What Is Magnesium (Mg)?
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 processes in the human body including testosterone production. Deficiency in the mineral can make you feel like your life and health is seriously falling apart.
Just a few of the multitude of symptoms associated with Mg deficiency include hormone imbalance, weak bones, cardiovascular problems, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Magnesium Boosts Testosterone
While a surplus of magnesium will not result in any increases in testosterone, a deficiency in it can be devastating.
In a 4-week study on both sedentary men and athletes both groups saw a significant rise in both free and total testosterone levels, upwards of 24% on average.
The athletes actually saw the largest average increase which lends to the idea that exercise along with magnesium supplementation can increase results the most. (1)
Much like boron, Mg appears to bind to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) which allows for more free testosterone. (2)
However, as the study above points out, total testosterone increased as well.
In another study on 399 older men, researchers discovered that higher serum magnesium levels was directly correlated to higher testosterone levels and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor) which is extremely anabolic! (3)
Magnesium and Vitamin D
Taking a vitamin D supplement along with magnesium has been shown to increase magnesium absorption. (4)
At the same time Mg supplementation has been shown to increase vitamin D absorption. (5)
This is important to know because vitamin D is a powerful testosterone booster as well!
Magnesium, Zinc and B6 (ZMA Complex)
When Mg is taken along with zinc and vitamin B6 the combination is known in bodybuilding communities as the ZMA complex and is well respected as a strong vitamin and mineral combo for testosterone boosting.
Unfortunately, due to a combination of soil degradation, modern diets, and increasing needs with age, magnesium deficiency is becoming a rampant issue. (7)
If that wasn’t enough, exercise also increases the body’s need for even more Mg thanks to its role in stress management, fighting inflammation, and clearing out cortisol.
It is no wonder it has been estimated that as much as 68% of Americans, may be mildly deficient in magnesium. (8)
Supplementing with Magnesium
The recommended daily allowance of magnesium continues to rise for males until the age of 31 when it tops out an astounding 420 mg per day according to the Linus Pauling Institute. (9)
With that said, there are recommended limits on supplementation which tops out at 350 mgs per day for males at least 19 years of age, or you could risk adverse effects.
While mild deficiencies may be common, extreme deficiencies are not, and as far as supplementation goes the Linus Pauling Institute recommends around 100 mg per day.
They believe you should be able to consistently get the rest of the Mg you need each day from the foods you eat. (9)
When levels are taken from deficiency to solid levels, it not only appears to improve the amount of free testosterone in the body but actually increases total testosterone as well.
With a large amount of magnesium needed each day and the difficulty in obtaining it through food, I highly recommend a daily supplement of at least 30 mg.
How much you really need will also depend on how bioavailable it is.
Magnesium is even more effective when taken in the ZMA complex along with vitamin D, BioPerine® and shilajit with fulvic acid to aid in absorption.
- Cinar, V., et al., Effects of Mg supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Biol Trace Elem Res, 2011. 140(1): p. 18-23. – Link
- L., E., et al., Mg effect on testosterone–SHBG association studied by a novel molecular chromatography approach – ScienceDirect. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2008. 49(2): p. 175-180. – Link
- Maggio, M., Ceda, G. P., Lauretani, F., Cattabiani, C., Avantaggiato, E., Morganti, S., . . . Ferrucci, L. (2011). Mg and anabolic hormones in older men. International Journal of Andrology,34(6pt2). – Link
- Pointillart, A., Denis, I., & Colin, C. (1995, March). Effects of dietary vitamin D on Mg absorption and bone mineral contents in pigs on normal magnesium intakes. – Link
- Without Mg, Vitamin D is Ineffective – Dr. Mercola – Link
- L.R. Brilla and Victor Conte., et al., Effects of a Novel Zinc-Mg Formulation on Hormones and Strength. Exercise and Sports Science Laboratory, Western Washington University. An International Electronic Journal Volume 3 Number 4 October 2000 – Link
- Ford, E.S. and A.H. Mokdad, Dietary Mg intake in a national sample of US adults. J Nutr, 2003. 133(9): p. 2879-82. – Link
- King, D.E., et al., Dietary Mg and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr, 2005. 24(3): p. 166-71. – Link
- Higdon, J., J.V. Drake, and B. Delage. Magnesium. 2014 2014-04-23. – Link