If you love your brain and want to take care of it, pop some magnesium. According to neuroscientist and author Tara Swart, MD, your body's natural magnesium store gets used up when you're stressed. That can lead you to feel sluggish and burned out by your nine-to-five grind—and in need of more than an essential oil to get back on track.
"[Magnesium helps] our brain’s higher executive functions work more effectively, allowing us to think more creatively and flexibly, regulate our emotions, and make rational decisions."
Just like you'd boost your protein intake when trying to build muscle mass, you want to put magnesium back into your body when your brain is working overtime. Leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are high in magnesium, but Dr. Swart says that it's actually more effective to take a powder or capsule every night.
Boosting your magnesium intake reduces your cortisol levels (AKA the stress hormone), helping you go from frazzled to calm—super useful for when these strategies for de-stressing at your desk don't leave you feeling optimally Zen.
"Our brain’s higher executive functions are able to work more effectively," Dr. Swart says, "allowing us to think more creatively and flexibly, regulate our emotions, and make rational decisions."
And that first rational decision might be to pick up some magnesium on the way home.
Here are 3 magnesium options to kick your brain into high gear.
Shop the mineral supplement
Originally published September 15, 2017; updated May 25, 2018.
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