Maximize Health with Magnesium: Key Benefits & Sources

Magnesium Side Effects

5 User Reviews

Posted by Sarah (North Vancouver, B.C, canada) on 06/19/2009

I have just started taking magnesium on recomendation for adrenal exhaustion and perimenopause issues.One week ago I took only one capsule (150 mg) of magnesium citrate-malate before bedtime and the reaction I had (jittery muscles and restlesness) occured 1-2 hrs later. My heart was also racing. I thought perhaps it may have something to do with a calcium/magnesium imbalance so 2 days later I took a Cal/Mag supplement and the same thing happened. The cal/mag supplement was an inexpensive one made up of carbonate, citrate, fumarate, malate, succinate and glutamate sources for both.

The interesting thing is that this reaction happened only after a one time dose both times. A few months ago I tried ACV for a few days and had a similar reaction each time I took it so I had to stop. This is very puzzling to me and I am searching for clues as to why my body reacts this way.

Replied by jen

Your symptoms of racing heart, feeling restless as well as sleep disturbances read as perimenopause. I too have perimenopause and never realized anxiety and racing heart could be symptoms. I made some adjustments to my diet and find it helps tremendously. I'm also super mindful about the quality of soy products I consume. Also, I'll cut back on sugar and refined breads as soon as I know I am premenstrual. I hope you find something that works for you *peace

Magnesium Side Effects
Posted by Sarah (North Vancouver, B.C., Canada) on 06/15/2009

I have just started taking magnesium as a supplement ( apro. 150 mg/day ).

Aproximately 1-2 hrs after taking I feel very jittery in my muscles and restless in general. It does not make a difference if I take it with calcuim. I understand magnesium is natures relaxant but it seems to have the opposite effect on me. Has anyone had this problem or know what may be causing this ? Sarah.

EC: Hi Sarah, can you tell us the exact ingredients in your supplement? Thanks!

Replied by Liz
(New York, NY)

Hello, my comment is regarding Sarah's posting (from North Vancouver, B.C Canada). I have a similar reaction to magnesium. Lately, I have been taking Bentonite clay (which is rich in magnesium) and it has kept me up and energized, the problem is that if I take it close to my bedtime, I simply cannot get any sleep. The dose that I am taking is quite large (2 tablespoons) and not only I do not experience any calming effects, it does not have any laxative effects either. I have read some postings here on EC regarding the relaxing effects of magnesium but for some strange reason, the opposite happens to me. I had attempted to address the problem by not having any caffeine after lunch time and also sticking to a light early dinner thinking that those were the reasons for my insomnia, and not until recently when I was purchasing clay from a website and read someone's comment about magnesium keeping them up that I made the connection. I remember having the same problem when taking magnesium citrate. I would appreciate any comments. Thanks!

Replied by Nopey
(Arkansas, USA)

May I ask why you are taking extra magnesium. I started taking it since I seem to have candida and I also have a mitral valve prolapse. After taking it for a few a month I started gettting major muscle twitching. I even got a heart cramping feeling every now and then. Perhaps you don't need extra magnesium. Perhaps you are throwing your calcium balance off. Even if you take calcium with it it might not be properly absorbed. Certain types of calcium are absorbed better than others. What magnesium were you taking? Was it magnesium taurate, or another form. Perhaps there is a underlying cause for you symptoms that are not related to the magnesium.

