Although we try to explain magnesium requirements throughout our Ancient Minerals website, the same question seems to pop up quite frequently from our customers.
“How much magnesium should I be taking?”
There really is no cut and dry answer to this question because honestly, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all dosage. In my opinion, the only reason that the government creates charts containing a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is to give people a nice round number to work from – it certainly simplifies people’s lives when there’s no guess work involved. However, if you start to consider the vast differences in each person’s biology, you begin to realize that these numbers are nothing more than a vague starting point at best.
Which may explain why we can’t simply give you a specific amount of sprays of magnesium oil, pumps of gel, or cups of flake to provide what you need. Sure, it would probably make it easier on the both of us if we could (or would) – but only in the short run, not the long.
So, now that we’re back to square one, let me provide you with some necessary information that will help you tailor your dosage to meet your magnesium needs.
Making Up for Lost Time (and Magnesium)
First and foremost, if you can answer “yes” to any one of the 10 questions in our Do You Need More Magnesium article, or if you’re already aware that you are deficient in magnesium, you should not be starting with a maintenance dose – a dosage more suitable for maintaining magnesium levels rather than raising them. When you start from a place of deficiency, your body will require a higher dosage in order to climb back up to what is ideal. The downside is that magnesium doesn’t make it easy for those that are looking for instant gratification. On the upside, though, transdermal magnesium has made it a whole lot easier than it was when we relied on oral supplements alone.
If you’ve read through the 10 questions I mentioned above, you’ll understand that when supplementing with magnesium your goal is to not only replace what your body is losing daily, but to try and avoid those elements that result in excessive magnesium loss. The more of those factors you can minimize, or eliminate altogether, the less magnesium you’ll need to use in order to maintain sufficient levels.
Optimizing Your Intake
Another influencing factor on how much magnesium you should be taking is the type of compound you are using. Both the quality of the magnesium supplement as well as the bio-availability should be taken into account when calculating your needs. Since the most common magnesium supplement on store shelves (magnesium oxide) is very poorly absorbed, you would need to use it in much higher amounts and frequency in comparison to a more readily assimilated compound like magnesium glycinate.
Combine both oral & topical magnesium supplements to help expedite recovery from deficiency.
When using our Ancient Minerals topical magnesium products, the dosages will be a bit different and less constricting. What I mean by that is that you are not bound by the limitations of oral supplementation (e.g. too much magnesium = diarrhea). Your only limitations with topical magnesium would be your skin sensitivity and the time needed to utilize it. Outside of those factors, our recommendation for use is to cover as much of your skin as possible (avoiding mucus membranes), to maximize the area of absorption.
Each of our products contains a different concentration of magnesium, and each application offers various benefits over another.
Magnesium Oil: 560mg per teaspoon*
Magnesium Gel: 490mg per teaspoon
Magnesium Bath Flakes: 15g per cup
Magnesium Lotion: 185mg per teaspoon
*8 sprays of Magnesium Oil equals roughly 100mg of magnesium.
Food is an Appetizer, Not a Main Course
Don’t forget to consider the magnesium you are obtaining through food sources and perhaps augment meals to boost your intake. Although magnesium content in foods has gone down significantly over the years, you are still able to glean a fractional amount of your daily requirement through your meals. If your diet includes a lot of nuts, legumes, mackerel, spinach, etc., your magnesium needs will be a lot lower than someone that, say, eats a highly processed diet with little to no magnesium content. However, for those of you looking to eat your way out of a magnesium deficiency, chances are that you’re fighting a losing battle.
Hopefully you were able to gain a bit more understanding as to why finding a standard dose of magnesium on our site is about as likely as spotting a unicorn. But more than that, I hope that this will help you in gauging your own personal needs. This is one of those nutrients that makes it well worth the time and energy spent towards customizing your supplementation routine.