It’s easy these days to get caught on a treadmill of frenetic activity that you can’t get off until you hit the burnout button. Then you crash into a heap of fatigue that seems impossible to recover from. Your body feels heavy, you want to sleep but can’t, and you lose your mojo and enthusiasm to get anything done.
What is happening here is a crisis resulting from stress, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposures, or excessive workloads, which has severely depleted magnesium reserves. As magnesium is an essential component of the electrical nervous system, it’s like running out of spark plugs so there is nothing to ignite the engine to burn the fuel and perform tasks. It’s like unplugging your battery power. If you don’t have enough electrical ‘juice’ running through your system, it will slow down accordingly.
The body’s electrical system relies on sufficient water and electrolytes to overcome fatigue
The main electrolytes involved in our cells’ electrical charge and conductivity are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. These are ‘cations’, which means they have a positive charge looking to join up with the opposite, that is, an anion which has a negative charge. They find each other, connect and become a stable neutral molecule by sharing electrons. The most common anion electrolyte in the body that joins up with the main cation electrolytes is chloride, thus forming; sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride – all electrolyte salts.
The most prolific electrolytes inside cells are potassium and magnesium, whilst sodium and calcium exist mainly in the extra-cellular spaces. Potassium and magnesium are essential to help regulate cell transport systems, hydration and fluidity, as well as heart rhythm. Potassium deficiency symptoms are not likely until magnesium is first in short supply. This is because magnesium guards the cell gateways and helps the membrane to contain the potassium.
Excessive stress can cause increasing loss of magnesium via the kidneys. If there is not enough magnesium available to facilitate recovery, the charge of the cell membrane can continue to depolarise, causing potassium loss, as well as allowing excess sodium and calcium ions to enter cells and over-stimulate or dehydrate them.
The ebb and flow of electrolyte charge
Adrenalin surges during stress change the cell membrane charge potential, loosening the channels so that magnesium drops out and calcium moves in for contraction of muscle fibres, or for neuronal firing in the brain. The recovery phase involves magnesium and hydration moving back in and displacing the calcium so that muscle fibres can expand and relax again. Because magnesium can dampen down adrenalin and control calcium, it is extremely important to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and muscles to get adequate magnesium.
The body can store extra magnesium in cell reservoirs for later use, and relies on reserves to compensate during times of stress or poor diet. 99% of magnesium in the body is stored in the muscle and bone tissues. Only 1% is in the blood. Tissue cells can sacrifice stored magnesium to ensure the blood levels are in the normal range, as blood levels are crucial for the cardiovascular system. This is why blood tests are not an accurate indicator of whole-body magnesium status.
Calcium overload is called hypercalcemia and causes excessive ‘squeezing’ and cramps, muscle spasms, and tremors. It is a common sign of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium controls how the calcium is used in the body, such as for the strengthening of bones and teeth. Without enough magnesium too much calcium can leech out of bones and become free calcium, causing havoc. Free calcium can settle in the arterial walls, or kidney tubules, which then lose flexibility.
Magnesium is essential for mitochondrial production of our electrical energy currency ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Magnesium deficiency is the hallmark of metabolic syndrome, excessive fatigue and burnout, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Low magnesium means that metabolism suffers, resulting in chronic fatigue states, brain fog and lack of concentration, circulation issues and not enough oxygen delivery to cells. Sugar sensitivity increases as a direct consequence of magnesium deficiency, triggering states of acidosis and hypoxia.
As the food supply is becoming more magnesium-depleted due to industrial farming methods and over-processing, and we also lose excessive magnesium under stress, most people need to supplement with extra magnesium in order to help cope with the stresses, and recover from excessive fatigue.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the magnesium supplement choices available, but if you want to go down the natural food pathway, then you can’t go past magnesium chloride (salt) flakes to supplement naturally. You can add it to drinking water and you can also soak it up via skin.
Caution is advised with diuretic therapies which can cause the kidneys to excrete too much water and too many alkalising minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
Water retention (oedema) in ankles can be a sign of dehydration and electrolyte deficiencies. As tissue cells become overloaded with waste toxins causing acidosis, and there is not enough water available for flushing, the brain signals to the kidneys to hold back sodium which holds back water in the interstitial tissues, pooling generally in the ankles.
To support the body in this case, it is recommended by practitioners to cleanse, alkalise and rehydrate, and to do more in the movement of blood circulation, as well as to excrete wastes via skin perspiration. Proper hydration requires electrolytes in the drinking water. You can make a more hydrating and alkaline drinking water by adding magnesium chloride flakes and sodium bicarbonate to filtered water.
The most bioavailable form of magnesium
Natural magnesium chloride is the type of magnesium mostly found inside our cells. It is an intracellular cation. When you swallow other magnesium compounds they need to be first digested in the stomach with stomach acid so the body can extract magnesium and ionise it by joining it up with chloride. The magnesium that ends up inside cells has relied on assimilation with chloride for cellular access – regardless of how you ingested the magnesium in foods and supplements in the first place.
