Magnesium 101: Do you need Magnesium supplements?

With over 404 Million searches, #magnesium has been the talk of the internet (specifically Tik Tok – see here!) Creators, articles, and people around the world are stating that supplementing magnesium has “changed their life,” “made their skin clear and helped their digestion” and “gave them the best sleep of their life.” Is this just another internet health trend or is there some truth to magnesium’s benefits? Read below for a Dietitian’s evidence-based take on magnesium!

First off, what is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral and component of our bone that has many functions in our body. Magnesium aids in regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and building proteins for strong bones! A vital component for our health, but is found in many of the foods you eat daily!

The recommended daily dietary intake of magnesium varies from person to person, as well as age. Working with a doctor or dietitian will ensure you’re getting the right amount for you and your body! Generally speaking though, most women need 310-320 mg daily (which would increase in pregnancy) and males need 400-420 mg daily. While most magnesium needs are met through diet, taking high doses from supplements or medications could cause nausea, abdominal cramping or diarrhea. 

How would I know if I was magnesium deficient?

Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies worldwide, with a range of symptoms from:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Digestion issues
  • Anxiety and Depression

If you think you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, I highly recommend getting blood or urine work done with your primary care physician or a dietitian! While it won’t cure all of your health problems or concerns, a licensed professional may prescribe magnesium supplementation or a magnesium-rich diet to combat symptoms. 

Foods Rich in Magnesium 

Fortunately, there are many yummy foods high in magnesium that can naturally elevate your magnesium levels tremendously, without the need of supplementation. Here the top foods high in magnesium:

  • Almonds (1 cup of almonds contains 247mg!!)
  • Popcorn
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Artichokes
  • Beef
  • Avocado 
  • Bananas (1 banana contains 32mg!) 
  • Black Beans
  • Green leafy vegetables 
  • Cashews
  • Some spices like coriander! 

Reasons to Supplement

Your physician or dietitian may recommend a magnesium supplement for the following reasons:

  • Depression and Anxiety 
  • Improved Digestion and Regularity
  • Blood Pressure regulation
  • Blood Sugar control (especially for those with Type 2 Diabetes)
  • Improved Quality of Sleep 
  • PCOS 

I know I need supplementation, which form is best?

It’s important to know that not every magnesium supplement is made the same! There are many forms of magnesium made for different reasons! Our liver also has to process all supplements that we take, so it’s important to not overload it with things we don’t need. Some multivitamins also contain magnesium – so check their first! 

See below for the top 4 types of magnesium supplements:

  • Magnesium Oxide: lower absorption, acts as a buffer and reduces stomach acid, can stimulate bowels 
  • Magnesium Glycinate: Aides in deep and restorative sleep, promotes relaxation, well absorbed and well tolerated (safest option for correcting long-term deficiency)
  • Magnesium L-Threonate: One of the most absorbable forms, some potential for brain health benefits
  • Magnesium Citrate: Among most bioavailable forms, commonly used for low Mg levels, can stimulate bowels

Not sure if you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet, or are curious about how to start your health and nutrition journey?

Take this FREE quiz (takes less than 1 minute to take) and you’ll learn what Nourished Eating Personality you are, receive guidance on how to build balanced eating habits that are realistic so you can feel good, and how to start feeling in control of your food choices, at all times! 

Supplementation can be tricky and you deserve to feel confident and equipped when it comes to your health! This quiz is a great place to start! Don’t forget to DM on Instagram your results, I can’t wait to support you!

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