Magnesium – The Missing Link

It seems like magnesium is having a moment as the “it” supplement on the market right now. We asked Dr. Rach to break it down for us and give us all in the info on why magnesium is actually more important than you might think.

Magnesium is one of the six essential minerals that the body needs in large quantities. It is crucial to life.

Why does our body need magnesium?

  • It is an important cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.
  • Magnesium is crucial for bone strength and development.  
  • Supports muscle and nerve function.
  • It helps maintain a healthy immune system.
  • It regulates your blood sugar and heart rate.
  • Helps move stool through the intestines.
  • It can also help with increased energy and endurance.

It is so important, but less than 30% of Americans reach the RDI (recommended daily intake) for magnesium in their diets.  Optimally, it would be great to get enough magnesium from our diets alone, but depleted mineral content in our soil is making this more difficult to do.

So, just how much magnesium should your family be consuming every day?

Age  –  Daily Allowance

0-6 months  –  30mg

7-12 months  –  75mg

1-3 years  –  80mg

4-8 years  –  130mg

9-13 years  –  240mg

14-18 years  –  Male: 410mg  Female: 360mg

19-30 years  –  Male: 400mg Female: 320g

31+ years  –  Male 420 mg Female: 320 mg

My friend Liz, who is a health coach, also filled me in on some more info about magnesium and how you can tell if you have a magnesium deficiency.

You know those chocolate cravings you get once a month? They can be related to a magnesium deficiency! Here are some other signs to watch out for:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle Spasms and Cramps
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Energy/Fatigue

Magnesium deficiency is so widespread these days due to so many factors including our water supply, depleted soil, consumption of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol… and the big one… stress! Stress depletes your magnesium stores big time!

You will notice if you start supplementing with magnesium, your ability to remain calm in stressful situations will totally increase.

You can try to get enough magnesium through diet alone, but it is really difficult. Luckily, Dr. Rach has shared some awesome info and recipes with us!

Foods with the highest magnesium per milligram, are:

  • Cacao/ Cocoa
  • Bran breakfast cereal
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds

Other good sources of magnesium include:

  • Halibut
  • Mackeral
  • Cooked spinach

Here are Dr. Rach’s two super easy snack recipes that will help you add more magnesium into your diet:

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Apple Pear Bite Snacks

Since it is nearly impossible to get enough magnesium from your diet alone, there are some great supplements you can try.  Liz shared some of her favorite magnesium supplements with me.  And I threw in some of my faves for you, too!

Magnesium Supplements

When you are looking for a magnesium supplement, keep in mind that magnesium citrate has the best bio-availability and is easiest on the digestive tract.

Supplement in Pill Form

Mag Citrate

This is the best magnesium supplement in pill form out there. Period. Dr. Mark Hyman (his classes were my fave at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition) recommends this one above all others.

Mag 07

This is Desi’s fave supplement! It is the best for keeping you regular and will make a HUGE difference in your digestive tract. Take 2-3 at night.

For the Kiddos

 Calm Multi

Desi’s kids take this.  It has magnesium, lots of vitamins, fruits, veggies, and omegas.  She gives this to her kids along with probiotics every day. They say it tastes like orange juice… they don’t love it, but they don’t hate the taste either.  This is the best and easiest way she has found to give vitamins with magnesium to them everyday.

Topical Supplements 

Ancient Minerals oil

This is a great option to put on your skin if you don’t want to take a supplement every day. I love to put this on my feet with some warm socks over it at bedtime.

Note: This spray will tingle if you are deficient in magnesium. Once your body has absorbed the magnesium and you are no longer deficient, this side effect will no longer happen.

Ancient Minerals lotion

Ancient minerals also makes a lotion that I haven’t tried yet, but have been meaning to! This would be a great way to moisturize AND get your daily intake of magnesium.

Epsom salts

Epsom salt baths are definitely the most relaxing way to get your magnesium.  They are also a great way to detox your body!

Here is how you should prepare your bath: 

Fill up your bath with warm water. Add in the epsom salts in the following amounts and relax for 30-40 minutes.

  • Children under 60 lbs: Add 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath
  • Individuals between 60-100 lbs: Add 1 cup of salts to a standard size bath
  • Individuals between 100-150 lbs: Add 1 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath
  • Individuals between 150-200 lbs: Add 2 cups of salts to a standard size bath
  • For every 50lbs larger – add in an additional 1/2 cup of salts.