Opposites attract: Magnesium chloride is ionic as a molecule comprising magnesium, which had two spare electrons in the outer shell that found two single chlorine atoms which had a free electron space in their outer shells. It’s like a docking system. The magnesium and chloride attract and join up to share the same two electrons.
It is said that when magnesium gives up its two spare electrons in the outer shell like this, it then has two spare protons in the nucleus exerting a positive charge, which is symbolised by the 2+.The positive charge thus makes it a ’cation’, whereas the negative charge of the chloride makes it an ‘anion’. Chloride happens to be the most abundant negatively charged ion in the body.
Note that the magnesium atom by itself is perfectly balanced and neutral with 12 electrons, 12 protons and 12 neutrons. Its atomic number is 12. But it has to have the chloride component to get cell access. Thus, magnesium chloride is ideal for this purpose without requiring any further digestion.
Food grade is better than industrial grade magnesium chloride
Industrial grade magnesium chloride can be harvested from salt water of the Dead Sea, dessert salt pans, shallow lakes, or waste salts from desalination plants. It can have toxic metals or chemical residues from agricultural runoff, mining operations, fracking, PFOS (fluoride) fire-fighting chemicals, or sewage effluent leaks if near high density populations. If the magnesium chloride is mined out of a mountain rock cavity using solution mining techniques, the original source may be very pristine, but the process of mining can also introduce chemicals.
Industrial grade magnesium chloride is widely used to process magnesium metal alloys, for de-icing operations, to clean the air from dust in mining operations (because when the solution is sprayed in the air dust particles stick to it and drop to the ground), for aquaculture, aquariums and making bath salts.
Food grade magnesium chloride however is rarer, because, not only should the original salt water source be pristine, but the salt water needs to be harvested naturally from an open-air salt water source by siphoning and piping to dehydration tanks, so that no chemicals are introduced.
Food grade magnesium chloride (also called Nigari salt in Japan) is widely used by food manufacturers to make tofu, to remineralise filtered drinking water, and for use by pharmaceutical companies to further process into pharmaceutical grade which can be injected into the blood as a medicine.
The food grade magnesium chloride flakes that Elektra Magnesium uses are derived from open air salt water lakes 3,000m above sea level in the Tibetan mountain plateau. There are no added solvents or chemicals. They just pump the salt water down to the evaporation tanks. The more the salt water is evaporated, the more the sodium (NaCl) rises to the top of the brine and forms a crusty layer. The sodium chloride salt is then skimmed off and further refined to make table salt. The dehydration process continues until the remaining liquid brine, which is a thick salty slurry called ‘bischofite’, starts to form crystalline flakes.
This salt is called magnesium chloride hexahydrate. The chemical notation is MgCl2.6H20. It is comprised half of water molecules in a six-sided (hexahydrate) crystalline formation, with the balance being magnesium chloride 47-48%, plus about 2% residual trace minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, boron, silica, strontium etc., a mineral package a-la-Nature!
Elektra Magnesium flakes are also further tested by an Australian laboratory to ensure there are no mercury nor lead contaminants, and that they comply with the certified food grade international standard.
Why Does Magnesium Oil Feel Sticky and Irritating?
Magnesium oil is formed when magnesium chloride flakes are dissolved in extra water (rehydrated) until a slippery viscose texture is achieved (usually between 30 and 70% concentration in the salt water solution). The skin’s lipid barrier is a natural water repellent, so magnesium chloride salt in strong solution can sit on the top of skin for too long, feeling sticky and irritating.
Soaking in a magnesium bath facilitates magnesium absorption because the hot water helps to open the skin channels, and the concentration of magnesium to water is relatively low.
When applying a strong magnesium chloride solution directly to skin, transdermal absorption is easier when natural lipids (fats) are also present, because the skin loves fats and absorbs them readily (together with the magnesium ions) until the reservoir is full. Therefore the condition and hydration of the skin greatly influences the absorbability of magnesium.
Elektra Magnesium skin and muscle care range stands out from the crowd because of the unique proprietary method of fusion of magnesium chloride salt with natural plant oils, butters and extracts without the use of petrochemical derivatives or synthetic emulsifiers and preservatives. Elektra Magnesium products offer comfortable skin-friendly ways to supplement magnesium and recover from stress and fatigue, catering for a variety of skin types, needs and age groups from babies to elderly.
As the epidermis reaches full saturation well before any risk of overdose, the body is always in control. You can use as much as you like. The skin simply takes up the magnesium it needs in its own time, and receives additional antiaging and skin conditioning benefits.
By Sandy Sanderson © 2022 www.elektramagnesium.com.au
REFERENCE RE DIURETICS: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3732091/ “Hypokalaemia and hypomagnesaemia can be induced by the same mechanisms and are often clinically correlated with one another. The reported incidence of hypomagnesaemia is greater than that of hypokalaemia; a significant correlation also appears to exist between the plasma concentrations of magnesium and potassium. A significant inter-relationship between the plasma concentrations of magnesium and potassium and the evidence for a critical role of magnesium in the genesis of cardiac arrhythmias would support the proposal that magnesium should be routinely measured in situations, such as diuretic therapy, that are potentially associated with hypokalaemia.”