Why Magnesium Is Known as the Relaxation Mineral

by JJ Virgin on November 1, 2022

Magnesium is my go-to supplement to restore calm. Whether I’m having a stressful day, struggling with a pounding headache, or wanting to drift into deep restorative sleep, this multitasking mineral makes things better. I sometimes say that magnesium can quickly turn argh! into ahhhh! 

This mineral plays so many roles in your body. Energy production, blood pressure, bone and muscle health, physical strength and mobility, neurological health, and metabolism all depend on optimal amounts of magnesium.1

“Magnesium is necessary for the proper functioning of 700-800 enzyme systems in the body—that’s why it can be implicated in scores of symptoms and dozens of health conditions,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND in The Magnesium Miracle. 

Over my four decades working with people, I’ve found that whether you want to build muscle, crush cravings, manage problems like headaches and migraines, or all of the above, magnesium should be your go-to nutrient.  

Want a healthy immune system? Magnesium supports the production of glutathione, your master antioxidant that helps defend against dangerous free radicals that can create disease.2 

I could go on, but you get the point: magnesium is mission-critical for optimal health. Unfortunately, Dean says 70-80% of people are deficient, and that can have a major impact on diabetes, heart disease, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other diseases.  

There are quite a few reasons the deficiency is so common. Many of us drink demineralized water. We’re also eating more processed foods. Even if you are eating healthily, soil depletion means that we’re getting fewer nutrients in our fruits and vegetables compared to even a few decades ago.3

Excessive alcohol consumption, leaky gut, diabetes, and certain medications can also deplete magnesium levels. So can mood disorders including chronic stress. In this age of rampant anxiety and stress, magnesium is especially important.  

“Magnesium calms the nervous system, relaxes muscle tension, and lowers the pulse rate, helping to reduce anxiety and panic attacks,” says Dean.  

Below, you’ll discover three of the many ways that magnesium earns its title as the relaxation mineral. You’ll also learn how to get optimal amounts in your diet. 

Magnesium for Blood Sugar Balance  

Eating sugary, processed foods can knock your blood sugar out of balance. Insulin swoops in to compensate. Often, however, this hormone overcompensates, keeping your blood sugar all over the place.  

That blood-sugar roller coaster can leave you feeling imbalanced, mentally foggy, tired, and on edge. Magnesium can help.  

“Magnesium is the relaxation mineral and helps regulate blood sugar,” says Mark Hyman, MD, in The Blood Sugar Solution 

Research shows that magnesium supplementation can support blood-sugar balance in people with diabetes, and also in folks who have insulin resistance.4 

When you get sufficient magnesium and you’re eating by the plate—with the magic trifecta of protein, healthy fats, and fiber—you’re getting the right nutrient support to stay full and focused for hours.  

As a result, you maintain steady, sustained energy and mood throughout the day. No more carb crashes that leave you irritable, mentally spacey, and on edge! 

Learn 10 ways to be more insulin sensitive in this blog. 

Magnesium to Manage Mood Disorders 

Magnesium regulates the central nervous system. It does this in several ways. For one, magnesium inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine. This mineral also increases calming neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).5,6 

Simply put, magnesium helps your brain stay calm. Conversely, chronic stress can increase magnesium loss, creating deficiencies that can exacerbate stress levels. A vicious cycle ensues, where you’re stressed out and low in magnesium.7

Magnesium also helps keep your stress hormone cortisol in check. When cortisol levels stay elevated, your body stores fat rather than burning it. Magnesium helps by inhibiting adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which tells your adrenal glands to release cortisol.8

Magnesium can help with anxiety, too. One review found that supplementing can bring relief for people prone to anxious feelings.9 

Other research shows that magnesium may help attenuate mental disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, and depression.10

L-theanine, found in green tea, also boosts the calming neurotransmitter GABA. Learn 5 ways that green tea helps you lose weight and feel healthy in this blog. 

You should never have to suffer from debilitating mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. If you feel that you need it, please seek professional help.  

Magnesium for Better Sleep 

Staying calm throughout the day is critical. But you’ll also want to support relaxation around bedtime so you drift into deep, restorative sleep. When you don’t sleep well, you’re more likely to feel frazzled and unfocused the next day. Magnesium can provide the calm you need for consistently great sleep. 

