• Medical

What Is the Best Magnesium Supplement?

12.7.21

BY: DR. KYON HOOD, MD

Supplements can make a big difference for your overall health, no matter how healthy you already are. Even when you put in your best efforts, you may end up lacking some of the necessary nutrients and essential minerals that allow your body to function at its best. This lack of nutrients can occur due to a variety of different factors, from a slightly imbalanced diet to medications that increase the chance for deficiencies.

Supplements can make a big difference for your overall health, no matter how healthy you already are.

Even when you put in your best efforts, you may end up lacking some of the necessary nutrients and essential minerals that allow your body to function at its best. This lack of nutrients can occur due to a variety of different factors, from a slightly imbalanced diet to medications that increase the chance for deficiencies.

In fact, nutrient levels can vary, and the human body is sometimes less capable of metabolizing and absorbing different important essential elements.

Supplements help fill in the gaps that our bodies may naturally miss, and often offer considerable health benefits to those who use them regularly and need the extra help meeting their daily micronutrient intake.

People who have lower levels of absorption of a specific kind of nutrient or vitamin can increase their intake with capsules, chewable tablets, or other similar types of supplements.

One of the most common nutrient deficiencies is magnesium. Due to the relatively large number of people lacking this essential mineral, there are countless forms of magnesium supplements on the market today.

While they all are designed to serve a similar purpose, many of these supplements are fundamentally different and often come in different formulas, forms, and ingredients.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that the human body depends on in numerous ways. It has countless different functions, including assisting with blood pressure regulation and nervous system function, and giving support to the immune system.

Because of the substandard nutritional value of many foods that most Americans eat in the United States, it is relatively easy to have a below-average magnesium intake.

However, prioritizing your diet to get enough magnesium can help to combat a wide array of serious health issues, including type 2 diabetes, migraines, and various forms of cardiovascular diseases.

Why Are So Many Adults Magnesium Deficient?

Magnesium is found in a range of different foods, including many nuts and vegetables. Superfoods like spinach, almonds, and avocados are some of the most abundant dietary sources of magnesium.

While some people eat these foods on a daily basis, others might not be able to remember the last time they ate whole, unprocessed foods like these. Eating a diet that lacks real food – whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and lean meats – is one of the easiest ways to develop a nutrient deficiency.

The highly processed food that is commonly consumed in the modern world is created in ways that naturally sift out the majority of vitamins and nutrients. This is especially the case for overly processed foods rich in sugar, fat, preservatives, and refined grains.

While foods containing whole grains tend to be much richer in magnesium, it is easy to go days or even weeks without adequate servings on your plate. This is especially true thanks to the rise of fast food, which typically contains highly processed ingredients and refined grains.

Foods that naturally contain enough magnesium to sustain a healthy level in the human body go at a premium and are harder to access.

All of these factors contribute to the fact that over half of all Americans today are magnesium deficient. While modern food manufacturers partially cause this magnesium deficiency epidemic, it is still something that we all need to consciously make an effort to deal with.

Choosing to purchase foods that are more naturally produced can be healthier and more beneficial in many ways, but it is especially helpful for supplying your body with the nutrients that it needs – including magnesium.

What Does Magnesium Do?

Magnesium has a number of effects on the human body. Below are some of the main purposes that the mineral serves within your body.

Helps Support Muscle Function

One of the primary ways that magnesium works in the human body is by supporting muscle function. Magnesium has shown great benefit for muscular function in both males and females with a high enough dose — it’s not just something for body builders or fitness enthusiasts. Magnesium assists in processing various forms of amino acids, which can dramatically increase the functions and usability of muscles as a whole. Many studies have found evidence that magnesium can also promote the performance level of athletes and people who exercise on a regular basis.

Helps Support Mental Health

Having proper levels of magnesium makes a big difference if you are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health conditions.

Like many other vitamins and minerals, magnesium contributes to brain health and can help stabilize and balance mood swings and other issues that commonly come with stress, anxiety, and general emotional imbalance.

Helps Promote Bone Health

For a long time, it was assumed that calcium was the most important nutrient for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. However, prioritizing proper levels of magnesium is just as important as keeping your calcium intake up.

Getting enough magnesium in your diet can help to ensure that issues like osteoporosis and other types of bone atrophy are less likely to develop. It's essential to have a good blend of both nutrients, but magnesium has a huge effect on bone health, just like calcium.

Helps With Energy Production

People with low magnesium levels typically have lower levels of energy. This lack of energy is mainly due to the way that magnesium assists with adjusting blood sugar levels, energy production, and its impact on vitamin D3 production and absorption.

Assists With Healthy Digestion

Magnesium has a lot of benefits for people who are dealing with indigestion or an upset stomach. If you have lower levels of magnesium, you're more likely to deal with GI issues like constipation, nausea, and diarrhea on a regular basis.

