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Why You Should Take Magnesium

 Testimony of the Day

“Hi Maria! I just wanted to show you a quick update after being on your diet for 5 days!!

I’ve attached a before and after picture. My itchy, rashy legs have always looked their worse when i’m in a bath or shower; they are always there, but something about the hot water would make them very red and more noticeable than they already were. The “before” picture is how my legs would look while bathing for the last 3 or so years. I was so happy to take a bath tonight and realize they are almost all gone! I just wanted to thank you again for saving my skin!” Malorie

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What mineral is needed by every cell in the body, yet odds are you don’t get enough of it? Hint: It’s not calcium.

Give up? Magnesium.

The reason you are not getting enough of it is because our ancestors use to get magnesium from the water. Our water supply now is completely devoid of magnesium and a lot of people now drink bottled water which is devoid of magnesium. That is why my whole family, even my children, take a quality magnesium supplement daily!

It gets little attention now, but rising evidence implies that magnesium benefits your heart and bones, plus it may help prevent diabetes and migraine headaches.

Deficiencies also cause muscle spasms and pain, insomnia and fatigue. Magnesium assists in maintaining muscle and nerve function, maintains heart beat, helps our immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium is also great for diabetics because it helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Magnesium is also being researched as a natural way to curb food cravings. It is found that as magnesium deficiencies increase so do food cravings. Supplementing with a therapeutic dose of 600milligrams of a magnesium supplement has been shown to significantly calm food cravings.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include nausea, fatigue, or weakness. As magnesium deficiency gets worse, restless leg syndrome, numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, mood changes, or irregular heartbeats can occur.


I take 600mg of a quality magnesium glycinate (NOT Magnesium oxide) every night before bed to enhance my health in many ways (including helping me to fall asleep). Magnesium has been proven to;

  • -Aids in fighting depression
  • -Reduces food cravings
  • -Beneficial in the treatment of PMS
  • -Relieves restless leg syndrome
  • -Particularly important for maintaining a normal heart rhythm and is often used by physicians to treat irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
  • -Beneficial for bladder problems in women, especially common disturbances in bladder control and the sense of “urgency.”
  • -Helps in the treatment of high blood pressure
  • -Beneficial in the treatment of neuromuscular and nervous disorders
  • -Helps prevent kidney stones and gallstones
  • -Vital for a healthy immune system
  • -Keeps teeth healthy
  • -Magnesium is used by the body to help maintain muscles, nerves, and bones.
  • -Energy metabolism and protein synthesis
  • -Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • -Adequate intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D coupled with overall proper nutrition and weight-bearing exercise throughout childhood and adulthood are the primary preventive measures for osteoporosis
  • -Useful in treatment of polio and post-polio syndrome
  • -Useful in the treatment of prostate problems
  • -Helps reduce stress

Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk, however therapeutic doses of magnesium in supplements can promote unfavorable effects such as diarrhea. Choosing the correct form of magnesium will help prevent this undesired effect. Magnesium oxide is found in Milk of Magnesia…so of course that version of magnesium will cause diarrhea.

I recommend taking magnesium around 30 minutes before going to bed. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that helps our sleep. I recommend 400mg for most people; if someone is suffering from a medical condition or is on medication that depletes magnesium, they may require more, up to 1,000mg per day. In addition to supplements, taking baths with magnesium salts is extremely helpful. Absorbing magnesium through the skin stimulates the production of DHEA, the anti-aging hormone.

Click HERE to find my FAVORITE magnesium!


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Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Fugal Family says:

    I have Magnesium Malate.. what’s the difference?

  • The Malate form isn’t as absorb-able and may give you diarrhea!

  • Tina says:

    I am currently nursing my 7 1/2 month old…any suggestions on if this is safe or not? This is the reason I don’t take many supplements outside of my prenatal vitamin, I’m afraid of the effects on my infant.

