Magnesium is found in abundance in the body (second only to calcium), with about

24 grams of this mineral contained half in the bones and half in your tissues. It is found in all the body’s cells, where it maintains fluid balance by pumping sodium and potassium in and out. More than 300 enzymes rely on a steady supply of magnesium for optimal activity. Magnesium is part of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the active energy compound that’s used by every cell in your body.

Research suggests that only 25 percent of the United States population is meeting their daily magnesium needs.2 I am sure we could all use a magnesium boost in our daily diet. Here’s what you should be striving for each day.


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Magnesium for Females


14-18 years 360 mg

19-30 years 310 mg

31+ years 320 mg


<18 years 400 mg 19-30 years 350 mg 31-50 years 360 mg Breastfeeding <18 years 360 mg 19-30 years 310 mg 31-50 years 320 mg Reprinted with permission from Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride, Copyright © 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. Courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. The best sources of magnesium are whole foods, including unrefined grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruit and green vegetables. Magnesium Supplements If you want to take a supplement, buy magnesium citrate. Compared to other forms of the mineral (e.g., magnesium oxide), magnesium citrates are more easily absorbed by your body. You can also get supplemental magnesium from your calcium pills if you buy one that has magnesium added. The daily upper limit for magnesium has been set at 350 milligrams from a supplement. That’s because doses higher than this can cause diarrhea and stomach upset, common side effects of magnesium supplementation. To prevent these side effects, you can split a larger dose over the course of the day.

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