Millions of people around the world take magnesium supplements every day. But we still get questions like, "when should I take my magnesium?"
In this guide, we will answer all of your questions about magnesium and help you figure out when is the best time for you to take the supplements.
We will also discuss some of the benefits of taking magnesium and when you should not take them. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced supplement taker, this guide has something for everyone!
Let's get started.
What is magnesium, and why do I need to take them in the first place?
Magnesium (Mg) is a mineral that is found in our bodies and in many different foods. It is important for our overall health, but it is also necessary for specific functions like protein synthesis, nerve function, and muscle contraction.
Excellent Food Sources of Magnesium
There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods that you can easily include in your diet every day, such as:
- dark leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard
- nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds and almonds
- beans and legumes such as black beans and lentils
- whole grains like quinoa and brown rice
- dark chocolate
If you eat a variety of these foods every day, then you are probably getting enough magnesium in your diet.
However, some people might not be able to get enough magnesium from their diet alone and might need to take supplements.
People take Mg supplements for different reasons. One of the most common reasons is magnesium deficiency.
When you are low in magnesium, you may experience symptoms like:
- muscle cramps,
- brain fog,
- and difficulty sleeping.
Magnesium deficiency is more common than you might think. In fact, it is estimated that over 50% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets.
So, if you are feeling any of the above symptoms, it might be a good idea to get your magnesium levels tested and start taking the supplements.
There are many different magnesium supplements on the market today. Some of the most popular forms include magnesium oxide, magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride.
When you are taking Mg supplements, it is essential to make sure that you are taking the right form for your needs.
For example, if you are looking for a magnesium supplement that will help with constipation, you would want to take a magnesium supplement that is in the form of magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a magnesium supplement that will help with muscle cramps, you would want to take a magnesium supplement that is in the form of magnesium chloride.
The Benefits of Magnesium
Now that we know what magnesium is and why people take supplements, let's talk about some of the benefits of taking magnesium supplements.
As we mentioned before, magnesium is important for our overall health. But it also has specific benefits like:
- reducing anxiety and depression
- improving sleep quality
- reducing inflammation
- relieving headaches and migraines
- improving blood sugar levels
- reducing the risk of heart disease
- boosting exercise performance
- aids PMS symptoms
- promotes bone health
- safe and widely available
So, if you are looking for a way to improve your overall health or relieve specific symptoms, taking magnesium supplements might be a good option for you.
When should I take my magnesium?
Now that we know all about magnesium and the benefits of taking supplements, let's talk about when is the best time to take magnesium.
As with any supplement, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start taking magnesium. This is especially important if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have any health conditions or are taking any medications.
Once you have talked to your doctor and decided that magnesium supplements are right for you, it is essential to take them at the right time of day, depending on the purpose of taking the supplement:
Near mealtime or right after a meal
Taking a magnesium supplement right before or after a meal can help improve your magnesium levels, especially if you are magnesium deficient.
Nutritionists often recommend dividing the dose that you need for magnesium into your meals throughout the day.
For example, if you need 400 mg of magnesium per day, you would take 100-134 mg with each meal.
This can help improve your absorption of magnesium and reduce any side effects like diarrhea.
On an empty stomach
If you are taking magnesium for constipation, it is best to take it on an empty stomach.
This allows the magnesium to work more quickly and effectively.
It is important to note that taking magnesium on an empty stomach may cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. If this happens, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat a light meal.
If you are taking magnesium for sleep, it is best to take it before bedtime (at least one to two hours before bed).
This allows the magnesium to work its way into your system and help you relax so that you can fall asleep more easily.
It is important to note that taking magnesium before bed may cause you to wake up feeling groggy or tired. If this happens, make sure to consult your doctor, as they may be able to suggest a different dosage for you.
Daily at the same time of day
If you are taking magnesium for general health purposes, it is best to take it at the same time each day, preferably after every meal.
This allows your body to get used to the supplement and helps to improve your overall magnesium levels.
When should you not take magnesium?
Even though magnesium is a safe and widely available supplement, there are certain times when you should not take it.
As we mentioned before, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have any health conditions, or are taking any medications, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements or any dietary supplements, for that matter.
In addition, if you have any side effects like diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, make sure to stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor.
Finally, if you are taking magnesium for constipation and it is not working after a few days, talk to your doctor as they may suggest a different course of treatment.
What is the recommended magnesium intake?
The recommended intake of magnesium depends on a variety of factors, including your age, sex, and health status.
For most healthy adults ages 19 to over 50 years old, the recommended daily intake of magnesium is 310-320mg/day for women and 400-420 mg/day for men.
However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the recommended intake is 350-360 mg/day.
If you have any health conditions or are taking any medications, make sure to talk to your doctor about the recommended intake of magnesium for you.
Are there any risks to taking magnesium supplements?
Even though magnesium is a safe and widely available supplement, there are certain mild risks to taking it depending on a few factors:
The most common side effects of taking magnesium supplements are diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
If you experience any of these side effects, make sure to stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor.
There is a small risk of having an allergic reaction to magnesium supplements.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, rash, hives, and difficulty breathing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor right away.
It is possible to overdose on magnesium supplements.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
- slurred speech,
- irregular heartbeat,
- and seizures.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to stop taking the supplement and call 911 right away.
There are certain health conditions that may be exacerbated by taking magnesium.
If you have kidney disease, heart disease, or a history of stroke, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking the supplements.
Magnesium supplements can interact with a variety of medications, including:
- Blood pressure medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Diabetes medications
If you are taking any of these medications, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is a safe and widely available supplement that has a variety of health benefits.
When deciding whether or not to take magnesium supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor, especially if you have any health conditions or are taking any medications.
If you decide to take magnesium supplements, make sure to take them in the right dosage and at the right time of day based on your purpose for taking them.
We hope this beginner’s guide has been helpful in understanding the best time to take magnesium supplements and everything you need to know about the nutrient.