  • Eating a variety of nuts and dark-green leafy vegetables every day will help provide recommended intakes of magnesium and maintain normal storage levels of this mineral. However, increasing magnesium through food may not be enough to restore extremely low magnesium levels to normal. Oral therapeutic doses of magnesium supplements in the form of magnesium-citrate or magnesium-glycinate is the best way to ensure proper levels.

  • Toni says:

    Maria: We have been wheat free, low carb, sugar free since Aug. 2012. (Thanks to Dr. Davis and YOU!!) The week after we started this lifestyle I noticed that I would occasionally get leg cramps during the night. I thought nothing of it. As the months went on, these cramps continued to be almost a nightly, INTENSE occurrence and after exercising, I would cramp up with my post work out stretch. Stupid me, but it took quite a few months to reread your book and I am now taking 400mg Magnesium Glycinate nightly without cramps. What I am wondering though…is why didn’t these symptoms show when I was following a “healthy whole grain” “low fat” lifestyle. With all the almonds, greens, flax, and almond flour I eat now, I’m definitely getting more magnesium in my foods. It doesn’t make sense to me. Any thoughts?? (other deficiencies as well??)

    • Hmm, not sure. It could have been from potassium deficiency (which can also cause leg cramps) instead of magnesium but the magnesium just fixed. Do you eat things like avocados, parsley, spinach? They are high in potassium. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    If I Wanted To Give Mag. Glycinate To My 13 Year Old Should I Hive Him The Same Dose That I Take WHich Is 400Mg.

  • Unknown says:

    I’m reading Master your Metabolism right now and it’s magnificent but I have a question regarding testosterone. I have PCOS and an elevated testosterone level of 77 and in the book it says that to raise testosterone, which I do not want to do, you should eat fats, proteins, exercise, B vitamins, etc. I’m confused because this is the type of eating that your book promotes but if I were to follow it, my testosterone would elevate even more which I do not want. I want to follow this way of eating since it makes so much sense to me but I’m concerned about my hormones and the progression of the male pattern hair growth that I already have. What should I do? Thank you for your help.

  • Linda says:

    What about a Magnesium Citrate/Carbonate combo…..is that as good as the glycinate?

  • Kim says:

    I just bought Magnesium that has Amino Acid Chelate, Magnesium Oxide. Will it be bad if I take it? I could not remember which type was best. The brand is Solaray.

  • Pauline says:

    hello maria, my friend at work has a daughter that gets febrile seizures. she just told me that her daughter gets them at the start of winter/fall. do you think magnesium supplements would help her? she’s 18 months. thank you

    • cemmerich says:

      A keto Adapted diet is very good for controlling febrile seizures. I have helped many clients reduce or eliminate their child’s seizures with a keto adapted diet. 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    So do we follow the RDA of daily magnesium? How do I know if we are deficient? We also follow Dr. Davis’ WOE. My 10 year old does it because I make her so when she’s out with her friends I’m sure it’s pizza and ice cream and such. 🙁 I eat way more nuts and greens than she does. I am also concerned for her getting enough calcium to grow. We don’t really drink milk but eat lots of cheese.

  • Stephanie says:

    I just found this site about magnesium http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
    It says that 30-40% of dietary magnesium is typically absorbed by the body. We could easily eat our RDA of mag from nuts and my daughter can have black beans (too carby for me), but do we need to eat WAY above the RDA to get 100% absorbed?

  • Janine says:

    I eat about 3-4 handfuls of almonds a day. What amount of magnesium am I getting? Can you take too much magnesium? Is it water soluble?

    • cemmerich says:

      1 cup of sliced almonds have about 250 mg of magnesium. I commonly have clients get 2-3 times that. It depends on your symptoms and I would have to do a health assessment to know how much you need. 🙂

  • Tracey says:

    I’ve been reading more and more about Magnesium and how important it is. I am a LADA diabetic though, so not quite type 1 or 2, but I am insulin dependent. Do you know if I should have any particular concerns if I choose to start using a transdermal form of Magnesium oil? I’ve been doing research, but am having trouble finding anything specific. The majority of the results only mention type 2. Thanks!