When looking for magnesium supplements to remedy gastrointestinal problems, it's essential to find the right type of magnesium supplement for the specific issues you may be struggling with.

Magnesium malate tends to be easy on the digestive system, which means these supplements are much less likely to accidentally serve as laxatives or cause diarrhea when taken in higher amounts, which can happen for people taking magnesium for other reasons like migraine support or mood support.

How Can I Get More Magnesium?

The best ways to up your magnesium intake are through food and supplements. Magnesium can be found in a wide array of different foods, typically foods that generally come from, or are created from, products grown in nutrient-dense and mineral-dense soil.

Some of these foods include:

  • Potatoes
  • Peanuts (and peanut butter)
  • Black beans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Avocados

It can be hard to find foods that were actually grown in soil that actually has enough magnesium content. Modern foods, including fruit and veggies, tend to be grown in soil that is deprived of essential minerals and nutrients because of the nature of mass farming techniques. Increased levels of food manufacturing and production quotas have led to lower standards for how food is grown.

Finding food that is grown in healthy soil and contains a high amount of magnesium is a great way to naturally and easily get more magnesium in your diet. Producers and stores that tend to be more intentional about letting their soil regenerate and rest between growing seasons will be proud to advertise this, so keep an eye out for it. It’s often referred to as “sustainable farming” or “regenerative farming.”

While looking for food grown in ideal conditions can take some work, it will often be worth it in the end!

Supplements

Dietary supplements make it much easier to get the recommended dietary allowance of magnesium in your daily diet compared to trying to get it all from foods.

They can serve as a high-quality substitute for magnesium-rich foods, and they're ideal for people that are generally not getting very much magnesium from food alone — which is most people.

There are a wide array of different supplements on the market that can help to promote higher levels of magnesium. These supplements tend to have different focuses and ideal uses, and some can be more helpful in specific areas than others, such as supporting mental health versus muscles.

If you are concerned with which type of magnesium supplement you should try, reach out to your healthcare provider, who can help you determine what your body needs most, as well as if there are any specific multi formulas that may be more beneficial for you in particular.

What Magnesium Supplement Should I Try?

With so many different types of magnesium supplements on the market, making the decision on the best magnesium supplement for you can be difficult. Some types of magnesium supplements have more research to back up their claims, while others just have generic marketing lingo — the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t regulate supplements the same way they regulate drugs, so some supplements that claim to be the best out there might be making empty statements.

It's best to pick a magnesium supplement that isn't marketed with unrealistic claims about its benefits that are not supported by science or research — always go with supplementation that has evidence behind it.

You should also look for magnesium that is formulated to try and target your specific goal. Here are a few examples:

  • Magnesium glycinate is one supplement that may be worth considering if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or insomnia. This form of magnesium can potentially have an impact on your overall mental health through daily use.
  • Magnesium citrate is another popular form of magnesium. It's often used to help with the management of GI issues like constipation and bloating.
  • Magnesium chloride is another common type of magnesium supplement that has an array of uses and benefits. It is also effortless on your digestive system, and it can be used to help reduce the severity of heartburn and digestive issues.
  • You might find topical magnesium at your local pharmacy that is made with magnesium chloride.
  • Another popular type of magnesium on the market is magnesium sulfate, which is more commonly known as Epsom salt. While this doesn't generally qualify as a supplement, it still has a variety of uses. Epsom salt is a dissolvable powder that is often mixed with hot water to help soothe aching muscles and relieve excessive stress. The magnesium sulfate itself generally doesn't absorb through the skin, so it is rarely used as a supplement in that form.

Conclusion

Magnesium is a critical part of anyone's daily diet. Due to the rise of highly processed junk food, it's harder than ever to get enough magnesium in your diet through food alone. However, supplements may make it much easier to lead a happier, healthier, and more balanced life by getting your magnesium levels back on track.

If you are looking for ways to increase your daily magnesium dosage, look to the different kinds of magnesium supplements listed above. Following dietary guidelines and reaching a healthy level of magnesium intake can help deal with many symptoms of magnesium deficiency; while only a small percentage of Americans have an actual magnesium deficiency, a majority of Americans don’t get the recommended daily amount.

Finding the best magnesium supplements can help you make sure that tomorrow is a step toward better health. It might take some time and effort to find a supplement that perfectly meets your needs, but it's definitely worth the work for the sake of your long-term health.

Looking for an easy way to get magnesium that your body can actually absorb? Check out ivee’s wellness IV therapies — from our Complete Supplement to the option to build your own bag, get more bang for your buck with wellness treatments that are almost 100% available for your body to absorb.

Sources:

Magnesium | NIH Office of Dietary Supplements

Study: Half of All Americans are Magnesium Deficient | Pharmacy Times

Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance | NCBI

Therapeutic uses of magnesium | PubMed

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