Magnesium Full Review and In Depth Look

Magnesium is a dietary mineral that can be found in foods such as spinach, avocadoes, almonds, and bananas.

You can also purchase it as a supplement – often in the form of ZMA which is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. While it is found in quite a few common foods Magnesium is actually a common deficiency, only Vitamin D is more common.

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is critical to many functions in the body, the most important of which is protein synthesis.

If you have a deficiency in Zinc and Magnesium you can suffer from reduced growth after training, this was confirmed in a 1991 study by Dørup & Clausen [1].

If you are looking to build muscle then you should really considering topping up your Magnesium levels because they will be used up by the process of protein synthesis.

Another benefit of Magnesium supplementation is the effect it has on blood pressure. In a study by Hatzistavri et al (2009) patients with mild hypertension (high blood pressure) were given 500mg of Magnesium for 12 weeks [2]. The study found that there was a significant decrease in 24 blood pressure.

Asthma sufferers may also benefit from Magnesium, a 2003 study found that children who took 200-290mg of Magnesium for 12 weeks used their medication less (though the difference was not huge) [3].

Obviously this doesn’t mean that you can ditch the inhaler, but it may have a very small benefit – and combined with all the other benefits it is definitely worth doing.

One study in 1998 showed that when tri-athletes took 17mmol Magnesium for four weeks they managed a significantly improved race time, possibly due to a reduced stress-response to exercise [4].

This means that Magnesium may very well help to improve aerobic performance, making it a great supplement for gym goers and athletes. There may also be an improvement of bone density when taking Magnesium.

Dosages

According to Examine.com the standard dosage for Magnesium is between 200-400mg [5], but as you can see the 2009 study found excellent results with 500mg of Magnesium.

Some people super load Magnesium to quickly build up their stores, but this can lead to some side effects. Better to gradually build your stores up.

Side Effects

You should always take Magnesium supplements with food, this will help them get absorbed easier.

Use Magnesium Citrate rather than Magnesium Oxide or Chloride, this is because Citrate has a higher absorption rate and is therefore less likely to result in an upset stomach or bloating.

Final Verdict

If you are looking to build muscle then you should probably look at your Magnesium levels, eating Magnesium rich foods is a great start, but supplementing your diet with Magnesium Citrate will really help you to build muscle, and improve aerobic performance.

There are almost no side effects to taking Magnesium Citrate, but other forms of Magnesium can cause gastrointestinal distress.

Finally, consider taking Magnesium and Zinc together as ZMA as this will also help to improve sleep quality and recovery from exercise. Improved sleep will lead to increased testosterone, growth hormones, and improved appetite/satiety (leading to better weight management).

References

[1] Dørup, I., Clausen, T. 1991. Effects of magnesium and zinc deficiencies on growth and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and the heart. The British Journal of Nutrition 66(3): 493-504 (link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1772873

[2] Hatzistavri, L., Sarafidis, P., Georgianos, P., Tziolas, I., Aroditis, C., Zebekakis, P., Pikilidou, M., Lasaridis, A. 2009. Oral magnesium supplementation reduces ambulatory blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension. American Journal of Hypertension 22(10): 1070-5 (link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19617879

[3] Bede, O., Suranyi, A., Pinter, K., Szlavik, M., Gyurkovits, K. 2003. Urinary magnesium excretion in asthmatic children receiving magnesium supplementation: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Magnesium Research 16(4): 262-70 (link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14979636

[4] Golf, S., Bender, S., Grüttner, J. 1998. On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress. Cardiovascular Drugs & Therapy 12(Suppl. 2): 197-202 (link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9794094 [5] https://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/

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