How Long Does it Take for Magnesium to Work?

by David Zelniker on May 07, 2024

Magnesium is a vital mineral that influences our overall health, from energy levels and muscle function to sleep quality and mood. But here's the thing: nearly half of the people in the U.S. have a magnesium deficiency.

If you're feeling exhausted, battling muscle cramps, dealing with anxiety, or struggling to get enough sleep, increasing your magnesium intake could help. But how long does it take to notice a difference?

The answer depends on several factors, like the severity of your deficiency, the form of magnesium you're taking, Medications and the specific health issues you're trying to address.

In this article, we'll explore how long it takes for magnesium to work/affect (in) your body. We'll discuss the initial changes you might notice, the signs that your magnesium levels are improving, and tips for getting the most out of your supplements.

A magnesium supplement is not a medication, it supports your body's magnesium status, thus eliminating the negative side effects of magnesium deficiency.

First Changes When You Start Taking Magnesium

When you start taking magnesium, the first changes you may notice depend on your initial deficiency level and the specific symptoms you're targeting. Some people report feeling the effects within a day or two, while others may need a few weeks of consistent supplementation to see noticeable improvements.

Improved Sleep Quality

  • One of the earliest changes may be deeper and better sleep
  • Tensed muscles interfere with deep sleep while nocturnal cramp disrupts it completely
  • Magnesium regulates neurotransmitters that promote relaxation, like GABA
  • Studies show supplementation can reduce insomnia and increase total sleep time
  • You may experience more restful slumber within the first week

Reduced Muscle Tension and Cramps

  • Another early sign may be a decrease in muscle tension, cramps, or spasms
  • Magnesium is crucial for muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Boosting intake can help alleviate tightness or charley horses
  • Some people notice a difference in muscle comfort within a few days

Enhanced Mood and Stress Relief

  • If taking magnesium for anxiety or stress, you may feel a gradual sense of calm within the first couple of weeks.
  • Magnesium regulates the stress response and supports the production of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  • Consistent intake can promote emotional balance over time.

While some people may experience rapid improvements, others may need more time for magnesium levels to be fully replenished. Age, digestive health, medication use, and diet can influence the absorption rate.

How Quickly Does Magnesium Work?

The speed at which magnesium works in your body varies depending on the specific health issue you're addressing and the form of magnesium you're taking. Some people may notice effects within a day or two, while others may need several weeks of consistent supplementation to experience significant changes. Let's explore the typical timelines for magnesium's effectiveness in different areas of health.

How Quick Magnesium Works For Sleep

If you're using magnesium to support sleep quality, you may start noticing benefits within the first week of supplementation. Studies have shown that taking magnesium daily can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, increase total sleep duration, and enhance overall sleep quality.


  • For sleep, a typical dose is 350-400 mg of magnesium taken 1-2 hours before bedtime.


  • Some people report better sleep within the first few days of taking magnesium.
  • Significant improvements in sleep quality are often seen within 2-4 weeks of consistent use.
  • Long-term benefits for sleep regulation may continue to develop over several weeks to months.

 How Quick Magnesium Works For Anxiety and Depression

Studies show that when using magnesium to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression, it may take a bit longer to notice significant changes compared to sleep improvement. However, many people report feeling a gradual calmness and improved mood within the first few weeks of supplementation.


  • For anxiety and depression, effective doses typically range from 350-400 mg taken at bedtime


  • Initial calming effects may be felt within the first week of consistent use.
  • Noticeable improvements in mood and reduced anxiety are often reported within 3-6 weeks.
  • Full benefits for emotional balance may develop over 10-12 weeks of regular supplementation.

How Quick For Muscle Relaxation and Pain Relief

Magnesium's role in muscle function and pain reduction can lead to relatively quick effects for some individuals. If you're dealing with muscle tension, cramps, or spasms, you may start feeling relief within a few days to a week of increasing your magnesium intake.


  • Magnesium is best absorbed during sleep therefore, it is best to supplement the recommended serving at bedtime.  


  • Muscle tension and cramp reduction may be noticed within the first few days of supplementation.
  • Significant pain relief and improved muscle function are often experienced within 1-2 weeks.
  • Continued benefits for muscle health and pain management may build over several weeks to months of consistent use.

