Magnesium and the Keto Diet [ULTIMATE Guide]

  • Date: April 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Did you know that magnesium is required for more than 200 biochemical reactions in the body? Not just this, but it’s also known to help in proper muscle functioning. It even maintains normal nerves and supports a healthy immune system. But how does magnesium affect a person’s body on a keto diet? Or why does a person require magnesium on a keto diet? To find answers to these questions, continue reading this post.

Why May You Need Supplements when Eating a Keto Diet?

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF).

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories are from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.

It is the role of the liver to convert amino acids into small amounts of glucose. This process is called glucogenesis. This is when ketone bodies (ketones) are created.

Eventually, your body will become what is known as ‘fat adapted‘. In simple terms, this means that your body is accustomed to burning fat as its primary fuel source and it will function this way as its default setting.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

There is no doubt that the process of getting into ketosis and remaining there is a massive change to the way your body is used to functioning.

Supplements may be able to assist your body with this transition and speed up your journey to your health goals.

What Does Magnesium Do for the Body?

For an adult, regular magnesium consumption is suggested.

However, not everyone can consume magnesium, as in some, it can lead to upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and other side effects. 

Magnesium acts as a natural calcium blocker for the body, which keeps the muscle relaxed. It also maintains healthy brain functioning and a healthy heartbeat.

In addition, magnesium is also known to;

  • lower blood pressure,
  • reduce the risk of heart diseases,
  • control blood sugar levels,
  • improve sleep quality,

and more. 

What Will Happen if I Have Too Little Magnesium?  

Low magnesium in the body is not common. But sometimes, people do not get enough magnesium.

If someone is on low magnesium for a long time, it can result from poor diet, sleepiness, weakness, and nausea. 

Low Magnesium Symptoms Keto

Magnesium deficiency occurs when the body does not get all the magnesium it needs for the proper functioning of the body. Magnesium deficiency can cause different health issues. 

If you are on a keto diet, you can notice the following symptoms to know whether your body has maintained magnesium levels or not. 

  • Shaking
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pins and needles 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fatigue and weakness

If you are a healthy person on a keto or low-carb diet, magnesium deficiency can occur due to kidney problems, digestive problems, certain medications, and long-term diarrhea as well.  If you suspect any of the above, please seek medical advice.

Why Do You Need Magnesium on the Keto Diet?

When the body first enters ketosis, there comes a drastic decrease in the electrolytes. As a result, magnesium levels also decrease.    For more side effects of ketosis, check out our side effects of keto article.

If you are on a keto diet, you are advised to have a well-maintained level of magnesium in the body.

Proper magnesium can reduce muscle cramps and difficulty sleeping.

Also, proper magnesium levels on a keto diet can support the immune system and regulate blood glucose levels. 

Benefits of Taking Magnesium

Having a balanced level of magnesium in the body is proven to offer the following benefits:

  • It can improve exercise performance 
  • It is known to fight depression 
  • It can also support healthy blood sugar level
  • It might also promote heart health and prevent heart disease
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties 
  • It can improve PMS symptom
  • It can also improve migraine attack  

So you see, getting enough magnesium is vital for the growth and performance of the overall body. Check out this article for more health benefits of the keto diet.

How much Magnesium Should I Take on Keto?

If you are following a keto diet, your body would want more magnesium as during this time, the magnesium level declines. So, it’s always suggested to take a magnesium-rich diet when following keto. 

On average, a person should take 200-400 mg of magnesium per day. Anything less than this or more can be harmful to the body. 

What Kind of Magnesium is Best for the Keto Diet?

While following a keto diet, loss of minerals and nutrients is very common. It is the main reason people who follow keto-diet always search for magnesium-rich food. 

Among the available sources of magnesium, magnesium citrate is recommended because it comes in powder form. Also, it can be easily absorbed by the bloodstream. 

What Will Happen if I Have Too Much Magnesium?

While magnesium is known to offer many benefits to the body, one should never consume it in larger quantities.

It isn’t healthy, and higher doses can cause adverse effects such as;

  • irregular heartbeat
  • low blood pressure
  • confusion
  • slowed breathing

Too much magnesium would be around 350 mg or more per day).

How To Get Magnesium On Keto

If you are following a keto diet and are experiencing symptoms of low magnesium, there are a few things you can consume. Keto-friendly foods naturally high in magnesium include;

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach 
  • Avocado
  • Mackerel 
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Artichokes
  • Flax seeds
  • Fatty fish
  • Chicken
  • Leafy Greens (Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale)

All these food items are not just naturally rich in magnesium but also taste wonderful. So, start consuming them to fight the deficiency. 

While consuming these food items, make sure that you do not cross the maximum magnesium consumption.  A good way of doing this is by using a food tracking app such as MyFitnessPal.

Check out this article for more on vitamins and supplements on the keto diet – learn which ones you need and which you do not.

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