Replied by Colleen
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)

I've been having similar reactions to magnesium. I took it as a natural muscle relaxer because I'm tired of taking Rx for my back. I started taking 600mg of magnesium oxide in 250mg tablets (I broke them up to make 3 servings to reach 600mg) Within hours the muscles started to relax (I was shocked that it worked so fast) by the fourth day I started having pain in between my shoulder blades, shoulders, neck, jaw, headache, and in my armpit. This was followed with my heart pumping so hard that it felt as if my heart was in my throat. Needless to say I stopped taking it for about a week and a half and the muscle pain came back with a vengence. I thought I'd try taking 250mg a day by breaking the pill in half and taking 1/2 two times a day. It took the edge off my pain, but not as good as with 600mg. Unfourtunately the chest/heart pain came back with in a few days and I stopped taking it again. nearly four days of being off it and my pulse is still to high to donate plasma. I don't want to take calcium with my history of kidney stones, and I had issues with potassium supplements about nine years ago when it was reccomended for a low carb diet I was on. My heart was racing so fast I thought I would faint and fall to the floor. does anyone have any suggestions on how to make my heart/ chest pain stop and/or a safer alternative to relax the muscles without scary side effects. by the way the added ingredients in the mag supp I was taking is: cellulose, starch, croscarmellose, vegetable magnesium sterate. The brand is from a popular pharmacy chain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Replied by T
(Baltimore, Md, USA)

Hi Colleen,

If that pharmacy chain starts with "R", then I would say your reaction to that supplement doesn't surprise me. I've purchased different things from them that smelled like some weird strong glue when opened, way before any expiration date (of course I returned them!). Things I had taken from them that didn't smell like that never seemed to do much anyway. I don't buy their suppplements anymore. It's worth paying more for better quality.

I would suspect the additives in the supplement as causing your problems before suspecting the magnesium itself. How about some food sources to get that extra magnesium? A food source is always better than a supplement if the food source is of good quality. Eating the whole food means you get all the synergistic compounds it may contain as opposed to an isolated nutrient. Pumpkin seeds have very high levels of magnesium as well as lots of other nutrients. I buy an organic dry roasted brand that are low sodium. A handful a day can give you quite a nutritional boost. See this link for lots of good info on pumpkin seeds:

Beans and spinach are also very good sources of magnesium, as are chinook salmon and halibut. If you feel you still need some supplemental magnesium, perhaps you might want to try the magnesium oil foot soak as described here on EC. Bear in mind that magnesium, calcium, and potassium do need to be balanced; this is very important!

Good luck, and please update us!

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

I've been taking both Magnesium Gluconate tablets for some time now, and have just started to soak my feet in Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate).

By far the best way to take and absorb Magnesium into your body is either by soaking yourself in the bath for at least 20 mins (adding 3 cups of Epsom salts to the bath water) or to use a little warm water (enough just to submerge the soles of your feet and toes in a small bow), add and dissolve 3 tblsps of Epsom Salts, and soak your feet for half an hour (less wasteful than a bath, but just as good). The reason that this is the best way to absorb magnesium is that its absorbtion does not require the digestive system, so there is no chance of problems like diarrhea. Also, by soaking, the body will only absorb the amount of magnesium that it needs, so this method works well with your body's magnesium regulation.

The first time that I did this foot soak with Epsom Salts was at 9:00 pm at night. By 10 pm, I was so relaxed and tired that I just went to bed (I usually never go to bed before 12 at night) and I woke up the next morning wide awake and fresh for the day. No brain fog or grogginess.

I'm 60 y o and I do this Epsom Salt foot soak once a week now, or whenever I have aches and pains(which rarely happens now).

I also use an 8 oz garden spray -- which contains water 3 teaspoons Epsom Salts 1 teaspoon of Borax(20 Mule Team brand) to spray onto the outside of my body after showering and drying. I rub it in and leave this to dry naturally on my body.

These soaking and spraying methods are far more efficient and safe than supplementing with magnesium pills. They also deliver far larger amounts of magnesium into the body than oral supplements, and it is completely safe with no side-effects.

Replied by Colleen
(Minneapolis, Mn)

What is the borax for? Does this spray leave your skin chalky? Sounds like a great idea. I just tried epsom and water 1/2 & 1/2 and it turned me all white where I sprayed it.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines)

Hi Colleen...You use a much higher concentration of epsom salt in your spray than I do. I just use one heaped tablespoon in water in a small 8 oz spray container. This does not dry white on the skin. Using a 50-50 solution will not do you any harm, but it will settle as a white powder on your body due to being a much heavier concentration.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines)

Forgot to add that I add the borax to kill off any fungus, bacteria etc on my skin. You don't have to add it to the spray mixture if you prefer.

