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How Much Magnesium Should I Take?

Maximize vitality by understanding how much magnesium your body needs. From heart health to stress relief, find your perfect balance.

Key Takeaways

  • The amount of magnesium you need depends on your age, sex, and overall health. For adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium is 400 milligrams for women and 420 milligrams for men.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may need more magnesium. The RDI for pregnant women is 310 milligrams and for breastfeeding women is 360 milligrams.
  • If you have a health condition that affects your magnesium levels, such as kidney disease or malabsorption, you may need to take a magnesium supplement.

Magnesium is a key mineral for health and well-being. It is involved in many different functions within the body – influencing everything from our heart health to the quality of our sleep.

Whilst it is possible to get magnesium through our diet – most of us don’t eat the right types of food often enough. Magnesium deficiency is common and this can harm our general health.

Because of the difficulty in obtaining enough magnesium through diet alone, many people turn to supplementation to ensure they get a sufficient intake of magnesium. But when it comes to magnesium supplementation it’s very important to take the correct amount.

This is because if you take too little you won’t optimize your magnesium stores, but equally, if you take too much you can experience unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous side effects.

Here, I will explore how much magnesium should be taken for different genders and ages, and for those with health conditions.

Why Should I Take Magnesium?

Taking Magnesium

The effects are so wide-ranging that taking a high-quality supplement comprised of the right type of magnesium is likely to benefit everyone in different ways.

Magnesium plays a role in many different functions of the body – impacting everything from how our heart beats and our energy is produced, to our muscular health, immune function, and stress response.

This means that if we are running low on this key mineral, as many of us are, we risk having a range of health issues and symptoms as a result of this deficiency. Even if you are just slightly low in magnesium and don’t have a true deficiency you may still be experiencing less than optimal health due to the wide-ranging benefits that magnesium offers us. (Source)

Unfortunately, soil levels of magnesium have become depleted in recent years meaning even if we do eat and nutrient-dense diet we may still fail to get sufficient magnesium intake. In addition, many of us simply don’t have enough time to eat a freshly cooked meal three times a day so we can create a nutrient gap between what we eat and what we need for optimal health. (Source)

Magnesium is also depleted by stress, alcohol consumption, and extreme exercise – three things that many of us may be affected by at different times in our lives. So it’s safe to say that most of us can benefit from magnesium consumption whether we’re trying to manage chronic fatigue which results in low energy,  trying to sleep better at night, or trying to manage daily stresses and strains. (Source)

We’ve talked mostly about our physical health and magnesium but it’s important to say that magnesium can also reduce the risk of depression and help us to manage anxiety.

This is because magnesium impacts our GABA production which is a relaxing neurotransmitter responsible for our wellbeing. Magnesium can increase our levels of GABA which in turn can promote feelings of relaxation and rest. This is one of the reasons why magnesium is often referred to as nature’s tranquilizer.

How Much Magnesium Should I Take?

The answer to this is likely to be personal to your individual circumstances. For a start which sex you are will determine how much magnesium you need,  and it’s also important to consider your age and general health.

For example, if you are a woman aged between 19 and 65 your recommended daily intake is 275 milligrams per day. Whereas if you are a man between 19 and 65 then your recommended daily dose would be 300 milligrams per day. So, this is the starting point for your magnesium intake.

If on the other hand, you are considering the magnesium intake of a child then the recommended amount will be much lower – for example, a 1 – 3 year old would aim for an 80 milligram per day intake of magnesium.

If you are currently pregnant then a daily intake of around 350 milligrams of magnesium may be recommended as your needs increase during this demanding time.

Remember that these are general recommendations and that for some people magnesium supplementation would not be suitable, for example, if you suffer from kidney disease, certain types of heart disease, or renal failure you would need to consult a doctor before considering supplementation.

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Magnesium?

As long as you stick to the safe upper limit of taking magnesium which is around 400 milligrams per day you shouldn’t experience too many side effects.

If you are new to taking magnesium you might initially experience loose stools after taking certain forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide or citrate, as these forms can sometimes have a laxative effect.

However, it is important to be aware that you can have too much magnesium, and in excess you risk more serious side effects including potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias so it’s always important to stick to the recommended dose on your supplement choice.

Also, consider checking with a doctor if you have any concerns about the suitability of your supplement regime especially if you have specific health conditions or are taking other supplements or medications.

What Is The Best Type Of Magnesium?

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The best type of magnesium will depend on what your individual goals and reasons for taking this supplement are.

For example, many people choose magnesium citrate as it is an affordable choice and it’s fairly well tolerated and absorbed however it can cause laxative effects in some individuals.

If we’re looking at the most bio-available forms of magnesium we would tend to focus on magnesium glycinate – which is where the elemental mineral of magnesium has been added to the amino acid glycinate as well as magnesium threonate and magnesium malate.

Magnesium glycinate has a host of potential benefits including improved sleep and enhanced energy production making it a great option for anyone with chronic fatigue –  depression and a range of other common health conditions.

It’s important to choose high-quality magnesium glycinate products such as Human Tonik’s magnesium product as this ensures you will get the benefits from your supplement. This Human Tonik product also provides you with the recommended 400mg magnesium glycinate dose.

Remember that some cheaper magnesiuupplements such as those you might find in the supermarket tend to be made from magnesium oxide which can be poorly absorbed and may lead to digestive distress.

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