Magnesium and Zinc are both essential nutrients for health.
Magnesium supports muscle relaxation, nerve, heart, and bone health.†
Zinc is vital for normal growth and development, and supports the body’s natural immune defense system.†
Taking a Magnesium and Zinc supplement together can support well-being.
Magnesium and Zinc benefits are numerous, and they are both crucial nutrients your body needs to function at its best. They are found in certain foods, and in supplements as single dietary ingredients but are also increasingly found together in a Zinc and Magnesium supplement for enhanced convenience.
Did you know that many of us don’t get in enough Magnesium and Zinc every day? According to research, approximately 15-20% of the U.S. population is Magnesium deficient and around just over 15% of Americans do not consume enough of this essential trace mineral from diet alone and are at risk for Zinc deficiency.
In this article, we’ll discuss the nine benefits of Magnesium and Zinc and key food and supplement sources of these essential nutrients.
What is Magnesium Good For?
You may be wondering what does Magnesium do for the body?
Magnesium is an abundant mineral found throughout our body and is primarily stored in our bones. It is considered an electrolyte and it plays an important role in maintaining mineral balance, which supports many vital functions in the body.
As noted above, despite the known importance of Magnesium, many Americans don’t meet the Food and Nutrition Board’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) guidelines for this nutrient.
Magnesium benefits include:
Supports muscle relaxation †
Supports nerve, muscle, heart, and bone health †
Supports essential nerve, muscle, and heart function †
Essential mineral required in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body †
Getting in enough via food or Magnesium supplements supports health. A Magnesium-rich diet may also contain other key nutrients that collaboratively work together to support health such as soybeans which are an great source of Magnesium and Zinc. This is also the case in terms of a Magnesium supplement combined with other nutrients such as ZincZinc and/or Calcium.
Like Magnesium, Zinc is an essential mineral involved in many important bodily processes.At least 15% of Americans have a Zinc nutrient gap so it is critical to understand how to get in enough of it.[6,7]
One of the most common reasons many people take Zinc is to support their immune system. †
In addition to supporting the body’s natural immune defenses, Zinc provides the following key benefits: † 
It is vital for normal growth and development. †
Helps support a healthy immune system. †
Antioxidant Support †
Supports the body’s natural immune defense system. †
As you can see, Zinc benefits are numerous. The body doesn’t naturally produce Zinc, so we have to obtain it through food and/or supplements. To reap the benefits of Zinc, both food and supplements may be needed, depending on your typical diet.
You may be asking yourself can you take Zinc and Magnesium together? Absolutely!
In fact,some supplements contain both Magnesium and Zinc and even added calcium to get the best of both worlds. In addition, mineral supplements containing calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc are a good option for those looking to support their bone health with calcium and Magnesium, and their healthy immune systems with Zinc.†
While some nutrients compete for absorption with each other, this is not the case with Magnesium and Zinc when taken in the right doses. At adequate doses, these minerals work synergistically and have shown promising benefits for health.†
Magnesium and Zinc are found in a variety of foods, but many people don’t get enough for various reasons which may be related to food preferences, certain health conditions or even some medications. In these cases, considering food sources of Magnesium and Zinc as well as Magnesium and Zinc supplements that can help fill in these gaps.
As you can see, many of these foods overlap in terms of Magnesium and Zinc content. Knowing that they work well together, it makes sense that they are found in a lot of the same foods.
Beans and legumes - soybeans, lentils, beans, and peanuts
Dairy - low-fat milk and yogurt
Nuts and seeds - pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds
How much Magnesium do you need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults for Magnesium is 420 mg per day for men and 320 mg for women.
Good food sources of Zinc include:
Legumes - chickpeas, lentils, beans
Nuts - peanuts, almonds, cashews
Seeds - pumpkin, squash, sesame, hemp seeds
Dairy - cheese and milk
Whole Grains - wheat, quinoa, oats, rice
How much Zinc do you need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults for Zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.
While some may be striving to get enough of these nutrients through their diet, ~55 % of Americans do not get enough Magnesium, and ~15% do not get enough Zinc from their diet . In these cases, a quality Magnesium and Zinc supplement can ease your worries and provide peace of mind.
Check with your doctor or preferred health care practitioner to determine if you have a Zinc or Magnesium short fall and what to do to improve your levels.
Magnesium and Zinc Supplements
A Magnesium and Zinc supplement may help fill nutrient gaps for these essential minerals and provide peace of mind that you are meeting your daily requirements if your diet doesn’t always go as planned. It’s not always easy getting enough nutritious food in your diet on a consistent basis, and a supplement can help fill in these gaps to provide an adequate intake.
The Bottom Line
Eating a nutritious diet along with Magnesium and Zinc supplements can help you meet your daily needs of these necessary minerals for health. There are many delicious foods high in Magnesium and Zinc such as whole grains, seafood, meat, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy.†
Even so, it is common to have nutrient gaps in both Magnesium and Zinc, and this is why a supplement can be critical for many people.
Furthermore, taking Zinc and Magnesium together may offer additional benefits. You can choose to take Zinc and Magnesium separately or a Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc combination that helps support strong bones with Calcium, helps support a healthy heart with Magnesium, and supports a healthy immune system with Zinc.†
Above all else, get your vitamin and mineral levels checked and speak to your doctor or preferred health care practitioner to discuss your individual needs. They can help you determine which supplements if any, are best for your health goals.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Wessells KR, Brown KH. Estimating the global prevalence of Zinc deficiency: results based on Zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050568. Epub 2012 Nov 29. PMID: 23209782; PMCID: PMC3510072.
Al Alawi AM, Majoni SW, Falhammar H. Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Apr 16;2018:9041694. doi: 10.1155/2018/9041694. PMID: 29849626; PMCID: PMC5926493.
Melissa Mitri, RD is a seasoned dietitian and health writer. She specializes in helping women move away from restrictive habits that lead to vicious yo-yo weight cycles. Melissa enjoys writing about health, nutrition, and fitness with the goal of simplifying complex health topics for the reader. Find out more about Melissa at www.melissamitri.com
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.