Magnesium and Testosterone: What You Need To Know

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Magnesium is an essential dietary nutrient.

It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is very important for our overall health.

Countless cells in your body soak up magnesium like a sponge. They use it for numerous bodily processes. From helping the nervous system to work optimally, creating DNA, to balancing hormones such as testosterone. [1]

However, many people don’t get enough magnesium. In fact, 68% of Americans don’t reach the daily RDA for this essential mineral. And most of them don’t even know it. [2]

Magnesium deficiency leads to negative health effects. Including high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, mental disorders, and many more. It can even lead to low testosterone, as I’ll explain in a moment.

In this article, I’ll discuss how magnesium affects your testosterone levels, metabolism, and general health. I’ll also show you the optimal dosage of magnesium, its safety profile, and more.

We’ll even discuss they types of magnesium show to improve testosterone, such as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and gluconate to name a few.

All of my findings are backed up by science – which you can check at the bottom under ‘References.’

Types of Magnesium

There are many forms of magnesium available. There are even more supplements which use magnesium as their ingredient.

You might’ve gotten headaches if you’ve ever looked at countless magnesium options.

The good news is, you don’t need to worry anymore.

Here I’ll reveal the best types of magnesium so you know exactly what you should be looking for next time you’re buying a supplement.

The first thing you should consider is the absorption rate of the mineral. This will tell you how well is the compound absorbed in your system.

Different types of magnesium have different rates of absorption.

Here are the most popular ones:

Magnesium Oxide

I’ll start with the worst one.

This is a form of magnesium which has an extremely poor bioavailability. Oxide contains the highest amount of elemental magnesium for its weight.

But your body is unable to break it down properly. This results in poor absorption.

Studies suggest that magnesium oxide is water-insoluble, meaning your body won’t be able to utilize it no matter how much fluids you drink. [3, 4]

Gluconate

Contrary to oxide, gluconate is one of the most bioavailable forms available. It comes from the gluconic acid.

Rat studies showed that it has a very high absorption rate. One of the highest of all magnesium supplements. [5]

Magnesium Citrate Testosterone Production

This is essentially citric acid bound to magnesium in salt form.

It turns out, magnesium citrate is absorbed very well by the body.

It’s also water-soluble, meaning you won’t have problems mixing it with liquids. [6]

You’ll find magnesium citrate in various forms. Most commonly, it’s used as a supplement in pill or capsule form. However, it’s also used as a laxative before a surgical procedure.

Aspartate

Aspartate is another common form of magnesium that has high bioavailability.

In other words, your body will easily absorb and utilize it fully. [7, 8]

Chloride

Similarly to citrate and gluconate, magnesium chloride has a high absorption rate within the body. [9]

This one, however, doesn’t just come in a pill form. You can also take as an oil that you can apply to your skin.

However, studies on this are lacking and I can’t tell if it’s going to give you the full effects.

My suggestion is to always go with the capsules or pills as those usually have the highest bioavailability. [10]

Hydroxide

This is the one you might want to avoid. It’s probably even worse than oxide, and I’m saying that because it can cause diarrhea.

That’s right – hydroxide’s main purpose is to treat constipation, and it’s a powerful laxative.

Just make sure not to ingest it in a public place such as a bar. That could lead to things getting… a bit messy. [12]

Glycinate

You’ll be happy to hear that magnesium glycinate doesn’t have strong laxative effects, as some other forms do.

It’s also effectively absorbed by your body, having a high bioavailability. It gets absorbed in a different part of your intestines, where the absorption rate is extremely quick. [13]

How Does It Affect Your Testosterone?

The main question you’re probably asking yourself now is: “Can magnesium boost my testosterone?”

The answer is: yes, it can.

There are plenty of studies that prove magnesium’s effects on the male hormone. I will explain this in more detail below, along with providing you with some interesting research.

There have always been people who loved supplements, and those who have hated them.

However, it turns out magnesium doesn’t have many haters. I’m yet to find the evidence that disproves magnesium’s benefits for testosterone. In fact, most of the research shows it works, and it’s actually overwhelming.

On top of that, we also have countless professional athletes who supplement with magnesium. Most of them believe it’s crucial for maintaining healthy T-levels.

Now, I know that anecdotal evidence is sometimes far from the real truth, but in this case, it also has scientific studies to back it up.

Let’s continue, shall we?

Studies On Testosterone

There are many studies showing magnesium’s benefits on testosterone. Here are the three biggest, and most important ones:

1st Study:

In this 4-week study, researches looked at testosterone levels in 3 different groups of men. The first group consisted of inactive healthy males who supplemented with magnesium. They took 10 milligrams per kg of their body weight a day.

