Magnesium for Anxiety (A Complete Guide)

In this guide we will discuss Magnesium for Anxiety and how does it work. 

Magnesium for Anxiety: How does it work?

You may be wondering how does Magnesium for anxiety works?

Well, let’s start by saying that Magnesium is considered a natural muscle relaxer, which is relaxes our muscles when we are experiencing tension due to anxiety. 

When we are anxious we experience fear, irritability, and restlessness, magnesium out muscles hold a lot of tension making magnesium a super-healthy and easy way to create calmness.

We all experience anxiety in our daily life, there are situations when we experience more anxiety than others.

For example, think about a situation where you feel very anxious, for instance, when you have a job interview.

Before you go to your interview you can fell how your body starts to get activated.

Your palms are sweaty, you feel how your temperature rises and you may even feel you are having a heart attack. 

This is an anxious reaction to a situation that your brain perceives as threatening or dangerous, even if it is not.

Thoughts like “I don’t want to look stupid” or “what if I don’t get the job?” will trigger your brain to respond to the situation.

We basically think about the future and the possible outcome, things we feel we can’t control. 

Sure, magnesium can help you relax but you also need to start working on those intrusive thoughts and learn a few breathing techniques to help to avoid triggering your anxiety. 

What is Magnesium?

For those who don’t know, we all have magnesium in our bodies.

It plays a really important role in many bodily functions and has several benefits.

This is why experts consider it is a natural way to treat anxiety. As well as other amazing minerals for anxiety.

For a few years now, people have considered natural remedies for several conditions since they tend to be free of side effects, in contrast to modern medicine.

A research from 2010 reviewed 24 studies involving different combination treatments applied to participants that were diagnosed either with an anxiety disorder or depression.

However, there were also healthy participants with normal levels of anxiety.  

They concluded based on the evidence that nutritional and herbal supplements seem to be highly effective for treating anxiety or anxiety-related conditions without the risk of serious side effects but, this wasn’t just limited to the use of magnesium since they were combined to other vitamins and supplements.  

Add these Best Vitamins & Minerals for Anxiety & Depression to your diet to manage anxiety better.

A more recent study from 2017 investigated the effects of magnesium on subjective anxiety and stress.

They evidenced magnesium being effective as anxiety treatment is promising, but still, there is a lot of research to do in that area.

How much should I take?

According to WebMD here are the recommended doses:

  • 19-30 years: 400 mg (men) and 310 mg (women)
  • 31 years and older, 420 mg (men) and 320 mg (women). 
  • For pregnant women age 14-18 years, the RDA is 400 mg; 19-30 years, 350 mg
  • 31-50 years: 360 mg

Types of magnesium

This is where it gets tricky, there are many types of magnesium so choosing the best is quite a challenge.

Here are the types listed as follows:

  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium orotate
  • Magnesium L-Threonate

Each type of magnesium can have different benefits, and it is imperative to choose the one that is best suited according to your symptoms, not all of them have the same benefits especially when there are so many available in the market.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Magnesium chloride 

It is said to be the most popular in the market.

Magnesium chloride is extracted from brine or ocean water.

Benefits of magnesium chloride:

Important to be aware that this type of magnesium is that it may cause diarrhea. 

Magnesium sulfate

This type of magnesium can be used to:

  • Treat and prevent low blood magnesium
  • Treat and prevent seizures in women with eclampsia
  • Treat severe asthma
  • Treat constipation

Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate is known to have laxative properties.

It is used widely before surgery or certain bowel procedures such as colonoscopy of radiography.

This can make your bowel move within 30 minutes to 3 hours according to WebMD.

Be careful, if used too frequently can cause loss of normal bowel function and an inability to have a bowel movement without using the product.

Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide can be found in  Milk of Magnesia and it is commonly used as:

  • Treatment or prevention of low levels of magnesium in the blood
  • Heartburn or indigestion reliever
  • Laxative

Magnesium glycinate

If you are feeling stressed, this may be the form of magnesium you need since it has been shown to support muscle relaxation.

Magnesium glycinate helps to treat and prevent low amounts of magnesium in the blood and it can also be used for heartburn, stomach upset and acid indigestion.

Magnesium orotate

Magnesium orotate has been said to be popular among athletes.

This form of magnesium is believed to improve athletic performance and endurance.

Additionally, it has been linked to being beneficial to keep a healthy heart.  

