lifestyle

When to Take Magnesium: Time of Day, Mealtimes, and More

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

4 min read

Magnesium can be taken at any time of the day, however many people prefer the magnesium supplement with a meal to help prevent any stomach discomfort.

When is the best time to take magnesium?

Magnesium can be taken at any time of the day. Many people prefer to take supplements earlier in the day, such as with breakfast or lunch. Taking your magnesium supplement with a meal can also help prevent any stomach upset. Although the time of day you take it won’t affect the benefits of magnesium, many studies demonstrate the benefits of long-term magnesium supplementation. In other words, consistency is important. If you are taking magnesium for its restful sleep benefits, taking it with dinner or the last meal of the day may be your best bet.

Does the time you take magnesium really matter?

Although the time of day doesn’t factor into the results, consistency may be a factor. For instance, one study tracked individuals over three weeks of magnesium supplementation, showing that the supplement improved exercise performance by decreasing the subjects’ accumulation of lactate. Taking your magnesium supplement at the same time of day is optimal for maintaining healthy levels. It may be easier to remember if you get into a routine of taking it at the same time each day.

Should magnesium be taken with a meal?

It may be helpful to take your magnesium supplement with a meal, like breakfast or lunch. Magnesium is a mild supplement that doesn’t require it be taken with food for it to be absorbed properly. However, a small portion of people who take magnesium may experience digestive discomfort, like nausea or diarrhea. Taking magnesium with a meal can help prevent any stomach upset.

Should I take magnesium or melatonin?

Magnesium can help some people get to sleep more quickly and promote more restful sleep. In fact, magnesium may support the body’s natural production of melatonin. That being so, you may wonder if it’s safe to take supplements of both. Supplementing magnesium with additional melatonin can help you fall asleep more quickly and also lead to a more fulfilling sleep. Although you should always consult your healthcare provider before adjusting or combining your supplements, magnesium and melatonin supplements are generally safe to take at the same time.

Other questions:

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral. The recommended daily allowance is 420mg for men and 320mg for women. Because processed foods often have minerals like magnesium removed, magnesium deficiency can easily occur. Additionally, stress – as well as the consumption of alcohol and caffeine – can deplete the body’s supply of magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in a wide variety of the body’s systems and functions, including muscle function, sleep regulation, bone development and regulating the rhythm of the heart. Deficiencies can impact energy, sleep, regularity, and increase the frequency of headaches.

What are the benefits of a magnesium supplement?

Several studies have linked magnesium supplements to improved physical muscle recovery. For example, one study reported that elderly women improved their physical activity abilities when taking magnesium supplements consistently over three months. Magnesium supplements have also become popular for sleep support with evidence pointing to healthy levels of magnesium supporting better sleep.

What foods contain magnesium?

Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, bananas, beans, nuts and even dark chocolate. Because many people don’t eat enough fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, they can miss getting enough magnesium in their diet. A supplement can be helpful to prevent magnesium deficiency.

Does magnesium have an immediate effect?

It can take days to several weeks for you to experience the benefits of a magnesium supplement. However, rather than upping your dose of magnesium, it’s important to be patient. Indeed, taking more magnesium will not provide faster or more pronounced effects. Instead, taking too much magnesium can cause an upset stomach or other negative side effects. It’s also important to take a magnesium supplement that is easy to absorb. Care/of uses natural and sustainable sources of magnesium sourced from Irish seawater to ensure it’s highly absorbable.

Is there anything you shouldn’t take with magnesium?

Magnesium can be taken with most types of food. However, you may want to avoid taking it with grains and other foods that contain oxalic acid or phytic acid, which can interrupt absorption.

It is important to know, however, that there are some medications that should not be combined with magnesium. Some antibiotics, blood pressure medicine, and hormone therapies block the absorption of the mineral. If you’re on a prescription medication, it’s important to discuss it with your healthcare provider. The solution may be as simple as waiting a few hours after taking your medication before you take your supplement.

Does magnesium make you sleepy during the day?

Although many people use magnesium for sleep support, it isn’t known to cause tiredness during the day. However, if you want to maximize the benefits for better sleep, it’s best to take your magnesium supplement an hour or two before bedtime.

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