Magnesium is one of the most important minerals used throughout the body today, and if you’re lacking the proper levels of magnesium you’ll experience all sorts of unpleasant side-effects. While most people get all the magnesium they need from a healthy diet, there are plenty of others that are low on the mineral because of health conditions, or because they aren’t choosing the right food sources.
Fortunately, magnesium supplementation is simple with products like magnesium chloride capsules and supplements on the market today. Below we’ll explore the benefits of good steady magnesium levels in the body, and we’ll look at things like magnesium dosing and safety considerations.
What is Magnesium Chloride?
Magnesium chloride is the salt form of magnesium that’s bound with chlorine. The magnesium chloride formula is MgCl2, which means a single magnesium atom is bound with two atoms, to form one magnesium chloride molecule.
In salt form it looks like a salt crystal, similar to table salt. Epsom salt is an excellent example of this. It’s sold as a liquid, and in capsules as well, for supplementation. This crystal is useful for raising magnesium levels in the body, and is relied on by many health professionals for reducing symptoms of magnesium deficiency in patients.
Magnesium chloride is a substance you can take on your own to boost your magnesium levels, but it should be taken with care, to avoid overdosing. It’s also possible to get enough magnesium in your diet naturally, from healthy food choices. All the major concerns around magnesium, and magnesium dosing, are covered below.
Magnesium Chloride Uses
There are hundreds of uses for magnesium chloride in, and out of the body. Below we focus on some of the most common uses, and some of the most significant benefits, that magnesium chloride can offer to your body.
Magnesium Chloride as a Road De-Icer
Magnesium chloride is used in some parts of the country, that experience freezing temperatures for a portion of the year, as a road de-icer. When laid down over the surface of roads and sidewalks, water cannot freeze as easily at freezing temperatures. This makes the surfaces safer to walk or drive over. Magnesium chloride isn’t used for this purpose very frequently any longer though, because it’s been found to cause significant damage to roads, sidewalks and vehicles over time. Less damaging de icing agents such as sodium chloride are typically used for this purpose.
Magnesium is Vital for More than 300 Functions in the Body
Magnesium is easily one of the most important minerals found in the body today according to this medical review for doctors and medical experts. It’s used alongside more than 300 different enzymes in the body, for processes like protein creation, heart activity, nerve function, muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation and much more.
Without enough magnesium in your body, most of your systems aren’t going to function as they were meant to, and you’ll see serious issues with blood pressure, heart rate and muscle function. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are getting enough magnesium. One of the key magnesium chloride benefits, is that it’s a simple way to make sure you’re taking in enough of this essential mineral. If your diet is giving you the magnesium you need, you can rely on this basic supplement to up your levels, with minimal effort.
Magnesium can Alleviate Mild to Moderate Symptoms of Depression
Another one of the magnesium chloride benefits, found in this intensive study of 112 participants, is in its ability to alleviate symptoms of depression. During the study, each of the 112 participants were given 248 mg of magnesium per day. This trial took place over a series of six weeks, and by the end of the trial there was an average anxiety reduction of 4.5 points, on the PHQ-9 scale.
It’s important to understand that the PHQ-9 scale is a 20-point scale that measures anxiety from minor to severe, and the severity of anxiety and depression move to a more intense classification every 5 points. Getting a 4.5 point reduction would be enough to move most patients down by a full classification level.
Magnesium can Lower Blood Pressure Levels
Magnesium chloride, and magnesium on its own, is a powerful tool for lowering blood pressure, when taken at the right dose on a daily basis, according to this meta-analysis. The study looked at the results from 22 different medical trials, and concluded that taking up to 370 mg of magnesium, as a supplement on a daily basis, can significantly lower blood pressure over time. The average pressure reduction was between 3-4mm HG for systolic pressure and 2-3mm HG for diastolic levels. This is a big enough benefit for patients with high blood pressure levels, to consider supplementing with magnesium on a daily basis, as one of the tools they use to improve their health.
Reduce the Risk of Developing Diabetes and Help with Control of the Disease
Getting enough magnesium, on a daily basis, can actually reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to this meta analysis. The study showed that the closer patients were to having healthy magnesium levels in their diet on a daily basis, the less likely they were to develop type 2 diabetes.
Patients with type 2 diabetes can manage the condition with magnesium supplementation to an extent, according to this study looking at high magnesium treatment dosages in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study shows that magnesium is depleted in patients, with type 2 diabetes, at an increased rate, resulting in complications caused by low magnesium levels. Since one of the complications is insulin resistance, adding a high daily dose of magnesium, as a type 2 diabetic patient, could reduce the symptoms caused by diabetes as well. More studies are necessary to verify this information, but the recent tests look promising.
Different Forms of Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride is offered in a wide range of forms. It’s sold as a basic salt for putting on roads or driveways. It’s offered in a flake form for putting in drinks, or for chemists. It can be purchased in a liquid, or in a capsule form as well. If you’re planning on taking magnesium chloride as a supplement, it’s best taken in capsule form, for the least amount of irritation in your mouth, and the easiest dosing.