  • Megan says:

    I have the brand country life “chelates magnesium.” It looks like there are all sorts of magnesium in it, including glycinate. Should I still get the one you suggest instead?

  • Erin says:

    Hi Maria,
    Is Bisglycinate magnesium the same as glycinate magnesium?

  • Deb says:

    Maria, I occasionally take mag. citrate for overnight relief from constipation. I had heard that you can become dependent on it if taken daily. Is that true?

  • Karen says:

    My daughter in laws father is having severe insomnia issues. He does not drink, smoke and is in pretty good shape. In his forties. He does own and operate his own business. I am wondering if you could help him with say maybe the health assessment to naturally resolve the insomnia? He also suffers from restless leg syndrome. I am emailing him your information.
    Thank you for all you do.

  • Kim says:

    HI Maria! I love your site and recently bought your book Keto Adapted. After being Vegan for 5 yrs I had a lot of issues, never having supplemented B12 or Omega 3’s…you can see that would be a problem. I love the new way of eating, but I don’t want to be missing out on any key supplements…I have always been told you need to take Calcium with Magnesium? IS this not the case? Can you please clarify? Thanks so much!!

    • cemmerich says:

      I find many clients are deficient in magnesium as our water supply doesn’t contain nearly as much as it used to. Calcium though I don’t find many clients that are deficient, mostly just need vitamin K2 (typically from fermented food which we also don’t get enough of anymore). K2 regulates calcium metabolism and makes sure the calcium gets to where it should (bones) and out of where it shouldn’t (stones, plaque, etc.). 🙂

  • selena says:

    Hi! My 7 year old has issues with bedwetting and I discovered that magnesium helps! Have you read anything about this? I have been giving him a liquid magnesium (oxide, though) and he is dry in the morning, but he doesn’t like the flavor…he would rather take a pill. Would this brand be ok for him to take (half the dosage, maybe?) Thanks!

  • Campbell family says:

    Is there a chewable magnesium supplement for children? What supplements do you give to your boys? I want to make sure that my little ones are covered in their needs also. Thanks!

  • Kori says:

    I was reading that it is good to take mag with calcium and/or B6. Do you recommend this? Or is the type you suggest so absorbable that other supplements are not necessarily needed?

    • cemmerich says:

      Magnesium and calcium are frenamies. They shouldn’t be taken at the same time. 🙂

      • selena says:

        Why is that? I have googled it and can’t find a good explanation. I asked above about giving my son the pill form for bedwetting…well, that didn’t work (same dosage) 🙁 But the liquid magnesium that does work is a 1:1 ratio of calcium/magnesium. Go figure! Is it that bad? Thanks for any input!! 🙂

  • Kmnsbtt says:

    Hello.! Love your site and I am planning on purchasing a package in the near future. I have lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks just by following your blog and buying the keto-adapted e-book! Thank you. I need a bit of guidance though. My husband just walked in the door with an Atrial-fibrillation diagnosis and is going in for blood work on Monday. To which I said have them check your magnesium levels. He rolled his eyes. He knows he will need to loose about 35 lbs and will agree to the 30 day program, but is there something else we should do ? Is it safe to add magnesium to his diet if it his levels are not tested? Sorry for the length but would like to start off on the right foot for an expedient recovery…if there is such a thing.

  • Jodi says:

    Hi maria! I just finished your book keto adapted and am more motivated than ever i only have one question: i added magnesium glycinate like you suggested and noticed that ever since i started it (about 3 weeks now) that i am experiencing little cramps/charlie horses in my legs at night that i haven’t experienced since i was a kid. Im totally perplexed since mag is supposed to help relieve those actually…do you have any ideas! I am only taking a b complex occasionally, vit D occasionally ,and the magnesium nightly and sometimes in the a.m

  • Lia says:

    do you know of any good liquid magnesium supplements? My children cannot swallow pills.

