Magnesium is one of the most talked about supplements, but it can also be one of the most confusing.
There are so many forms of it and combinations including it available – from sprays and powders to capsules, and they are recommended for everything from sleep and sports recovery to bone and heart health.
It can be difficult to know which form is best to take and which claims about it are reliable! So, if you’re thinking of taking a magnesium supplement in 2022, it makes sense to learn more about it first.
What does magnesium do in our bodies?
In fact, magnesium is genuinely a real workhorse when it comes to supporting how your body functions.
Magnesium is required by more than 300 enzymes so that they can carry out the functions your body need them for! These enzymes are involved in processes that help to regulate many bodily functions, including the production of energy, body protein, and muscle contractions.
Magnesium is important for energy production, stress reduction, muscle health including your heart muscle, bone health, and good quality sleep. You also need it to ensure that you are can absorb calcium properly.
Magnesium plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones and a healthy heart. And so it makes sense to make sure you keep your magnesium levels where they are supposed to be!
How much magnesium do I need?
Magnesium is a major mineral. That means you need higher amounts of it than you do of trace minerals, like zinc or iron. And the amount of magnesium you need daily depends on your age and gender.
Men aged 19 or over should strive for an intake of 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) per day, while women of the same age who are not pregnant only need 310 to 320 milligrams daily.
|Age||Male Magnesium Requirement|
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg*|
|7–12 months||75 mg*|
|1–3 years||80 mg|
|4–8 years||130 mg|
|9–13 years||240 mg|
|14–18 years||410 mg|
|19–30 years||400 mg|
|31–50 years||420 mg|
|51+ years||420 mg|
*Adequate Intake (AI)
Magnesium and low testosterone
One of the reasons magnesium is getting attention in terms of men’s health is that low magnesium levels may contribute to a slight fall in testosterone levels.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone and it plays a key part in sperm production and sex drive. Your levels of testosterone will naturally decline around the age of 30. This causes some men to experience symptoms like weight gain and low libido.
However, research shows that increasing your magnesium intake can raise testosterone levels within a month. The increase is most likely to affect those who exercise regularly, though those with a more sedentary lifestyle also see benefits to their testosterone levels when they maintain good magnesium levels.
Guidelines state that men should aim to consume 300mg – 400mg of magnesium a day.
How can I get more magnesium into my diet?
Eating more magnesium-rich foods or adding a magnesium supplement into your daily regime can help you to improve your magnesium levels. It’s best to get nutrients, like magnesium, from food sources whenever possible, since they provide other health benefits, too.
Foods rich in magnesium include
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans and nuts
- Milk and yoghurt
- Fortified foods, including some breakfast cereals
Many of the foods that are good sources of magnesium offer lots of additional benefits, which makes diet the best way forward to addressing your magnesium needs. But lots of these great foods are under-represented in our diets, and so supplementation can make sense for many of us.
And some groups may be in greater need of magnesium supplementation than others. For example, people with gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn’s or Celiac disease can be at risk of magnesium depletion over time, as can people with Type 2 diabetes. Alcohol misuse can lead your body to lose too much magnesium, and ageing can also affect magnesium levels adversely.
Because magnesium supplements can interact with some medications, it’s important to discuss the need for a dietary supplement with a pharmacist or doctor before taking one.
Which form of magnesium is best for me?
If you do need a magnesium supplement, you’ll quickly find you’re spoilt for choice! You’ll find magnesium carbonate, citrate, malate, and oxide, or blends like magnesium bisglycinate, and magnesium taurate on offer. You’ll have options for taking magnesium by itself, or in combination with other supplements. And you will be able to take magnesium in a tablet, capsule, powder, or a liquid form.
Our favourite here at Manly is Mag 365. Mag 365 comes in powder form – just add it to hot water to activate it. The hot water converts the magnesium powder into ionic magnesium citrate which is easy for your body to absorb.
Magnesium citrate is is considered one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium to take, especially for muscle recovery after exercise, and for general health.
Magnesium flakes and sprays are also becoming popular mechanisms for improving magnesium levels. If you’re focused on sports recovery, a magnesium-rich bath can help promote relaxation and soothe tired and aching muscles. Meanwhile, magnesium joint spray can give you a quick and effective way to relieve muscle stiffness and improve joint flexibility
Magnesium and better sleep
Many people find it great for sleep if taken before bed in a cup of hot water or other beverage. If you are taking magnesium to improve your sleep, take it at least one hour before bed for the best results.
Can I take too much magnesium?
It’s clear that magnesium deserves the attention it’s getting as an important factor in your overall health. But it’s important to note that the key to good nutrition is always balance!
If you take too much magnesium, your body will simply excrete it, as it does with any excess nutrients. Taking too much Magnesium can also result in diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping.
Your aim should be to achieve optimum levels of magnesium, and taking too much has no benefits for your body.