Go To: Top 10 Magnesium Supplements
What is Magnesium and Where Does it Come From?
Magnesium is a chemical element and minerals that is found in large quantities throughout the human body, playing a crucial role in all manner of processes and systemic functions for the maintenance of health.
This mineral can be sourced from a number of different foods and supplements, and we will explore this in greater depth below, but suffice to say it is important to ensure you are consuming enough on a daily basis if you want to perform at your best both in and out of the gym.
What Types of Magnesium are There?
There are a number of different types of magnesium available in supplemental form, including Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate.
Perhaps the most commonly used form of supplemental magnesium is Magnesium Oxide because it contains a large amount of magnesium on a per-weight basis.
Interestingly enough, Magnesium Oxide has also been reported to be the least bioavailable form of magnesium, meaning that although it contains the largest amount of raw elemental magnesium, this magnesium is provided in a form that the body is poorly equipped to absorb and utilize.
How does Magnesium Work and What are the Benefits?
Magnesium and phosphate ions interact in a biological context, forming an essential stage in the production and maintenance of life at the most basic chemical level.
There are more than 300 different enzymes involved in DNA synthesis and ATP production that are dependent upon magnesium ions as a catalyst, so it is easy to see just how essential magnesium is to life.
Related: Top 10 Potassium Supplements
Who Can Benefit from Using Magnesium and How?
The vast majority of people probably have little need for the addition of a magnesium supplement into their diet, providing of course that they are already obtaining enough magnesium from whole food sources (see below for magnesium-containing foods).
Having said that, magnesium plays a specific role in the treatment of magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia, a condition that approximately 2.5 – 15% of the population suffer from.
Other than this, magnesium is commonly used in the treatment of eclampsia, and in patients suffering from ventricular arrhythmia.
Heavy alcohol use can also result in the depletion or a deficiency of magnesium, so you may want to consider keeping a magnesium supplement handy if you are planning a big night out on the town.
Do Any Foods Contain Magnesium?
Dietary sources of magnesium include:
- Nuts and Seeds;
- Fibrous vegetables;
- Leafy Greens; and
- Whole Grains
Does Magnesium Have any Side Effects?
There is very little chance of you experiencing any kind of adverse side-effects simply from consuming dietary sources of magnesium alone; however, overdosing with supplemental magnesium is entirely possible if your kidneys are not functioning optimally.
For this reason it is advised that you use supplemental magnesium with caution if you have any past or pre-existing renal disorder.
Even those with correctly functioning kidneys may potentially experience overdose of magnesium if it is not used responsibly, so always read the label and ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for any magnesium supplement that you purchase.
Sentinels associated with excessive magnesium consumption include diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, imbalances or deficiencies of other minerals in the body, coma, and potentially even a cardiac arrest.
As with any dietary supplement or manipulation, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.
Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.
Do I Need to Use a Magnesium Supplement If My Multivitamin Contains Magnesium?
If you have determined that you need to use a magnesium supplements then you should have done so by using your own due diligence and hopefully through speaking to your doctor or physician.
As we mentioned above, most people don’t need really need to use a stand-alone magnesium supplement because they will be obtaining more than enough from dietary sources (and in this case from a multivitamin supplement).
If you are still not convinced then be sure to check both the quantity of magnesium in your multivitamin supplement and the form in which it is provided; this will give you a better understanding of just how much magnesium you are receiving as well as its level of bioavailability.
Is It True That Magnesium Is More Effective When Combined with Calcium?
There are many claims made by supplement manufacturers that magnesium is more effective when used in conjunction with calcium, and this is why we see so many calcium-magnesium or calmag supplements on the market.
The most commonly recommended combination of magnesium and calcium is in a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 but there is actually no scientific data to back up any of these claims.
For now the most important thing is that you are simply using a magnesium supplement, providing you actually need it in the first place.
Focus on using a more highly bioavailable form of magnesium such as Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, and this will ensure you are receiving a high enough dose to reap the benefits that this mineral has to offer.
How and When Should I Use Magnesium?
Exactly how and when you use in your magnesium supplement is going to be entirely dependent upon the type of magnesium that you decide to use.
For this reason it is advised that you refer to the manufacturers guidelines and follow them to the letter.
How Much Magnesium Should I Use?
The recommended daily value for magnesium intake is 270 mg for women and 300 mg for men.
Even so, you should always ensure that you follow the usage guidelines on any magnesium supplement that you purchase because magnesium comes in various forms, each with varying levels of bioavailability.
It is also worth mentioning that you may require more or less supplemental magnesium based on factors such as your existing diet, current health status, age, level of physical activity, and so on, so if you are in doubt please speak to your doctor or physician prior to using a magnesium supplement.
Choosing the Right Magnesium Supplement
There are countless types of magnesium supplement available on the market, each using various forms of magnesium in different dosages and accompanied by other ingredients.
If you would like to learn more about different magnesium supplements then be sure to check out our Top 10 Magnesium Supplements at the beginning of this article.
In this list we have ranked the best magnesium supplements based on factors such as user feedback, popularity, the quality of ingredients used, and the overall value for money that each product offers. With this information you should have everything you need to choose the right magnesium supplement for your needs and preferences.
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.