Does Magnesium Make You Poop?

Magnesium is a miracle worker. It is involved in so many key functions within our body – and many of us just don’t get enough. But can magnesium make you poop? Here, we explore why magnesium is so essential for your health, as well as how you can get more into your diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions, including muscle relaxation, nerve function, and bone health. It can also help to improve bowel movements and relieve constipation.
  • To relieve constipation, magnesium is typically taken in the form of magnesium citrate or oxide. These forms of magnesium work by drawing water into the intestines, which helps to soften stool and make it easier to pass.
  • Most people notice a rapid improvement in their constipation symptoms after starting magnesium supplementation. However, it is important to be consistent with taking magnesium in order to see long-term results.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is actually a mineral. It is found in foods such as cashew nuts and dark green leafy veg. It’s also been added to lots of supplements too as it can offer so many health benefits.

Magnesium is a common nutrient deficiency – because a lot of us don’t eat enough of the foods that are a good source of it – and stress depletes the levels of this miraculous mineral too.

Unfortunately, over the years soil mineral levels have become depleted, meaning that the vegetables that grow there now have less quantities of magnesium than in previous years. All these factors make the need for supplementation more likely.

Why Is Magnesium Important For Your Body?

Products containing magnesium

Magnesium affects many key functions in your body, from how fast your heart beats, to how strong your bones are, and much more in between! Magnesium also has a really important role in helping your nervous system to function.

This is one of the reasons it’s often referred to as nature’s tranquilizer. Essentially it helps to increase GABA – which is a neurotransmitter involved in the relaxation response. So, this is another reason to take magnesium – it has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep scores too.

Aside from these factors, magnesium is also involved in calcium absorption which is why it is needed for strong bones and teeth too. Magnesium also helps with muscle relaxation, which is why many people take magnesium-rich Epsom salt baths to help relax sore muscles after a workout.

You can even get magnesium skin sprays now which are designed to be absorbed transdermally (through the skin) however there isn’t enough evidence to prove their efficacy now, so you are probably best sticking to oral supplements if you want to top up your reserves.

It’s quite hard to test for magnesium deficiency, but many people have subpar levels, even if they don’t have a full deficiency. For example in one study magnesium depletion was observed in around 75% of patients with type 2 diabetes. This has led people to wonder about its role in other chronic diseases. (Source)

In particular, magnesium appears to have a protective role against heart disease too, as it’s thought to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats and may also reduce blood pressure as well. (Source)

Does Magnesium Help You To Poop?

There’s nothing worse than not being able to poop when you need to. Constipation can be the result of a poor diet, dehydration, certain medications, and other health issues. And many people find that a sedentary lifestyle doesn’t help either.

Sometimes IBS can cause constipation symptoms too. For many, the solution to constipation involves a multifactorial approach that combines increased fluid intake, more fiber, and movement. And some people also need to improve their gut microbiome through the use of certain probiotic strains which can improve bowel movement frequency and consistency.

Taking the right type of magnesium certainly can help you to poop. This is why it’s often included in bowel prep products which aim to clear your intestines before investigative procedures such as colonoscopies. Similarly, many magnesium supplements come with a warning that they may have a laxative effect.

Note, that for most people, magnesium won’t cause diarrhea or loose stools unless taken in excess, however, magnesium can be a helpful aid for those with constipation who are struggling to have regular bowel movements.

When it comes to the question why does magnesium make you poop – the answer seems to be pretty clear.

Magnesium can increase the amount of water you have in your intestines which is useful for regular bowel movements. This is because it stops your stool from drying out and becoming difficult to pass. It also promotes bowel motility, which means how quickly it moves through the intestines too.

Magnesium can also make the stool softer, and provide more bulk as well, which generally improves the quality of your bowel movements if constipation is an issue for you.

Usually, magnesium citrate or oxide are good at stimulating your bowels, but other forms can also have a positive effect.

Magnesium glycinate is another good option, which is often added to supplements due to the other health benefits it can offer you for your mental wellbeing too.

Does Magnesium Make You Constipated?

constipation concept

It would be very unlikely for magnesium to make you constipated for the reasons we have previously discussed. Namely, this mineral speeds up bowel motility and improves stool consistency too.

But remember that it’s not a magic cure, and for many people with constipation, having sufficient fluids alongside fiber and exercise is required to improve bowel movements regularly.

But, the good news is you only need to take 300-400 mg for magnesium to have a beneficial effect – there’s no need to go overboard with your magnesium supplements this can have dangerous side effects. So always stick to the recommended upper limit on your supplement bottle.

Most people notice a rapid improvement in their constipation symptoms after starting magnesium supplementation. For example, if you take magnesium at night before bed, you may find that you wake up needing a bowel movement the next day. And taking magnesium before bed can also help you to sleep which is why this is a great time of day for such supplements.

But remember that as with most things related to health, consistency is key, so you’ll need to stick to a routine if you want to see longer-term results from magnesium, especially when it comes to things like reduced anxiety and stress.

Just remember to choose a high-quality supplement, and to incorporate it as part of a healthy lifestyle too. You can use your magnesium supplement to top up the amount you get from your diet, as a food-first approach is always best.

But for many of us, a magnesium supplement can help us to feel less stressed, improve our bowel motility, and may even reduce our risk of other serious chronic diseases.

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