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What Does Magnesium Do?

what does magnesium do

Thanks to Medical News Today for the image.

I’ll admit that after I researched multi-vitamins and discovered that they can be dangerous to your health, I quit taking them. For several days, I quit all my vitamins and supplements just to see how my body would feel. The first supplement that I added back to my regimen was my magnesium.

Of my supplements, magnesium is my favorite. When my body gets low on magnesium, I feel muscle tightness. It’s not that I start to cramp up, but my body feels really tight, restricted, and uncomfortable. I take a magnesium supplement and soak in a hot bath with epsom salts (which are a form of magnesium), and that normally gets my body back to normal.

Here’s more about this great mineral that keeps you healthy and feeling good.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that naturally occurs in our food and is essential for our health and well-being.

What Does Magnesium Do?

According to MedlinePlus,

“Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.”

How Can I Find Magnesium?

Magnesium naturally occurs in some foods. You can find it in:

  • dark green, leafy vegetables;
  • fruits such as bananas (32 mg), dried apricots (42 mg.), and avocados (58 mg.);
  • nuts like almonds and cashews (82 mg./oz.);
  • peas (48 mg./cup);
  • beans;
  • seeds;
  • soy products like tofu;
  • whole grains like brown rice;
  • dark chocolate (64 mg./oz.); and
  • milk.

If you believe you’re not getting as much magnesium as your body needs, you can take a magnesium supplement.

How Much Magnesium Should I Get?

According to WebMD, the recommended daily requirements are as follows:


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)


1-3 years

80 mg/day

4-8 years

130 mg/day

9-13 years

240 mg/day


14-18 years

360 mg/day

19-30 years

310 mg/day

31 years and over

320 mg/day


Under 19 years: 400 mg/day
19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day
31 years and up: 360 mg/day


Under 19 years: 360 mg/day
19 to 30 years: 310 mg/day
31 years and up: 320 mg/day


14-18 years

410 mg/day

19-30 years

400 mg/day

31 years and up

420 mg/day

How Do I Know if I Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Even if you’re not getting enough magnesium from your diet, it’s very rare that you’ll actually become deficient in magnesium. So, for most of the population, it will be enough to take a supplement or try to eat foods higher in magnesium if you feel like your body isn’t performing how you’d like.

Some people are candidates for magnesium deficiency, though. Consult with your doctor if you are older or have:

  • a history of alcohol abuse,
  • type 2 diabetes, or
  • gastrointestinal disease or have had a surgery that causes malabsorption.

Here’s a glimpse into the three stages of magnesium deficiency.

  • Early Symptoms:  nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, or loss of appetite.
  • Moderate Symptoms:  numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, or abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Severe Symptoms:  low blood calcium level (hypocalcemia) or low blood potassium level (hypokalemia).

Again, it’s important to understand that most people will never have a magnesium deficiency. For most people, you should be able to keep your magnesium level adjusted with a healthy, well-balanced diet.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

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