Magnesium Tips

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by KT (Usa) on 08/15/2015

I had read that magnesium binds with protein before it is absorbed. I started drinking the magnesium powder dissolved in OJ with my eggs or egg in oatmeal concoction.

If I don't do it that way, I get the joint neck pain and my "arthritis" returns, especially the big toe I wrenched.

Thought I'd give you and everyone here some more "food for thought".

Magnesium Tips
Posted by Rick (Sarasota, Florida) on 06/24/2009

Claire, there are three things that you can do to improve magnesium absorption and prevent loose bowels:

(1) Do not take large amounts of calcium at the same time that you take magnesium. Calcium may actually lessen the absorption of magnesium, since they compete for absorption at "absorption sites" in the small intestine.
(2) Take magnesium in divided doses. For example, you can take 100 mg. of magnesium at each meal. You can even take small doses of magnesium with just water or juice between meals.
(3) Take some lemon juice or orange juice or vinegar with your magnesium supplement - especially if you have low stomach acid. The addition of acid (citric/ascorbic/acetic) from these juices will help to ionize the magnesium compound, making more magnesium ions available for absorption.

Let me know if this helps.

Menstrual Cramps

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Posted by SC MOM (SC) on 03/01/2023

Sorry, I know this is years later but I thought I would answer anyway. Magnesium Glycinate helps with sleep and to be taken at night. For energy try Magnesium Malate. It is best taken before workout.

Menstrual Cramps
Posted by Sarah (North, Nj) on 12/19/2009

After researching how to eleavate the pain of cramps, I came across Magnesium. I have only used it when I have my cramps, (Magnesium 250mg) (nothing fancy, i think my bottle cost less than $5)

When I have my cramps, I take 1 or 2 a day, and it really helps with the cramping ( i think magnisum slows the muscle constractions that cause pain).. Im not sure how exactly it works, but it helps with cramps.

Replied by Swim
(Wichita, Ks)


Help me solve my mystery with magnesium glycinate...

about 5 years ago, I was an avid lap swimmer, and spent about an hour and a half daily in the pool... Swimming two miles a day. I started taking Kal brand magnesium glycinate... 400mg.. Because I was having problems with leg and feet cramps. I noticed immediately that the magnesium made me fell exhausted during the day... Yet I continued to take it.

30 days after I started taking it my hair started to change. I have had my entire life thin, lifeless hair that never never grew... Several months into to it, people could not believe the difference in my appearance. My complexion was amazing and I looked like I had a new head of hair. And then my hair started to grow. For the first time in my life I grew long hair... Also, my mytrovalve prolapse problems stopped.. Yet I felt exhausted... So much so that it affected my days... So I quit taking it. Then I quit swimming. My bad hair has returned and my lifeless complexion is back. So the other day, I took the glycinate back out... Cut a pill in half.. Which is how I have always taken it, and the next day I felt exhausted... What would be going on...

Replied by Mzellie
(Evansville, Wi)

Glyconate is food aditive, I could not find the spelling you gave.. So I am not sure what you are taking.. Maybe you need magnesium chloride.. Drops in water and drink this.. & soak your feet.. Take a bath in it.. Make your own spray and use this way.. You will really sleep well at nite and perhaps feel vigor the next day...There is good reading on this.. On the internet.. And this site EC is excellant choice... God Bless everyone who helps getting all this GOOD info to US ALL....

Replied by Pems
(Dumfries, Scotland)

HI, found this Magnesium is also a natural relaxer. It has a therapeutic effect on many different areas of the body. Those of you who have ever taken a magnesium supplement know what this feels like. I've taken it before to help me fall asleep, and it definitely does the trick. Not only that, but one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency mentioned above is insomnia, so taking magnesium glycinate to help correct sleeplessness might be a good idea.