For instance, a 75kg man would take 750mg of the mineral for 4 weeks straight. He was inactive in the full sense of the word. Meaning during this test period, all he had to do was to sit on a couch and ensure to take a magnesium supplement every day.

Now, the second group had to get moving a bit. They consisted of athletes who trained tae kwon do. These men also took magnesium every day, and they followed the same dosage as the previous group.

However, the difference between them and the first group, was that they exercised between 1-2 hours daily.

Now, the third group also consisted of tae kwon do trainees. These men trained as much as the second group, except they didn’t take any magnesium supplements.

The result?

All three groups had experienced raised testosterone levels – both free and total T.

The interesting part is, that the taekwondo group who took magnesium had the highest boost in testosterone. Meaning, those who were active and supplemented with the mineral had the higher total and free levels of the male hormone.

The group of inactive men who just sat on a couch and took magnesium also saw major improvements in their testosterone. [14]

Conclusion: This study concluded that magnesium supplementation does indeed boost both free and total testosterone levels in males. Those who exercised and took the supplement have experienced the biggest benefits. But even those who just sat around and did nothing except taking magnesium also saw great improvements in their T-levels.

2nd Study:

This was a double-blind study which looked at the benefits of magnesium on male strength and muscle mass over the course of 7 weeks.

They directly measured their strength output through various tests. They didn’t measure testosterone per se, but measuring their raw strength was an important indirect indicator of a potential boost in testosterone.

This study featured 2 groups of men. There were 26 of them in total, with their age between 18-30 years old.

14 men (1st group) took a placebo in the form of a sugar pill. The remaining 12 men (2nd group) took a magnesium supplement.

Men who took magnesium dosed at 8mg per kg of body weight, daily. What’s interesting is, that the study also included any magnesium they ingested through food.

Both groups of men did resistance training 3x a week. They did the same workouts and same program – making sure everything was perfect.

The results were clear as day. While both groups of men increased strength over 7 weeks, the magnesium group (2nd group) saw the highest strength increase. [15]

Conclusion: Strength training increases raw power output (obviously), and when you add magnesium supplementation on top of that, it increases strength output even more. The researchers concluded that this mineral benefits protein synthesis and thus improves muscle strength at the cellular level.

3rd Study:

This was the biggest study out of the three.

It looked at a cross-section of 399 gentlemen who were over 65 years old.

The researchers looked at the correlation between magnesium, testosterone, and other anabolic hormone levels in the study group.

The study was fairly straightforward. The researches had tons of info and date about blood levels of all men in the study, so they could easily determine any correlations between anabolic hormones and magnesium.

Ultimately, the results clearly indicated that higher magnesium intake led to higher testosterone levels – both free and total.

What’s more, men who took more magnesium also had higher levels of insulin-like growth factors and other major anabolic hormones. [16]

With the other two studies taken into consideration, it’s safe to say that magnesium does indeed lead to higher testosterone levels. Even better than that, it also leads to improvement in anabolic hormones such as growth factors IGF-1.

Summary: Will It Boost Your T?

Okay, so to conclude:

Magnesium supplementation leads to higher testosterone levels in men. This includes both free and total T. This essential mineral also increases strength in males via testosterone boost and also via improved protein synthesis in muscle cells.

Whether you’re a sedentary individual or an athlete, magnesium supplementation will increase your testosterone levels.

Bear in mind though, if you train and take magnesium on top of that – you’ll experience the biggest benefits. The studies from above prove this.

Everyone from the age 18 plus can experience beneficial effects from taking this mineral. Men who are even younger than this should also reap the mineral’s benefits.

Ultimately, magnesium supplementation will help you boost strength, testosterone levels, and also other key androgen hormones.

Other Key Benefits

Plays a Role in Exercise Performance

Magnesium doesn’t just boost your strength and androgen hormones. It also appears to improve overall exercise performance, which includes stamina, agility, endurance, and so on.

When you’re working out, your body utilizes more magnesium than when you’re sitting on a sofa. Between 10-20% more, to be precise. [17]

Magnesium is crucial for removing lactic acid out of your muscles. Lactic acid builds up in larger amounts when you do an intense exercise, and it can sometimes be detrimental for muscle growth.

What’s more, magnesium also helps deliver blood sugar into your muscles. The benefits of this are obvious: more energy, endurance, and strength during your workouts. [18]

Research suggests that by supplementing it, you can boost your exercise performance regardless of your background, gender, age, or health. [19, 20, 21]

One study showed the benefits of magnesium on volleyball players. They supplemented with 250mg of the mineral daily and quickly saw improvements in their coordination, arm movements, and jumping. [22]

In another study, athletes who took this mineral experienced improved cycling, running, and swimming performances. Better yet, their insulin and stress hormone levels decreased, which further improved their exercise performance. This just goes to show the massive benefits of magnesium during exhaustive physical activities. [23]

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with magnesium.

