Why You Might Need Magnesium Supplements and How They Can Benefit You

It is estimated that 80 percent of adults have a magnesium deficiency, making it one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults.

Certain foods and beverages can strip your body of its magnesium through excretion such as: Refined sugars and caffeine-containing drinks. Certain medications can also lower your magnesium such as: Diuretics, asthma medications, heart medications, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement therapy.

Problems caused by lack of magnesium:

  • Tooth cavities.
  • Restless leg syndrome.
  • Kidney and liver damage.
  • eclampsia and preeclampsia
  • Worsening of PMS symptoms.
  • A depressed immune system.
  • Muscle weakness and cramps.
  • Insomnia and restless sleeping.
  • Eclampsia and preeclampsia.
  • Mood swings and behavioral disorders.
  • Nutrient deficiencies such as lack of: Vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium.
  • Damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease.

What does magnesium help?

Magnesium can help the following:

  • Can help increase energy.
  • Calming nerves and anxiety.
  • Can help improve heart health.
  • Relieving muscle aches and spasms.
  • Can help prevent migraine headaches.
  • Can aid with insomnia and promote relaxation.
  • Can aid digestion and help relieve constipation.
  • Regulating the body’s levels of calcium, potassium and sodium.

How can you get more magnesium?

One of the most efficient ways is to consider taking magnesium supplements, as well as, eating magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis.

What are the best kind of magnesium supplements?

It’s necessary for magnesium to bind to a molecule to be stable. For this reason, magnesium supplements differ depending on the molecule the magnesium is bonded to.

The most common bonding agents are oxide, citrate, glycinate, sulfate or amino acid chelate.

Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Chelate: are good all-around choices for those with magnesium deficiencies, as well as, good choices if taking supplements for relaxation and nerve-transmission related purposes.

Magnesium citrate: increases the rate of absorption, can have a laxative effect and is found in some laxatives. It’s good for improving digestion and preventing constipation.

Magnesium Orotate: is good for heart-related functions.

Magnesium Sulphate and Magnesium Chloride: are most commonly found in topical treatments such as lotions, gels, and oils. Magnesium L-threonate, a newer form, is aimed at memory benefits.

Considerations when taking magnesium supplements

It’s important to note that magnesium is poorly absorbed by the body, only between 35%-45%. Something to consider is that both calcium and magnesium compete for absorption. So if you are also taking calcium supplements together with magnesium, they will both compete and you will absorb less of each.

Oral magnesium supplements are best taken on an empty stomach.

Magnesium also absorbs well through the skin, perhaps better than through the digestive tract, making topical application of magnesium-based lotions and oils effective (magnesium chloride), especially if one of your goals is taking magnesium for muscle pain or relaxation, or calming purposes. Magnesium can also be taken through Epson salt baths (magnesium sulfate).

More information

You can find out more information about how much magnesium you need daily, what kinds of foods are rich in magnesium and much more by visiting the US National Institutes of Health page on magnesium.