Replied by Greydog33
(Coimbatore, Tn, India)

In response to swim from wichita, your story is very interesting. Perhaps the exhaustion is just detox. I think the first step would be for you to try a different form of magnesium, perhaps orotate or gluconate, and see if the exhaustion remains.

Also, mag needs to be balanced with calcium and vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol). (Tim Ferriss, in his book 4-hour body, reports that his friend had long-term d3 deficiency and didn't know it. When that friend started supplementing D3 his energy went through the roof. -- Worth a try. ) Furthermore, if you were deficient in mag, you may have other deficiencies. Try taking omega-3, vitamin C, drinking lots of (non-chlorinated, non-flouridated) water, if you aren't already.

Please keep us updated.

Replied by Claire
(New Jersey)

Could someone recommend a brand of magnesium for menstrual cramps? Thank you

Replied by Anon

My daughters use a liquid one made from magnesium chloride, which is intended to be taken by mouth. It comes with a screw on cap and we replace that with a dropper for ease of use. They find it helps to begin taking it several days ahead of the monthly event to reduce cramping.


1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Leah Huete (Baltimore, MD) on 05/15/2008

I am writing about all of the people who have talked about tumeric or garlic as a potential cure for MRSA.

I've been doing some studying and there is a commonality I've found in these items:

Very high in manganese and high in magnesium.

Very high in manganese (both also very low in sugar and in fats)

French Green Clay has been touted as curing MRSA -HIGH IN MAGNESIUM

Antibiotics and poor digestive tract absorption will cause a magnesium deficiency.

Antibiotics kill off beneficial organisms in the gut, causing loose bowels, which decreases absorption.

"Antibiotics can also lower magnesium availability. Included on the antibiotic list are neomycin, tetracycline, erythromycin, ***sulfamethoxazole****, and sulfonamides.

Other medications that reduce the body's supply of magnesium include the anticoagulant drug warfarin; corticosteroids; oral contraceptives (birth control pills); and the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporine."

"Antibiotics (e.g. gentamicin and amphotericin) These drugs may increase the loss of magnesium in urine. Thus, taking these medications for long periods of time may contribute to magnesium depletion [9-10,12]."

"Because magnesium plays such a wide variety of roles in the body, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency can also vary widely. Many symptoms involve changes in nerve and muscle function. These changes include muscle weakness, tremor, and spasm. In the heart muscle, magnesium deficiency can result in arrhythmia, irregular contraction, and increased heart rate. Because of its role in bone structure, the softening and weakening of bone can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Other symptoms can include: imbalanced blood sugar levels; headaches; elevated blood pressure; elevated fats in the bloodstream; depression; seizures; nausea; vomiting; and lack of appetite. "

"Deficiency symptoms have three categories:Early symptoms include irritability, anorexia, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle twitching. Other symptoms include poor memory, apathy, confusion, and reduced ability to lea. Moderate deficiency symptoms consist of rapid heartbeat and other cardiovascular changes. Severe deficiency of magnesium could lead to tingling, numbness, sustained contraction of the muscles, and hallucinations and delirium. "

What Magnesium does in your body:

"Magnesium: What is it?Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant [1].

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis [2-3].

There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys [1-3,4]."


"Magnesium ions are essential to the basic nucleic acid chemistry of life, and thus are essential to all cells of all known living organisms. Plants have an additional use for magnesium in that chlorophylls are magnesium-centered porphyrins. Many enzymes require the presence of magnesium ions for their catalytic action, especially enzymes utilizing ATP, or those which use other nucleotides to synthesize DNA and A."

