It is estimated that 80 percent of adults have a magnesium deficiency, making it one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults.
Certain foods and beverages can strip your body of its magnesium through excretion such as: Refined sugars and caffeine-containing drinks. Certain medications can also lower your magnesium such as: Diuretics, asthma medications, heart medications, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement therapy.
Magnesium can help the following:
One of the most efficient ways is to consider taking magnesium supplements, as well as, eating magnesium-rich foods on a regular basis.
It’s necessary for magnesium to bind to a molecule to be stable. For this reason, magnesium supplements differ depending on the molecule the magnesium is bonded to.
The most common bonding agents are oxide, citrate, glycinate, sulfate or amino acid chelate.
Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Chelate: are good all-around choices for those with magnesium deficiencies, as well as, good choices if taking supplements for relaxation and nerve-transmission related purposes.
Magnesium citrate: increases the rate of absorption, can have a laxative effect and is found in some laxatives. It’s good for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
Magnesium Orotate: is good for heart-related functions.
Magnesium Sulphate and Magnesium Chloride: are most commonly found in topical treatments such as lotions, gels, and oils. Magnesium L-threonate, a newer form, is aimed at memory benefits.
It’s important to note that magnesium is poorly absorbed by the body, only between 35%-45%. Something to consider is that both calcium and magnesium compete for absorption. So if you are also taking calcium supplements together with magnesium, they will both compete and you will absorb less of each.
Oral magnesium supplements are best taken on an empty stomach.
Magnesium also absorbs well through the skin, perhaps better than through the digestive tract, making topical application of magnesium-based lotions and oils effective (magnesium chloride), especially if one of your goals is taking magnesium for muscle pain or relaxation, or calming purposes. Magnesium can also be taken through Epson salt baths (magnesium sulfate).
You can find out more information about how much magnesium you need daily, what kinds of foods are rich in magnesium and much more by visiting the US National Institutes of Health page on magnesium.