Magnesium Weight Loss and Health Benefits

So often when people think about weight loss they think about going on some kind of starvation diet.  The problem is that this will simply result in a lowered metabolism and ill health.

The best way to go about weight loss is to think about nutrition and understand what your body needs to function properly.  As strange as it might sound, magnesium is one of the nutrients which could help you lose weight.

Will magnesium help you lose weight?

First off, in order to lose weight with magnesium you have to be deficient in the first place.  If your body is replete with magnesium then taking extra in the form of supplements won’t help you.

How does magnesium help with weight loss?

Magnesium is needed for about 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body meaning that if you’re deficient, your body isn’t able to work as well as it should.

For instance, you might have a tendency to binge on comfort foods when you’re feeling depressed.  Well, magnesium will help with your depression because it’s needed to help convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and also melatonin.

Serotonin is one of the hormones that make you feel happy whilst melatonin helps you get to sleep.  So if you’re feeling happy and you’re getting a good night’s sleep, chances are you won’t feel the need to binge on high fat and high sugar foods.

Here’s another example, a lot of women crave chocolate around the time of their menses.  Why should this be?  Well, cocoa is one of the best sources of magnesium and helps relieve cramps and can generally provide you with a sense of well-being.

Magnesium is also needed to give you enough energy to exercise.  This is because the mitochondria in your muscles produce a kind of energy called ATP.  In order for this energy to work properly it needs to bind to magnesium.

Are you deficient in magnesium?

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, sensitivity to light and noise, mood swings and anaemia.

Magnesium has an interesting relationship with calcium in that they work with and against each other.  This means that you need to have the correct balance between these two nutrients.  It’s said that the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1.  However if you eat a lot of dairy products, chances are you’re getting more in the region of 10:1.

Calcium and magnesium both compete for absorption so if you’re getting too much calcium it means that magnesium won’t be absorbed properly.

Also, Western diets are becoming more and more deficient in magnesium particularly because of the amount of refined grains we eat.  When grains are processed, so many of the nutrients are stripped out.  In some countries flour has been fortified with certain nutrients such as folic acid, however this hasn’t been the case with magnesium.

How do you get more magnesium?

Magnesium is found in good amount in cocoa powder, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.  So do your best to eat plenty of these kinds of foods.  If you want to ensure you’re getting enough then you can take supplements.

Unfortunately most magnesium supplements on the market use magnesium oxide.  The problem with this is that it’s poorly absorbed by the body and can produce a laxative effect.

There are some superior forms of magnesium on the market which costs a bit more money but are 4 times as effective.  These include magnesium malate, glycinate, citrate and taurate.  However it has been reported by some people that Magnesium glutamate and aspartate makes depression worse.

Some people even enjoy adding Epsom salts into a bath and having a good soak.  This will be particularly good on days when you’re muscles are feeling tight and sore.  600g of Epsom Salts in a bath for 15 minutes will significantly increase the levels of magnesium in your body.

In order to get the most out of magnesium you also need to ensure you have good levels of vitamin D to help with absorption.  If you live in a cold climate chances are you’re not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight which means you’ll probably want to take a supplement of at least 1,000 iu.


Magnesium isn’t some sort of miracle weight loss product however it’s absolutely essential for a healthy body and most people today are deficient in magnesium.  So if you feel you might be deficient and want to health benefits of magnesium then this is a very healthy route to take.


Filed under Fat Burning Articles

17 Responses to Magnesium Weight Loss and Health Benefits

  1. Charolette Anderson

    Very interesting information, very helpful to me. I am diabetic, and a very short time ago,my blood sugar was running way too high. I also have been suffering from severe tiredness on occasion,and also a (foggy) mind. My mom suggested that maybe im low on magnesium. I started taking it, along with changing my eating habits, it seems to be helping me feel less tired and less brain fogged!!! And also, my hubby says i am losing weight. That makes me feel great about myself. Thanks for added information.

    • admin

      Charolette, I’m glad you found this information useful. A number of studies have shown that diabetics tend to be deficient in magnesium.

  2. jeff picazio

    I think for years I have dealt with boughts of muscle tightness, mental fog, sleeplessness, constipation and high blood pressure. After taking some magnesium citrate I felt immediately better, not 100 % but ALOT better. If you drink soda, drink caffeinated beverages, drink alcohol, all these things either bind to what little magnesium is in your system or makes you pee it out like a diuretic. I would recommend taking magnesium citrate or magnesium ascorbate regularly if you suffer from any of those conditions I mentioned.

