The Surprising Impact Of Taking Magnesium Glycinate on Migraines (Review)

I have experienced migraines for most of my life and tried numerous things to prevent them including prescribed medication and accupuncture, but nothing totally stopped them. So when several people suggested I try taking magnesium to help prevent my migraines, I was dubious. I first tried a magnesium spray didn’t notice any difference from using it. When I was offered the chance to review Magnesium Glycinate tablets by Nutri Advanced I thought I would see if they worked any better for me. I have been taking the magnesium tablets for a month and I’ve noticed a difference, but not the one I expected.

A white tub of Magnesium Glycinate on a black background with white tablets spilling out. Taken as a trial to see impact on migraines
I trialled taking Magnesium Glycinate to see the impact it had on my migraines

Impact of Magnesium Glycinate on my Migraines

I know that my migraines are linked to my monthly cycle and I had a migraine on schedule a few days after starting the tablets. It lasted the normal 48 hours and then went. Four weeks later when my migraine was due I woke up with a mild migraine. I took painkillers and went back to bed for a few hours, but we were on holiday so I had to drag myself out and sit in a busy swimming pool with the girls. I wasn’t in pain, but I had the groggy confused head which comes with my migraines. After a bit of lunch my head cleared and the migraine went. So instead of my normal 48 hours of a migraine, I had about 12. 

Update: after continuing to take the magnesium regularly I have been able to totally prevent my migraines. This is huge because losing 48 hours a month when I need to hide in a dark room obviously takes it's toll on my mental health and my family. Accupuncture had previously ha an impact to lessen my migraines intensity, but they still came. 

I have now been taking these tablets on and off for 4 years and continue to notice the positive affects. I stopped taking them when I was pregnant because I don't normally experience migraines when I don't have my menstrual cycles, but when my period and migraines returned I have turned back to the tablets.

Feeling Exhausted and Magnesium Glycinate

Even if the Magnesium Glycinate tablets didn’t have an ongoing affect on my migraines I would keep taking them because I have noticed another difference in how I felt over the first month: I was much less tired. I don’t currently drink caffeine and I rarely get enough sleep so I am pretty much always exhausted. I was often tired even before I had children and needed more sleep than my family and friends to function well so I can't blame being a mum. 

I normally go to bed by 10pm. On the days my eldest daughter is here she might not go to sleep much before me which means I get very little time to blog, spend time on my own or be with my partner. On the days M is at her Dad’s house I might get a luxury of two hours free time. 7 hours a week isn’t a lot of time. 

Since I have started taking the tablets I have found I feel less tired. I tend to stay up an hour or so later and I am less likely to want to nap during the day. On the days I have forgotten to take the tablets I feel more tired, so I take them and later that day I find more energy again. This change has been a big surprise to me, could the reason I always needed so much sleep have been due to a magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium Deficiency 

According to Nutri Advanced: Magnesium is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body, particularly those processes involved in energy production and it is also required for proper functioning of nerves and muscles. It is thought that it may increase energy levels and reduce tiredness. Low magnesium levels may also be associated with irritability or confusion. I found this article interesting on magnesium deficiency.

The NHS website says that Magnesium helps “turn the food we eat into energy” and makes “sure the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, work normally”. It also says that most people should get the magnesium they need from their diet. Magnesium is found in “green leafy vegetables - such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, bread (especially wholegrain), fish, meat and dairy foods”. I completely agree that our diet should be able to give us all the vitamins and minerals we need (with the possible exception of Vitamin D), but what if it doesn’t? Many of us struggle to have the balanced diet we should be eating and taking supplements is a good way to ensure our bodies (and mind) don’t suffer.

The form of vitamins and minerals you consume makes a difference to their effectiveness too. The tablets from Nutri Advanced are designed to be well absorbed. Magnesium Glycerinate is gentle on the digestive system while other forms of magnesium can have cause diarrhoea at higher doses. The magnesium molecules are bound to glycine which is meant to have a calming effect too.

How To Take Magnesium for Migraines

Lots of people seem to believe that Magnesium is better absorbed through the skin, but having read various pieces of research into this it seems to be a false assumption based on some bad research. Some people find it helpful to have baths in magnesium salts or use magnesium sprays, but for a daily top up dose I find taking it orally much easier. The spray can irritate the skin and even if it doesn't standing around while it absorbs in is frustrating for me. A bath in magnesium salts before you expect a migraine may be helpful, but I have seen benefits of a daily dose and as a mum of 3 a relaxing bath soak each day isn't possible. For me taking Magnesium supplements orally is the best option and due to the success of the Nutri Advance tablets I have continued to buy them after my gifted supply ran out.

The Nutri Advanced tablets suggest taking 4 to 6 100mg tablets a day with meals. I found that for me I don't have to take such a high dose to have a positive impact. I started by taking 3 or 4 a day (one with each meal) and when I started to notice the impact I reduced it to 1 or 2 a day. The level you need will depend on how deficient you are and how much magnesium you are consuming already through your diet. I would suggest starting with a medium dose and going up or down depending on how you find it, allowing a few weeks for the full benefits to be felt.

Over the first month of taking the tablets I noticed my migraines were less severe, I had more energy and needed less sleep and the only change I can identify is taking this supplement. I’m surprised and impressed that this is simply due to taking a higher dose of Magnesium in the form of Magnesium Glycinate.

***Disclosure: I was asked to trial Magnesium Glycinate for 3 weeks by Nutri Advanced to review the tablets. All thoughts are my own apart from where otherwise stated.***

Caution: If pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any kind of medication or you have a medical condition, consult a healthcare practitioner before using this product.

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