Best Magnesium for Muscle Recovery for Women who Lift Weights.

The best magnesium for muscle recovery is magnesium glycinate or magnesium chloride. These two types of magnesium are known to be helpful in relieving DOMS, and muscle cramps, and improving sleep, hence aiding in adequate rest for proper recovery.

Figuring out which is the best magnesium for muscle recovery for women who lift weights isn’t easy for those who don’t know a lot about supplements. 

There are so many different types on the market and some a definitely not worth the money while others can be game changers. 

You can check out my list of top 5 right here.

I have suffered from muscle soreness aka DOMS and insomnia for many years. DOMS of course from training a lot and lifting heavy weights even while in a caloric deficit. While insomnia is something I have inherited from my mother, although I am not sure if insomnia is genetic, I am the type to wake up multiple times at night and have trouble falling asleep. This is why magnesium has been a lifesaver for me.

I know I am not alone in this boat, many of my clients whom I have taught how to lift weights for longevity and strength have had the same issues, especially my peri-menopause group. 

I highly recommend adding magnesium supplements to your diet if you are a woman who loves working out, struggles to get good deep sleep, and suffers from period cramps or muscle cramps in general. 

1. What is the best magnesium for muscle recovery?

When choosing the best magnesium for muscle recovery it comes down to a few major factors;

Is it effective in helping achieve better sleep quality?

If the answer is yes, then it’s very important as our muscles recover and grow during sleep. So good sleep is a very important part of muscle building.

Is it helping you reduce muscle cramps and post-training soreness?

If you notice the difference that will make your gym life a little easier and more pleasant. No one wants to be very sore, stiff, and cramping for days after a leg session. A little soreness is nice, but not to the point where you don’t want to do your next session. 

So if your supplement helps you with those two things you’ve picked the right one and it is working for you. It’s important to note that of course, a supplement isn’t a magical unicorn that will solve all your problems. 

To see progress from your hard work the rest of your recovery protocol needs to be looked at; nutrition, hydration, mobility work, and avoiding overtraining. If you can do your best in all those areas then you will see results and succeed.

Magnesium is one small step in helping you along the way. 

2. What is DOMS and is it good or bad?

DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, this is the soreness you experience in the next 24-48 hours after a weight training session. For many people, it subsides after a few weeks of training, but some may experience it always.  

A lot of people refer to it as lactic acid build-up, but that is incorrect. The soreness isn’t from lactic acid, it’s rather from the microtears that occurred during training that are now trying to repair. The microtears are a good thing, we want that for muscle building.

Lactic acid is the burn that you feel during repetitive muscle contraction during an exercise.

 If you don’t experience any soreness at all after a few months of lifting you might want to check if your training intensity is enough or if you could push yourself a little harder. 

However, keep in mind everybody is very different and how sore you are after training will depend on many factors, and your CNS (Central Nervous System) signals are one of them. For some the signals of pain are stronger than others.

 Genetics can also be a factor in how sore you get after workouts.

Just because you are not very sore after training doesn’t mean you are not progressing, it could simply mean you are used to it and have a high pain threshold, and recovering adequately.

The main measure of progress is if you are getting stronger and seeing improvements in your physique then you can stop worrying about not being sore. 

So I would not rely on soreness level as a measure of your success, everybody is different. 

3. How much magnesium to take and when to take it?

The recommended dose of magnesium for muscle recovery depends on several factors, including age, gender, body weight, and physical activity level. The daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium for adults is 320-420mg per day for males and 270-320mg per day for females.

For women who engage in intense physical activity like HIIT cardio, weight training, cross fit or other types of endurance training, higher doses of magnesium may be recommended. Women can take up to 400ml of magnesium. 

The ideal time to take magnesium is 30 minutes or so before sleep as it can help you have a good restful night by relaxing your nervous system and your muscles. 

4. Why is magnesium so effective for muscle recovery?

Magnesium can help muscle recovery in the following ways;

Reduce inflammation;

Exercise can cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to muscle soreness. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help you reduce inflammation and promote recovery.

Improves muscle contraction;

Magnesium helps regulate muscle contractions and can help reduce muscle tension and spasms, which can contribute to muscle soreness and stiffness.

