Have you checked your magnesium levels lately? Stress, a poor diet and lack of vitamin D can strip the body of this vital mineral, together with excessive exercise and alcohol consumption, and Type 2 diabetes.

Magnesium keeps your heart, muscles and blood pressure in check, maintains strong bones and regulates body temperature. A lack of this mineral can leave your muscles aching, your body exhausted, and result in a loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Severe magnesium depletion can lead to muscle contractions, cramps, seizures and an abnormal heart beat, among various other side-effects.

The recommended daily dose of magnesium for men is 400-420mg, and 300-320mg for women, respectively, ideally derived from green, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Some brekkie cereals are also magnesium-fortified.

Magnesium comes in many forms – foods, sprays, and supplements.

A magnesium spray can be used to treat sore muscles. A magnesium sleep supplement can help to induce sleep, while magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) can be sprinkled into a hot bath after training, or before bed, to help ease cramps, and calm nerves.

To test your magnesium levels and determine which form is best for you, high-tail it to your GP today.