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Magnesium: health benefits & bioavailability in water

In addition to playing a crucial role in overall health and well being, magnesium can provide your body with an impressive list of health benefits. This is especially so considering that the mineral's cellular and molecular function impacts all systems of the body.

That said, it is important to note that if magnesium levels fall below a certain level, your body can be in some serious trouble. According the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of the US population is magnesium deficient. For adult males, the RDA (recommended daily intake) is 420mg and 320mg for women. Most American adults only intake about 270mg of magnesium a day, a number that is low enough to generate a substantial cumulative deficiency over time that correlates to serious illnesses. Magnesium has been named the "invisible deficiency" by experts because it's hard to spot, and can be more dangerous than expected.

Maintaining optimal magnesium levels requires eating more magnesium-rich foods, supplementing with vitamins, and finding other ways to up your mineral intake.


mineral-stripped water sources


Our ancestors were lucky enough to experience a world in which clean drinking water with a rich mineral composition was available directly from streams, rivers, and lakes. Over time, the human body became reliant on obtaining a large sum of its daily mineral needs from natural water sources. Flash forward to the twenty first century where water comes from the tap or a bottle. In response to endless suspicion about the quality of drinking water, companies have ramped up their efforts to remove contaminants like pesticides, nitrates, and lead from the water. During this process, modern water purification techniques like distillation, reverse osmosis, and deionization leave the water entirely devoid of essential and desirable minerals like calcium and magnesium. In cities with the highest magnesium water content, only 30% of the RDA can be obtained by drinking two liters of tap water a day. In most cities, only a meager 10-20% of the daily requirement can be obtained. That leaves 70–90% of the daily magnesium requirement that must be obtained from other sources.


The American Diet


Food is a principle source of magnesium. Leafy greens, nuts, fish, whole grains, real yogurt, and avocados are all foods where you can find high levels of magnesium. But the modern American diet, consisting of soda, refined sugar, cow's milk, caffeine, and alcohol is not only devoid of magnesium, but also inhibits the absorption of magnesium by forming phosphates, which binds to magnesium and calcium, making it an insoluble complex. Couple this with consistently poor dietary habits and you have a growing population of people that are plagued by magnesium deficiencies.


Good Old H20 To The Rescue


According to a report put together by the World Health Organization, water consumption offers a significant source of magnesium due to its high bioavailabilty (and absence of phosphates and oxalic acids). In other words, it's highly absorbable! 

Cancer researcher Dr. Elliott Lindell says that “magnesium in drinking water has a higher impact than that in food because it occurs as hydrated ions which are absorbed very efficiently (only about half of the mg from food is absorbed).” Other researchers are adamant that magnesium’s role in the body can only be fully utilized if the body is adequately hydrated.

An important thing to note (and a rather obvious one) is that the water has to first contain magnesium-- "well, of course!" you're saying. But as mentioned above, most bottled waters and many tap waters have been stripped of these essential minerals, making them "soft" waters. So make sure before you invest in a water source, that you are indeed getting a balanced mineral profile. 

Benefits of magnesium include improved digestion, nutrient absorption, energy levels and cell detoxification. Below is an exploration of the healthful effects optimal magnesium levels can have on the body: 



  1. Magnesium is essential for boosting exercise performance. Vast amounts of research have shown that people with an intensive exercise regime experience significant magnesium loss through urination and perspiration. 
  2. Magnesium plays a big role in normal muscle function because the mineral is actually responsible for muscle contraction. Not to mention, 35% of the body’s total magnesium stores can be found in muscle. 
  3. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of bone and teeth health. 50% of the body’s magnesium is found in bone. It is needed for the absorption, transport, and metabolism of calcium, regulating the parathyroid hormone that controls bone breakdown and activating the enzyme required for the production above. 
  4. Magnesium contributes to normal psychological functioning. 
  5. Magnesium enhances metabolic functioning.  


Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water is a naturally alkaline water that contains magnesium as well as calcium, potassium, and silica. 

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World Health Organization, "Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking-water"

US National Library of Medicine, "The bioavailability of magnesium in spinach and the effect of oxalic acid on magnesium utilization examined in diets of magnesium-deficient rats"

This entry was posted in Live Healthy