Magnesium is VERY important to support a healthy immune system Now I will say I am drawing correlations which are not scientifically proven. They are loose correlations and drawn conclusions. I am not affiliated with any health products or sites or doctors, I am not advocating the use of any health food product (it's really best to go natural with regards to vitamin intake). I have been suffering from fatigue, CA-MRSA, sleeplessness, arrythmia and bloating. I'm going to try more magnesium!

I challenge scientists to work with magnesium and MRSA.

Multiple Cures

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Posted by Carrie (Livonia, Mi) on 04/06/2015

Chelated magnesium has changed my life. Since starting the supplement I have slept SO much better, less irritable, numbness in my fingertips gone, red nose and red ears reduced, heartburn reduced, anxiety has been reduced, and my life long allergies that have been unbearable have completely subsided in just one week on the supplement. I'm generally a sharp person and wouldn't have believed my quality of life would change from a supplement!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Gabrielle (Los Angeles) on 03/27/2014

Magnesium works wonders for hyperthyoid issues, anxiety, and insomnia. It is incredibly powerful! A researcher who did his own study with Magnesium introduced me to the LIQUID FORM! Before, whenever I took it, I didn't notice much, but when I switched to a liquid form of Magnesium Chloride, boy, did it make a huge difference! Whenever I take it I feel totally relaxed and sleep like a baby! There's a liquid Magnesium Citrate new on the market now, too, which is also great! Perhaps it's the liquid forms of magnesium that are most potent and work best? Try them and you'll see how much better you can feel!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Kate (Oregon City, Oregon) on 04/28/2012

I was utterly floored to learn that high blood pressure, racing heart, insomnia, foot and leg cramps and even osteoporosis were all symptomatic of magnesium deficiency. Since I've got them all, I decided I definitely needed more magnesium and then quickly learned that 500 mg in oral supplements is about my limit before diarrhea and intestinal cramping sets in.

So yeah, transdermal magnesium applications make sense to me. I haven't located a local source for Nigari (mag. Chloride) yet, but did get some Epsom salts. (mag. Sulphide)

I tried making the oil with Epsom Salt and spraying it on but my skin really stung from the application. Then I did a little more research and found one site that gave instructions on combining Epsom Salts with coconut oil to make a cream and massaging it into your skin. I used about ½ cup salts to 1/4 cup boiling water, (stirred a bunch and microwaved it until it was all dissolved good) which made a really thick "oil. " I keep this in a plastic container in the fridge until I'm ready for my "transdermal magnesium massage."

When I'm ready, I use 1 tbs. of Epsom Salts oil to 1 tbs. of coconut oil and mix it all up together real good in a small bowl, just using my fingers. It makes a light creamy mixture.

When I applied it, it didn't sting my skin and the cream was completely absorbed in less than twenty minutes, leaving my skin feeling soft and silky.

The spray oil irritated my skin, but the coconut oil and Epsom salt cream worked superbly. And it's so easy too! I can use it right after I take a shower or massage it into my feet, calves and arms while sitting in front of the TV.

I've combined this with my "Naked Bloody Mary blood pressure drink" which I consume faithfully now twice a day. It's 1 8oz glass of low sodium V-8 juice (820 mg. Of potassium! ) to which I add 1/4 to ½ tsp. Cayenne pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, and 2 tsp celery seed (and a slosh or two of Worcestershire sauce if 'ya want). Yep. It's dang hot but I'm getting used to it cuz' it works! (Potassium, garlic, cayenne and celery seed are all known helps for lowering blood pressure.)

After using this regimen just one week my blood pressure has dropped from 135/80 to 122/75! No more foot cramps and no more racing heart either!

Thank God! There IS hope and it sure ain't big Pharma!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Fiona (Tustin, Ca) on 07/01/2011

I have used magnesium chloride orally and transdermally. For the first time in my life I had no cramps. I can excericse hours and also no pain. My hands and voice used to shake when I was nervous. But it is gone now. I feel energetic and feel very happy. Magnesium chloride is miracle to me.. I also noticed that it detoxed. I had to use washroom a lot but I was full of energy. And it is increasing.. I wish all people use this amazing mineral.