  • Gen says:

    I bought some Magnesium liquid in my local health shop. It’s Magnesium Colloid (Chloride) concentrate. Is this ok? And how much should I start on?

    • cemmerich says:

      Magnesium Chloride is one of the best forms of magnesium for people with Gerd or stomach problems. It must be taken with food because the extra chloride will definitely make more HCL in the stomach. I would start with what is the recommended dose on the bottle. 🙂

  • Roye says:

    Hello Maria, thank you so much for your help. I’ve been taking Magnesium Glycinate in the evenings for a long time now and I take or used to take calcium (1200 mg), vitamin D3 (5000 iu) and just started vitamin K2 (45 mcg) in the morning. My problem is I also take other medications in the morning, after breakfast, I take Crestor and HBP meds. I’ve read that calcium shouldn’t be taken with your other medications. It says take calcium two hours after, well of course I forget now to take my calcium. My Doctor said take it at night. I’ve read you said not to take calcium/D3/K2 with Magnesium?! I am a Breast Cancer survivor and the calcium and D3 are important for me. When should I take it the calcium/D3/K2? Thanks so much.

  • Dee says:

    Hi Maria, I’m keen to try taking a magnessium supplement. Would you recommend Magnessium Bisglycinate? Its apparently a form of chelated magnessium.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Erin says:

    I notice I have to urinate more on the magnesium citrate – have you noticed that?

  • Alejandra says:

    Hi Maria!! Im new at keto and im doing very well except for one thing. I have IC (interstitial cystitis) and i had been in remission for a long time…now my symptoms got back despite having the same diet..im in the middle of finding out of it is a UTI or the IC is back. Researching i found some posts about people saying that ketones could irritate bladder on people with bladder issues and that urine becomes more acidic. So i decided to contact you wondering if you have ever seen that in your practice. Keto is the only way my body feels good and I’m so sad to even think I have to drop it because of this in case its not a UTI. I’m wondering if this is true do you think there could be a way to get around it and avoid the irritation of my bladder? My main symptoms are frequency and abdominal pain….im not ruling out a UTI yet but Im trying to get ahead on the situation. I think you are the most knowledgeable person I know on keto so I figured it was worth the shot!!! Blessings and thank you for answering my question about keto and pregnancy!

    • cemmerich says:

      I have not seen increases in UTI’s with this lifestyle, no. It could be something called the healing crisis where you get worse before you get better as your body heals and detoxes.

  • Amy says:

    Hi Maria! I started taking Natural Calm which is Magnesium citrate powder AND GABA (30 minutes between each). Last night I had the worst nightmare ever!! I woke up at 3am with very parched throat and mouth and realized the salted sunflower seeds I ate at my sister’s birthday party had way too much salt but still…. does Mag dehydrate you or is it possible I’m taking too much, not correct form or not to be combined with GABA?? I seem to have this same pattern for the last several nights: feel pleasantly tired, go to sleep probably around 10pm with vivid dreams and then wake from the dreams around 4-5am with a full bladder, go to the bathroom and fall back to sleep around an hour later. I’m going to decrease to just 1 rounded tspn. I also read that Magnesium can deplete Calcium stores and also, if you have thyroid issues and/or are taking prescription drugs the magnesium can interfere and even cause severe issues! Please give us your detailed response to this. I will also talk to my naturopathic physician 🙂 Thanks-

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Well, deep dreams are good. Means you are entering a REM sleep and that is a good thing. Not sure about dry throat. Could have been the salt. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Maria,
    Designs for Health has changed the name of their product??? It now says that it is made from magnesium glycinate and magnesium oxide. Is this how it always was? I had some pretty rough stomach problems this last week and had just started the bottle of Mg that I received from Designs for Health. Maybe the two were unrelated. Are there any straight magnesium glycinate products that you would recommend?

