Can Magnesium Cause Fatigue? Debunking Myths & Facts

Can Magnesium Cause Fatigue? Debunking Myths & Facts

It is a myth that magnesium causes fatigue. In fact, one of the many functions of magnesium is to help produce energy. Thus, low magnesium levels cause fatigue, while increasing magnesium levels give an energy boost.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports over 300 of your body’s biochemical processes. 

Having adequate magnesium is essential for proper body functioning, including having a healthy heart, strong bones, steady blood pressure, healthy sugar levels, and more.

However, because magnesium also relaxes muscles, calms the body, and improves sleep, some people think it causes fatigue. Is this a myth or a fact? Does magnesium cause fatigue?

This article will examine the relationship between magnesium and energy levels. 

Can magnesium supplements lead to tiredness?

It’s a myth that magnesium supplements lead to tiredness. Magnesium supplements provide you with adequate amounts of magnesium - a nutrient that is essential for energy production. 

Therefore, rather than lead to fatigue, magnesium supplements boost energy to help you fight tiredness.

The link between magnesium and energy production

Magnesium supports over 300 of your body’s processes, including energy production.

The process by which your body produces energy is called cellular respiration. This process involves the breakdown of glucose to produce Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the organic compound that provides energy.

ATP is the energy currency of life, as all life forms need it for survival. Without ATP, cells would not have the energy to complete processes vital to remain alive, and they would eventually die.

Interestingly, magnesium plays a crucial role in the activation of ATP. After ATP is produced, it must bind with a magnesium ion to be biologically active. 

In fact, ATP primarily exists as a complex with magnesium, so what is called ATP is actually Mg-ATP.

If your body is a vehicle, ATP is the fuel that powers the vehicle, and magnesium is what makes the fuel work. Without magnesium, ATP would not be biologically active to provide your body cells with energy.

The relationship between magnesium and tiredness

Since magnesium is needed to activate the energy molecule ATP, our magnesium status and energy levels have a direct relationship.

High magnesium levels mean high energy to the body cells, boosting energy. Also, low magnesium levels mean low energy to the body cells, resulting in specific muscle weakness or general fatigue.

Thus, contrary to the myth that magnesium causes tiredness, the culprit is low magnesium levels (magnesium deficiency). 

A study investigating the relationship between magnesium and stress says one of the most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency is fatigue

When your magnesium levels are low, you’ll feel tired and weak. But taking magnesium supplements boosts your magnesium levels to help you fight tiredness and exhaustion.

How much magnesium does our body need?

The amount of magnesium your body needs depends on your age and sex.

According to the National Institute of Health, the average daily level of magnesium intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement (recommended dietary allowance of magnesium) is as follows:

Age

Male

Female

Birth to 6 months

30mg

30mg

Infant (7 - 12 months)

75mg

75mg

Children (1 - 3 years)

80mg

80mg

Children (4 - 8 years)

130m

130mg

Children (9 - 13 years)

240mg

240mg

Teens (14 - 18 years)

410g

360mg

Adults

400 - 420mg

310 - 320mg

Pregnant teens

-

400mg

Pregnant women

-

350 - 360mg

Breastfeeding teens

-

360mg

Breastfeeding women

-

310 - 320mg


What is the best form of magnesium for the body?

The best forms of magnesium for the body include magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium orotate, magnesium malate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium taurate because they are the most bioavailable magnesium supplementation formulation.

Bioavailability describes the extent to which a drug is completely available to its intended biological destination.

Magnesium glycinate (in particular) is one of the most readily absorbed forms of magnesium, meaning the elemental magnesium will completely become available where it’s needed in your body.

The Why Not Natural magnesium supplement (Quadramag) uses magnesium glycinate and three other easily absorbable forms of magnesium (taurate, malate, and orotate). 

Thus, it is easily assimilated to give you all the good benefits of magnesium. This makes Quadramag an easy choice if you want the best magnesium supplement.

Best form of magnesium for the body

Read also: 5 Science-Based Reasons Why You Should Take Nutritional Supplements

Magnesium oxide is not easily absorbed by the body. Thus, this very common and affordable form of magnesium is unsuitable for magnesium supplementation.

What medications may interact with magnesium supplements?

