If you eat magnesium-rich foods (think beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetables), then you might get enough of this key nutrient as part of a healthy eating pattern. But if you’re like many Americans, you might not be getting enough magnesium through diet alone. If so, it could be time to consider taking a magnesium supplement. But what’s the best time to take magnesium?
First, it helps to understand why you need magnesium. As an important mineral, magnesium provides a variety of health benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium helps make bone, DNA and protein; normalizes muscle and nerve function, blood pressure and blood sugar levels; and aids in energy production. Because magnesium assists with more than 300 bodily functions, it plays a vital role in preventing disease and supporting well-being.
How much magnesium do you need each day? The National Institutes of Health recommends that women need 310–320 mg of magnesium per day, while men need 400–420 mg of magnesium per day. However, since almost 50 percent of Americans don’t get enough magnesium, it makes sense for many people to turn to magnesium supplements. But when should they be taken?
Ideally, you should take magnesium at the same time every day, whether that’s in the morning with your cup of coffee or in the evening right before you go to bed. The time of day doesn’t matter so much—it’s the consistency of taking magnesium daily that matters most. While some recommend taking magnesium supplements right before bed (to calm your mind and nervous system, setting the stage for sleep), do what works best for you to ensure that it becomes a daily healthy habit.
While there is no “best time” to take magnesium, there is a “best way” to take magnesium. If you take a magnesium supplement on an empty stomach, you may experience some digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea. That’s why it’s important to take magnesium supplements with a meal or snack. Of course, the best advice is to simply follow the supplement package directions.
You might take magnesium supplements to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, boost bone mineral density or enhance your sleep quality. Regardless of your reason, the key to reaping the most benefits from taking magnesium supplements lies in their long-term use.