Here’s a not so shocking secret: I feel stressed out almost all the time. Specifically when I’m working on my computer for long periods of time — which sucks, considering I work in the digital realm — but more generally, I feel it at some point every day. Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint the source of my stress, and sometimes the smallest, most insignificant things can get to me. When I get super stressed out I get really anxious and irritable. I have really awful PMS and period cramps. I can’t fall asleep or stay asleep for more than 2 hours at a time (and no, I don’t have kids). Stress sucks, big time. And aside from packing it all in and moving to Hawaii with my husband to eat poke and surf all day, I had to find a magical solution to this nonsense. And I did.
It turns out, I have a magnesium deficiency. I’d love to tell you my story, but first, a few things to keep in mind:
1- I am not a doctor. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I had no desire to be in school for ten years and I have no desire to diagnose and/or cure you or your ailments. (Actually, I would love to cure you of whatever, but unfortunately, I’m not legally or educationally able to do so.) So, that being said, don’t get upset with what I say here. Also legally I need to tell you to please check our your magnesium levels with your actual doctor, naturopath or another health professional.
2- I’m not writing a research paper on this topic. Just sharing my own opinion and experience. You may disagree with what I say, and that’s ok. You’re allowed. You may be inspired by what I say, and that’s amazing. I hope it’s the latter. My point is, I will quote some things and supply some links, but I am not responsible for the research. I would hope that if you will do your own research to make sure any possible solutions are right for you. That being said…
3- What works for me may not work for you. Not everyone has had an amazing experience with supplementation. While this might be (and is) a lifesaver to me, turns out my sister just can’t stomach it. My mom loves it and uses it every night. One of my best friend’s just can’t quite get into it. More often than not I hear positive results from new users and I really hope that if you are reading this because you suffer from symptoms of magnesium deficiency, this product will work for you.
4- Natural Calm is sponsoring this post, but I reached out to them. It’s important that I tell you this because while the topic of this post is sponsored, the content, my opinion, and my positive experience with Natural Calm is not. I do not usually write posts that are this blunt about a product, but again, my experiences came first. It is my pleasure to share them with you.
Whew, glad that’s out of the way! Now, let me get to the good stuff.
About a year ago, I was given three Natural Calm Sample Packs as an afterthought. I wasn’t given it to test out and write a review, I was simply given one because someone had an extra and was going to throw them away. I HATE throwing things out, just ask my husband, lol.
They came with a pamphlet about the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency and the potential benefits of taking an oral supplement. The first thing I saw was something about PMS and painful periods. I was immediately intrigued having suffered from terrible cramps for 15+years. The second thing I noticed was a blurb about insomnia and restless sleep. That tends to go hand in hand with my period, so I thought, this seems to good to be true — I’m definitely going to test this out. I remember to this day the incredible sleep I had that night (I had a large glass of water with the raspberry lemon flavor mixed in). I also had significantly reduced pain in my cramps that cycle.
I started reading up on magnesium and the other symptoms I was experiencing that could be related to a deficiency. Mostly, I was so excited about finding something that helped with my cramps that I went out to whole foods and bought the XL bottle and shared it with my mom.
Okay, so what’s the deal with Magnesium, anyway? Here’s an excerpt from the Natural Calm website:
When we are under stress, our cells—which in their resting state contain magnesium—go through a change. Calcium, normally outside the cells, enters the cells and the calcium level becomes high. This is the action state in which a muscle cell, for example, will contract and tense the muscle. The magnesium then pushes the calcium out of the cell and the cell is again in its resting, relaxed state. Think of it as an on-off switch. The “off” is magnesium and the “on” is calcium.
According to certain medical professionals, over 80% of North Americans are magnesium deficient. So, how does this happen?
Some key factors include:
- Consumption of caffeine
- Consumption of sugar
- Consumption of processed food
- Consumption of alcohol
- Certain medications
Sound like anyone you know? How about everyone you know. Yikes.
How about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency* — any of these ring a bell?
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks
- Insomnia/Poor Quality Sleep
- Muscle Spasms/Restless Legs/Cramps/Twitching
- Fatigue/Low Energy
- Sore/Stiff Muscles
- Sugar Cravings
- PMS/Hormonal Imbalances
- Constipation/Indigestion/Acid Reflux
*According to Natural Vitality. Obviously, these symptoms are also associated with other conditions and are not limited to this list.
The easiest way to know if you have a magnesium deficiency is to get it checked out by your doctor or naturopath. If you find out that you have one, supplementation might be a good choice for you.
Personally, I have found that magnesium supplements have helped me with my anxiety, sleep, PMS, muscle spasms, and indigestion. The most important things to me are the anxiety and PMS benefits. Let me be clear — if you are in a shitty, stressful situation, this will not make that disappear (I wish!). But for situations where I am overwhelmed and really shouldn’t be, Natural Calm and a few minutes of mindful meditation work wonders. One year into using Natural Calm (in addition to some other changes) my cramps are consistently low maintenance, and for that, I would have paid a million dollars. But I didn’t have to. Magnesium citrate is a relatively inexpensive supplement, for which I am eternally grateful. I
Here are my favorite ways to include Natural Calm into my routine:
1- Drink it!
Mix Natural Calm into your smoothie, or have alone with a glass of water. I like to mix the original Magnesium+Calcium powder plus some vitamin D3 into my morning smoothie or take the raspberry lemon flavor in warm water about an hour before I go to bed.
2- Eat it!
Mix Natural Calm into your yogurt, oatmeal, ice pops etc. I will do this as a breakfast treat or as dessert. Check out Natural Calm’s Instagram page for some great recipes from other bloggers!
3- Wear it!
Well, sort of. Natural Calm also makes this topical spray: Magnesium Chloride Liquid Spray. I use this on days where my stomach is just not feeling the liquid. I love using this after a hot shower or bath.
I now travel with sample packs whenever I go on vacation and even keep some in my purse as an emergency relief. I want to give you a chance to try out this product, so I have partnered with Natural Calm for a giveaway!
One lucky person will win a grand prize of: 1 bottle of Raspberry Lemon Natural Calm and 2 weeks worth of individual packages so you can try the other flavors.
Five lucky people will win runner-up prizes of: 1 week’s worth of Natural Calm in individual packages.
Sorry, giveaway is closed! Congrats to our winners 🙂
Check out all the products they have to offer here: Natural Calm Products
Want more Calm? Check out my post on 4 Ways to Hack your Period.
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and I received product to test in exchange for my honest review. I have been using this product for 2 years now, and would continue using it regardless of my affiliation.*