A Magic Mineral? Magnesium Benefits, Types & How to Supplement

A Magic Mineral? Magnesium Benefits, Types & How to Supplement

Magnesium is having a moment. Since the Sleepy Girl Mocktail (which pairs supplemental magnesium with tart cherry juice) went viral on TikTok, Google searches for “magnesium sleep” have more than doubled. Everyone wants to know if it can help them relax in today’s world—if it’s really, as described in the Los Angeles Times, like “a gravity blanket for the mind.”1

Of course, magnesium supplements aren’t new, and we’ve known about the mineral’s impacts on health for some time now: Modern scientific research began in the 1920s, though people have been using it in some form for wellness since the 1600s, when Epsom salt (composed primarily of magnesium) was discovered.2,3

But the renewed attention is well-deserved. Every single organ in our bodies needs magnesium, and it contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. And that’s not all.

Keep reading to discover the many health benefits of this remarkable mineral, plus the different types and whether a magnesium supplement might be right for you and your routine. 

Why Our Bodies Need Magnesium

Each cell in the body contains and depends on magnesium. “It’s involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions,” explains Solaray’s research librarian Nick Zemp. “These reactions regulate a diverse array of physiological systems, everything from protein synthesis to DNA and RNA synthesis and nerve function to blood pressure and heart rhythm.” 

No wonder it’s so abundant in us: The average adult body consists of approximately 25 grams of magnesium, the vast majority of which is present in our bones; most of the rest can be found in soft tissues such as our muscles. Thus, it also plays a key role in helping our muscles work as they should—it’s particularly involved in muscle contraction—and in the structural development of bone.4 

How Much Magnesium Do We Need & What Happens If We Don’t Get Enough?

Most of us need 320-420 mg of magnesium each day. Exact levels depend on your age, sex, and if you’re pregnant, when you’ll need more.4

“With so many processes relying on magnesium, it should come as no surprise that not having adequate amounts can negatively affect many aspects of our health,” says Zemp. 

Yet the statistics suggest more than 50% of the population isn’t meeting the daily estimated average requirements from food alone. When you narrow that group down to adults over the age of 19, that number jumps to 60%.5 

Researchers have several theories as to why, including depleted nutrient levels in soil due to commercial farming practices.
In fact, the magnesium concentration in wheat, for example, has decreased approximately 29% over the past 50 years.What’s more, many of us are eating a standard American diet of convenient but low-nutrient processed foods. Learn more about why Food Is Not Enough.

Aging can also impact magnesium levels, as it may become more difficult for our bodies to absorb magnesium through the gut the older we get.7  Interestingly, magnesium insufficiency can enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress, while occasional stress can increase magnesium loss.8 

Magnesium insufficiency is more common than a true medical deficiency, but prolonged insufficiency can lead to more severe negative impacts. Early signs your intake may be low include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, and more may occur.9 

It’s clear that sufficient magnesium is essential for good health. So how do you make sure you’re getting enough?

Food Sources of Magnesium

Because minerals are found in soil and water, they get absorbed by plants and consumed by animals, which is how magnesium is present in many of the foods we eat. Even though we may not always be getting enough solely from food, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to eat magnesium-rich foods in an effort to better meet nutritional requirements. A healthy diet is the foundation for wellness. Here are some good choices and the amount of magnesium they offer per a typical serving size:10 

  • Pumpkin seeds: 168 mg
  • Almonds: 80 mg
  • Spinach: 78 mg
  • Cashews: 74 mg
  • Peanuts: 63 mg
  • Black beans: 60 mg
  • Edamame: 50 mg
  • Yogurt: 42 mg

If these foods aren’t your favorites, or a busy life sometimes keeps you from eating as well as you’d like, magnesium supplements may be a smart addition to your routine to help you better find nutritional balance. And keep in mind that no eating plan is perfect. Even the healthiest diets can have naturally occurring nutritional gaps, which supplements can help fill. You might also choose to incorporate a magnesium supplement into your day for specific health benefits (see below).

Top Benefits of Magnesium Supplements

Muscle support: As mentioned above, magnesium is critical to muscle function, and supplementing can help powerfully support your muscles.*

Cardiovascular health: It’s no surprise that if the heart depends on this mineral to function, incorporating magnesium into your routine can help promote overall heart health.*

Healthy bones: You likely first think of calcium for strong bones, but as you’ve learned here, magnesium also plays a big role in bone development and maintenance. If you’re looking to support bone health, consider adding magnesium to your regimen.*

Sleep and relaxation: A wealth of research backs up what everyone is now catching onto: magnesium supports relaxation.* Scientists believe it may have to do with the mineral's ability to help regulate certain neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in a calming effect on the body. This includes N-methyl-D-aspartate, which is involved specifically in muscle relaxation.11  Magnesium may also help control neurotransmitters involved in sleep, and indeed, magnesium supplementation has been found to support healthy sleep in older adults.*12 

Magnesium supplements can also support cellular energy, healthy teeth, and nerve function.* But with so many types out there, choosing the right one for you might feel overwhelming. Next, we’re breaking down the different forms and sharing the options we offer here at Solaray to help make shopping for magnesium easier.

