There’s been lot’s written about the best time to take magnesium supplements, and it’s a very common question we get asked from our customers all the time, but before we give our opinions and suggestions – let’s first understand what magnesium is and why we actually need it.
Magnesium is an essential mineral and present in large amounts within the human body (we are all around 0.05% magnesium!). It’s functions are critical to our survival and over 300 enzymatic reactions depend on magnesium. The downside is that the content of magnesium within our food varies greatly – so making sure you’re getting adequate levels of magnesium from food can be somewhat hard to monitor.
Some of the better sources of magnesium include nuts, shellfish, bananas and vegetables, which offer enough magnesium to contribute towards the Recommended Daily Allowance for magnesium which is now 375mg per day for adults. Given the demands and stresses of modern lives – many believe that RDA is relatively low, and many surveys in the US and Europe suggest that consumption by a lot of adults can often be below the recommended levels – particularly that of females.
If you tend not to consume many of the above food groups, this could well be one reason for a lower magnesium intake. Yet even if you do – the poor quality of soil used to grow the crops we eat nowadays could also have an impact. At one time, the soil contained a lot more minerals than they do today and it’s believed that both vitamins and minerals have declined over time with the reduction in soil quality. A combination of this, along with the bodies constant demand for magnesium which increases during stress and exercise, and is depleted a lot faster when consuming too much caffeine and alcohol, may well mean our magnesium reserves are put under more pressure today than ever before in history.
We’d always suggest that that the best way to improve your intake of magnesium (or any nutrient for that matter) is to make sure you eat a diet rich in nutrients, but for some people that’s not always financially or practically viable. And if you happen to be an athlete or keen recreational exerciser (who loses a lot of magnesium via sweat) – then you may benefit from magnesium supplementation to keep up with the bodies demand.
There are different types of magnesium supplement available and most do an o-k job, with the exception of Magnesium Oxide which studies show may only have an absorption rate as low as 4% even though it’s so widely used in supplements due to it being relatively inexpensive. Some magnesium forms have much higher absorption rates but often come at a premium, so if you’re looking for something that absorbs well and is cost-effective, then our Super Magnesium supplement is an excellent place to start. We offer a 90 and 180 capsule option which provides a 30-day or 60-day supply respectively and delivers 100% of the RDA in every serving.
Although there are some instances where nutrient timing is critical – I should stress that when you take supplements is only a very small piece of the puzzle and certainly a much more “advanced” protocol that most of us shouldn’t worry too much about. And because magnesium is such an important mineral – even if you’re not taking it at the “ideal time” – just taking it on a regular and consistent daily basis is more than adequate.
There are some theories to suggest we take magnesium in the evening due to the calming effect magnesium has on the muscles and nervous system, with experts suggesting we take magnesium within an hour of going to sleep. Whilst it’s a very logical theory and one that I’m sure has its benefits over time – there’s no concrete evidence to suggest this is necessary, although I have clients who have reporting anecdotal benefits from following this advice.
Another theory often given to support taking magnesium before you sleep is the fact that magnesium (and calcium) are best utilised by the body at night and are involved in so many repair processes. It would make sense then to supply the body with magnesium just before it depletes what you already have stored during the repair cycle that happens when we’re snoozing!
Whilst there’s no conclusive evidence to support the above claims – it is one easy way to remember to take them, especially if you take other supplements or remedies in the morning. As long as you remember – then you’re halfway there!
To conclude, we’ve learnt that magnesium is such a useful and important mineral within our body, and due to modern day lifestyles – there’s a good chance many of us are seemingly deficient in it, so whenever or however you decide to obtain more magnesium in your diet (whether food or supplement), it’s safe to say that as long as you do take or eat enough of it, when you take it is definitely way less important.
Thanks for taking the time to read my article – feel free to leave any questions or comments below.
Natural Nutrients Nutritionist