Regulates blood flow;

It helps regulate blood flow to the muscles, which can improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscle tissue, aiding in recovery.

Electrolyte balance;

Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining proper electrolyte balance in the body, which is essential for proper muscle function and recovery.

Improves rest and sleep;

And as mentioned above helps you improve sleep quality which contributes to recovery and consequently muscle growth. 

5. Taking magnesium with other supplements.

The below supplements can be affected by magnesium, so it is best to take those separately at least 2-3 hours apart. If you take below supplements then try to take them in the morning and leave magnesium for night time.

  1. Calcium supplements: High doses of calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption of magnesium. It is recommended to take calcium and magnesium supplements separately, at least 2 hours apart.
  2. Zinc supplements: Zinc and magnesium compete for absorption in the body. High doses of zinc supplements can interfere with the absorption of magnesium, and vice versa.
  3. Iron supplements: High doses of iron supplements can interfere with the absorption of magnesium. It is recommended to take iron and magnesium supplements separately, at least 2 hours apart.
  4. Vitamin D supplements: Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, which can interfere with the absorption of magnesium. However, vitamin D is also important for bone health, and many people take magnesium and vitamin D supplements together.

6. What types of magnesium are there?

  1. Magnesium glycinate:  Magnesium glycinate is often used for its calming effects on the nervous system and may help promote relaxation and improve sleep, it’s also helpful in reducing muscle cramps and soreness.

  2. Magnesium citrate: This type of magnesium is known for it’s ability for being absorbed easily. Magnesium citrate is often used as a laxative to relieve constipation, but it may also have benefits for muscle and nerve function.
  3. Magnesium oxide: This type of magnesium is combined with oxygen, which can make it less absorbable than other forms of magnesium, it is a type that is the cheapest to produce, but may not be as effective as others. 

  4. Magnesium chloride: Magnesium chloride may help improve skin health, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation, it’s often used in the form of Epsom salts for baths.

  5. Magnesium sulphate: This type of magnesium is combined with sulphate, and is often used in bath salts and topical treatments. Magnesium sulphate may help improve skin health, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation.

  6. Magnesium orotate: This form of magnesium is combined with orotic acid, which can help improve magnesium absorption and reduce gastrointestinal side effects. Magnesium orotate may help improve heart health, support energy production, and reduce inflammation.

  7. Magnesium threonate; is a form of magnesium that has been shown to have unique properties in terms of its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and potentially support brain health.

7. Which magnesium is the best for muscle recovery and sleep?

Of all the types I have personally tried and researched magnesium glycinate seems to hit the nail on the head with improving sleep and relaxing the muscles as well as reducing muscular and menstrual cramps. 

Personal experience; 

I have been using magnesium citrate and it has given me diarhea which stopped once I stopped taking the supplement 

I have also taken magnesium oxide for a while and felt no difference when it came to muscle soreness or sleep quality. 

When I introduced Magnesium Glycinate my deep sleep improved, my cramps in the calves subsided and the severity of my DOMS after leg training also reduced noticeably. So my recommendation would be Magnesium Glycinate. I now take Magnesium Glycinate 400mg in combination with Ashwagandha. 

8. Side effects of magnesium supplement.

While magnesium supplements are generally considered safe for most people when taken as directed, some individuals may experience side effects.

The most common side effect of magnesium supplements is gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. This is because magnesium can act as a laxative and cause the muscles in the intestines to contract.

In rare cases, magnesium supplements may cause more serious side effects, such as:

  • Low blood pressure: Magnesium can cause blood vessels to relax, which may result in a drop in blood pressure. This is more likely to occur in individuals with low blood pressure or those taking blood pressure medication.

  • Irregular heartbeat: In very high doses, magnesium can interfere with the electrical signals that regulate the heartbeat, leading to an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.

  • Kidney problems: Individuals with kidney problems or kidney disease may be more susceptible to magnesium toxicity if they take high doses of magnesium supplements.

Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medication. They can help determine if magnesium supplements are right for you and recommend an appropriate dosage.