Magnesium L-threonate

This type of magnesium is said to be the most absorbable form of magnesium pills.

It is believed to help improving memory, as a sleeping aid and to enhance overall cognitive functioning. 

Additionally, due to the effect on cognitive functioning, it is also believed to help prevent dementia. 

How to take magnesium for anxiety?

According to the 2017 study we mentioned earlier, they studied the benefits of magnesium intake for anxiety relieve with usual dosages is 75 and 360 mg a day.

However, this may vary from one person to the other.

It is important to consult a healthcare practitioner before taking magnesium so they can help you find the appropriate dose for you. 

Can I get magnesium from my food?

Yes, you can! It is not necessary to buy the capsules, you can get magnesium from foods such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and Kale
  • Fruits such as banana, avocado or raspberries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans
  • Seafood such as salmon, mackerel or tuna

For more information visit the National Institute of Health webpage. 

Side effects of magnesium

There are few side effects reported from magnesium supplement intake, however, it is important to remember not to exceed the intake by having more than one supplement or taking more than necessary.

This is something to keep in mind because it is possible to overdose on magnesium supplements. 

It is not recommended to take more than 350 mg a day or you may overdose.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness

If you think you may have overdosed or someone else, seek medical assistance immediately. 

Additional Vitamins and supplements

There are multiple benefits from other herbal and natural supplements.

According to here we present some of them and their benefits. 


It is believed that this herb has calming effects helping with insomnia and even seizures.

It seems to act by increasing levels of GABA in our brain resulting in a reduction of brain activity subsequently making you feel relaxed and less anxious.

Valerian root

It is believed that the Valerian root has a special chemical component that helps fight anxiety.

It seems that the valeric acids (which translate into GABA) working as an inhibitor and regulator of the brain activity. 


This amino acid can be found in green tea among other products, and it has been linked to causing a relaxing feeling.

This helps reduce stress responses and can make you feel more relaxed. 


It is a compound often found in milk, that has been shown to help you feel calm.

It is said to be a good sleeping aid. 


Probably you have heard of B-complex already and its multiple benefits. It seems that B-complex vitamines can help to lift and stabilize your mood. 

Licorice root

Licorice root seems to regulate your adrenal glands, which in simple terms are the stress glands of your body.

They are responsible for releasing two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol and they are known to be linked to stress-related responses. 


The beneficial properties of Omega-3 are widely known.

The fish oil has been linked to maintaining healthy cognitive functioning and it is said to decrease your levels of bad cholesterol, help with depression symptoms and even it is considered important for visual and neurological development in infants. 

Why is this blog about Magnesium for anxiety important?

Anxiety can become a real problem and sometimes we are willing to do anything to get rid from those uncomfortable symptoms that make us feel frustrated. 

As good as magnesium might be, remember to inform yourself very well before starting to take it, preferably with the help of a professional to avoid any inconveniences that can add even more to the symptoms you are already experiencing.

There is still a lot of research to be done about magnesium for anxiety treatment but it sure looks promising. 

Please feel free to comment on the content of magnesium for anxiety in the comments section down below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about magnesium for anxiety

What is the best magnesium for anxiety?

There are many in the market that promise to be the best, however, you need to read carefully the components, current reviews from other users and get professional advice from your doctor before you start taking it. 

Does magnesium really work for anxiety?

Studies have found a correlation between magnesium intake and reduced levels of anxiety.

If you have a magnesium deficiency you can have symptoms such as insomnia, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, muscle cramps, feeling tired, constipated, among others. 

Which form of magnesium is best?

The best form of magnesium will depend on the result you’d like to obtain, for instance, if you want to improve cognitive functioning then magnesium L-Threonate is your type of magnesium but if you have heartburn then Magnesium oxide will be your type of magnesium. 

How long does magnesium take to work?

If you take magnesium citrate for constipation, it takes around 30 minutes up to 3 hours to work. 

Can magnesium improve mood?

Magnesium can improve your mood by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, who has been linked to being responsible for regulating your mood and energy levels. 

  1. The Magnesium Miracle (Revised and Updated Edition)
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  3. Magnesium Deficient Anxiety 
  4. The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution
  5. Just Keep Calm & Take Some Magnesium – Why a “boring” mineral is suddenly hot property for soothing bodies and calming minds


Health Line

US National Library of Medicine

Psychology Today