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Magnesium – the essential mineral

What can you do if you have a magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is involved in more than 300 processes in the body. Nothing works properly without adequate magnesium levels: Without magnesium, the muscles can't relax. Your energy levels are out of balance and you feel tired and drained. You can't concentrate properly. A magnesium deficiency can also result in more serious illnesses, such as migraines, problems with the heart and gastro-intestinal diseases. 

Daily magnesium requirements

According to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (DGE - German Nutrition Society), the necessary daily intake for magnesium is approximately as follows:

  • Women: 300 - 350 mg
  • Men: 350 - 400 mg
  • Expectant mothers: 310 mg

Roughly two thirds of the population have a balanced diet, which gives them the necessary amount of magnesium.This is great news!But what about the other third? Why do so many people suffer from a magnesium deficiency and what can they do about it?

How can I tell if I have a magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiencies manifest themselves in many different ways. Sometimes, you won't notice at all. Often a deficiency has unspecific symptoms, which may occur in isolation or all together.

Take the test. Do you have one or more of the following signs of a magnesium deficiency?

  • My muscles are tense or shaking.
  • I often have cramps in my calves.
  • I’m restless and nervous.
  • I find it hard to concentrate.
  • I’m tired or exhausted.
  • I have problems sleeping.
  • I have headaches, migraines or dizziness.
  • I have gastro-intestinal problems.
  • I have problems with my heart.

Because there are so many different symptoms of a low magnesium level, it often remains undetected for long periods.

Should I go to the doctor if I’m worried I may have a magnesium deficiency?

Even blood tests aren't always reliable, they often display normal levels. This is because the body is able to compensate for a lack of magnesium by “extracting” the mineral from the bones, muscles and tissue. This can conceal a magnesium deficiency for months or years. It is only once the reservoirs are exhausted that a low level of magnesium in the blood can be detected. But by this point, the body will have already had to cope with a deficit of magnesium for a long time. 

What kind of people suffer the most from magnesium deficiencies?

People who are always on the go and sportsmen and women

People who perform a lot of sport and competitive athletes quickly detect a magnesium deficiency: piercing cramps in the calf, rapid onset of fatigue, reduced responsiveness ... Because stressed muscles need more magnesium and a lot of magnesium is also lost when sweating, ideally the body needs a supply of “highly efficient mineral”.

The elderly

Magnesium deficiencies are widespread among older people. They often have a small appetite and their diet becomes increasingly imbalanced. Medication or illness can also have a negative impact on magnesium metabolism.

People suffering from stress

Stress takes magnesium out of the blood. But a lack of magnesium makes you more prone to stress – it’s a vicious circle. If you are very stressed, you should therefore take magnesium of an optimum dosage.

People on diets and trying to lose weight

An imbalanced diet can result in a magnesium deficiency, especially if you are not eating magnesium-rich carbohydrates.

Expectant and breastfeeding mothers

When pregnant and breastfeeding, women need more magnesium - after all they are having to provide the baby with the mineral as well as themselves.

People suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular complications and migraines

A lack of magnesium makes you more prone to migraine attacks and headachesbecause the mineral is essential to nerve metabolism.

People with diabetes often continually suffer from a magnesium deficiency because they lose too much magnesium in their urine. This makes them susceptible to other issues such as cardiovascular complications and eye diseases.

If your magnesium level is low for long periods, this may result in problems with your heart. To avoid this, we would recommend taking an optimum, uninterrupted supply of magnesium, for example in tablet form. 


What foods contain high levels of magnesium?

You can cover your need for magnesium by eating a balanced and varied diet. You should include as many magnesium-rich foods as possible in every meal. 

Magnesium-rich foods

  • Mineral water
  • Nuts and almonds
  • Figs
  • Cereals: rolled oats, unripe spelt grain, maize, millet, bread
  • Legumes: peas, lentils, green beans, soya beans, chickpeas
  • Green vegetables, such as spinach
  • Bananas and raspberries
  • Bran
  • Rice
  • Turmeric 

Foods containing little magnesium

  • Dairy products
  • Fish (other than crabs and prawns)
  • Meat 

Magnesium: Can you get enough from your diet alone?

Yes, if ...

you are not currently experiencing increased levels of exercise and aren’t stressed, you can cover your magnesium requirements from your diet. It’s important that you regularly include magnesium-rich food in your meals. And it’s not just a matter of choosing the right products, but also preparing them in the right way too. They mustn't be overheated, washed with too much force or for too long – otherwise the precious mineral is simply flushed out.

No, if ...

you are currently experiencing increased levels of physical or mental stress - be it work-related, sport, pregnancy, breastfeeding or various illnesses. Then it is difficult to maintain a good magnesium level. Your body will need more magnesium than normal. Very easily digestible magnesium supplements or tablets will help you get an optimum supply of this essential mineral.

No, if ...

you are already suffering from a magnesium deficiency. To quickly and effectively counter this, you should take a high-dosage nutritional supplement.

Magnesium-rich nutritional supplements from Vitamaze

Magnesium3 contains 350 mg of elementary magnesium per vegan tablet and is an ideal combination: magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate are the active ingredients, which make Magnesium3 so special and highly effective. The body is able to absorb this precious combination of the mineral with great ease. Magnesium3 is designed for an uninterrupted period of 6 months. It’s as pure as can be and is free from magnesium salts (the anti-adherent magnesium stearate) – for the best bioavailability.



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Photo: istockphoto / lzf, istockphoto / samael334, istockphoto / jacoblund

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