Foods That Deplete Magnesium

magnesium depleting foods
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Foods that Deplete Magnesium 

Excerpted with adaptations from Kimberly J Brown, MS, RD, Sports Nutritionist

Dietary intake of protein, carbohydrate and fat can affect magnesium balance.

Besides the negative effect high-protein diets have on hydration status, cardiovascular health and bone health, excessive protein intake also contributes to increased urinary loss of magnesium. Furthermore, the fat content in high-protein foods is often sufficient to reduce the absorption of magnesium.

Diets high in refined foods, processed foods or sugars have inherently low magnesium content.

Those who favour protein, fat or refined products are encouraged to transform their plate to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains with moderate amounts of lean protein. This will help promote a correct balance of magnesium, calcium and phosphorous within the body.

To compound the problem of low reported dietary intakes of magnesium and consequent risk for a magnesium deficiency, there are several food nutrients that hinder the absorption rate of magnesium.

  • Dietary fibre, despite its pronounced health benefits, slightly lowers the absorption rate of magnesium.
  • In addition, beverages containing phosphoric acid (pop or soda, diet pop), and aspartame will prevent the absorption of magnesium.
  • Additionally, the consumption of large amounts of calcium, vitamin D and zinc all decrease magnesium absorption.

Anyone favouring the intake of any of these food nutrients is encouraged to bump up their magnesium intake to compensate for reduced absorption.

  1. Lukaski, H.C., Bolonchuk, W.W., Klevay, L.M., Milne, D.B., Sandstead, H.H. (2001). Interactions among dietary fat, mineral status and performance of endurance athletes: A Case Study. Int J Spor Nutr Exerc Metab. 11(2): 186-198 [PubMed]

Foods That Lower Magnesium FAQs

When it comes to taking magnesium supplements, you want to be sure that you’re getting the most from every gram of magnesium powder. While the form of magnesium you take will also impact the availability of magnesium, your diet can have a significant impact. One of the biggest factors is the presence of calcium in the diet, as high calcium foods can reduce your magnesium absorption (and vice versa). Foods containing sugar and caffeine may have similar effects.

Numerous factors can cause poor magnesium absorption. The most obvious of these is the form of magnesium you are consuming or taking as a supplement. In this instance, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are common, easily absorbed forms; meanwhile, other forms can be hard for the body to absorb. What’s more, certain foods and minerals, such as calcium or caffeine, are among the things that deplete magnesium absorption.

We all love a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, coffee is one of the most common things that deplete magnesium stores and absorption in the body, due to the caffeine contained within coffee. Furthermore, there is also some proof that sugar can impact on the absorption of magnesium, as can calcium. Of course, both of these are present in a cup of white coffee with sugar!

There are numerous symptoms of low magnesium, including loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea. The earliest symptom you might notice, though, is fatigue and muscle trembling. If you want to accurately diagnose whether you are low in magnesium, you should consider getting a blood test carried out by your physician to get an accurate answer. If you are magnesium deficient, you could consider taking magnesium supplements

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