Menu Close

Magnesium & Zinc: Benefits of Taking Them Together

Magnesium and zinc are essential minerals the body needs to function properly. Making sure you have enough magnesium and take as much zinc as you should, is vital to keep your nutrient levels at their best. Discover how much zinc you should take, and what level of magnesium is best for you. 

Table of Contents:

What is Zinc?

Zinc is one of the seven essential minerals—the others being magnesium, iron, 

calcium, iodine, silica and selenium—your body needs to stay healthy. Taking zinc can help to keep tiredness at bay, like energy supplements do.

Although it’s extremely important for your everyday health and wellbeing, your body is unable to store it naturally, like it does with other vitamins and minerals. Therefore zinc supplements are good for taking regularly, to encourage your levels remain at the optimum. You can get zinc through your diet and supplements.

Thus, taking as much zinc as you should, as well as taking magnesium supplements can help to encourage mineral absorption. 

Can I Take Magnesium & Zinc Together? 

Yes!

All nutrients are in competition because your body needs the right conditions to absorb them. Some minerals have mutual benefits, while some curb each other’s level of absorption. This is known as bioavailability.

Taken together, and in the right dosages, magnesium and zinc work to each other’s advantage. In fact, they do this so well that you’ll find a lot of oral supplements (tablets, capsules etc.) that combine the two.

Magnesium helps your body regulate its zinc levels, while zinc enables it to absorb magnesium more efficiently. Zinc will only hinder absorption when taken in abnormally high doses (around 142 mg of zinc per day). How much zinc you should take will help to ensure these two minerals are able to work alongside each other.

What Are The Health Benefits of Taking Magnesium & Zinc? 

Magnesium 

There are many benefits to magnesium, not only that it is an essential mineral your body needs. Taking magnesium supplements can help to ensure your body functions as it should, help you sleep well, and recover from exercise. Magnesium has a multitude of benefits. Magnesium:

  • allows for restful sleep
  • reduces fatigue
  • relieves muscle tension
  • aids muscle recovery
  • repairs skin, keeping it flexible and supple
  • strengthens bones
  • contributes to metabolism, the functioning of the nervous system and protein synthesis

Being deficient in magnesium can make you feel fatigued and lead to more broken sleep. Sleep supplements often contain magnesium for its benefits in this area. 

Zinc

Your body needs zinc to grow, develop and maintain itself. The mineral is a trace element present in every one of your cells. Knowing how much zinc you should take is important to helping the mineral carry out its vital jobs in the body.

There are many ways zinc benefits important functions in your body, including:

  • producing enzymes that catalyse vital chemical reactions
  • processing protein, carbohydrates and fat in food
  • helping to heal wounds
  • boosting immune system function
  • supporting protein and DNA synthesis
  • maintaining bones
  • playing a role in the growth and division of cells

Athletes and sports people ask how much zinc they should take to improve their performance. Others take as much zinc as they should for muscle cramps and tightness.

How Much Magnesium Should I Take?

For adults, 300 mg (men) or 270 mg (women) of magnesium is the daily limit. For children, the recommended daily magnesium doses are lower and depend on age. The following table shows ideal mineral doses:

Recommended daily dosage, in milligrams (mg)

Adults

Male

Female

Age 19–64

Age 65–74

Age 75+

Age 19–64

Age 65–74

Age 75+

300 mg

300 mg

300 mg

270 mg

270 mg

270 mg

Children

Male

Female

Age 7–10

Age 11–14

Age 15–18

Age 7–10

Age 11–14

Age 15–18

200 mg

280 mg

300 mg

200 mg

280 mg

300 mg

Age 1

Age 2–3

Age 4–6

Age 1

Age 2–3

Age 4–6

85 mg

85 mg

120 mg

85 mg

85 mg

120 mg

But that’s only for oral supplements like tablets and capsules. Transdermal magnesium doesn’t go through your digestive system and so has no upper limit!

With magnesium, you get a good part of your intake by eating a varied and balanced diet. You should eat magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, nuts, beans and whole grains. Yet, food sources don’t always supply enough, and if you’re found to have low levels you can also take supplements.

