We’re often asked, “How much magnesium should I take?”
What is a typical healthy intake of magnesium, and what’s considered too much?
The truth is, it depends on who you ask.
There is an RDA for magnesium in Canada or a Recommended Dietary Allowance, however, it should be considered a general guide. It’s also difficult to find a clear statement on how much is considered enough by public health officials. (See how convoluted the RDA Magnesium Canada guide is).
How much magnesium you can and should take depends on various factors. So, if you’re starting to take a supplement such as Natural Calm magnesium citrate it makes sense to first understand the general guidelines and considerations.
Here, we’ll show you how to do a rough calculation of your magnesium needs, and how to factor in things like diet and lifestyle.
Look at Symptoms of Low Magnesium First
The easiest way to tell if you’re getting the right dose of Natural Calm is to look at your symptoms.
If you do have symptoms of low magnesium (hypomagnesemia), you can try gradually increasing your intake. If you’re free from the signs of hypomagnesemia, you might be getting just the right amount.
Magnesium is active in hundreds to thousands of biochemical processes throughout your body. That’s why there are so many symptoms of low magnesium.
Here, we’ll share a list of the most common symptoms.
- Symptoms of stress and anxiety, including irritability
- Poor sleep
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Low energy
People are often surprised that feelings of stress and anxiety are a sign of low magnesium. any of us have stressful lives, but we don’t all experience stress physically. When we do, it is often because we don’t have enough magnesium.
Our bodies churn out hormones in response to stress, and if we don’t have magnesium to moderate those stress hormones at a cellular level, we stay on high alert — and it takes a physical toll.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, aim to increase the magnesium-rich foods in your diet and through supplementation with highly absorbable magnesium, like Natural Calm.
What is the RDA for Magnesium in Canada?
How much magnesium does the average person need, according to Canada’s Public Health?
According to Health Canada, here’s the RDA)for magnesium:
- For adult men, the RDA is 400 – 420 milligrams (mg) per day (what you’d get in two teaspoons of Natural Calm).
- Adult women need 310 – 320 mg/day, unless they are pregnant, in which case adult women should consume about 350 mg/day.
More specific RDAs for magnesium in Canada are below (excerpted from Health Canada tables), along with the amount of Natural Calm you would need to take to meet these recommended amounts.
|Age & Stage||RDA for Magnesium
|Recommended Serving of Natural Calm Daily||Mg of Magnesium per Recommended Serving**|
|Females ages 14-18
Females ages 19+
|1 to 1 ½ tsp
1 to 1 ½ tsp
|200 to 300 mg
200 to 300 mg
|Males ages 14-18
Males ages 19+
|1 to 2 tsp
1 to 2 tsp
|200 to 400 mg
200 to 400 mg
|1 to 1 ½ tsp
1 to 1 ½ tsp
|200 to 300 mg
200 to 300 mg
Natural Calm magnesium delivers 205 mg of magnesium per teaspoon. But out of context, it’s hard to understand what that number means for you. Consult the guidelines above to determine the right dose of Natural Calm for you.
Canada’s RDA for Magnesium is a General Guide
The above RDAs for magnesium in Canada are based on height and weight averages, generalized across the population.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, a leading expert on magnesium, recommends that adults get 3-4 mg of magnesium for every pound of their weight.
Using Dean’s guide, if you are …
- 100 pounds (lbs), you should aim for 300-400 mg of magnesium daily
- 125 lbs, you need 375-500 mg
- 150 lbs, aim for 450-600 mg
- 175 lbs, look for 525-700 mg
- 200 lbs, you’ll need 600-800 mg
You can see how by Dr. Dean’s formula, many normal-weight adults could require much more than the RDA for magnesium set out by Health Canada.
Dr. Dean’s view is supported by research published in 2018 in Open Heart Journal:
- Studies of Paleolithic nutrition (i.e., hunter/gatherer societies) showed a magnesium uptake with the usual diet of about 600 mg magnesium/day, much higher than today
- Even though we get less magnesium in the modern era, our metabolism is best adapted to a high magnesium intake
- The RDA for magnesium may prevent symptoms of magnesium deficiency, but it’s unlikely to provide optimal health and longevity
- Most people need an additional 300 mg of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases
(See the original article, Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis)
Aside from age, gender, and how much you weigh, other factors determine how much magnesium you’ll need from a supplement and diet. For example, diet and lifestyle factors play a role in your personal requirements.
