Magnesium: Does it Make You Poop?

does magnesium make you poop

According to a study from Boston, the body needs to maintain proper cellular and organ function, and magnesium can help you achieve this. 

However, too much of it can cause unwanted effects and some people may ask, does magnesium make you poop?

In this article, we will discuss the types of magnesium, the benefits of taking Mg supplements, and the side effects as well.

Magnesium Overview

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body.

It can be sourced from foods, products, and supplements. Sometimes, this mineral is also present in medications such as antacids and laxatives.

Generally, this mineral helps in regulating diverse biochemical reactions in the body. Some of these body processes include the following:

  • Protein synthesis
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Blood pressure control

According to the National Institutes of Health, the body contains around 25 grams of Mg. 50% of these are found in bones and the rest can be found in tissues.

Additionally, less than 1% can also be found in blood serum.

Furthermore, there are many types of magnesium and some of the common ones will be discussed in the next section.

1) Magnesium citrate

Taking magnesium citrate is very popular and accessible for health enthusiasts.

This type is magnesium bound with citric acid. 

According to a study from the United Kingdom, magnesium citrate is the most bioavailable. It is easily absorbed into the digestive system. 

Aside from being used to treat magnesium deficiencies, at higher doses, it is also used to treat and manage constipation. 

2) Mg oxide

Magnesium oxide is a common form of Mg.

Generally, magnesium oxide occurs from the combination of magnesium and oxygen, usually sold in capsule form for the treatment of chronic constipation. 

Compared to magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed into the intestinal lining.

3) Mg chloride

Magnesium chloride is a great multi-purpose magnesium supplement.

Aside from powder form, this one is also available in topical products such as lotions and ointments.

4) Mg lactate

This type occurs when magnesium is bound with lactic acid.

Generally, this one is used as a food additive and it is most suitable for patients who cannot tolerate other forms of magnesium.

5) Mg sulfate

Also known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate results from the combination of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.

Magnesium sulfate is used as an alternative for digestive support.

6) Mg glycinate

This type is a magnesium-amino acid combination.

Medical doctors use magnesium glycinate because of its calming effects.

7) Mg hydroxide

Magnesium hydroxide belongs to the group of saline laxatives and can come in the form of chewable tablets, tablets, and suspensions.

Benefits of Taking Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplementation

Before we talk about the side effects, let us first discuss the health benefits of Mg.

What good health effects can happen when you take them?

1) Boost exercise performance

According to a study from the United Kingdom, Mg works by improving your blood flow and disposing of lactate during exercise, thereby preventing fatigue. 

It can also increase muscle mass and power, and prevent muscle damage.

2) Combat depression and anxiety

According to a study from Burlington, Mg plays a big role in mental function and mood. Low levels of it can result in depression and anxiety.

In this study, it was reported that people who have low levels of Mg are more at risk of developing depression.

Fortunately, just taking around 500 mg of it per day can already improve symptoms of depression.

3) Regulate blood sugar levels

In one study from Germany, it was found that about 48% of diabetic patients and those with kidney disease have low levels of this mineral.

This means that magnesium is essential in regulating blood sugar levels. 

In a clinical review published by Pharmacological Research, it was found that supplemental magnesium can enhance insulin sensitivity for patients with kidney disease.

However, this will depend on the quality of the supplements you take and the foods you eat.

4) Support cardiovascular health

Research suggests that magnesium plays an important factor in cardiovascular health.

In this study, it was found that this mineral can prevent cardiovascular disease by controlling blood pressure.

Additionally, this mineral can also lower triglyceride levels and bad cholesterol levels.

5) Enhance bone health

Around 50% of magnesium is found in your bones.

When you have enough levels of this mineral, you increase your bone mineral density and prevent bone health problems such as osteoporosis.

According to a study from the Netherlands, it was found that magnesium intake can help you prevent bone fractures, especially in the hip and femoral neck.

6) Chronic constipation

Aside from chronic constipation, this mineral is used for treating constipation of all types such as occasional constipation and functional constipation.

The former means three bowel movements per day. Take note that these bowel movements can only last for that day.

