Move over trendy supplements, because magnesium and calcium are the OGs of the mineral world - and for good reason.(1) They are both essential for optimal health, and many people take them to support various functions in the body, such as bone health, muscle function, and heart health. But can you take magnesium and calcium supplements together? And if so, what is the best way to do it? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of taking these two minerals together and provide some tips for optimizing their absorption and efficacy.
What are Magnesium and Calcium, and What Do They Do?
Magnesium and calcium are both minerals that are found naturally in many foods and are essential for numerous bodily functions. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.(2)] Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormone secretion, among other things.(3)
Both minerals are important for overall health, and deficiencies in either one can lead to a range of health problems. For example, low magnesium levels have been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and depression, while low calcium levels can result in weakened bones and teeth, muscle cramps, and hormonal imbalances.(4,5)
Are Magnesium and Calcium Complementary or Competing Minerals?
While magnesium and calcium are both essential minerals, they can also compete for absorption in the body. This means that taking them together can potentially reduce their effectiveness. However, it’s important to note that magnesium and calcium also complement each other in many ways.
For example, calcium is needed for bones and teeth to remain strong, while magnesium helps regulate calcium levels in the body and ensures that it is deposited in the bones where it’s needed. Magnesium also helps to relax muscles, while calcium triggers muscle contraction. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a balance between these two minerals to ensure optimal health.
What is the Optimal Ratio of Magnesium to Calcium?
The optimal ratio of magnesium to calcium has been a topic of debate among researchers and health professionals. While the most commonly recommended ratio is 2:1 (200mg of calcium to 100mg of magnesium), some research suggests that a 1:1 ratio may be just as effective.(6)
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that a 1:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium was just as effective as a 2:1 ratio in improving bone density in postmenopausal women.(7) Another study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a 1:1 ratio was more effective in reducing muscle cramps and improving exercise performance compared to a 2:1 ratio.(8)
Can You Take Magnesium and Calcium Supplements Together?
Yes, you can take magnesium and calcium supplements together. In fact, many supplements contain both minerals in varying ratios. However, the key to taking them together is to focus on the ratio of magnesium to calcium. As mentioned, a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio is recommended. We use a 1:1 ratio in our magnesium and calcium nighttime drink, specifically due to the research supporting this balance.
It’s also important to choose high-quality supplements that contain an organic form, like magnesium citrate, which have high absorption rates and are more easily utilized by the body. Additionally, taking supplements with food can help improve absorption and reduce the risk of digestive issues.
Magnesium and calcium are both essential minerals that are important for optimal health. While they can compete for absorption in the body, taking them together in the right ratio can have several health benefits. The recommended ratio is typically 2:1 or 1:1, depending on individual needs and health status. High-quality supplements that contain bioavailable forms and are taken with food can help improve absorption and reduce the risk of digestive issues. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are getting enough of both minerals to support your overall health and wellbeing.