Magnesium interacts with some medications to change how they work or increase their side effects. These include antibiotics, medications for high blood pressure and diabetes, bisphosphonates, and antacids.

Medications that have major interaction with magnesium

When magnesium has major interactions with medication, you should never take the combination.

Magnesium has major interactions with Levodopa and carbidopa, medications used to treat Parkinson's disease.

These medications work by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. 

Dopamine helps the brain send electrical signals to the body effectively, regulating movement and reducing symptoms of Parkinson's, such as tremors and loss of coordination. 

Since magnesium affects brain chemistry through neurotransmitters, having it in your system decreases the effectiveness of levodopa/ carbidopa. So, you should not take magnesium supplements when taking these medications.

Medications that have moderate interaction with magnesium

When magnesium interacts moderately with medication, you should be cautious when taking the combination.

Magnesium has moderate interactions with the following:

Aminoglycoside antibiotics

Aminoglycoside antibiotics

Aminoglycoside antibiotics interact with magnesium. These antibiotics, used to treat hard-to-cure bacterial infections, interfere with neuromuscular transmission. These include amikacin, streptomycin, gentamicin, tobramycin, kanamycin, etc.

Magnesium also influences neuromuscular transmission, as it helps muscles relax. Thus, increasing your magnesium intake (via supplements) when taking aminoglycoside antibiotics might cause muscle problems.

Tetracycline antibiotics

Tetracyclines (such as demeclocycline and minocycline) are used in treating bacterial infections. However, magnesium affects the absorption of tetracycline, limiting the medication's effectiveness.

Quinolone antibiotics

Magnesium also affects the absorption of quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and levofloxacin, which are used to treat serious, life-threatening bacterial infections.

By reducing the absorption of Quinolone antibiotics, magnesium reduces the effectiveness of this medication.

Bisphosphonates 

Bisphosphonates are drugs (like alendronate, tiludronate, etidronate, etc.) used in treating osteoporosis and similar diseases as they prevent the loss of bone density.

Since magnesium also reduces the rate at which bone degrades, having magnesium in your system when taking bisphosphates affects how much of the medication your body absorbs, reducing its effectiveness.

Medications for high blood pressure

Medications like verapamil, nifedipine, felodipine, etc., which are used to treat high blood pressure, work by blocking calcium from entering the cells.

Magnesium also blocks calcium from entering cells. Thus, taking magnesium when on calcium channel blockers can cause blood pressure to go too low.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants (like carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, succinylcholine, pipecuronium, etc.) are used to relieve muscle tightness and muscle spasms. 

However, magnesium also relaxes muscles. Therefore, taking magnesium when using muscle relaxants can increase the side effects of these medications.

Water pills/ Diuretics

Water pills/ diuretics (like spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, etc.) are used to remove water from your body via urine.

Many of these diuretics increase magnesium levels in the body, so taking magnesium will increase your magnesium levels and increase the side effects of these medications.

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants (enoxaparin, clopidogrel, heparin, etc.) slow blood clotting, helping people with high risks of getting clots to reduce their chances of developing strokes and heart attacks.

However, magnesium also slows blood clotting, increasing the clotting time in plasma and whole blood. Thus, taking a magnesium supplement when using anticoagulants may slow blood clotting too much and increase bleeding from wounds.

Diabetes medications

Antidiabetic medications (sulfonylureas) increase the release of insulin from the pancreas to help you fight diabetes by removing sugar from the blood.

However, magnesium increases the absorption of sulfonylureas in the body. Thus, if you take a magnesium supplement when on sulfonylureas, your pancreas may release too much insulin, increasing your risk of low blood sugar.

Antacids

Many antacids contain calcium, which competes with magnesium for the same binding spots in body cells. So, antacids reduce the effectiveness of magnesium.

What is the likelihood of experiencing a magnesium overdose?

Magnesium overdose (known as hypermagnesemia) is uncommon, as people’s magnesium levels are more likely to be too low than too high.

However, it’s possible to experience magnesium overdose. The likelihood of experiencing the condition increases when you have kidney failure, use medications with high magnesium content, or overuse magnesium supplements.

Note that you cannot get a magnesium overdose from eating magnesium-rich foods.

Let’s explore these situations in detail. 