On the other hand, functional constipation means having a bowel movement that is difficult to pass. Usually, this is common in children with anal fissures.

If you have constipation, there is muscle contraction in your intestine.

Thus Mg works by providing additional water into the intestines, thereby combating constipation.

7) Increase sleep quality

Aside from anxiety and depression, because of its calming effects, magnesium can also increase your sleep quality

According to a study from the United Kingdom, this effect happens because this mineral can regulate some neurotransmitters involved in sleep.

In another study from the USA, it was found that individuals who took this mineral experienced improved sleep quality and duration.

If you have insomnia or other medical conditions, it is highly advised to seek consultation from your healthcare provider before taking any magnesium products.

Side Effects of Magnesium

Now, let us move on and answer the question: Does magnesium make you poop?

To understand better, take a look at the side effects of magnesium that will be discussed in this section.

1) Nausea

One of the most common side effects of this mineral include nausea, and based on clinical trials, nausea is mostly experienced by patients who took the magnesium sulfate form.

Magnesium sulfate is usually administered before certain medical procedures, and patients, after the operation, may encounter postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Also from the same study, women are most at risk of experiencing this side effect.

2) Abdominal cramping

Although magnesium products are used to treat abdominal cramping, too many Mg levels in the body can lead to abdominal cramping and pain.

This means that, before taking magnesium, you should know how much of it is needed for your health.

So, if too much magnesium can cause constipation, can we answer the question: does magnesium make you poop, depending on the dose?

3) Loose bowel movement

Many people who wish to take magnesium usually ask, does magnesium make you poop?

Generally, this mineral is a stool softener and provides a laxative effect, thus it also increases the size of your stool by drawing water into the intestines.

This means that too much Mg can lead to irritable bowel syndrome. 

4) Drug interactions

Like other medications, this mineral can also cause drug interactions.

Before taking some products with Mg, consider the following group of medications that may interact with it:

  • Certain antibiotics
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Diuretics
  • Medications for acidity and peptic ulcer

For safer use, seek medical consultation beforehand.

Doing this will not only prevent these interactions but will also promote overall health while using the supplements.

Mg Food Sources

Aside from supplements to regulate bowel movement, you can also increase your Mg levels by consuming foods rich in this mineral, such as fiber-rich foods and whole grains.

In this section, we will discuss these natural sources that can provide good health.

1) Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables usually provide around 87 grams of magnesium per 100 grams serving.

Some of these are spinach and collard greens.

2) Squash and pumpkin seeds

Squash and pumpkins help you focus nor just on your optimal health but on your body-magnesium levels as well.

Per 100 grams serving of these foods offer around 550 grams of Mg.

3) Wheat germ

If you want enough magnesium, considering wheat germ is highly advised. Per 100 grams of this food offers around 313 mg of Mg.

This food is very helpful in treating constipation.

4) Kidney beans

Kidney beans can also increase your body-magnesium amounts.

A 100-gram serving of this food can provide up to 55 grams of Mg.

5) Psyllium husk

Aside from providing constipation relief by drawing water into the intestines due to chronic constipation, psyllium husk can also offer its prebiotic effect.

According to some experts, this food draws water into your intestines, thereby combating constipation.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, magnesium offers many health benefits not just in promoting a regular bowel movement or providing constipation relief. 

It can also offer positive effects such as blood sugar control, cardiovascular support, and depression management.

However, understand that Mg has a laxative effect.

So, if you take too much of it, side effects can occur, including an irregular bowel movement.

Although it contradicts its use, everyone can experience it.

Thus, before you take Mg, you should know the correct dosage for you.

Furthermore, there are different types of Mg such as magnesium hydroxide and magnesium oxide. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is bowel tolerance?

Bowel tolerance means your ability to take the highest dose of Mg without experiencing watery stools.

What happens during Mg toxicity?

In the case of Mg toxicity, ischemic colitis can occur. This condition causes permanent damage to your intestines.

What foods can cause constipation?

Some of the foods that can induce constipation include alcohol, processed grains, and red meat. To avoid constipation, limit your intake of any of these.