When should I take magnesium supplements?

When should I take magnesium supplements?

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in many functions of your body, such as muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar control. It is also involved in the production of energy and the synthesis of proteins. Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.

However, some people may not get enough magnesium from their diet, or they may have conditions that affect their magnesium absorption or excretion. In these cases, taking magnesium supplements may be beneficial for their health.

Benefits of magnesium supplements

Magnesium supplements can help prevent or treat magnesium deficiencies, which can cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, and irregular heartbeat. Magnesium supplements can also provide other health benefits, such as:

  • Reducing blood pressure: Magnesium can help relax the blood vessels and lower the resistance to blood flow, which can lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure.
  • Improving blood sugar levels: Magnesium can help regulate insulin secretion and action, which can improve blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood glucose, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Enhancing mood and sleep: Magnesium can help modulate the neurotransmitters and hormones that affect mood and sleep. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can improve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

How much magnesium do you need?

The amount of magnesium that you need depends on your age, sex, and health status. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 350 mg of magnesium per day.

However, these are only general guidelines, and you may need more or less magnesium depending on your individual needs and health conditions. You should consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements to determine the appropriate dosage and form for you.

When is the best time to take magnesium supplements?

The best time to take magnesium supplements may vary depending on the type and purpose of the supplement. Some common types of magnesium supplements are:

  • Magnesium citrate: This is one of the most common and well-absorbed forms of magnesium. It can also act as a laxative and help relieve constipation. It is best to take magnesium citrate on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning or before bed.
  • Magnesium glycinate: This is a chelated form of magnesium that is bound to the amino acid glycine. It is highly bioavailable and gentle on the stomach. It can also help calm the nervous system and promote relaxation. It is best to take magnesium glycinate in the evening or before bed.
  • Magnesium oxide: This is a cheap and widely available form of magnesium. However, it is poorly absorbed and can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. It is best to take magnesium oxide with food and plenty of water.
  • Magnesium taurate: This type of magnesium is bound to the amino acid taurine, which may help lower blood pressure and support heart health. It is best to take it with food, either in the morning or evening.
  • Magnesium malate: This type of magnesium is bound to malic acid, which is involved in energy production. It may help improve fatigue and muscle pain. It is best to take it with food, either in the morning or afternoon.
  • Magnesium lactate: This type of magnesium is bound to lactic acid, which is produced during exercise. It may help replenish magnesium levels and prevent cramps. It is best to take it with food, either in the morning or afternoon

What are the possible side effects of magnesium supplements?

Magnesium supplements are generally safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, some people may experience side effects such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Stomach cramps

These side effects are usually mild and temporary, and they can be avoided or reduced by taking a lower dose, splitting the dose throughout the day, or switching to a different form of magnesium. However, if the side effects are severe or persistent, you should stop taking the supplement and seek medical attention.

Who should be careful with magnesium supplements?

Magnesium supplements are not suitable for everyone, and some people should be careful with them or avoid them altogether. These include people who have:

  • Kidney problems: Excess magnesium can accumulate in the body and cause toxicity in people with impaired kidney function. This can lead to serious complications such as irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, coma, and even death.
  • Heart problems: Magnesium can interact with some medications used to treat heart conditions, such as calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and digoxin. This can affect the effectiveness of the medications or cause adverse effects such as low blood pressure, slow heart rate, or cardiac arrest.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Magnesium can worsen some gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or intestinal obstruction. This can cause diarrhea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, or bowel.


Incorporating foods high in magnesium into your diet is an excellent way to ensure you meet your daily magnesium needs. However, if you're considering magnesium supplements, understanding when to take them, the recommended daily amount and the potential benefits are crucial.

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