First, you need to ask yourself why you're taking magnesium. Are you getting enough magnesium from your diet?
Are you having symptoms that you think show you need magnesium? Are you on medications that drain or raise your body’s magnesium levels?
You want to know the answers to these questions before you start taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is an important chemical needed for a variety functions in the body such as proper nerve and muscle function, regular heart rhythms, bone strength, regulating blood sugar and producing energy.
Adult males need 400 to 420 milligrams per day and adult females need 310 to 320 milligrams per day.
Pregnant women need 350 to 400 milligrams per day and breastfeeding women need 310 to 360 milligrams per day. (1)
Good sources of magnesium are such foods as spinach, nuts, whole wheat bread, avocados, yogurt, fortified cereals and salmon.
Symptoms of low magnesium may include GI symptoms, sleep disorders, muscle twitching or tingling, restless leg syndrome, heart arrhythmias, and confusion, among others.
Here are considerations as to why you may need magnesium and some suggestions as to when to take it:
1) If you are on drugs that increase magnesium loss
A number of drugs may increase your loss of magnesium, so check with your doctor as to whether you should supplement. See some of the drugs here.
Magnesium should be taken one hour before or two hours after taking certain antibiotics for this reason.
Read here to learn more about those drugs that are affected by magnesium.
Ask your doctor if you are taking any medications that will be less effective, or that may cause side effects due to magnesium supplementation. For example, thyroid medication or Neurontin, used for seizures, can be affected by magnesium.