9. Should you take magnesium even if you are not deficient?

Magnesium can be found in many foods and if you eat a balanced and healthy diet with a lot of variety of fruits and vegetables daily then you will have enough magnesium to support your health. 

However, for a regular busy person, it is difficult to eat all the necessary foods every single day in order to get enough magnesium especially that is optimal for muscle recovery. Therefore magnesium supplements are a good way to ensure you get a good amount every day. 

If you are not experiencing any side effects mentioned above in the side effects section then taking magnesium simply to improve your quality of recovery and sleep can be very beneficial even if you are not deficient. 

10. Is it safe to take magnesium forever or should you take breaks?

While magnesium is an essential mineral and plays a crucial role in many bodily processes, it is possible to get too much of it from supplements. 

Monitor how you feel and if you are experiencing any discomfort or changes in your bowel movements. If the supplement is helping you recover and get a good rest without any side effects then you can continue taking it and breaks are usually not necessary. 

If you are taking magnesium supplements on an ongoing basis, it is important to monitor your magnesium levels regularly through blood tests to ensure that you are not getting too much or too little magnesium. If you experience any adverse effects or have concerns about taking magnesium supplements, talk to your doctor.

11. When is it particularly helpful to take magnesium?

  1. If you are dieting and may lack some nutrients due to a strict caloric reduction. 
  2. If you are exercising intensely and doing Cross Fit, HIIT, heavy weight lifting, running or any other types of endurance training at least 3 times per week. 
  3. When you are going through a particularly stressful time in life or work. 
  4. When you are balancing work, training, and parenting and finding yourself tired or anxious.
  5. When you are getting a lot of DOMS, post-training muscle soreness and not recovering very well. 
  6. When you are not getting good deep sleep every night. 
  7. When you are preparing for a bodybuilding, weight lifting, sports competition.

12. What effect magnesium has on female hormones?

Some studies suggest that magnesium may help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood changes, irritability, and bloating.

Magnesium supplementation has also been shown to reduce menstrual pain and improve mood in women with dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods).

In addition, magnesium may play a role in the regulation of insulin and glucose levels, which can have an impact on hormone balance. Insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body and increase the risk of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.

However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between magnesium and female hormones. 

13. Why women over 35 can particularly benefit from magnesium supplementation?

As we age our magnesium levels tend to decline. This decline in magnesium levels can be exacerbated by factors such as stress, a poor diet, and certain medications, which can increase the body’s demand for magnesium.

In addition, women over 35 may be at increased risk for certain health conditions that can be improved with magnesium supplementation. For example, magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and improve bone health, which are all concerns for women as they age.

Furthermore, magnesium can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death among women over 35. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve lipid profiles, reduce inflammation, and improve endothelial function, all of which are important factors in cardiovascular health.

Women who lift weights and undertake intense exercise regimens in that age group also might have a more difficult time recovering properly. Magnesium supplementation can help significantly.

14. What else can you do to recover better after training and relieve DOMS?


ensure that your hydration is adequate. If you work out and drink coffee you should increase your water intake even more. A minimum of 2l per day is recommended or 2.5l if on training days or if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the heat. 


I can’t stress enough how important nutrition is. Getting enough protein and fiber in your diet will make a huge difference in how well you recover, your strength, and how you feel from day to day. If you struggle to get enough protein from your diet every day then you might want to consider protein shakes to help you reach your protein needs. 


getting enough of it and good quality of sleep. When you sleep you recover and your muscles grow and tone up. 

Stretching, mobility exercises, foam rolling and walking on rest days;

These are all fantastic not only for recovery but for improving your ability to work out better. 

Creatine supplementation;

a natural substance found in muscles that helps provide energy during high-intensity exercise. When we exercise, our muscles use up their energy stores of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which leads to fatigue and decreased muscle function. 

Creatine supplementation has been shown to increase the body’s stores of phosphocreatine, which can help replenish ATP levels more quickly during exercise and improve overall muscle function.

Creatine can also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, creatine supplementation may help speed up muscle recovery and reduce the severity of DOMS.

This supplement has been shown to have a positive effect on muscle protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue after exercise. 

By promoting muscle protein synthesis, creatine supplementation can help improve muscle recovery and promote muscle growth.

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