Why I Slather My Body With Magnesium Oil After Every Hard Workout.

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Leg Cramp

In the audio podcast episode with Dr. Mark Sircus, entitled: “The Shocking Information About A Compound That Pharmaceutical Companies Really Don’t Want You to Know About“, I reveal information about a therapy so simple, so elegant and so natural that it just can’t be patented and sold for millions of dollars. Dr. Sircus goes way beyond mainstream medicine, and that episode is really worth a listen.

But this week, I also read the book “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy”, which was written by Dr. Sircus. When I got to the section on sports medicine and athletic performance, I became completely absorbed in the research and studies citing topical magnesium oil  and magnesium bath flakes as huge sports performance and workout recovery aids.

Which is precisely why I've been slathering my body with spray-on magnesium oil after every hard workout.

And which is also why I asked Dr. Sircus if I could re-print that chapter in it's entirety here on the website. He graciously agreed, but I need to warn you: to get a full idea of all the inner workings of transdermal magnesium therapy, you should read the book too.

Now before I reveal this chapter, let me also be clear about one thing: I use the brand of Magnetic Clay magnesium oil and flakes made by Ancient Minerals. I do this because this stuff does not have the heavy metals in it that most other brands do. If you click on that link to buy the stuff that I use, they will pay me a commission.

Just wanted to be open about that relationship.

OK, now here's the interesting stuff. Grab a glass of kombucha, tea, Natural Calm magnesium citrate, or whatever is your health beverage of choice, and join me to learn about magnesium, sports performance and recovery:


How Magnesium Works For Sports Performance

Magnesium is clearly essential though still misunderstood and underused by the vast majority of practicing sports physicians, trainers, and coaches whose clear dedication is to the athletes themselves and their performance.

ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main source of energy in cells, must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. What is called ATP is often actually Mg-ATP. This is vitally important to the athlete who needs 110 percent outputs from their mitochondria during performance.

Little is it known that bicarbonate ions act as afterburners, thrusting the magnesium into the mitochondria, so when we combine magnesium therapy with bicarbonate we gain in cellular performance. The use of magnesium for athletic performance can make the difference between winning and losing on a regular basis, thus magnesium nutrition is an area that no serious athlete or sports medicine practitioner can afford to overlook.


Why Magnesium Deficiency Is A Serious Issue For The Athlete

Despite magnesium’s pivotal role in energy production and sports performance, many coaches and athletes remain critically unaware of its critical importance in maintaining health and performance. Research suggests that even small shortfalls in magnesium intake can seriously impair athletic performance.

Nielsen, F.H., Lukaski, H.C. 2006. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnesium Research. 19(3): 180-189.  Technical Abstract: Magnesium is involved in numerous processes that affect muscle function including oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance. Thus, the relationship between magnesium status and exercise has received significant research attention. This research has shown that exercise induces a redistribution of magnesium in the body to accommodate metabolic needs. There is evidence that marginal magnesium deficiency impairs exercise performance and amplifies the negative consequences of strenuous exercise (e.g., oxidative stress). Strenuous exercise apparently increases urinary and sweat losses that may increase magnesium requirements by 10-20%. Based on dietary surveys and recent human experiments, a magnesium intake less than 260 mg/day for male and 220 mg/day for female athletes may result in a magnesium-deficient status. Recent surveys also indicate that a significant number of individuals routinely have magnesium intakes that may result in a deficient status.

Athletes participating in sports desiring weight control (e.g., wrestling, gymnastics) apparently are especially vulnerable to an inadequate magnesium status. Magnesium supplementation or increased dietary intake of magnesium will have beneficial effects on exercise performance by magnesium-deficient individuals. Magnesium supplementation of physically active individuals with adequate magnesium status has not been shown to enhance physical performance.

An activity-linked RNI or RDA based on long-term balance data from well-controlled human experiments should be determined so that physically active individuals can ascertain whether they have a magnesium intake that may affect their performance or enhance their risk to adverse health consequences (e.g., immunosuppression, oxidative damage, arrhythmias).

Magnesium deficiency reduces metabolic efficiency, increases oxygen consumption and heart rate required to perform work, all things that would take the edge off of athletic performance (not to mention carrying out the functions of normal life).

The last thing any trainer or sports doctor wants to see is their athletes lose their competitive edge.

Not performing to full capacity because of the lack of a mineral like magnesium is simply not an option for winners. Athletic endurance and strength performance increases significantly when a large amount of magnesium is supplemented transdermally/topically and orally. A magnesium shortfall can cause a partial uncoupling of the respiratory chain, increasing the amount of oxygen required to maintain ATP production.

