Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is essential to our health and well-being.1 In fact, this nutrient is crucial for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, nerves, and bones—and that’s not all.2 So how can you make sure you’re getting enough of it, whether through your diet or supplements? Read on to find out.
What Is Magnesium?
As mentioned above, magnesium is an essential mineral to our health. It is also found in the earth and seawater and is present in animals. The adult human body contains around 25 grams of this nutrient, with most of it—up to 60%—stored in our bones. Less than one percent is found in our blood; the rest is in soft tissues such as our muscles.3
Why Do Our Bodies Need Magnesium?
Magnesium is present in and critical to the functioning of every human cell. It is a cofactor for more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, meaning it plays a vital role in helping enzymes carry out an array of important processes.
This includes helping enzymes convert food into energy, form proteins, create and repair genetic material (DNA and RNA), regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and control muscle and nerve function.
With so much found in our bones, it should come as no surprise that magnesium also contributes to the structural development of bone. And, it helps transport other minerals, including calcium and potassium, across cells membranes—an action that is necessary for muscle contraction, a normal heart rhythm, and more.3
In other words, without enough magnesium, the body simply can’t function at its best.
What’s the Recommended Daily Intake for Magnesium?
How much magnesium per day you need—from both food and supplements—will depend on your age and sex. Adult men typically need between 400 and 420 mg daily, while adult women require between 310 and 320 mg. Younger adults’ (ages 19-30) needs fall on the lower end of these ranges, while older adults (31+) need the higher amounts. Pregnant women need slightly more magnesium per day than women who are not pregnant: 350-360 mg.3,4
What Foods Are Rich in Magnesium?
Of course, one way to ensure you’re meeting these recommended intakes each day is by eating magnesium-rich foods. Generally speaking, leafy-green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and milk-based products are all good sources of this mineral. Here are some specific foods in these categories that are especially high in this nutrient: 4• Pumpkin and chia seeds
• Almonds, peanuts, and cashews
• Soy milk
• Beans (black and kidney)
• Peanut butter
• Brown rice
• Fortified breakfast cereals
Impressively, roasted pumpkin seeds contain 156 mg of magnesium per serving—that’s 37% of the daily value (DV). Chia seeds contain 111 mg for 26% and almonds 80 mg for 19% of the DV. All of the foods listed above contain 10 percent or more of the DV of magnesium per serving.
Although they contain under 40 mg of magnesium, or under 10% of the DV, per serving, oatmeal, bananas, salmon, whole-wheat bread, avocados, chicken breasts, beef, broccoli, and apples are also great sources of the mineral. Broadly, foods that contain dietary fiber also provide magnesium.
Magnesium Deficiency: Who’s at Risk?
Most research suggests that around 50% of the US population doesn’t get enough magnesium from their diet, making it one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the country.3 Some groups are more at risk for magnesium insufficiency or deficiency than others.
As we age, we’re less likely to consume adequate amounts of magnesium through foods and beverages. In addition, the older we get, the less magnesium our guts absorb and the more magnesium we lose from our body. And, the more likely we are to take medications that can impact magnesium stores. Together, these factors increase insufficiency and magnesium deficiency risk for older adults. Research suggests that among this group, men over 70 are the most likely to have low levels.3
People with Certain Health Challenges
A variety of health concerns can increase the risk for magnesium deficiency, as can the medications taken for these conditions. If you’re suffering from health issues, talk with your doctor to see if your magnesium stores could be impacted and, if so, how to test your levels. We recommend consulting with your doctor first before adding any new supplement to your wellness routine.
Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The majority of healthy individuals consuming inadequate levels of magnesium don’t experience serious, noticeable signs of deficiency. However, consistently low dietary consumption and levels over time, especially if you fall into one of the high-risk groups above, can result in some of the following symptoms: 5
• Decreased appetite
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Fatigue and weakness
• Numbness or tingling
• Muscle cramps and contractions
• Abnormal heart rhythms
Magnesium Supplements: Do You Need One?
