Magnesium requirement: Factors that affect your daily supply
Magnesium makes an important contribution towards keeping your bones, muscles and nerves working healthily. But this important mineral can only perform its functions in the body properly if you get your individual daily requirement of magnesium. On average, an adult requires around 300 to 400 mg magnesium per day. The precise amount depends on many factors, such as age, sex or life situation (e.g. pregnancy).
Pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher magnesium requirement.
Find out more at Magnesium during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Factors affecting your daily magnesium requirement
According to the recommendation by the German Nutrition Society, adult males aged 25 and up should take around 350 mg of magnesium a day, whilst women of the same age should take around 300 mg of magnesium a day. However, our bodies need more magnesium in certain life situations:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Since the mother’s body is supplying itself and the unborn child, the daily magnesium requirement is higher during these periods.
- During sports activities our body needs a higher intake of magnesium.
- The daily magnesium requirement can increase in people with illnesses such as diabetes or in stressful situations.
How to ensure your body gets an adequate supply of magnesium every day
The first thing to do to actively avoid the unpleasant effects of magnesium deficiency is to ensure you have a balanced, varied diet that’s rich in magnesium. Since the human body can’t produce magnesium itself, it needs a diet that supplies adequate amounts of the mineral. Taking a magnesium product can supplement daily intake for people with a higher requirement.
A healthy lifestyle is also key to avoiding a deficiency. so, avoid permanently high stress levels and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Both of these make the body consume extra magnesium, increasing the risk of magnesium deficiency.
Long-term consequences of insufficient magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for life. It fulfils many different tasks in our bodies, such as helping to maintain normal muscle and nerve function or keeping bones and teeth healthy.
Once absorbed into the body it is transported to our muscle, nerve and bone cells. If you do not get your daily requirement of magnesium over a long period the body helps itself to its own reserves.
The potential consequences of magnesium deficiency include, as well as muscle cramps, reduced bone density, nervousness and increased irritability.