 This Dr. Teal’s product is my fave because I love the relaxing scent of lavender.

The BEST Way To Get Your Magnesium!

Natural Calm

I love this stuff! I use it every single day and notice that it totally helps to keep me calm, reduces my anxiety, and helps me sleep better. It also helps to keep me regular. I never knew magnesium played such a large role in our digestion until my Doula recommended I started taking it during my first pregnancy, as well as after I gave birth to get things moving. It made all the difference in the world, and I still take it religiously every day.  

It comes in a couple of different flavors, but I like the plain one the best because I like to make magnesium tea with it. It is part of my bedtime ritual. Below is the recipe for you! 🙂

Magnesium Tea Recipe

Mix 1 teaspoon natural calm powder into hot water with a chamomile tea bag. Add honey, lemon, or whatever you like in your tea. Make sure you only drink this at bedtime because it will make you sleepy!

Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor before starting any supplements. 




 Doctor Rach

Doctor Rach was born and bred in Sydney, Australia. In Australia she completed her studies, a Bachelor of Medical Science majoring in Nutritional Biochemistry, and a Masters of Chiropractic. Doctor Rach practiced as a wholistic chiropractor for over 10 years with a strong emphasis on nutrition. In March 2012, her husband had an opportunity to move to the USA for work, so they scooped up their 4 daughters and swapped their beaches for mountain living in Utah. For the past 3 years, Doctor Rach has switched her focus towards child and adolescent nutrition. She has started a blog and written the book, The Birthday Party Diet Exposed, where she is attempting to teach parents the importance of a healthy diet and how to do it in a manageable way.

Doctor Rach has also developed a range of products KidzShake and KidzSprinkles, a no compromise supplementation solution for parents.




I’m Liz Vander Leeuw. Mom, wife, daughter, friend, foodie, and wellness advocate. After dealing with health issues for ten years, I decided to make a change in my lifestyle. I lost nearly fifty pounds and began a journey to seek wellness. In 2014, I became a certified health coach after completing my education at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am passionate about all things related to health, food, and family. Now, as a new mom to my baby girl, I am even more passionate about creating the healthiest life possible for my family. I believe that Moms hold the key to create healthier generations.



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9 Responses to Magnesium – The Missing Link

  1. Kim Miller says:

    Hubby and I both are dealing with issues on that list. I’m definitely going to be checking with his doctor on what will work best for him. Just checked his last blood test and yup! His magnesium levels were low!
    Kim Miller recently posted…Mom’s Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel CakeMy Profile

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Hello! Thanks for doing this post. It looks like something I could be lacking in. I was just wondering what supplement to buy. Before you listed them, you said that the best absorbed was magnesium citrate but that the one that Dr. Mark Hyman liked was magnesium glycinate. Should I buy that brand in the citrate or glycinate?

    And, PS, did you attend the Integrative Institute of Nutrition? My favorite midwife took their course and I loved all her nutrition advice. I would love to fit it into my schedule at some point.

    • Diane says:

      I also just noticed this because my Amazon order arrived this morning, and the link that is provided takes you to magnesium citrate, not glycinate as indicated.

      • Desi says:

        Hi Diane! Mag citrate is the one I like best. We updated the photo of the product from glycinate to citrate. Thanks! Liz

    • Desi says:

      Hi Jacqueline, Thanks so much! We had the wrong image there. We will update that. Magnesium citrate is the one I use and like best. Would love to chat with you about IIN if you are interested! Email me at and we can set up a time to chat.

  3. Tina says:

    I have the same question as Jacqueline (from Feb. 29, 2016). The text in your post says magnesium cirtate but the Pure Encapsulations product you link to is magnesium glycinate. Which is best? And would using multiple of these supplements/baths be too much of a good thing? Thank you!

    • Desi says:

      Thanks, Tina! We just updated the photo with that link. I like magnesium citrate best, but either would be okay.

  4. Ann Marie says:

    Thank you for the great information! I am wondering if you can tell me what kind of probiotics you use for your kids? I’ve thought about putting my kids on them as well.

    • Desi says:

      Hi Ann Marie! I use this probiotics for kids: Hyper Probiotics for kids. I like it because it has four different strains, it doesn’t have a taste-they swallow them, and it has a prebiotic to help digestion. They are tiny and easy to swallow. I also like the Jarrow powder for little babies.

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