If you eat a balanced and healthy diet with adequate amounts of protein, you can still realize some health benefits just by taking 150 mg of an effective magnesium supplement every day.3
But if you eat like a typical American—many processed and refined foods, convenience foods, and junk foods—then you’re probably seriously magnesium deficient. Just the process of refining foods strips nutrients, including magnesium. Some examples:
Dry roasting nuts removes the highly nutritious oils which contain magnesium.
Milling flour from grains strips magnesium from the grain.
Sugar in anything uses up magnesium.
Fluoridated, softened, and distilled water depletes magnesium.
Carbonated beverages and some processed foods, like lunch meat, contain phosphates that bind to magnesium molecules and flush it out of the body.
Alcohol blocks magnesium, especially if you have three or more drinks a day.
Coffee works like a diuretic to flush magnesium from of the body.
Some foods—like raw or roasted nuts and seeds, soybeans, spinach, and chard—contain compounds called phytic acid and oxalic acid which can cause magnesium to be eliminated from the body.
You might even think you’re doing yourself a favor by eating frozen vegetables. But even those are sprayed with chemicals to enhance their color which, when boiled in water, can leach magnesium from the vegetables into the water. (So save the water for use as soup stock later on!)