Athletes, who might be expected to take greater care with their diets, are not immune to magnesium deficiency. Studies carried out in 1986/87 revealed that gymnasts, football and basketball players were consuming only around 70 percent of the RDA, while the intake of female track and field athletes was even lower, as low as 59 percent of the RDA.

Evidence shows that a magnesium shortfall boosts the energy cost, and hence oxygen use, of exercise during activities like running or cycling.

One study of male athletes supplemented with 390 mg of magnesium per day for 25 days resulted in an increased peak oxygen uptake and total work output during work capacity tests.

It is commonly thought that magnesium intakes above the RDA are unlikely to boost performance, but there is no evidence to support this assertion. First, RDAs are almost universally understated, even for the general population, representing bare minimums that should be taken for the maintenance of health. For athletes, RDAs are guides for failure since they do not take into account the extra demands and needs of an athlete’s body.

When it comes to magnesium, an athlete should be thinking many times the RDA if he or she wishes to maximize athletic performance. Having an adequate store of this vital, natural mineral will ensure total system availability, without the downside of using synthetic agents such as steroids that create physiological imbalances.


Ancient Minerals magnesium oil

This is the magnesium oil I personally use.

What To Expect When You Use Magnesium

Maximal contraction of the quadriceps is positively correlated to serum magnesium status.

Studies have shown that dietary supplementation with 30 mg of zinc and 450 mg of magnesium daily can elevate testosterone levels up to 30 percent. Dr. Lorrie Brilla, at Western Washington University, recently reported that magnesium and zinc, when supplemented orally, significantly increase free testosterone levels and muscle strength in NCAA football players.

In another study, young athletes supplemented with 8 mg of magnesium per kilo of body weight per day, experienced significant increases in endurance performance and decreased oxygen consumption during standardized, sub-maximal exercise.

Dr. Brilla reported that during an eight-week spring training program athletes had 2.5 times greater muscle strength gains than a placebo group.

Any athlete looking to gain strength, increase athletic performance, and muscle mass should consider greatly increasing their magnesium intake, as well as zinc.   Muscle endurance and total work capacity, declines with nutritional deficiency of magnesium and zinc.

“Magnesium is essential to a diet for people who are under a lot of stress or want to experience the ultimate rush,” says Dr. James Thor, National Director of Extreme Sports Medicine. “Several reasons, one is if you are working out in a gym, or continual stress excessive amounts of lactic acid in the muscle have been linked to higher levels of anxiety,” Dr. Thor adds.

Large amounts of magnesium are lost when a person is under stress. The combination of heat and magnesium chloride increases circulation and waste removal, and this principle can be applied during breaks in competition as well as after the game in deeply relaxing baths similar to Epsom salt baths, but much stronger. A magnesium chloride bath helps draw inflammation out of the muscles and joints. Dr. Mark Steckel recommends a hot bath with Epsom salts after a long run when the muscles are just aching. He also recommends soaking once a week “as a treat to your legs, just to keep them happy!”

Switching to magnesium chloride will amplify this effect.

Transdermal magnesium chloride mineral therapy enhances recovery from athletic activity or injuries.

“Various nutrients have been shown to exert pharmacological effects, which are in many cases dependent on the concentration of the nutrient,” reports Dr. Alan R. Gaby.

The FDA is not comfortable with this assertion though they have been forced, via recent court victories against them, to stop sending out their swat teams against farmers and everyone else who claim their foods have medicinal effects. In the world of sports medicine, nutrient therapy can mean the difference between winning and losing and between health and injury. Besides attitude and training, nothing affects athletic performance like an athlete’s nutritional profile, because nutrients are the foundation of cellular function.


How To Get More Magnesium

Dr. Gaby presents the following case:

Case #11: An 18-year-old, 235-pound high school wrestler developed a flu-like illness four days before a major tournament. Two days before the three-day tournament, when it appeared he might have to miss the event, he was given an IV injection of 16 mL vitamin C, 5 mL magnesium, 2.5 mL calcium, and 1 mL each of B12, B6, B5, and B complex. The next morning he remarked that he had more energy than he had ever had in his life. This energy boost persisted for the duration of the tournament, at which he took second place, a better performance than at any other time in his career.

In this era in which many athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs, it is not the author’s intention to encourage athletes to seek another “boost” with IV nutrients. However, this case does demonstrate that nutritional factors can play an important role in athletic performance.