If you aren’t regularly eating enough magnesium-rich foods and/or fall into one or more of the categories of those at higher risk for magnesium deficiency, you may benefit from a magnesium supplement.*
Magnesium supplements come in a variety of different forms. Research shows that forms that dissolve well in liquid are more completely absorbed by the gut than other, less-soluble types of magnesium.3
Specifically, clinical trials have consistently found magnesium citrate to be more bioavailable than many other forms of the mineral.6
Early stage absorption studies are often conducted in animals. In one preclinical study testing 10 different types of magnesium, magnesium gluconate exhibited the highest bioavailability, with other organic forms of the mineral also showing high absorption, including citrate.7 While results obtained from animals and achieved in the lab don’t necessarily always translate to humans, magnesium gluconate is generally believed to be a highly absorbable type of magnesium.
What Should You Look for in a Magnesium Supplement? What Makes Floradix® Magnesium Supplements Different?
Our plant-based liquid magnesium supplements are easily absorbed and gentle to digest: They contain two highly bioavailable types of magnesium—gluconate and citrate—and include fruit juices to further improve the absorption of mineral salts.* They are safe, gentle, and effective for daily use.* What’s more, they don’t contain any artificial additives or preservatives, and they are non-GMO and gluten-, lactose-, and alcohol-free.
Floradix® Magnesium Liquid Herbal & Mineral Supplement
With 250 mg of easily absorbable magnesium per serving, this great-tasting vegetarian liquid extract is designed to support muscle function and the health of bones and teeth, as well as to help release muscle tension and stress.* Floradix Magnesium is also formulated to support healthy nerve function and healthy energy levels.* In addition to magnesium, it contains our proprietary blend of herbs, including calming chamomile.
Floradix® Calcium & Magnesium Liquid Herbal & Mineral Supplement
Together, calcium and magnesium support the development and maintenance of normal, healthy bones.* Floradix Calcium & Magnesium is a gentle-to-digest, plant-based, vegetarian liquid formula that provides 180 mg of easily absorbable magnesium and 150 mg of calcium per serving—with vitamin D and zinc to support calcium absorption and help keep your bones and muscles strong.* What’s more, it has a great-tasting fruit flavor thanks to mango and orange juice concentrates and contains a proprietary herbal blend.*
Is There a Best Time to Take Magnesium?
We recommend taking our magnesium supplements in the morning for consistency. You can take them with breakfast, if you like, to help prevent any potential stomach discomfort (see below), though our supplements are specially formulated to be gentle to digest.*
Magnesium Side Effects
There are no side effects from consuming magnesium through your diet. When using magnesium supplements, you should not exceed the established upper limit of 350 mg per day for adults 18 and over. High intakes of magnesium from supplements can occasionally cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.2 Magnesium supplements can also interact with some medications, so be sure to talk with your doctor before adding one to your wellness routine.
Magnesium Benefits, Recapped*
The mineral magnesium is needed for hundreds of the body’s biochemical reactions, making it absolutely essential to our overall health and wellness. Specifically, it helps the body maintain healthy nerve and muscle function, keep bones strong, and produce energy—and the list goes on.
It is found naturally in a variety of fiber-containing foods, including leafy-green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some dairy products. However, many Americans don’t regularly consume enough magnesium through the diet. In fact, magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the country. Magnesium supplements can be used to help support healthy levels.*
If you are considering magnesium supplements, our easily absorbable and gentle-to-digest Floradix Magnesium and Floradix Calcium & Magnesium formulas may be right for you.
1. Mary Guerrera, MD, et al. "Therapeutic Uses of Magnesium,” American Family Physician 80, no. 2 (2009): 157-162, https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0715/p157.html.
2. “Magnesium,” The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium.
3. “Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals,” National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, updated August 11, 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional.
4. “Magnesium Fact Sheet for Consumers,” National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, updated March 22, 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer.
5. “Magnesium Rich Food,” Cleveland Clinic, reviewed November 24, 2020, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-magnesium-rich-food.
6. Ann F. Walker et al. “Mg Citrate Found More Bioavailable than Other Mg Preparations in a Randomised, Double-blind Study,” Magnesium Research 16, no. 3 (2003): 183-91, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14596323.; Lara Blancquaert, Chris Vervaet, and Wim Derave, “Predicting and Testing Bioavailability of Magnesium Supplements,” Nutrients 11, no. 7 (2019): 1663, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683096.
7. C. Coudray et al. “Study of Magnesium Bioavailability from Ten Organic and Inorganic Mg Salts in Mg-Depleted Rats Using a Stable Isotope Approach,” Magnesium Research 18, no. 4 (2005): 215-23, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16548135.