Multiple Cures
Posted by Janet (Louisville, Co, Usa) on 12/30/2009

Late last August I started having Basilar Migraines with auras at least once a day. Some days I had up to three a day. I read that magnesium helped, but that it could take months of supplementing with magnesium to get the benefits for migraines unless it was put directly into your system with an IV. Because not being able to see clear interferred with my job, not to mention driving, I needed something right away.

I did some research and found that magnesium is not readily absorbed by the body but that in it's ionic form the absorbtion rate is close to 100%. Therefore, you benefit much more quickly by taking it in this form.

I purchased some ionic magnesium and started taking from .5 - .7 ml twice a day. I think the dosage can be increased according to weight and height. I add it to about 1/4 cup of water and drink it first thing in the morning and about a half hour before my evening meal. It's best to take it on an empty stomach. Within the first few days, the migraines were much less severe and didn't last as long. By the second week, I only had one. Since then I've only had three migraines and four months into using the magnesium, I've been migraine free now for over two months.

In addition, it has cleared up a number of other things. I have suffered from IBS for over 15 years, and a couple years ago found that taking dessicated porcine thyroid helped considerably and thought that the IBS was caused from low T-3 and T-4 thyroid enzymes. However, it never totally eliminated the IBS. I also read that people who are low in Thyroid are also deficient in Magnesium. Hence the low thyroid and the IBS has also been cleared up by using the Liquid Ionic Magnesium and I no longer have the need to supplement with the dessicated thyroid.

A few other things that I found has cleared up with the use of magnesium are brain fog, mood swings, acid reflux (haven't taken an anti-acid in months now), food allergies, increased energy, and now, well into winter, there are no aches and pains from arthritis. My son even claims that I look five years younger, which could be because I'm not in constant pain.

I have been filtering my water for a couple of years, but never thought about supplementing with minerals and I should have. However, I think I've always been low in magnesium, and despite what the acceptable levels of magnesium are, I feel some people need more than others. I can't praise this mineral loud and long enough, as it's benefits have pretty much given me back a normal life.

Multiple Cures
Posted by Khloe R. (Fresno, Ca) on 12/23/2009

I had suffered from TMJ twice in my life and both times they were cured by magnesium. The magnesium in your body is usually depleted by stress. Magnesium is also what makes you calm, and can even help your bowel movements if constipated. I still take a magnesium supplement daily and have no problems ever since.

Muscle Weakness, Essential Tremors

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Posted by Rbwalton (Chico, Ca) on 02/05/2010

I have had muscle weakness and essential tremor for the last few years. Doctors finally saw the tremor and prescribed beta blockers to control it. They found no cause for the tremor and did not know why I was so weak- other than I was either exercising too little or too much.

On my own, I started 600 mg daily of magnesium oxide since I had heard it might help with muscle weakness. While I was taking that, I ran out of beta blockers and tremor did not return. I figured it must be the magnesium that had been keeping my tremor under control all along. Since then I have been off of the beta blockers completely. My tremor is better as long as I keep taking the magnesium. And my strength is also improving.

Premature Ejaculation

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lauren (Santa Cruz, CA) on 03/09/2009


I stumbled across this remedy on a forum recently. I had remembered I used to take magnesium regularly due to migraine headaches and other problems (magnesium is a very important nutrient that many are deficient in). Jogging my memory, I remembered that on occasions when I could last as long as I wanted (and even sometimes too long) was when I had taken magnesium shortly before while more often than not I would suffer extremely premature ejaculation. I would recommend taking 400mg daily and then another 400mg 30 minutes to an hour before sexual activity. You should experiment with what dosage and frequency is right for you. If you start getting loose stools than you are likely taking too much. I have found Magnesium Citrate works very well. Some of the other ones like Magnesium oxide are not as well absorbed.

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