Recommended Magnesium Intake Levels
Taking in enough magnesium, on a daily basis, will help you avoid a long list of health complications. To get enough of the supplement, you need to know what the recommendations are.
Daily Recommended Magnesium Intake by Age and Gender
- 6 Months and Under: 30 mg per day
- 7 to 12 months: 75 mg per day
- 1 to 3 years: 80 mg per day
- 4 to 8 years: 130 mg per day
- 9 to 13 years: 240 mg per day
- 14 to 18 years (male): 410 mg per day
- 14 to 18 years (female): 360 mg per day
- 14 to 18 years (female pregnant): 400 mg per day
- 19 to 30 years (male): 400 mg per day
- 19 to 30 years (female): 310 mg per day
- 19 to 30 years (female pregnant): 350 mg per day
- 31 to 50 years (male): 420 mg per day
- 31 to 50 years (female): 320 mg per day
- 31 to 50 years (female pregnant): 360 mg per day
- 51+ years (male): 420 mg per day
- 51+ years (female): 320 mg per day
Those with Kidney Issues, or Severe Heart Disease, Should Consult with a Doctor
The recommended daily intake figures listed above will create a slight excess of magnesium in the body, on a daily basis. This isn’t a problem for those with healthy kidneys. Someone with kidney-related illnesses or complications, could develop side-effects by taking in the recommended amount of magnesium daily. If this is you, consult with a doctor before supplementing with magnesium chloride.
Food Sources of Magnesium
There are plenty of high-quality Magnesium chloride supplements available to purchase today, but getting magnesium from everyday foods isn’t that difficult either. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms caused by a magnesium deficiency, you can probably fix them with some simple dietary adjustments.
Below is a list of magnesium-rich foods you can add to your diet. We focused on the 10 richest magnesium food sources, from among the hundreds of options. Use some of these or look up additional foods you can incorporate into your diet instead.
- Almonds: (80mg) Eat an once of almonds for 80mg of magnesium. Almonds are the number one magnesium provider on our list, and an easy source to up your levels.
- Spinach: (78mg) Eat a ½ cup serving of cooked spinach, and you’ll be taking in 78mg of magnesium. It’s important to note that you’ll need more than ½ cup of raw spinach for this benefit.
- Cashews: (74mg) One ounce of cashews is worth about 74mg of magnesium, along with some other heart-healthy benefits.
- Peanuts: (63mg) Just a single ¼ cup serving of roasted peanuts can give you 63mg of magnesium.
- Shredded Wheat Cereal: (61mg) Eating a top-quality shredded wheat cereal can give you up to 61 mg of magnesium per serving. Read the label carefully when selecting a cereal to maximize your benefits, and avoid high sugar options, for improved health benefits.
- Soymilk: (61mg) Soymilk has grown less popular in recent years, due to soy allergies, but with 61mg of magnesium per cup, it’s an excellent source of the mineral.
- Black Beans: (60mg) Black beans aren’t just good for protein and fiber, they’re also packed with magnesium with about 60mg in a single ½ cut serving.
- Edamame: (50mg) A single ½ cup serving of this soybean product offers around 50mg of magnesium, along with a boatload of other benefits.
- Peanut Butter: (49mg) Quality smooth peanut butter can deliver as much as 49mg of magnesium to your body with every serving. You must get a good quality product, so make sure you read the label carefully.
- Bread: (46mg) Bread has the potential to be an excellent source of magnesium, with up to 46 mg per serving. Look at the nutritional label on any bread you consider purchasing, because they aren’t all created with the same ingredients.
Side Effects to Consider
Generally excess levels of magnesium are tolerated very well by the body. This is because healthy kidneys can process and remove all the extra magnesium easily in most instances. Problems only arise in people with unhealthy kidneys, or in situations where so much magnesium is taken in that the kidneys can’t keep up.
That’s why care must be taken to get just the right amount of magnesium in patients with kidneys that aren’t functioning properly. Care should also be taken to avoid taking in too much magnesium on a daily basis.
Below are common side-effects of excess magnesium, as well as the less common, and more serious side-effects that come along with magnesium toxicity.
Common Side Effects
- Stomach discomfort
- Serves as a laxative
Serious Side Effects
- Low blood pressure
- Flushed face
- Urine retention
- Feeling weak and tired
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular breathing
- Difficulty breathing
- Cardiac arrest
Careful Magnesium Limits
When supplementing with magnesium chloride it’s important to understand how much magnesium your body really needs. Below are the careful limits of magnesium that you should take on on a daily basis. These amounts are set for people with kidney issues, to help them avoid taking in an excess amount of magnesium on a daily basis.
- 1-3 years old: 65 mg daily
- 4-8 years old: 110 mg daily
- 9+ years old: 350 mg daily
Getting enough magnesium in your body on a daily basis can help keep you healthy, lower your blood pressure, stave off type 2 diabetes and just keep your body running more smoothly. While you could get all the magnesium you need through a healthy diet, it’s more reliable to add in a bit of supplementation as well, if you aren’t sure you can get enough magnesium on your own. Magnesium chloride based liquids and supplements are an effective tool for that purpose. Make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of magnesium in your diet, and you’ll feel better for it.