Kidney failure

Kidney failure

Your kidneys can remove excess magnesium from the body. Thus, when you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot effectively remove excess magnesium from your body, leading to magnesium overdose.

Medications

Medications

Certain medications (like laxatives and antacids) have high levels of magnesium.

For example, one tablespoon of Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia contains 500 mg of elemental magnesium, and the daily dose for adults is four tablespoons. This means an adult on the laxative will consume 2,000 mg of magnesium daily.

To put this in perspective, the recommended daily amount of magnesium for adults is 310 - 320 mg for women and 400 - 420 mg for men.

True, the body does not absorb all the magnesium because of the medication’s laxative effects. But regularly taking above the safe upper level can easily make you experience hypermagnesemia (magnesium overdose).

Supplements

Magnesium supplementation provides your body with magnesium if you are not getting enough from your diet. 

However, an overdose of these dietary supplements will flood your body with more magnesium than your kidneys can remove, leading to hypermagnesemia.

What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?

Not getting enough magnesium causes magnesium deficiency (also known as hypomagnesemia). Signs of magnesium deficiency can be physical and mental.

Physical signs of magnesium deficiency

Mental/ psychological signs of magnesium deficiency

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremors
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Low mood
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Poor attention
  • Anxiety

Chronic magnesium deficiency can lead to more severe physical and mental conditions, as follows:

Physical signs of magnesium deficiency

Mental/ psychological signs of magnesium deficiency

  • Seizures
  • Convulsion
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Heart disease/ cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • ADHD

Severe magnesium deficiency is quite common because the obvious signs may not appear until magnesium levels are severely low. Thus, supplementation can help you avoid subclinical magnesium deficiency (where you have a mineral deficiency that is undetectable by the usual clinical test).

What are the benefits of magnesium in the body?

With magnesium needed for over 300 of the body’s biochemical processes, the micronutrient benefits the body in several ways. A few benefits of magnesium in the body are:

Energy production

Cellular energy production processes are composed of magnesium-dependent enzymatic reactions. For example, magnesium is needed to activate ATP, which provides the cells with energy.

Without magnesium, the body cannot get the energy needed to power its processes. 

Helps muscles relax

An increase in magnesium reduces calcium in the cells. Since calcium gives the signal that triggers muscle contractions, reducing it promotes muscle relaxation. 

The muscle-relaxing effect of magnesium makes it a popular remedy for treating muscle cramps

Supports bone health

Over 50% of the magnesium in your body is in your bones, which works to keep your bones strong and prevent their degradation.

Studies have shown that magnesium is crucial for bone health. That is, low magnesium levels can cause fragile bone and increase your risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. 

Protects the heart

Magnesium reduces the buildup of calcium in your heart and arteries. This prevents hardening of the arteries and reduces the risk of heart problems like hypertension.

Improves digestion

Magnesium is needed to produce digestive acids in the stomach and digestive enzymes. It also protects digestive organs. Thus, magnesium is crucial to digestion.

Low levels of the mineral cause digestive problems like indigestion, constipation, heartburn, etc.

Maintains blood sugar levels

Different studies have shown that magnesium supplementation helps regulate blood sugar levels by facilitating the production of insulin.

Magnesium induces the pancreas to release insulin. The hormone then moves sugar out of the blood into the cells, reducing blood sugar levels. 

Takeaway: Raise magnesium levels with supplementation and fight off fatigue 

It is a myth that magnesium causes fatigue. Magnesium is needed to activate ATP, which provides the cells with energy. Thus, magnesium gives an energy boost, and magnesium deficiency causes fatigue.

Oral magnesium supplementation is an excellent way to meet your daily magnesium needs and fight off fatigue and exhaustion. This is where Why Not Natural comes in!

Why Not Natural provides clean supplements that work. Our supplements are what dietary supplements should be. They are 100% natural - they contain no preservatives or fillers and are GMO-free. 

Our magnesium complex supplement provides all the magnesium you need for overall health. The supplement has four forms of magnesium - glycinate, taurate, malate, and orotate. Thus, it gives you magnesium that your body can easily absorb. In addition to giving you energy, it also improves sleep and promotes quality sleep.

Ensure you meet your daily magnesium requirement to fight fatigue and improve your overall health. Order the 100% natural 4-in-1 magnesium complex supplement today!
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