and transform your physique through exercise. [7] All of these together are quite an astounding combination of effects: with a simple supplement, you have the potential to feel well-rested, improve your recovery and progress between training sessions, and have improved mental performance to achieve your goals.

Magnesium Deficiency: Do you have it?

Magnesium deficiency is likely the second most common form of nutrient deficiency in the developed world, following only Vitamin D deficiency. The potential negative health impacts of a deficiency in magnesium are huge. Hypertension, which may result at least in part from low magnesium levels, is a key factor in the risk of heart disease, the primary cause of death in developed countries. [8]

Insulin resistance is the first step towards diabetes and can start a spiral of worsening symptoms which includes weight gain. The connection between insulin resistance and weight gain is controversial in the scientific literature, but we know that it contributes to increased weight gain and other metabolic disorders. To this extent, magnesium is likely to support a healthy metabolism when combined with a balanced diet and lifestyle. [9]

Why Glycinate?: The Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate Supplements

Magnesium Glycinate

Two things make magnesium glycinate the best type of magnesium supplement: the benefits of glycine itself, and the effect glycine has on the absorption of magnesium.

Glycine is an amino acid that binds easily to magnesium. It is a key player in the production and regulation of collagen, the body’s main tool for repairing injuries to the tendons and ligaments. Glycine is essential for optimum blood health, as it is a crucial ingredient in the production of high-quality haemoglobin, which in turn makes up red blood cells. Studies link magnesium deficiency to poor blood health [10] and a wealth of associated problems such as anaemia, fatigue, muscular weakness, and poor cognitive function.

The binding of magnesium to glycine is beneficial because of the effects it has on the absorption and use of magnesium through the body. This particular pairing is resilient to stomach acids, and has an increased absorption rate in the intestines, increasing the amount of magnesium that makes it into the bloodstream. This means that you get more magnesium into your blood for the amount that you consume---in other words, more “bang for your buck.”

The positive effects of magnesium may also be enhanced when taken as magnesium L-threonate, a ground-breaking new compound that has recently come out of MIT. This form of magnesium has been shown to pass through the blood-brain barrier much more easily than any other form. Because of this, the L-threonate form of magnesium has profound effects, boosting mood and cognitive performance. To this end, glycinate appears to be the best form of magnesium for our metabolism and muscles, whereas L-threonate is the best for improving overall mental performance and wellbeing. [11]

Can Magnesium Glycinate Be Dangerous?

It is always prudent to treat a new supplement with caution: your health is important, and it’s important to consider potential side-effects when you’re trying something new. Magnesium supplementation is no exception---it is always important to stick to prescribed doses.

Research on the topic suggests that this product has no considerable toxic effects. Side effects are rare, but may include digestive disruption and headaches. Bone problems in fetuses in rare instances where pregnant women were given high amounts of magnesium sulfate [13].   

Our recommendation for making the most of your health is to choose a high-quality source that provides a mixture of safe, effective forms of magnesium such as glycinate, L-threonate, and Taurate. These are the most easily absorbed and also offer the greatest range of health benefits. 

Magnesium Glycinate Benefits

When you stick to recommended doses and are sure to use magnesium in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, you’re very unlikely to experience any side-effects.

Closing Remarks: What Can Magnesium Supplements do for you?

Magnesium supplementation is not only beneficial to your health and performance---it may actually be necessary if you don’t already have enough in your diet. Taking magnesium glycinate supplements is a great way of combatting a deficiency, boosting your performance, and helping you to relax and recover. It may also help to reduce the complications and severity of several health conditions.

No matter which way you cut it, magnesium supplementation is a great place to start when it comes to being at your best mental and physical health.    

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