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THE Magnesium-Calcium Relationship and Why It Matters For Muscle Health

Dealing with muscle pain, cramps and spasms is a huge energy drain. I have lived with this kind of chronic pain in the past for years and it literally sucks the joy out of life. 

Listen to this blog post share on the podcast; episode #76 : Find A Joy To Be Me on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher or Spotify

The same is true for many of my clients. Clients who experience not only muscle tightness and pain, but cramps and spasms. No amount of body work can correct a muscle cramping issue that is due to a mineral imbalance. 

One of the biggest mineral imbalances we are collectively dealing with today is between calcium and magnesium. Collectively we are dealing with an excess of calcium and a deficiency of magnesium. There are many reasons for this. Our depleted soil for one thing. Calcium fortified foods have been around for many decades, yet nothing has been done to rectify our magnesium deficient soil, water and food. This creates an imbalance in the calcium and magnesium ratio in favor of calcium, but this is not a good thing for our bodies. 

Calcium is regulated and controlled by magnesium. 

Magnesium is a key mineral for muscle health and performance. It aids in the relaxation of muscles, protein synthesis for muscle recovery and repair, and it helps to prevent lactic acid buildup.

 Calcium to magnesium ratios in the body should be 1:1 for optimum health, not more calcium to magnesium like we've heard over the years. However,  because magnesium is excreted every 12 hours, and the body is unable to excrete excess calcium, the ratio very easily becomes imbalanced.

Excess calcium is often stored in the muscles, causing tension, tightness, cramping, and spasm. Unfortunately, this is true even when it comes to our body’s most important muscle, the heart.

No one should ever take calcium without magnesium, In fact, I don't recommend taking a calcium supplement before tracking your dietary intake. Most people can get enough calcium dietarily, but not enough magnesium. Magnesium, on the other hand, can be taken supplementally daily even without a calcium supplement.

Magnesium, Muscle Cramps & Spasms

Cramps and spasms in the muscles are likely a direct result of excess calcium. That’s because cramping of the muscles is often caused by calcification or a build-up of calcium in the muscle and soft tissues. Without sufficient magnesium to balance calcium, calcium will rush into the cell and flood it – causing a constant state of tension and rigidity. This manifests as muscle cramps, spasms and pain.

I've seen thousands of hair tissue mineral analysis graphs that display this calcium to magnesium imbalance. I know that once my clients get their magnesium reserves built back up and balance it with their calcium intake their muscles relax. I've even had clients tell me they don't need to go to the chiropractor as much (check out this IGTV video). 

When people pay more attention the magnesium and calcium balance in their diet and add a magnesium supplement their muscles issues disappear. So long as they are also staying well hydrated with filtered water and electrolytes as well as getting enough movement in daily. 

How to Balance Calcium & Magnesium 

A good amount of calcium to aim for daily through the diet is 600 mg according the WHO recommendations. Which you will quickly see is quite easy to obtain through a whole foods diet.

However, in order to absorb our minerals, calcium specifically, many moving parts must be working well. Each mineral has its own unique metabolism in the body.

To fully assimilate and use the calcium you eat, you also need to be well hydrated, consume essential fatty acids, get your sunshine D, have adequate stomach acid production, have other minerals on board in balance; especially magnesium. As well as good systemic function, the more metabolic disarray in the body, the more calcium can’t be metabolized or stored properly.

In light of this, the amount of calcium we actually absorb from our food is far less than what we actually consume. So the WHO recommendation of 600 mg daily is assumed to be all that is actually absorbed and used properly. This means higher amounts will be more adequate to offset the loss of what we do not absorb. That shared we do not want the amount to be higher than our consumption of magnesium. Without the magnesium on board we won’t be able to get the calcium where it needs to go, especially inside the cells.

Depending on the food source of calcium one consumes; dairy or primarily vegetables an additional 20-30% of calcium can be safely consumed while one is working on improving their digestion and absorption. The upper limit I recommend adults aim for is around 800 mg daily, and possibly up to 1200 mg.

However, this means you must get at least the same amount of magnesium per day. If you don't want to have muscle cramps, this balance is critical. 

The RDA recommendation for magnesium as it is TOO LOW for optimal health and well being. Instead I will refer to a dose discovered by Dr. Mildred Seelig’s research that numerous other magnesium/mineral experts also go by for optimal health. Dr. Mildred Seelig is a world-renowned researcher who has studied the role of magnesium in health and disease for more than forty years.

Dr. Seelig’s research concluded that men and women of all ages would benefit from a higher daily intake (than the RDA’s recommendation) of at least 7-10 mg/kg of magnesium. 1 kg = 2.2 pounds. So for simplicity I will go by 5 mg per pound of body weight or 500 mg for every 100 lbs. 

If you were to track these two minerals in your diet, you would likely quickly see it's far easier to get plenty of calcium than it is magnesium. Then many people may take calcium or a multi vitamin that has double the calcium to magnesium.

As well, many people are mega dosing vitamin D. Vitamin D's job is to regulate calcium in the blood, so it will force the calcium out of the blood and into tissue or bone. By the way, vitamin D and calcium both require magnesium to be properly regulated and utilized in the body. 

Any excess that can't be used has to get deposited somewhere so it ends up as a calcium deposit in the body. Besides depositing in the arteries, excess calcium is causing gall stones, kidney stones, heel spurs, fibromyalgia calcification and breast tissue calcification. 

This mineral pair is one to really focus on to avoid muscle cramps, spasms and SO much more! 

Mineral balancing is so key, it helps us to avoid serious health complications when we know how to approach minerals properly. This is a big reason I created my program: REMINERALIZE. To teach people how to approach minerals with balance in mind to enjoy the benefits and avoid all the health problems that ensue when we don't get our minerals right! 

If you want to recover or rebuild from wherever you are currently in your health journey - I invite you to join: REMINERALIZE. 

You'll soon be on your way to igniting back the spark you lost, who knows when, and get back to enjoying your life with newfound energy! 

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