You might have a magnesium deficiency and not even know it. And, being deficient in magnesium is worse than you think. In fact, magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps, tics, fatigue, and even chronic pain.


What is Magnesium and Where is it Found?

Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral found inside human cells and the fourth most positively charged ion in the human body. It has over 100 functions inside of the cells. Furthermore, magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body and plays a role in many body functions such as the heartbeat, hormone production, production of energy, and muscle movement.


In nature, magnesium comes from several sources:

  • In green plants─it’s the central element of chloroform
  • As magnesium chloride─naturally found in the ocean
  • Magnesium carbonate, or magnesite─the insoluble rock salt


*Without magnesium, our bodies can’t produce energy, our muscles would stay in the state of contraction, and levels of cholesterol could not be controlled. Furthermore, the heart and kidneys require magnesium to function properly, as well.



Magnesium Rock Salt - magnesium deficiency

Magnesium Rock Salt


What Are the Signs of Magnesium Deficiency?

Half of Americans do not consume enough magnesium and don’t even know it. That’s why it is so important to recognize the signs of magnesium deficiency. And, fortunately, the condition can be easily corrected.


Signs of Magnesium Deficiency:

  • Muscle Cramps

    ─ Many scientists think that the lack of minerals is the cause of muscle cramps. These minerals are the most important to our body’s functions: magnesium, calcium, and potassium.  Magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation. Therefore, if you are low in magnesium, it could be the cause of your muscle cramps. *One thing to note is that if you urinate a lot, due to drinking coffee, alcohol, or even a lot of water, you are flushing essential minerals out of your body. Be sure to replace lost minerals in this case.

  • Chocolate Cravings

    ─ Why would your body cause you crave chocolate? Because dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium.  In fact, one square contains 24% of your daily needs.  *Be sure that you are eating a high-quality dark chocolate, however. Cheap chocolates with a lot of added sugar will not have the same amount of magnesium in it. Dark chocolate that contains at least 65% – 70% cocoa, or more, will contain the most magnesium. Avoid milk chocolate as it usually has no nutricial value left after processing.

  • Anxiety 

    ─ Do you feel anxious on a regular basis or are overly worried about the future? Anxiety is one of the most common illnesses reported today by Americans. And, studies show that magnesium deficiency has a lot to do with it.

─ “magnesium is the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff –whether it is a body part or [even] a mood –is a sign of magnesium deficiency.” ─ Dr. Mark Hyman

Therefore, if you feel nervous, uneasy, anxious, or worried a lot for no real reason, try upping your magnesium intake to see if that helps. *Ask your doctor first if you are not sure about your condition.

  • Trouble Sleeping or Insomnia

    ─ Magnesium deficiency can cause the body not to be able to relax, and this can lead to trouble sleeping at night. In fact, a deficiency in magnesium can stop the brain from relaxing at night, as well. Magnesium promotes relaxation, so if you do take supplements, be sure to take one before you go to bed at night to help relax your body and brain.


Magnesium Deficiency Can Cause Insomnia

Magnesium Deficiency Can Cause Insomnia

  • Constipation 

    ─ Magnesium relaxes the digestive track, as well. A magnesium deficiency can cause your intestines to contract more which makes it harder for waste to pass. Furthermore, magnesium pulls water into your intestines to help waste move along. A lack of magnesium makes it harder for waste to pass, causing constipation.

  • High Blood Pressure

    ─ Magnesium relaxes the blood vessels, too. Therefore, a magnesium deficiency causes blood vessels to restrict, causing high blood pressure. No amount of exercise or healthy eating without included magnesium will reduce your blood pressure if you have a magnesium deficiency.

  • Frequent Headaches

    ─ Headaches and migraines are usually sourced from tension. Therefore, if you experience frequent headaches or migraines, be sure to think about whether you could have a magnesium deficiency. Upping magnesium intake could help to reduce tension, which causes headaches.

  • Irregular Heartbeat

    ─ The heart is also a muscle, so a deficiency in magnesium could result in the heart not relaxing properly and an irregular heartbeat. A consistent heartbeat includes periods of contractions and relaxations, so if you have an irregular heartbeat, your heart might not be getting the proper time of relaxation.

  • Indigestion and Acid Reflux

    ─ If you regularly suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, or indigestion and take medication for it without getting any relief, you might have a magnesium deficiency. *Magnesium helps the sphincters at the bottom and the top of the stomach to relax. This, in turn, allows the food to go and stay where it is supposed to. When we are deficient in magnesium, the sphincters don’t relax properly, causing them not to hold in food as they should. As a result, acid and food get pushed back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.

*It’s important to note, that when medication for acid reflux is taken, such as Prilosec, Zantac, etc., it works by blocking the acid production in the stomach. The thing is, the stomach needs acid to absorb vitamins and minerals properly. If you take these kind of medications, you might be blocking the absorption of magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. Ask your Doctor if upping your magnesium intake and lowering your acid reflux meds could be more effective in preventing acid reflux.


Food Rich In Magnesium to prevent magnesium deficiency

Foods Rich In Magnesium


Now What?

If you suffer from more than one of these symptoms, there is a good chance that you have a magnesium deficiency. The answer is to replenish your magnesium levels. This is where it can be hard to determine how much magnesium you should be taking as a supplement, or adding to your diet. The more symptoms that you suffer from, the more deficient you might be.

Adding magnesium to your diet is a natural way to supplement your intake. If you decide to add magnesium supplements to your daily routine, ask for your Doctor’s advice to get the correct dosage for you.


Foods High in Magnesium

The best way to get more magnesium is to include more magnesium-rich foods to your diet.


Foods High in Magnesium:

  • Dark Green Leafy Greens
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Almonds
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Bananas



Spinach is a good sourc of prevent magnesium defeciency

Spinach is an excellent source of magnesium


Final Thoughts

Remember that many people get far less magnesium than the body requires and are magnesium deficient. However, the good news is that magnesium deficiencies are easily turned around.

If you suffer from the listed symptoms, start eating a diet rich in magnesium. If you decide to take supplements, be sure to ask your doctor how much you should be taking.


─ Since there are various kinds of magnesium supplements to take, in the next article we will go over them all. There may be a type of magnesium that is better for your symptoms. Furthermore, there may be daily habits that you practice which could be contributing to your magnesium deficiency. We’ll go over those, as well, so stay tuned! ─


If you have any friends who experience these symptoms, share this article with them so that they too can discover if they are magnesium deficient. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below.


Robin and the Zen team



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Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.

Cover Photo Source–



University of Maryland Medical Center –
Ancient Minerals –
NaturaLife –
EnviroMedia –