“Magnesium plays a role in supporting deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep,” says my pal Michael Breus, Ph.D., in Psychology Today. “Research indicates supplemental magnesium can improve sleep quality, especially in people with poor sleep.”11 

Other research shows that magnesium can help with sleep disorders, including insomnia.12 One way that magnesium improves sleep levels is by regulating melatonin, a hormone that manages your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle.13

“Magnesium helps the body relax,” according to the Sleep Foundation. “This nutrient reduces stress and helps you sleep longer. In contrast, melatonin helps you get to sleep faster.”14

I’ve combined magnesium and melatonin in my Reignite Wellness™ Sleep Support Bundle. We’ve included Sleep Candy™ (with melatonin, L-theanine + other sleep support nutrients) and Magnesium Body Calm. Both supplements work together to help you fall and stay asleep… every single night.  

How Much Magnesium Do I Need?  

How much magnesium you need varies slightly, depending on your age and gender. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is:  

  • 19-30 years old: 400 mg (men) and 310 mg (women) 
  • 31+ years old: 420 mg (men) and 320 mg (women) 

Some experts believe these numbers are too low, because they simply address deficiencies. Instead, they suggest “most people need an additional 300 mg of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases.”15

Unfortunately, many people aren’t even meeting the RDA minimum. One way to increase your intake is with magnesium-rich foods. Some of my favorites include: 

  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Almonds 
  • Spinach 
  • Cashews 
  • Avocado 
  • Wild-caught fish, especially salmon and halibut 
  • Black beans16

Even so, getting enough magnesium from food alone can be a challenge. That’s why supplementing is critical. But not all supplements make the grade. According to Dean, you only absorb about 4% of magnesium oxide, the inferior form found in many supplements. 

When you’re not absorbing magnesium, you’re wasting money while missing out on its many benefits. None of the supplements on the market met my rigorous standards, so I created my own. 

Magnesium Body Calm is a cutting-edge supplement that binds a magnesium ion between two glycine amino acids. This creates a very stable chelate that eliminates the loose stools or upset stomach that may occur with other forms of magnesium.* 

Chelates can bypass normal modes of absorption in the intestine. The result? Larger amounts of magnesium are available for all the many functions that the body requires.* 

Each capsule of Magnesium Body Calm provides an effective 150 mg of highly absorbable magnesium. That means you’re getting higher amounts of this calming mineral that plays so many other roles throughout your body, in a convenient, easy-to-swallow capsule.* Order yours here 

Final Thoughts 

Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral, and most of us don’t get enough. While you want to focus on increasing magnesium-rich foods, supplementing ensures that you’re getting optimal amounts of this workhorse nutrient.  

Today’s world is often hectic and unpredictable, which increases levels of stress and anxiety. Finding ways to de-stress is important. Whether you’re aiming for more calm throughout the day or deeper restorative sleep (yes please for both!), Magnesium Body Calm provides that boost you need to relax deeply and maintain a calm, steady mood no matter what life throws your way.  

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 


  1. Al Alawi AM, Majoni SW, Falhammar H. Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Apr 16;2018:9041694. doi: 10.1155/2018/9041694. PMID: 29849626; PMCID: PMC5926493. 
  2. Silvagno F, Vernone A, Pescarmona GP. The Role of Glutathione in Protecting against the Severe Inflammatory Response Triggered by COVID-19. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jul 16;9(7):624. doi: 10.3390/antiox9070624. PMID: 32708578; PMCID: PMC7402141. 
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/  
  4. Veronese N, Watutantrige-Fernando S, Luchini C, Solmi M, Sartore G, Sergi G, Manzato E, Barbagallo M, Maggi S, Stubbs B. Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;70(12):1354-1359. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.154. Epub 2016 Aug 17. Erratum in: Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;70(12 ):1463. PMID: 27530471. 
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  8. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/adrenal-glands# 
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  10. Botturi A, Ciappolino V, Delvecchio G, Boscutti A, Viscardi B, Brambilla P. The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 3;12(6):1661. doi: 10.3390/nu12061661. PMID: 32503201; PMCID: PMC7352515. 
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  16. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/