The Best Magnesium Supplements: Your Ultimate Guide

Magnesium plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including blood pressure regulation, muscle and nerve function, and protein synthesis. Not getting enough magnesium may lead to health issues, and taking best magnesium supplement may help with certain health issues such as high blood pressure, headache, or anxiety if those issues are caused by low magnesium, experts said. Magnesium has recently been touted as a potential treatment for a wide range of health conditions, with TikTok users claiming it can help with everything from high blood pressure to migraine to mental health issues. Videos on the benefits of magnesium supplements have garnered thousands of views and led many people to try them for various ailments.

Magnesium is a mineral that affects our health in many ways. “Magnesium has a big job,” Amber Core, MDN, RD, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Verywell. “It helps to maintain brain and heart function, regulate blood pressure, allow muscles and nerves to function, form bones and teeth, and [it] supports the immune system.”

Many people don’t get enough of the mineral, partly because so much of the food we eat is processed, Marie van der Merwe, PhD, coordinator of the applied physiology and nutrition doctoral program at the University of Memphis, told Verywell. Research suggests as much as 80% of the magnesium found in some foods is lost when food is processed—which could be why 79% of Americans don’t get enough through their diet.12

While magnesium is an essential nutrient, you should check with a healthcare provider before adding the supplement to your regimen to treat any new symptoms you’re experiencing.

“Supplements can be helpful, although it’s best to review [your options] with a provider first,” Julia Zumpano, RD, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, told Verywell. This is, in part, because magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications—or they may not be a good fit as a treatment for the symptoms you’re experiencing.

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How to Make Sure You’re Absorbing Enough Magnesium, According to Experts

What Does Magnesium Do for the Body—And How Much Should You Get Each Day?

“Magnesium is a co-factor for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body,” Core said. These include protein synthesis, blood pressure and blood glucose regulation, muscle and nerve function, and DNA and RNA synthesis. It also supports the structure component of bones, Core explained.

That said, if you’re low on magnesium, you may start feeling less than your best for any number of reasons. “It’s like a domino effect,” van der Merwe said. “Having lower magnesium creates a negative feedback loop” in the body.

We can see this in people under a lot of stress, she added. “Typically magnesium is inside your cells, but what happens when you’re under stress is the magnesium moves from inside the cell to outside the cell in your bloodstream, and it’s very easy to get excreted through your kidneys,” causing you to be low on magnesium. When this happens, you may notice symptoms like headache or muscle spasms caused by your magnesium levels. This can make your stress even worse and create a vicious cycle.3 Women need 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a day, while men need 400 to 420 mg. For reference, one ounce of dry roasted almonds contains 80 mg of magnesium; half a cup of boiled spinach contains 78 mg; and two tablespoons of smooth peanut butter contain 49 mg.4

If you’re experiencing symptoms of low magnesium, you should try to increase your magnesium through food. “I approach nutrition with a ‘food first’ mentality, in that we should get as many nutrients as possible from our foods before adding in supplements as needed,” Core said. “The nutrients in foods are easier for our bodies to use and absorb, as opposed to their elemental form in supplements.”

The following are the best dietary sources of magnesium:4

Legumes Nuts Seeds Whole grains Green leafy vegetables (like spinach) Fortified foods (including breakfast cereals) Milk Yogurt That said, many people could benefit from adding a magnesium supplement to their daily routine, van der Merwe said, given how prevalent deficiencies are and how important the mineral is.

“But you should always consult [a healthcare provider], especially if you’re taking another medication,” she added. Some medications can interact with magnesium supplements.5

What Magnesium Can—and Can’t—Help With

Because magnesium is involved in so many bodily processes, if you start getting enough magnesium after being deficient, you may begin to notice that you feel better, van der Merwe said. Some symptoms that have been bothering you, such as having low energy, headaches, anxiety, or feeling depleted, may lift.

But that’s only if your magnesium levels actually caused them and not by something else happening in your body—which is why it’s essential to speak to a provider about any new health issues you’re experiencing, experts said.

Blood Pressure

Some of the TikTok claims about magnesium’s ability to help with certain health conditions aren’t necessarily wrong. “Some studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can modestly decrease blood pressure,” Zumpano said. However, more research on the topic is needed.6

Mental Health

Magnesium may also reduce symptoms of anxiety by balancing levels of cortisol, a hormone that affects your stress levels, Zumpano added. Limited research also suggests magnesium may help people with mild depression, though more research is needed to determine whether this is true, she explained.3

Migraine Prevention

There’s no evidence to suggest that a daily magnesium supplement affects some of the health conditions discussed on TikTok. The research on magnesium supplements for migraine prevention is inconclusive: “Some studies show benefit, and some do not,” Zumpano said.78

Physical Performance

While animal studies have suggested magnesium may impact physical performance—by boosting glucose availability in the brain, muscle, and blood—we don’t know that magnesium affects humans this way.

When to Try a Different Approach to Manage Symptoms

Though magnesium may help with certain health conditions, experts stress that it shouldn’t be used as a cure-all in place of healthy lifestyle habits. They acknowledged that many health conditions people claim magnesium helps with can be aided by healthy habits.

“[You should] be sure you address lifestyle factors that may be affecting the symptoms you are experiencing,” Zumpano said. This can look like the following, she added:

Decrease screen time Eat nutritious foods Manage your stress level Prioritize movement Prioritize sleep Reduce or eliminate alcohol Reduce or eliminate caffeine Reduce or eliminate processed foods “If you have covered all these bases but are still experiencing concerning [symptoms], that is where supplements can help,” Zumpano said.

If you’re dealing with any of the aforementioned health conditions—such as anxiety, high blood pressure, or migraine—a healthcare provider may suggest medication in addition to—or in place of—supplements, experts said.

“While proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are key for preventing a myriad of conditions, [you may] require medication as a treatment,” Core said. “Supplements can help to improve health, but are not meant to cure any conditions.”

Your healthcare provider can also help you pick the right supplement if advisable. “Supplements are not regulated, therefore [you have to] choose supplements that have been third-party-tested,” Zumpano explained.

Ultimately, it’s worth talking to a provider before making any changes, no matter how harmless they seem. “Always discuss your concerns with your doctor,” Core said.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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