Magnesium is a mineral that far too many of us are deficient in nowadays.
(In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of US adults have lower than optimum Magnesium levels!)
The reasons for this are varied, including:
- Increased softening of water
- Depletion of Magnesium from soil
- Increased consumption of Calcium (Magnesium and Calcium compete for absorption FYI)
As for the implications?
Well, studies have shown that low Magnesium levels can:
- Increase risk of Heart Disease (Source)
- Increase risk of many types of Cancer (Source)
- Lower insulin sensitivity, leading to Type 2 Diabetes (Source)
So, ensuring that you aren’t deficient in Magnesium is the main priority. You can do this by supplementing with a highly-absorbable form of Magnesium.
Which form of Magnesium is highly-absorbable? I hear you ask…
Answer: Magnesium Citrate (Source)
Now, the interesting thing about supplements is that the time of day that you take them has a huge impact on the effects and benefits that you notice.
And Magnesium Citrate is no different.
With such a wide range of benefits, it’s safe to assume that people take Magnesium Citrate for different reasons.
So, with that in mind, the best time of day to take Magnesium Citrate really depends on what benefit(s) you want to see.
Some of you will be more suited to taking it in the morning, whilst some of you will be more suited to taking it at night.
And the aim of this article is to help you decide whether you’re in the morning or night camp.
Let’s start by looking at who’ll benefit from taking Magnesium in the morning.
Reasons to take Magnesium Citrate in the morning
1. Magnesium helps with anxiety
Anxiety is the most common mental health illness in the US with over 20% of the population reporting symptoms of anxiety, but what actually causes anxiety?
Well, whilst there isn’t a single answer, recent research has focused on how anxiety is affected by nutrition.
And the research shows that they’re heavily linked.
In other words, what you eat (or don’t eat…) can have a big impact on your mental health.
Could this perhaps explain why the US – a country with low Magnesium intake – has such high levels of anxiety amongst its population?
Studies hint that this may be the case.
Take for example this review of 18 different studies, which concluded that Magnesium did reduce anxiety.
(The studies looked at different types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety, postpartum anxiety and anxiety during premenstrual syndrome.)
So, if you want the anxiety-lowering effects of Magnesium Citrate, it’s advised to take it in the morning to help keep you calm and stable throughout the day.
(Related reading: Do Cold Showers Work For Anxiety?)
2. Magnesium helps improve fatigue
Do you feel tired, weak and have low energy during the day?
If so, perhaps you’re suffering from fatigue.
Magnesium deficiency results in excessive production of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) which causes inflammation.
Chronic inflammation has been identified as a causative factor of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
In other words, if you’re in the majority of the US population who don’t consume enough Magnesium, then you’ll probably notice fatigue at some point in your life.
This has been shown in a study where 20 patients with CFS had lower red cell magnesium concentrations than the 20 healthy control subjects.
Those with CFS then supplemented with Magnesium and claimed to have improved energy levels, better emotional state, and less pain after 6 weeks.
Since CFS is most noticeable and problematic during the day, I would take Magnesium Citrate in the morning to boost your energy levels when you need them the most.
Reasons to take Magnesium Citrate at night
1. Magnesium helps you sleep
Insomnia is a common symptom of low Magnesium levels.
People with low Magnesium often have a difficult time falling asleep as well as waking up frequently during the night.
For this reason, supplementing with Magnesium Citrate in the evening is a great way to improve your sleep quality.
Magnesium helps improve sleep in multiple ways.
For example, it helps increase GABA levels which promotes relaxation as well as sleep.
(Alcohol also increases GABA levels which is why it makes you feel calm and sleepy. Don’t worry though – Magnesium won’t make you feel drunk!)
Magnesium also helps regulate Melatonin which is a hormone that’s elevated in the evening to help you fall asleep.
(Related reading: Does Phosphatidylserine Improve Sleep?)
2. Magnesium improves exercise performance and recovery
Magnesium is an excellent supplement for enhancing exercise performance and this has been demonstrated in many studies.
Take this one for example that looked at how Magnesium supplementation affected the physical performance of Volleyball players.
The results showed that those who supplemented with Magnesium had a higher jump than those who took the placebo, and this was credited to improved anaerobic metabolism.
In other words, supplementing with Magnesium increased the availability of blood sugar, which provided the Volleyball players with more energy.
Another way it helps performance is by improving protein synthesis at the ribosomal level.
This has been shown in a 7-week study where 26 untrained participants followed a training program.
(14 participants received a placebo and 12 received Magnesium.)
The results showed that those who supplemented with Magnesium had a bigger increase in strength and muscle mass than those taking the placebo.
Okay, so now we both agree that Magnesium helps with exercise performance and recovery, let’s cover why you should supplement in the evening for this benefit.
First and foremost, muscle recovery happens when you sleep, so you want your Magnesium levels to be highest during this period.
Also, recent research has shown that the best time to workout is in the evening, so by taking Magnesium just before your workouts, you should see the performance enhancing benefits.
Keeping your Magnesium levels topped up is an easy way to drastically improve your health.
But please be careful…
A lot of Magnesium supplements out there are ineffective due to their (lack of) absorbability.
So, for this reason, I always use Magnesium Citrate.
As we’ve seen, Magnesium offers a wide range of health benefits and depending on when you take it, you may notice some more than others.
Hopefully this article has helped you decide whether you’re more suited to taking Magnesium Citrate in the morning or the evening…
But if not, then why not try both?
Please let me know how you get on!