  3. lori

    hi i have a question’s

    i tend to have servir hedacs and feel sleepy quite a bit. the thing is i also suffer from clinical depression. would magnisum help with the headaches at all and qite over wight.

    many thanks

    • admin

      Hello Lori,

      I’m not a doctor so I can’t give you medical advice however magnesium could possibly help with your headaches, depression and weight.

      However you might also want to look at Riboflavin (vitamin B2). Studies have shown it to be effective in migraines at just 25mg per day.

      “Riboflavin 25 mg showed an effect comparable to a combination of riboflavin 400 mg, magnesium 300 mg, and feverfew 100 mg.”

      A deficiency of Riboflavin can also cause anemia and can be depleted with exercise and weight loss dieting.

  4. wo0o

    I have to say that I am so pleased with my results since taking magnesium. I am a 25 yr old female. I dont eat a lot and I probably miss out on a lot of nutrients. I tend to have anxiety, I am always tired, and I am definitely one of the more physiologically weaker people that I know. Immediately after taking some magnesium, my anxiety calmed down. It did not go away 100 percent but the pangs of anxiousness that i would feel were much less severe. This has given me more focus at work and school. Also, I have seemingly lost weight with ease since I have started taking the supplement for about 2 weeks. I might have lost about 5 additional lbs that i do not normally lose based on how my pants are fitting. Now….I cannot say for sure that weight loss is caused by magnesium directly..i think it somehow makes my mind just work better because i am less bogged down by my anxiety and this helps me in every area…including increased stamina since my energy is not expended on depressed thoughts.

    • admin

      Thanks Wo0o for commenting, I’m so pleased that magnesium is working for you. Just goes to show how many aspects of the body are connected, we just need to spend more time listening to what our body is trying to tell us. Also, increased levels cortisol can cause anxiety which can make you put on weight.

  5. Natalie

    Hi I am 25 with extreme back pain. I have heard tons on how magnesium can help with stress to hopefully help with the muscle pains. I will be talking to my doctor tomorrow to see if this will help.. i also have low potassium i have heard magnesium and potassium work together..wish me luck. I hope this will help with the pain. :)

  6. Tara

    I read in one of my woman’s magazines that magnesium helps with reduses stress and may help in weight loss. I have to say I have only been taking it for a week now but I like the way it makes me feel. I handle situations better. I have not noticed weight loss yet. How much is safe to take in one day? The amounts very. I currently take 500 in the morning and half of one at night. Is that ok. I have the oxide version right now, it was what I was able to find. Plus how long can you take it?
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Tara, if you get diarrhea from taking too many magnesium supplements then you know you’re getting too much as your body can’t digest it. However I don’t know how much is “too much”. What you’re taking just now sounds OK however you’d be better off switching to one of the better absorbed ones.

      In terms of how long you can take magnesium supplements, you should be able to take it indefinitely as long as you’re not experiencing any problems.

  7. Joann M

    Hi, It is so amazing that just yesterday I, along with ladies from my church, were just speaking about the use of Magnesium for musle fatigue and weight loss….. Now, I see why it helps. I was having some pain in my leg and a friend told me to start taking the magnesium..well, it did work!! So, I am pleased to read this article and share with my friends from church. I have been experiencing a foggy mind, lack of energy, and working on my blood preasure. I could not explain why I was feeling this way. I had even told my endocrinologist about it and they changed my thyroid medicine. Last visit, my levels were great, so….this makes sense to me and I am going to try taking the magnesium consistently just to see if I experience a change in energy. Thank you for the article. It was great. Is B2 or B12 good for an energy boost?

  8. tammie venne

    This is a great tool for anxiety. I actually started taking it when an accupuncturist recommended for anxiety and it really helps

  9. Tomapa

    Can a blood test tell you if you are deficient in magnesium? What is the recommended dosage if you are deficient and how much is recommended to take if to help with weight loss and constipation. I am 45 yrs young and am in the middle of perimenopause. I am beginning to gain a ton of weight in the middle section, really all over my body.

    • If you want a blood test then get a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test.

      It’s generally recommended that you take 200% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) as a starting off point. However there many things that can increase your requirement for magnesium such as certain prescription drugs.

      You also need to ensure that the magnesium is actually able to get into the cells, this usually requires “co-factors” such as vitamin B6 and boron. Drinking lots of non-fluoridated water is also important because magnesium hydrophilic meaning “water loving”..

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