  • Kathy says:

    What are your thoughts on Angstrom liquid magnesium compared to Glycinate? Thank you.

  • Nicci says:

    What would be the correct dosage of magnesium for a 10 year old girl?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Depends on weight. Most supplement companies will be able to give you a proper dose if you contact them. 🙂

  • Katherine says:

    Maria I have suffered from insomnia since perimenipause. I don’t have sleep apnea and take time at night to calm before bed. Some nights it’s either can’t fall asleep or wake up after 1-3am. I have been trying magnesium but wonder if I need to up my dosage. I weigh about 220? Your thoughets about dosage and any other thoughts?

  • Jennifer says:

    I have the same itchy/rash legs as the person writing the testimonial! I also found relief when doing the strict keto immersion plan that I purchased from you. However, my symptoms have returned now that I have added dairy and some nuts back into my plan. Is this a symptom of a dairy or nut allergy? Or is there a supplement you would recommend?

  • Mary says:

    I recently read that Dr. Davis of Wheat Belly recommends a homemade magnesium water as the best way to get this mineral. What are your thoughts on this? It sounds like such a simple inpensive way to consume it.

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Maria – Hope you and the fam are enjoying your summer!

    I just had my magnesium levels checked and they were slightly elevated per lab at 2.6mg. I was super religious about taking the magnesium nightly per my plan assessment back in October, but the last two months I have been sporadic so wondering is 2.6 really elevated? or could there be something else going on that would cause this? Kidney function was also tested and results were normal.


  • MJ says:

    Hi Maria— I apologize if someone has already asked this question but I don’t seem to find the answer…I have ordered the magnesium you recommended via your Amazon page…as per your recommendation (re: from my Personalized Health Assessment), I’m supposed to take 800mg of magnesium per day @ night— the container states 2 tablets = 200mg from 2000 mg magnesium glycinate/lysinate chelate….does that mean that I should take 4 tablets to equal 800mg or ???….sorry if its confusing as I just can’t make sense of it!!!….THANK YOU! M.J.

  • theresa says:

    I have horrible leg cramps at night. Magnesium helps but makes me really anxious and not sleep well. If I take it in the am I am anxious all day. I have tried all kinds from Natural Calm to Magnesium oil to the glycinate. My cabinet is full! Do you have any ideas why I react this way when I so obviously need it. Any ideas on something I could combine it with maybe? I love eating this way but the cramps are really an issue, Thanks.

  • Annie Smith says:

    Maria, my 4year old daughter has a difficult time falling asleep no matter what bedtime routine and or what we feed her, – Magnesium Glycinate has been very helpful for me in falling asleep quickly and staying in deep sleep. Do you know if this can be given to children? Thanks for all you do! Annie

  • Shawnette Prueitt says:

    I need to find out if magnesium glycinate comes in a liquid. I need to start giving this to my daughter but she can’t swallow pills

  • Linda says:

    Is it possible for Magnesium Glycinate to cause some people to be more alert? I feel like I cannot sleep well when I take it at night. It seems as though I read once on your site about this but I cannot seem to find the article.

  • Jo says:

    Hi Maria,
    I have only been able to find Magnesium Bis-Glycinate available online in Australia (don’t seem to be able to get anything sent from the US).
    The low down on the bis-glycinate reads as the following:

    Amount per Serving:
    • Calories 10
    • Protein 1g
    • Magnesium (as magnesium bis-glycinate) 200mg
    • Calcium 153mg
    Other Ingredients: Dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, modified cellulose, and magnesium stearate.

    Does that look ok? I am finding it very difficult to sort my way through all the products out there. What is ‘chelated’ and is it ok?

    Thanks, Jo

  • Amy says:

    Do you know anything about Tourette’s syndrome? My husband has Tourette’s and I’ve been having him take magnesium and it’s helping. I you know anything else that would help?
    Also I take my probiotic at night, can I take magnesium with it as well?

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