How Do You Know If Magnesium Is Working?

As you start supplementing with magnesium, paying attention to your body and tracking any changes in your symptoms or overall well-being is essential. Here are some signs that may indicate your magnesium intake is working:

Improved Sleep Quality

  • Falling asleep more easily
  • Staying asleep throughout the night
  • Waking up feeling more refreshed and energized

Reduced Anxiety and Better Mood

  • Feeling calmer and more relaxed
  • Less irritability and better emotional balance

Decreased Muscle Tension and Pain

  • Less tightness or stiffness in your muscles
  • Fewer cramps or spasms
  • Greater overall muscle condition and comfort

Other Potential Signs

  • Increased energy levels throughout the day
  • Better digestion and more regular bowel movements
  • For migraine sufferers, a reduction in the frequency, intensity, or duration of episodes

It's important to remember that everyone's experience may be different. Some people may notice dramatic improvements quickly, while others may have more gradual changes over time.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you need clarification on whether your magnesium intake is adequate or if you're not noticing any improvements after several weeks of supplementation, it may be helpful to consult a healthcare professional. They can:

  • Make sure that any medication you take does not cause excessive loss of magnesium through urination (Statins is an example)
  • Make sure magnesium doesn’t interfere with your medications. That is very rare. but there are a few medications that it happens.
  • Magnesium is very safe as excess amounts are exhausted through the kidney. Those who suffer from kidney failure, and most probably know it, must consult with their physician prior to taking any magnesium supplement.

Keeping a journal to track your symptoms and overall well-being can help assess the effectiveness of your magnesium supplementation over time.

What Helps Magnesium Work Faster?

If you're looking to optimize the effectiveness of your magnesium supplementation and experience its benefits more quickly, there are several strategies you can employ:

  1. Choose well-absorbed forms from reputable brands that have high availability, and clinical study testing intercellular body magnesium level such as EXATEST- A lab test that directly measures intracellular magnesium level. MGSPORT was clinically proven to have 2.7 times higher intracellular body absorption than Magnesium Citrate. 
  2. Time your intake strategically, taking magnesium at bedtime will increase significantly its absorption. 
  3. Combine magnesium with synergistic nutrients like vitamin D for bone health or B vitamins for energy and stress support.
  4. Eat a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of magnesium-rich foods, such as Cacao, pumpkin seeds, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  5. Reduce intake of processed foods, and refined sugars, to optimize absorption and retention.
  6. Manage stress through meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi to reduce magnesium depletion.
  7. Be consistent with your magnesium supplementation, establish a routine, and stick to your recommended dosage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I get enough magnesium from my diet alone?

While it's possible, but very difficult, to meet your magnesium needs through a balanced diet rich in magnesium-containing foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, many people may still need to catch up due to factors like soil depletion, processed foods, and digestive issues. Supplementation can help fill dietary gaps and ensure optimal magnesium status.

What's the best time to take magnesium supplements?

The best time to take magnesium supplements is bedtime. Explanations and reasons - in our next article.

Can I take magnesium with other supplements or medications?

Magnesium can interact with certain supplements and medications, such as antibiotics, bisphosphonates, and diuretics. It's always best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting magnesium supplementation, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking prescription medications regularly. For example, It is strongly not recommended to take magnesium together with omeprazole or similar otc medications or tablets.

How can I tell if I'm deficient in magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency can be challenging to diagnose because most magnesium is stored in the bones and soft tissues, not in the blood. Common signs of deficiency include muscle cramps, fatigue, anxiety, difficulty sleeping. Irregular eye ticking or irregular heartbeat are signs of magnesemia i.e. very deep magnesium deficiency. If you suspect you may be deficient, talk to your healthcare provider about adding magnesium supplements to your diet.

Are there any side effects of taking too much magnesium?

Taking too much magnesium can cause digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. In more severe cases, excessive magnesium intake can lead to low blood pressure or confusion. Follow recommended dosage guidelines, and don’t increase consumption without consulting your healthcare provider or if you experience any adverse effects.