How Long Does It Take for Magnesium to Work for Anxiety?
If you suffer from anxiety, you may have heard about the potential benefits of taking magnesium supplements. But how long does it take for magnesium to work on anxiety? The answer is twofold. Magnesium, a fast-acting nutrient, can start to produce benefits in as little as a week, however, to ensure maximum results, consistency, and time, are key.
Understanding Magnesium and Anxiety
Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people around the world. While there are many different treatments available for anxiety, some choose to turn to natural remedies and supplements to help manage their symptoms. Magnesium is one such supplement that has been shown to have potential benefits for those struggling with anxiety.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that shows up in hundreds of functions throughout our bodies. From the reduction of anxiety to improved sleep, there are many different ways it contributes to our overall betterment. Despite this, many people do not get enough magnesium from their diets and may benefit from supplementation.
The Connection Between Magnesium and Anxiety
Research has suggested that there may be a link between magnesium intake and anxiety levels as magnesium is thought to have a calming effect on the brain and nervous system, which can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
One study found that individuals with higher levels of magnesium in their blood were less likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, while another found that magnesium supplementation was effective in reducing symptoms in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder.
While the exact mechanism behind magnesium’s calming effects on the brain and nervous system is not fully understood, it is thought to be related to magnesium’s ability to regulate the release of stress hormones like cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress.
Beyond its ability to help with anxiousness and its corresponding symptoms, magnesium is also beneficial for our general health, which as many know, can be a huge factor in stress levels.
How to Incorporate Magnesium into Your Diet
Know that you are aware of the magnitude of magnesium needed for our bodies, you are probably thinking, how can I get more of it? Naturally, one can find dozens of magnesium-rich foods in local grocery stores, such as:
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
- Dark chocolate
If you feel you are already adding a lot of these options into your diet, yet still suspect you may have lower-than-ideal levels of magnesium, supplements can offer a surefire way to bridge the gap.
Factors Affecting Magnesium Absorption
In order to maximize magnesium supplement benefits, you will want to make sure your body is absorbing as many of the nutrients as possible. The effectiveness of supplementation can be influenced by a number of factors.
Dosage and Form of Magnesium
The dosage and form of magnesium you take can impact how well your body absorbs it. Many people are not aware that there are various forms of magnesium, some of which are better suited than others. Take, for example, magnesium oxide, which is an ideal option for those who are looking for a smaller boost, as this magnesium make up is less absorbable, whereas its counterparts, magnesium citrate, and magnesium glycinate are considered two highly absorbable forms.
Determining the best form of magnesium for your needs will depend on a few different factors, and should be discussed with your primary healthcare provider.
Individual Differences and Lifestyle Factors
Individual differences and lifestyle factors can greatly affect the magnesium absorption rate. Aage, genetics, and certain health conditions will ultimately be the reason your body can easily (or not) absorb magnesium.
To ensure you are not counteracting yourself when trying to boost magnesium supplements, reducing your stress levels, alcohol consumption and more are generally recommended.
Interactions with Other Nutrients and Medications
Magnesium can interact with other nutrients and medications, which can impact the absorption and overall effectiveness of both the supplement and your necessary medication.
If you were also taking a calcium supplement, let’s say, your body will find itself in competition, reducing the reduction of both nutrients. Directly, or indirectly, calcium will fight with magnesium at a cellular level for absorption and transportation throughout the body, which is why it is suggested to take the supplements at different times.
How Magnesium Helps Alleviate Anxiety
Magnesium may help alleviate anxiety symptoms in a few different ways.
The Role of Magnesium in the Nervous System
As we have learned, Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of the nervous system by assisting in the regulation of the activity of neurotransmitters, chemicals that transmit signals between nerve cells in the brain and the body. Magnesium works by binding to certain receptors in the brain and regulating the release of neurotransmitters.
A properly functioning nervous system is essential for maintaining emotional stability and reducing feelings of anxiety, regulating your mood, behavior, and emotions. This calming effect will then promote a sense of calmness and relaxation.
Magnesium’s Impact on Stress Hormones
Stress and anxiety can cause an increase in the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can further exacerbate feelings of anxiety. While necessary in certain situations, cortisol helps the body respond to stress by increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system, and increasing heart rate and blood pressure, elevated and extended periods, can lead to anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Magnesium has the ability to help regulate cortisol levels by reducing the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, aka the body’s stress response system, thus reducing the levels and extent of the hormone.
Improving Sleep Quality with Magnesium
It is no secret that individuals with anxiety often struggle with sleep disorders, which, inadvertently, can worsen anxiety symptoms. Magnesium has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration, which can help reduce anxiety levels.
We have been told our entire lives that sleep is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, and that during sleep that the body repairs and rejuvenates itself. Lack of sleep, especially if an ongoing issue, can lead to a variety of issues, both physical and mental, including anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment.
How Long Does It Take for Magnesium to Work on Anxiety?
While there are various treatment options available, some individuals turn to magnesium supplementation to help manage their anxiety symptoms. But how long does it take for magnesium to work on anxiety? Let’s explore the short-term and long-term effects of magnesium supplementation on anxiety.
While individual results may vary, some individuals may experience short-term relief from anxiety symptoms within a few days to a week of beginning magnesium supplementation. Magnesium is known to have a calming effect on the body and can help reduce feelings of nervousness and tension, however, to reap the most benefits the nutrient offers, ongoing commitment will be needed.
Long-term effects of magnesium supplementation on anxiety may take several weeks or even months to become noticeable, which is why it is important to take magnesium consistently over a prolonged period of time in order to see these long-term benefits.
While waiting for the results to fully kick in, taking additional steps to care for your mental and physical health is the best course of action. From healthy eating to stress reduction and physical activity, there are plenty of things that anxiety sufferers can do to improve how they feel.
When to Expect Results
As mentioned earlier, the timeline for seeing results from magnesium supplementation can vary based on a number of factors. Individuals’ current magnesium levels, the severity of their anxiety symptoms, and their overall health and lifestyle habits will likely be the major factors at play.
Final Thoughts on Magnesium and Anxiety
Now that you have a firm grasp on how magnesium may have potential benefits for alleviating symptoms of anxiety, you can see why the nutrient is becoming increasingly popular with those looking for natural remedies to alleviate symptoms.
If you are looking for a top-quality magnesium supplement or more information on how you can support your wellness journey, visit our Health Blog!