The Different Types of Magnesium + Solaray Magnesium Supplements

All forms of supplemental magnesium can provide the benefits listed above. But there are some differences between them to note:

  • Magnesium glycinate may have a stronger impact than other types when it comes to relaxation, which is why it’s used in the viral Sleepy Girl Mocktail. It’s formed by combining elemental magnesium with the amino acid glycine. This form of magnesium is highly bioavailable, meaning it’s more easily absorbed through your small intestine.
  • Magnesium citrate can sometimes have a laxative effect at higher doses, which may or may not be desired. It is readily available in products at health food stores and online and has good bioavailability.  
  • Magnesium orotate includes orotic acid, which may further help this form’s ability to support heart health. It has good absorption and may be less likely to provide a laxative effect than other types.

  • Magnesium aspartate is a magnesium salt of aspartic acid that displays good oral bioavailability.

  • Magnesium oxide is the most commonly available and most affordable form of the mineral. It can have a strong laxative effect and is generally less absorbable than the other forms shared here, which is why it’s important to look for supplements that use it with a blend of other, more bioavailable, types for best results.

Solaray is proud to offer the best-selling Magnesium Glycinate supplement in the entire industry—and a mocktail go-to.^ It’s expertly designed for potent muscle, bone, and relaxation support plus more, with 350 mg of magnesium per serving.* You’d have to eat 50 cups of kale, 61 figs, or 5 cups of red quinoa to get the same support packed into just four capsules. It’s formulated with magnesium bisglycinate for high absorption and also includes black pepper extract to aid in gentle digestion.*

Our Magnesium Citrate delivers 400 mg of magnesium per serving—95% of the Daily Value—in a form specially chosen for enhanced absorption.* It contains chelated magnesium using citric acid to aid in mineral bioavailability, plus a special base of herbs including alfalfa, watercress, and parsley for additional nutritive support.*

Super supplementers will appreciate our proprietary Magnesium Asporotate™ 400 mg, which features three powerful types of magnesium—an exclusive blend of magnesium aspartate, citrate, and orotate—for enhanced bioavailability and easy digestion.* It also includes the nutritious herbs alfalfa and parsley leaf.

In addition to these magnesium-only formulas, we also offer multi-mineral supplements featuring magnesium, like our Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc.

Shop all Solaray magnesium formulas.


Magnesium May Be the Missing Puzzle Piece In Your Routine

Magnesium’s recent popularity is fitting. After all, this mineral is absolutely essential to our overall health and wellness: It contributes to energy production; is critical for heart health and function; helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and teeth; and is even involved in regulating levels of other important nutrients in the body. And the list goes on.

A variety of different types of magnesium supplements are available, including trending magnesium glycinate. Once you determine what’s right for you, you’ll be well on your way to finding nutritional wellness, supporting your specific health goals, and Living Brighter. As always, all Solaray magnesium supplements are triple tested for purity and potency, so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body. Discover our manufacturing promise to you.

Resources

1 Adam Markovitz, “A magic mineral? What magnesium can—and can’t—do for you.” Los Angeles Times. 6 March 2024.

 www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2024-03-06/magnesium-supplement-benefits-mocktail-foot-spray.

 Jean Durlach, “Magnesium research: from the beginnings to today.” Magnes Res.  2004 Sep;17(3):163-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15724863.

3 A Sakula, “Doctor Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) and the Epsom salts.” Clio Med. 1984;19(1-2):1-21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6085985.

“Magnesium Fact Sheet for Professionals,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional.

Mary Cogswell et al. “Sodium and Potassium Intakes Among US adults: NHANES 2003-2008,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 96, no. 3 (2012): 647-57, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22854410. “Micronutrient Inadequacies in the US Population: An Overview,” Oregon State University, https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies/overview.

6 Donald Davis, Melvin Epp, and Hugh Riordan, “Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23, no. 6 (2004): 669-82, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15637215.

7 “Magnesium,“ Harvard T.H. Chan School of Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium.

8 Gisèle Pickering et al. “Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited” Nutrients (2020) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761127/.

9 “Magnesium Fact Sheet for Professionals,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/.

10 “Magnesium Rich Food,” Cleveland Clinichttps://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-magnesium-rich-food.

11 “Does magnesium help you sleep?” Medical News Today, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/magnesium-for-sleep.

12 Abbasi, Behnood et al. “The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences vol. 17,12 (2012): 1161-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169.

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