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Nutrition for Athletes – 5 Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

According to the NHS, Magnesium is a metallic element mainly found in the bones and is essential to life. It helps turn the food we eat into energy and make sure the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, work normally.

Symptomatic magnesium deficiency is uncommon in otherwise-healthy people, as the kidneys limit the elimination of this mineral through urine, according to the US National Institute of Health.

However, if you habitually consume low levels of magnesium or suffer an excessive loss of the element because of certain health conditions (like Type 2 Diabetes), chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications, this can lead to magnesium deficiency.

magnesium deficiencySource: Rx Photography
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If you’re lacking magnesium, these are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:


Magnesium is the essential mineral that transforms the food we eat into energy. It does it by activating an enzyme called ATP which, when broken, releases energy for all muscle contraptions. Magnesium deficiency can limit the process of energy production, leading to fatigue and lethargy.


Systems across the body rely on magnesium, a lack of it will hinder more than 300 chemical processes that are vital to sustain basic human health and function, such as nerve function and bone heath.

According to the University Health News, magnesium is necessary to adequately absorb calcium, which is crucial to bone health, therefore, a lack of magnesium can lead to weakens.


According to the Journal of Neural Transmission, you need magnesium for your muscles to relax. Cramping, stiff, or tight muscles can all be helped with adequate magnesium stores.


Nausea can have many causes and may not necessarily be associated with your intake of magnesium, but it is one of the early symptoms of deficiency. The mineral is responsible for chemical reactions that regulate blood pressure which, when affected, can lead to nausea, headaches and vomiting.


Magnesium aids the synthesis of proteins, fats and nucleic acids. Proteins are known to induce satiety and increase the movement of gastrointestinal hormones from one point to another. Without the power to unify proteins, people with magnesium deficiency might suffer from appetite loss.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium in not produced by the body, but you can find wide stores of this mineral in a large number of plant and animal foods. These are all good sources:

  • green leafy vegetables – such as spinach
  • nuts
  • brown rice
  • bread (especially wholegrain)
  • fish
  • meat
  • dairy foods
salmon magnesium deficiencySource: tycoon

According to the NHS, you should be able to get all the magnesium you need from your daily diet, presuming this is a healthy and balanced one.

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