When people realize they have symptoms like muscle cramps and spasms, fatigue and weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, etc., they ask what’s caused it. Magnesium deficiency, or a low magnesium level, can be responsible for such.
The body needs magnesium, a common mineral that ensures over 300 enzymes perform physiological functions like proper muscle and nerve function, regulation of blood pressure, strengthening of the bones, boosting the immune system, producing protein and DNA, providing a healthy cardiovascular system, etc.
The Importance Of Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium supplements were made to help individuals with low magnesium. People lack the adequate magnesium their bodies need due to not consuming magnesium-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Another reason is that gastrointestinal issues like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and chronic diarrhea will not allow the body to absorb magnesium. Alcoholism, kidney disease, and medications like diuretics, proton pump inhibitors, certain antibiotics, etc. can also result in magnesium deficiency.
Since most people have realized the relevance of magnesium in their bodies, they take magnesium supplements, a product for boosting magnesium levels where dietary intake isn’t sufficient. You can get these supplements over-the-counter as tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids, and they are called:
- Magnesium Citrate
- Magnesium Oxide
- Magnesium Chloride
- Magnesium Glycinate
So, after getting these supplements, you expect them to start working; however, there are factors to consider for such to happen.
Factors Influencing The Time Taken For Magnesium To Work
The following factors can influence how long it will take magnesium to start working:
🔸 The Reason For Supplementation
The normal duration for magnesium supplements to be effective is a few hours to a few days. However, this depends on the reason for supplementation. If you have acute conditions like muscle cramps, you may recover within a few hours of using the supplement.
However, it’s different for chronic conditions like migraines or anxiety because regular supplementation for several weeks is required before you can make positive changes.
🔸 Effects Of Magnesium Deficiency
If you have a magnesium deficiency and take magnesium supplements, expect a quick recovery in your energy levels and muscle function within a few days. However, sometimes, recovery might be slow because it might take several weeks or even months of regular supplementation to regain adequate magnesium levels.
🔸 Role Of Bioavailability
Bioavailability is the proportion of specific magnesium supplements entering the bloodstream and being introduced into the body to perform physiological functions. The bioavailability of the different magnesium supplements differs, indicating that the body absorbs and uses them at different rates.
For instance, the body can absorb a greater proportion of magnesium in magnesium citrate because it has more bioavailability. Therefore, the bloodstream will quickly absorb magnesium to reduce any symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
However, magnesium oxide has less bioavailability, so the body can only absorb a smaller portion of its magnesium to perform physiological functions. As a result, individuals using magnesium oxide will not quickly recover compared to those taking magnesium citrate.
🔸 Individual Variations And Considerations
There are individual variations in metabolism, digestive health, and considerations like nutrient interaction that can determine how quickly magnesium supplements will work.
- Metabolic variation: This is how the body processes food and nutrients, including minerals like magnesium. For example, younger people might be able to absorb and use magnesium more effectively than adults due to age differences.
- Hormonal profiles: The difference in female and male hormonal profiles and body composition can determine how the body absorbs and uses magnesium. For example, women have hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. In contrast, dietary needs and body composition can determine if their body will quickly benefit from magnesium or not.
- Digestive Health: People with digestive issues such as the gastrointestinal tract, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, etc. will find it hard to absorb or quickly benefit from magnesium supplements.
- Nutrient interactions: Taking nutrients like vitamin D is known to help the body absorb magnesium faster. So, when you combine it with a magnesium supplement, know that it will reduce magnesium deficiency and quicken the recovery process.
Note: While magnesium supplements have many benefits, high dosages can cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. Therefore, take the prescribed dosage and consult a healthcare provider for more guidance.
Magnesium supplements are essential in helping people with magnesium deficiency, and many factors can affect how long it will take to work. Nevertheless, ensure you take it as your healthcare provider prescribes to avoid side effects.