If there’s one thing that nearly all of us have in our supplement drawer, it’s  Magnesium. This mineral plays a part in body processes to do with stresssleepenergybrain functionbone healthhormone health, and muscle health. Being the ultimate cofactor mineral for the body, Magnesium is involved in over 350 enzyme reactions - it’s an important mineral that supports overall functioning.

Because of the popularity of Magnesium supplements, people have a tonne of questions, so here to answer is  Rebecca Baylis, Naturopath and Medical Herbalist.

What is Magnesium?

What does Magnesium do? Magnesium is an essential mineral. Minerals are considered essential for a healthy body and need to be consumed in the diet because our bodies can’t make them.

Minerals are split into two groups - macro and micro (or trace), depending on how much the body needs to stay healthy. We need higher amounts of macro minerals compared to micro or trace minerals, and  Magnesium, along with Calcium - is part of the macro mineral group.

Macro minerals include:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Sulphur

What is Magnesium good for?

Magnesium benefits our overall health and plays a crucial role throughout the body - but it’s probably most well-thought of for supporting stress, sleep, muscles and cramps. Stress appears to increase the use and loss of magnesium from the body. It’s also involved in supporting good neurotransmitter balance and a normal stress response. As a result of this, Magnesium supplements are also excellent support for a good mood, calm mind, and a restful night’s sleep. Magnesium is certainly a mineral in-demand to support modern lifestyles.

  • Magnesium supports healthy blood pressure already within the normal range by being involved in the normal production of nitric oxide - a relaxer of blood vessels.
  • Magnesium supports muscle health, including the heart muscle, by supporting healthy contraction and relaxation of the muscle tissues.
  • Magnesium is key for the process that the mitochondria undergo to produce energy in our cells.
  • Magnesium is important for the function of Vitamin D, so we need sufficient Magnesium in our diet for vitamin D to work effectively throughout our body.

What is Magnesium used for?

People take Magnesium to support overall wellness, they also take it for specific reasons including:

Magnesium supports:

  • during times of stress
  • good mood
  • calm mind
  • muscle function
  • healthy blood pressure levels
  • energy
  • sleep
  • bone health

Does Magnesium help with sleep?

Magnesium tablets, powders and capsules are popular for people who are looking for support getting to sleep (sleep onset) and staying asleep (sleep quality and duration). Research shows that Magnesium supports both. This makes Magnesium a staple when it comes to healthy sleep and it’s a great starting point when deciding which sleep supplement to choose - especially if you have other health goals that feature in the list above.

How much Magnesium before bed?

Fortunately, our Magnesium for sleep support products all come with recommended doses on the packaging, keeping things nice and simple. Recommended doses will vary slightly between manufacturer, and they’ll also depend on the form of Magnesium - like chelated, sea mineral, liposomal, citrate, oxide or chloride.

How do we get Magnesium in our body?

Minerals, including Magnesium, are found in the soil and taken up by plant roots when they are growing. Humans and animals then eat these plants. If insufficient minerals are in the soil because of farming practices or the type of soil in that area, then not enough minerals will be in the food we eat. This is where a supplement can be useful.

What foods have Magnesium?

We reflect nature with our high needs for Magnesium. Thankfully, Magnesium is available in many foods - both plant and animal based.

Foods that contain Magnesium include:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Shellfish
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Wholegrains

How much Magnesium a day?

Adults need between 250 mg – 350 mg per day from all sources. During  pregnancy this increases to 350 - 400 mg per day.

Can Magnesium upset your stomach?

Most people tolerate Magnesium supplements very well. But, if you have a sensitive digestive system, a  Liposomal Magnesium could be an ideal option. The liposomes create a buffer which makes them gentle on the stomach. Liposomes also improve bioavailability. Certain forms of Magnesium, especially Magnesium sulphate, naturally attract water to the bowel, so they are taken as a supplement to support bowel regularity and comfortable motions.

Our top picks for Magnesium supplements

Looking for help choosing the best Magnesium Supplement for your unique needs? Here are some of our favourite Magnesium supplements for specific health goals that we use ourselves and recommend. 

Clinicians Sleep Science

For a restful sleep: Clinicians Sleep Science

Does drifting off easily and sleeping like a log sound wonderful to you? We know Magnesium supports sleep health - both getting to sleep and staying asleep. So, combining a useable form of Magnesium along with herbs that support healthy sleep makes perfect sense.  Clinicians Sleep Science does just that, with a synergistic blend of Magnesium with patented ETAS Asparagus shoot extract to support restful sleep and Zizyphus to help calm a busy mind - just take one or two capsules 30 minutes before sleep time.

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Now Foods Magtein Magnesium L-Threonate

For nervous system support: Now Foods Magtein Magnesium L-Threonate

Magnesium is a great option for people looking to support a feeling of calmness. If you tend to get a busy mind when you’re under pressure and you could use some support for your stress response, you may like to consider a Magnesium L-Threonate supplement.  Now Foods Magtein Magnesium Threonate contains this form of Magnesium, which has shown an affinity with the nervous system, so it offers targeted support. Take three capsules daily, preferably one capsule mid-afternoon and two capsules an hour before bed.

Shop Now Foods Magtein Magnesium L-Threonate →

BioBalance Liposomal Magnesium

For relaxed muscles: BioBalance Liposomal Magnesium

A liposomal Magnesium supplement offers the best bioavailability and is an ideal go-to if you experience muscle cramps.  BioBalance Liposomal Magnesium offers 200 mg of three easy-to-use forms of Magnesium - beta hydroxybutyrate, glycerophosphate and bis-glycinate. The liquid liposomal formula allows for easy absorption so your body can access the Magnesium it needs to support healthy muscle relaxation. Take 6 ml (one teaspoon) daily and be sure to refrigerate it after opening. It can also be taken by kids older than two years too.

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BePure Magnesium Restore

For healthy energy: BePure Magnesium Restore

Our bodies use Magnesium for energy production processes, so a good quality supplement can help fill any nutritional gaps. If you’re looking for ways to support healthy physical and mental energy,  BePure Magnesium Restore offers a bioavailable form of chelated Magnesium combined with L-carnitine which helps supply fuel to our mitochondria – the energy producing ‘powerhouse’ of the cell. These easy-to-take capsules come in an infinitely recyclable glass bottle. Take two per day.

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BioBalance Calcium Magnesium & Vitamin D

For strong bones: BioBalance Calcium Magnesium & Vitamin D

Calcium is well known to support healthy bone density and mineralisation, (a process crucial for bone hardness and strength) but it’s a lesser known fact that magnesium is also crucial for this. That’s because it’s a calcium synergist, meaning we need magnesium to enable the body to use calcium. They go hand in hand - magnesium controls the absorption of calcium and its transport into our bone cells. BioBalance Calcium Magnesium & Vitamin D is formulated with the ideal ratio of calcium to magnesium for bone health, naturally sourced from calcified red algae. It also features Vitamin D3 – the all-important bone vitamin. If having strong and resilient bones is a health goal for you, this vegetarian formula is a winner, take 1-2 capsules twice daily with food.

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