Does Taking Magnesium for Menstrual Cramps Actually Work?
Taking or adding magnesium to your diet is an easy and natural way you can help improve your menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms.
You may have already heard to use this natural superhero for other uses, such as for muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia, migraines, and IBS. Fortunately, for all women out there struggling with period cramps, it has been shown by medical and wellness pros that magnesium can all be used to ease PMS symptoms such as period cramps and hormone balance.
Period Cramps or not, magnesium can be a beneficial nutrient to supplement, and the chances are, you aren’t getting enough to start with. According to Dr. Lara Briden, author of Period Repair Manual, two-thirds of Americans have a magnesium deficiency. This can be detrimental for our period symptoms because it “increases the contractility of smooth muscle and level of prostaglandins, which are the inflammatory compounds that drive period pain.” Dr. Briden says magnesium is the most common supplement she recommends for periods.
What can it help with?
Research has found a direct link between menstrual migraines and magnesium as magnesium levels tend to be lower on our periods. Our hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, produced at higher levels during our period, cause our magnesium levels to lower. This can lead to migraines and headaches.
When we experience cramping we are experiencing the uterus muscles contracting. Magnesium can relax these muscles help reducing the intensity of these cramps. As stated above, a deficiency in magnesium can actually have a negative effect on our cramps as it increases the ability for our muscles to contract.
Magnesium has been found to help boost serotonin production which is one of our main mood-boosting hormones. Magnesium can convert tryptophan (an amino-acid) into serotonin which can help balance your mood, making our periods just a little more enjoyable. Additionally, magnesium can help prevent fatigue by creating a better nights sleep for you. It increases feelings of sleepiness and regulates body temperature.
How much magnesium should I take?
When looking for a magnesium supplement you should look for magnesium glycinate as it is more absorbable by the body and less likely to cause diarrhea. Try to stay away from magnesium oxide, hydroxide, and chloride. Although these are commonly available forms they are very harsh and can cause digestion issues. Unlike a pain reliever that works right away, you should take it every day as your body needs time to fully soak in the magnesium.
How to get more magnesium through food?
If taking supplements aren’t your thing you can also easily change your diet to get more magnesium. Eating more leafy greens like kale, spinach, and arugula, and nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts can help increase your magnesium levels. Additionally whole grains, quinoa black beans, and pumpkin seeds are all high in magnesium. Oh, I can’t forget to mention our favorite snack with magnesium; DARK CHOCOLATE! So next time you want to go to town on some chocolate during your period, you now have the perfect excuse.
For more info on how to naturally deal with your period cramps visit Mobility Tape For Her.