While these studies show it has amazing benefits, other studies found no positive effects from supplementing magnesium. This includes both athletes who had low, and optimal levels of the mineral. [24, 25]

To sum it up:

The research on magnesium’s benefits on exercise performance is mixed. While the majority of the studies prove its benefits, other studies show it has no positive effects at all.

Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

A number of studies show that magnesium helps lower blood pressure. [26, 27, 28]

Out of all of them, however, one study really stood out for me. It featured people who took magnesium supplementation, and those who took a placebo.

People who took 450mg of the mineral daily saw a major decrease in their diastolic and systolic blood pressure parameters.

These are great news for everyone who might be struggling with high blood pressure.

However, other studies show that magnesium doesn’t offer the same benefits for people who don’t have blood pressure problems.

In one study, magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure in people with higher systolic and diastolic parameters. However, it didn’t have any effects on people with normal blood pressure. [29]

To sum it up:

Magnesium is effective at reducing high blood pressure levels. However, it doesn’t seem to work in people with normal levels.

Improves Your Mood

Looking at this article, you might get an idea that magnesium is just for those who want to improve their physical health.

But it benefits your mind just as much.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in mood regulation and cognitive function. Low levels of magnesium are shown to increase the risk of depression and other mental problems. [30, 31]

One huge scientific review analyzed over 8,800 people and found that those who had the lowest magnesium levels also had the highest risk of depression. [31]

In one randomized controlled study, depressed adults supplemented with 450mg of magnesium every day. After a short period of time, their mood improved significantly – magnesium was as effective as an antidepressant drug in their case. [33]

Many of commercially available foods lack this mineral. According to some experts, this could be one of the reasons for an increase in depression and other mental illnesses in recent years. [32]

However, other experts say that it’s still early to make such conclusions.

While it’s clear that magnesium supplementation benefits mood and brain function, it’s still questionable if it’s one of the main causes of depression and mood disorders in otherwise healthy people.

How You Can Get Enough Magnesium Every Day

Getting enough magnesium is important for your testo levels and overall health.

The RDI for magnesium is around 420mg daily for men, and 320mg daily for women.

You can meet these requirements either by consuming enough magnesium-rich foods, or by supplementation.

Here are the best magnesium food sources:

  • Pumpkin seeds: 16 grams (a quarter of a cup) – 46% RDI
  • Boiled spinach: 180 grams (one cup) – 39% RDI
  • Dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa content) : 100 grams – 33% RDI
  • Black beans: 172 grams – 30% RDI
  • Almonds: 24 grams – 25% RDI
  • Cashews: 30 grams – 25% RDI
  • Avocados: 200 grams (one medium avocado) – 15% RDI

As for supplements, they are safe and effective in most cases. However, make sure to consult with your doctor if you have a medical condition, or if you take diuretics and want to supplement with magnesium.

Best forms of magnesium supplements are citrate, orotate, bisglycinate, carbonate, and glycinate. If your goal is to boost testosterone, any of these forms will do just fine.

However, if you’re looking to improve your brain function, then magnesium threonate is the best form. It crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily and boosts cognition better than other types of magnesium.

Dosage For Boosting Testosterone

The studies that looked at magnesium’s effects on testosterone used between 8-10mg of magnesium per kg of body weight.

So if you, let’s say, weigh 80kg, then you should ingest between 640-800mg of magnesium daily. Whether that’s from food, or supplementation. Lower dosages will also be effective.

Again, citrate, glycinate, and carbonate are your best bet if you’re looking to supplement with magnesium.

As for foods, plenty of nuts, seeds, beans, and leafy vegetables are always the best option.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Magnesium is shown to be completely safe when supplemented.

However, you should still practice caution if you’re on medications – especially diuretics.

Always consult your doctor if you have any questions, that’s the best way to go about it.

Other than that, there’s no need to worry about taking a magnesium supplement. It’s been heavily studied and shown to be perfectly safe for long-term supplementation.

Conclusion

Magnesium is a dietary mineral which is absolutely essential for testosterone production and overall health.

It plays a role in countless biochemical processes in our body. Including anabolic hormone production.

If you’re looking to boost strength, and your male hormone, you should become best friends with magnesium.

You can get enough of it either through food or supplements. Best food sources include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate. Just don’t overdo it on the last one, too much of dark chocolate will do you more harm than good.

Daily recommended dosage for magnesium is between 300-450mg, depending on your gender, health, and age.

If you’re an athlete, or want to boost your T-levels, then dosages up to 1,000mg of magnesium daily might be required.

Best forms of magnesium for boosting your male hormone are glycinate, citrate, and carbonate.

If you suffer from any health conditions or take medications, talk with your healthcare professional before ingesting magnesium supplements.

References

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