Safely Increasing Magnesium Beyond the RDA
If we follow Dr. Dean’s advice, a 200-pound adult needs up to 800 mg of magnesium a day. That is a lot of magnesium, and certainly, more than the RDA for magnesium in Canada.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are on prescription medication, you should consult a healthcare practitioner about supplements in general.
Most family doctors will recommend that you follow the RDA Magnesium Canada guide, but some natural health practitioners that specialize in nutrition may be able to recommend the right dose for you.
What If You Have High Magnesium Needs?
So, if you have higher magnesium needs, what should you do?
You should absolutely replace foods that are low in magnesium with high magnesium foods. Also, limit caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and other substances that deplete magnesium.
At the same time, you may need to increase your magnesium intake from supplements.
Each teaspoon of Natural Calm magnesium contains about 205 mg of magnesium, which is about the maximum we would recommend you take at one time because more could have a laxative effect.
Taking too much magnesium at one time can cause loose bowels. If you’re constipated, feel free to gradually increase your dose. If you’re prone to looser stools, don’t exacerbate the situation by giving your body more magnesium than it can handle at one time.
How Much is Too Much Magnesium?
The body efficiently excretes magnesium about every 12 hours. The laxative effect is what’s known as a fail-safe mechanism. When there is too much magnesium at any one time, the bowels quickly eliminate the excess. The kidneys also eliminate excess magnesium through urine.
Hypermagnesemia (too much magnesium in the blood) is very rare. The most common cause of hypermagnesemia is renal (kidney) failure, and we’ve written about magnesium and the kidneys here.
If you have been diagnosed with kidney failure, please consult your healthcare practitioner before supplementing with magnesium. (Even if you follow the RDA for magnesium in Canada.)
How Much Magnesium is Right for You?
We recommend you take several smaller doses of Natural Calm throughout the day.
For example, if you need 600+ mg of magnesium a day, and you aren’t getting much through your diet, try this:
- 1 tsp of Natural Calm magnesium powder in the morning
- 1 tsp in the afternoon
- 1 tsp in the evening
Don’t feel like heating up the kettle three times a day? No problem. Simply dissolve your entire day’s allotment of Natural Calm in a large bottle of water. Sip slowly throughout the day, making it last from morning to evening.
If you’re already taking Natural Calm magnesium, you know that it’s a great-tasting, sugar-free magnesium powder that you take as a drink. Choose a natural fruit flavour (sweetened with organic stevia) or unflavored Natural Calm.
All of our products are made from highly-absorbable magnesium citrate that acts fast to relieve symptoms of low magnesium. You can shop for Natural Calm in our online store or buy it from retailers across Canada.
In the next post, we’ll explain how to supplement if your needs are on the higher end of the spectrum. Look for all your magnesium news here!
RDA Magnesium Canada FAQs
What is the upper limit for magnesium?
When it comes to taking magnesium supplements, you should always ensure that you carefully try to adhere to the RDA for magnesium in Canada. The recommended daily dosage for how much magnesium you should take generally falls around 300mg to 400mg of magnesium per day.
With that being said, you can take more magnesium than you actually need – however, excessive overconsumption of magnesium may result in side effects such as diarrhea or nausea.
The RDA (recommended daily average) for magnesium in Canada is approximately 300mg to 400mg per day, which varies depending on your gender, age, and weight. Magnesium is readily available in a number of different foods, meaning that your daily magnesium requirements should be largely met by your diet; however, 65% of Canadians are magnesium deficient and do not meet their magnesium RDA
The recommended daily average guidelines indicate the approximately consumption levels you should be meeting for your diet. These RDAs cover numerous different aspects of your diet and nutrition, including your mineral consumption.
For example, the magnesium RDA in Canada usually falls between 300mg and 400mg. Getting less than this minimum can lead to a magnesium deficiency, which approximately 65% of Canadians suffer from.
Is recommended daily allowance the same as recommended dietary allowance?
Your recommended daily allowance details the average daily level of minerals and vitamins you should be getting in your diet. While it might not be appropriate for every person, approximately 98% of people will fit with the recommended daily allowance.
For example, the magnesium RDA in Canada is approximately 300mg to 400mg on a daily intake basis. The recommended dietary allowance is the same as the recommended daily allowance.