Magnesium Supplementation: what you need to know

Welcome to Real Food RN! A blog with the mission to empower you to live your healthiest life possible, starting today.

Join My Newsletter

Magnesium Supplementation: what you need to know | Real Food RN

Magnesium, often overlooked but vitally important to our health. In our modern world filled with stress, nutrient-poor diets, and mineral depleting foods it has become one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.

Why do we need magnesium anyway?

It is responsible for over 300 different chemical reactions in our bodies!

Magnesium promotes:

  • nervous system health (helps you relax)
  • mitochondrial health (energy levels)
  • sleep
  • intestinal function (too little magnesium leads to constipation)
  • bone health (it works with calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health)
  • heart & blood vessel health: maintains blood pressure, helps the heart muscle function better, it’s a natural blood thinner (thus protecting against heart attacks and stroke), lowers cholesterol, enhances circulation
  • glucose metabolism (helps prevent diabetes)
  • kidney health (reverses kidney stone formation)

…..and the list goes on and on.

What depletes our magnesium levels?

  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • stress
  • sugar
  • processed food that is full of “anti-nutrients” like phytic acid

How do I know if my magnesium levels are low?

Wellness Mama explains:

Low magnesium levels are often diagnosed by symptoms alone, and the following symptoms can point to low magnesium levels:

  • Inability to sleep or insomnia
  • irritability
  • sensitivity to noise
  • mental disturbances
  • anxiety, depression or restlessness
  • muscle soreness or spasms
  • infertility or PMS
  • high levels of stress
  • Headaches
  • Heart “flutters” or palpitations
  • fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • coldness in extremities
  • fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • lack of appetite
  • back pain
  • body odor
  • bad short term memory
  • poor coordination
  • insulin resistance
  • carbohydrate cravings
  • constipation
  • frequent cavities or poor dental health
  • gut disorders
  • kidney stones
  • thyroid problems

How do I get magnesium?

The most magnesium rich foods are:

  • beans
  • grains
  • nuts & seeds
  • chocolate
  • leafy greens
  • nettle tea

BUT NOT SO FAST!!! These foods might be high in magnesium, but they also contain “anti-nutrients” which bind to the minerals and render them useless (un-absorbable by the human body). You can try soaking and sprouting them to get rid of some of these anti-nutrients in the hopes of absorbing more of the minerals. I prefer to just get my magnesium via supplementation so I can be sure I am getting enough. There are two ways to get your magnesium via supplementation: oral and transdermal.

Oral magnesium supplementation:

The kind of oral magnesium that I have seen the best results with is Natural Calm. I have stopped taking it though, as I find topical magnesium to be more effective.

Here’s the problem with oral supplementation:

  • it can have laxative effects if you take too much
  • many drugs bind with magnesium diminishing its availability in the body
  • it can neutralize stomach acid, which can lead to malabsorption and other health problems

Transdermal supplementation:

Why I switched to transdermal (topical) magnesium supplementation:

  • it is easily absorbed through the skin and does not lead to the same intestinal and digestive issues as when taken orally
  • Dr. Norman Shealy explains:

“It takes up to five years of taking oral magnesium to restore intracellular levels to normal range. But using magnesium oil transdermally, it restores the intracellar levels within four weeks”.

So how do I take my magnesium transdermally?

Easy: magnesium oil. I just rub it on my skin (usually on my lower back) right before I go to bed. It’s just that easy!

Read about how I make my own magnesium oil HERE

Do you supplement with magnesium? Which supplementation form do you prefer? I would love to hear in the comments below.


Learn More About Kate, Founder of Real Food RN

Hi! I'm Kate.

Registered Nurse. Mom. Real Foodie.

Welcome to Real Food RN! A blog with the mission to empower you to live your healthiest life possible, starting today.



Where I Went to School

Integrative Nutrition Sample Class CTA

Let's stay connected Over a Glass of Wine 🍷

Sign up now for everything you need to know, from delicious & healthy recipes to how to sleep better and more! Brighten your day with some REAL love to your inbox.




Podcast Episodes


Take the first step to

Detox Your Life

In this step-by-step guide you'll learn exactly what common household products contain harmful toxins and how you can replace them with effective, safer, and chemical-free alternatives!

Includes Effective & Toxin-Free DIY Recipes for:

Baby and Kid Products

Dish Soaps

Laundry Detergents

Shampoos & Conditioners

Skin Care and Makeup

Multi-Purpose Cleaners

I am an RN, not an MD. The information on this blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. You can find out more in my Terms of Use & Disclosure and Privacy Policy.