How Much Zinc Should I Take?

How much zinc should you take? Well, your body needs much less zinc than it does magnesium. You should take less zinc than magnesium for the two minerals to work alongside each other.

The recommended daily dosages for adults are 9.5 mg (men) and 7 mg (women). For children it’s between 5 mg and 9.5 mg, depending on age. The answer to ‘How much zinc should I take?’ can be found in the table below:

Recommended daily dosage, in milligrams (mg)

Adults

Male

Female

Age 19–64

Age 65–74

Age 75+

Age 19–64

Age 65–74

Age 75+

9.5 mg

9.5 mg

9.5 mg

7.0 mg

7.0 mg

7.0 mg

Children

Male

Female

Age 7–10

Age 11–14

Age 15–18

Age 7–10

Age 11–14

Age 15–18

7.0 mg

9.0 mg

9.5 mg

7.0 mg

9.0 mg

7.0 mg

Age 1

Age 2–3

Age 4–6

Age 1

Age 2–3

Age 4–6

5.0 mg

5.0 mg

6.5 mg

5.0 mg

5.0 mg

6.5 mg

If you are asking ‘How much zinc should I take?’, you can look at these sources of zinc. See how much you usually include in your diet. You should be able to get all the zinc you need from a balanced diet. Good sources of zinc include:

  • red meat
  • poultry
  • beans and nuts
  • shellfish (such as oysters)
  • whole grains
  • cereal products (such as wheat germ)

Those people with dietary restrictions may struggle to take how much zinc they should. For example, those that do not eat meat or animal products will often find they miss some nutrient sources. Vegans may wish to take vegan supplements to encourage a well balanced intake. 

How Do I Know If I Have A Zinc Deficiency?

Zinc deficiencies are quite rare in countries like the USA and UK, as it’s easy to get enough via a normal diet. So the answer to ‘How much zinc should I take?’ might be nothing more than eating a healthy, balanced diet. For this reason, it’s unlikely your levels of zinc are low enough for concern, and you should take enough zinc in through your diet.

That said, there are certain groups of people who may be more at risk of zinc deficiency. These include:

  • children and adolescents
  • adults over the age of 65—due to the body becoming less able to absorb the mineral as it ages
  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • vegetarians and vegans—grains and legumes, major staples of meat-free diets, contain high levels of phytate that reduce zinc absorption

Taking iron or calcium supplements can reduce zinc levels too. This is because they compete for absorption.

Detecting Zinc Deficiency

As zinc spreads in trace amounts among body cells, it’s hard to detect a deficiency by doing a standard blood test. Instead, your doctor will take a sample of your blood plasma, urine or hair and have it analysed. They tend to consider other factors alongside the results of such analyses. This could include your diet or genetics when deciding if you need supplements.

There are home-testing kits you can buy online. With these, you take a sample of your hair then send it off for further analysis. You receive the results some days later and then you will know how much zinc you should take.

Can I Take Zinc with Other Minerals & Vitamins?

As mentioned, it’s fine to take as much zinc as you should with magnesium. As zinc interacts with other nutrients, be aware of how combining them affects your ability to absorb them

You can take magnesium and vitamin D together, as well as magnesium with B vitamins, and see the benefits of taking them at the same time. Having optimal magnesium levels can help to reduce your risk of vitamin deficiencies.

You should avoid taking zinc and copper together. Zinc, in high doses could stop your body absorbing copper and lead to a deficiency. In some people, it can also cause bones to weaken.

While you do need calcium for good health, know that increasing its levels can affect your zinc levels. Being deficient in zinc causes a reduction in calcium absorption and could lead to deficiency. This means you need to take as much zinc as you should in order to avoid the risk of reducing your calcium levels.

Supplement with BetterYou

At BetterYou, we specialize in natural health and easy supplementation. With pill-free vitamins and supplements, you can support your body in getting the correct vital nutrient doses. With vitamin D supplements for bones, and children’s vitamins for your little ones, BetterYou can help support a healthy lifestyle.

Share this article using the buttons below
Close