If you had to choose just one supplement to fight PMS it should be magnesium.
Studies show time after time that magnesium can greatly relieve both physical and psychological symptoms of PMS.
Magnesium is a pillar of your metabolism
Magnesium plays an essential role in the good function of your body. Therefore, having low magnesium can cause all kinds of malfunctions.
People with low magnesium have a higher risk to get various chronic diseases. Those diseases include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes type 2, osteoporosis, and migraines.
Even worse, having a low magnesium increases the mortality and the length of hospital stay in patients admitted to the hospital.
And, finally, many of the symptoms of PMS may be related to a magnesium deficiency.
You may have low magnesium
Are you getting enough magnesium?
About two-thirds of the western-world population is not getting enough magnesium. One reason is that people eat more and more processed foods. Those refined foods contain less magnesium than the whole, unprocessed foods that used to be the norm.
Moreover, studies have shown that magnesium levels drop during the luteal phase of the cycle in women who have PMS.
This finding is critical since many of the symptoms of PMS remind symptoms of a magnesium deficiency.
Just like PMS, a magnesium deficiency can cause:
- generalized weakness
- muscle cramps
Also, since your body needs magnesium to process carbs, low magnesium may cause insulin resistance.
That means your body is inefficient at storing and retrieving sugars. This could explain why many women crave carbs during PMS.
Many other studies show that supplementing in magnesium greatly relieves PMS symptoms.
This further supports the theory that many of PMS symptoms are related to a lack of magnesium.
Budget friendly, accessible and safe
Magnesium is an ideal supplement for PMS because it:
- tackles multiple PMS symptoms at once
- has hardly any side effects
- is safe for most people and has been used for decades in modern medicine
- is budget friendly and available without prescription
Let’s now go over the many wonders of magnesium for PMS.
Magnesium reduces constipation
Are you constipated a week or two before your period? Constipation is a common symptom of PMS, because of the high progesterone.
Pooping easily and regularly is important to:
- avoid bloating
- avoid straining on your perineal muscles
- keep a good gut health
New studies show that there is a direct link between gut health and serotonin production.
So before you reach for antidepressants, try to boost your gut health.
Magnesium helps you stay regular by relaxing your bowels and drawing water into them, which helps flushing stools more easily.
Tip: drink lots of water along with the magnesium to help flush down the contents of your bowels.
Magnesium fights bloating
Along with constipation, many women experience bloating during PMS. Some women even go a size up! Magnesium can reduce this annoying symptom.
One of the studies checked the effect of giving a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 to women for one month. This improved significantly PMS symptoms – including bloating. This combination is backed by more studies as the best combination to fight PMS.
As a side note, magnesium oxide is not even the most absorbable form of magnesium, so imagine what results a better quality magnesium could have achieved!
Tip: Remember that it’s best to supplement magnesium consistently and over extended periods of time.
Magnesium relieves depression
Studies have shown repeatedly that magnesium relieves depression and anxiety symptoms, including major depression.
Luckily for us women, magnesium also relieves PMS-related anxiety and depression.
This is not surprising since brain cells need adequate levels of magnesium to function properly. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the brain and it plays a major role in its proper function.
Thus, a deficit in magnesium disrupts chemical reactions in the brain, causing micro-damages to neurons that could manifest themselves as depression and cognitive problems.
Interestingly, studies show that physical or emotional stress create a deficit in magnesium, so the more stressed you are, the more magnesium you need and vice versa.
Magnesium reduces cravings
Do you crave sugar and chocolate during PMS? There could be multiple reasons for that, but one of them is magnesium deficiency.
Dark chocolate and cocoa are amongst the most magnesium-rich foods, and you may be compensating low levels of magnesium by binge eating chocolate.
Taking a magnesium supplement will give your body what it really craves, thus reducing your food cravings.
As a side note, you can always soothe your cravings with those delicious PMS protein-packed double chocolate cookies !
Magnesium raises energy levels
A magnesium deficiency raises the quantity of oxygen needed by your muscles to perform at an optimal level.
That means that your heart needs to work harder to oxygenate your muscles properly.
Having optimal levels of magnesium will ensure that you get the oxygen you need to function optimally.
Magnesium reduces cramping
Magnesium helps relaxing muscles all over the body. That’s why athletes have been using it for decades to improve recovery.
How does it relax muscles?
Magnesium competes with other minerals that stimulate contraction in your muscular cells.
When you flush your muscles with magnesium, it binds to spots where calcium, which stimulates contraction, could have binded. As a result, your muscle is naturally less contracted.
So next time you feel stiff during PMS, remember that magnesium is the answer.
Magnesium fights insomnia
A study revealed that women who experience poor sleep during PMS have lower levels of magnesium.
According to a study made on rats, a magnesium-deficient diet could cause insomnia.
So how can magnesium contribute to your sleep?
Magnesium reduces anxiety and relaxes your muscles. That alone can help you get your Zzzs.
Magnesium has also direct effects on sleep, which are not fully elucidated yet. Many studies focus on the influence of magnesium on sleep metrics.
For instance, magnesium supplementation may change the quality of your sleep by extending the “slow wave sleep” phase.
This phase is important for memory consolidation and brain tissue healing. Want to wake up with a brand new brain every morning? Take some magnesium!
Tip: take magnesium in the evening, an hour before going to bed to enjoy its sleep enhancing benefits
To summarize, magnesium can help you fight many of the worst symptoms of PMS.
Magnesium helps in a variety of ways, by improving your mood, relaxing your body, improving your sleep, protecting your brain and de-bloating your tummy.
Magnesium helps your body cope with stress, and the more stress you experience, the more magnesium you need. This could explain why women with PMS have lower magnesium during their luteal phase.
Additionally, it has almost no side effects, is cheap, and available over the counter.
Remember to choose a magnesium with a good absorption rate and to combine it with vitamin B6.
If magnesium has helped you, tell us your story in the comments section !