Magnesium supplements can be taken anytime of day, however, it is advisable to take magnesium with food to avoid any possible stomach discomfort.
Magnesium is a great supplement to take, but with the different forms there are optimal times to take each type of magnesium.
Different factors that can affect your magnesium (Mg) absorption ability including:
- your age
- the form of magnesium your taking
- your magnesium intake levels
- dietary components
- our individual differences in digestive function
We’ll explore these to help to understand when is the best time and what is the best way to take an oral magnesium supplement.
Table of Contents
Taking Magnesium With or Without Food
Summary: Take magnesium with food, except for when you want to to use magnesium to help you poop.
In general, you should take a magnesium supplement with any kind of food, so that it can be better absorbed in your gut. You can take magnesium with a meal at breakfast, lunch or dinner times.
However, some forms of magnesium supplements, such as magnesium oxide, may be better when taken on an empty stomach to help you poop.
Taking Magnesium in the Morning vs. Evening
Summary: Take a magnesium supplement anytime of day for general health. But, the best time of day to take magnesium can also vary depending on the form of magnesium supplement that you’re taking and the reason why you are taking it.
If you are taking magnesium for general well being then just take magnesium consistently everyday and not worry about what time of day. Taking your magnesium supplement at the same time every day can help maximize its effectiveness. Create a habit by setting a schedule in your day to make sure you are getting your daily dose of magnesium.
If you are taking magnesium to help sleep related issues, like insomnia, then I would take magnesium 2-3 hours before bed. Example would be taking magnesium glycinate before bedtime.
If you are taking magnesium for digestion problems, like constipation, then I would take magnesium in the morning on an empty stomach. Example is patients undergoing a colonoscopy are given magnesium citrate as it acts as a natural laxative to promote bowel movements before the procedure.
Taking Magnesium with Other Supplements
Summary: Magnesium is sold in combination with other supplements as it may be complimentary to help support a certain aspect of your health.
You will see magnesium combined with other types of supplements in certain products ingredient list. The reason why this is done is because some studies have shown they can enhance their effectiveness for specific health reasons.
For example, taking magnesium with calcium can help support bone health, while combining it with vitamin D and Zinc can help support our immune system.
Taking Magnesium with Other Medications
Summary: Magnesium does interact with some drugs. If you’re on any prescription medication; it’s important to discuss if you should, or when to take magnesium with your personal healthcare provider.
Taking a magnesium supplement alongside some prescription drugs like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for acid reflux, blood pressure medications, antibiotics and hormone therapies can block or affect the absorption rate of magnesium.
Be aware that taking magnesium can also negatively affect the action of some drugs, such as, interfering with the gastrointestinal absorption of tetracycline antibiotics.
Other Factors to Consider
Did you know that dietary Mg deficiencies are common in the elderly population. There are different reasons why as we get older that we might become magnesium deficient due to reduced magnesium intestinal absorption ability, reduced magnesium bone stores and excess urinary loss as we age.
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- Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.
- Barbagallo et al. 2009. Magnesium homeostasis and aging.