The composition of the above IV formula was based on what was known as the famous Myers cocktail whose contents was not exactly recorded. The point above is not necessarily about the specific nutrients nor the method of application but it is certainly clear that nutritional medicine is hugely more beneficial to athletes than pharmaceutical preparations will ever be.

Intravenous administration of nutrients can achieve serum concentrations not obtainable with oral or even intramuscular (IM) administration, Dr. Gaby asserts, but if one adds transdermal application with oral then we are in the same ballpark as an IV unless we are in an emergency situation.

The pharmacological effects of nutrients are highly dependent on the concentration of the nutrient and it is true that we can raise concentrations strongly with IVs, but we can do the same by combining oral methods of administration with intense transdermal applications that flood nutrients into the body through all the pours in the skin for intense systemic effect.

We are introducing an entirely new way of approaching optimal performance levels through the application of specific nutrients in high concentrations. In our new form of sports medicine we are also working to avoid sports injuries as well as treat them when they do occur with something the sports world has long been waiting for.


Transdermal magnesium therapy bookThe Benefits of Magnesium Don't Stop There

There are some fundamental questions that should be asked of any proposed approach to sports medicine.

Does it do what it claims it will do?

What are the benefits?

What are the risks?

What are the alternatives?

Usually in medicine the truth is complicated, but complications are the last thing athletes and their trainers want or need. What we promise is easily confirmed by individual athletes and their doctors and coaches; you will find in these pages testimonials from athletes who have been open enough to try something new.

We offer a smorgasbord of benefits with close to zero risk and for a thousand years there will not be any alternatives because we are concentrating the basics of life itself into a formula that will super-charge athletic performance. Just as there will never be an alternative to proper breathing, there will never be an alternative to essential nutrients like magnesium, bicarbonate, and iodine.

What we promise is an increase in oxygen-carrying capacity and supercharged mitochondrial function.

In addition, red blood cells will become healthier, cell walls more permeable, cellular waste removal amplified, tissues more flexible, and general pH heightened. Vitally important for the athlete is detoxification and actual chelation of heavy metals and other dangerous toxic chemicals from the tissues.

Sports physicians should know that the danger of dying in sports competitions is augmented by increases in mercury contamination in the heart tissues. But they don’t teach athletes how to remove the mercury or better yet how to avoid mercury contamination in the first place.

Athletes should never take the yearly flu shots that contain mercury, and for sure they should never allow a dentist to put mercury fillings in their mouths if they want to avoid the possibility of sudden death during performance. Any and all kinds of heavy metal accumulation will hurt cellular respiration as well as oxygen-carrying capacity.

There are many things that you can do to improve your athletic performance.

One of the most basic ways to improve your performance is through proper diet and dietary supplements, which can, when used appropriately add rocket fuel to your mitochondria and help reduce acid buildup thus reducing fatigue. When it comes to game day, you want to make sure that your body has the access to all of the nutrients and energy it needs to perform as efficiently as possible and this can be accomplished in the most proficient way with certain key nutrients.

Magnesium and bicarbonate are the most important minerals to sports nutrition. Their use for athletic performance can make the difference between winning and losing and between sickness and health thus no serious athlete or sports medicine practitioner can afford to overlook these mineral salts.

When magnesium is deficient, things begin to die, but when our body’s magnesium levels are topped off, our body physiology tends to hum along like a racecar yielding higher performance along many physiological parameters. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) facilitates the removal of hydrogen ions from the muscle cell so as to help maintain the muscle cell near its optimal pH for enzyme functions and energy production.

The pH in the muscle cells is slightly alkaline while at rest. Normally, it is at this level that enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid and oxygen energy systems perform at their optimum. As the concentration of hydrogen ions and acidity increases in the muscle cells optimal functioning of enzymes will be disturbed and energy production will decrease.  Fatigue results because of increased acid production within the muscle cell when the lactic acid energy system is used during high intensity exercise.

During rest and exercise, proteins within the muscle cell help to buffer metabolic acids. But beyond the initial buffering in the cell, during exercise, the lactic acid produced appears to be buffered almost entirely by the sodium bicarbonate in the blood. Our body produces and uses plain old baking soda to protect its blood from acidity.

Only a few top coaches and sports doctors understand and have mastered the use of magnesium, bicarbonate, and other minerals like potassium and calcium. The word few is used literally here for we are staking entirely new ground in sports medicine introducing not only transdermal magnesium therapy but also bicarbonate bath therapy, which bypasses all the gastrointestinal problems some athletes have when ingesting bicarbonate orally.


Magnesium, Heavy Exercise & Sweating

When we sweat, we lose more than just water. Other components of sweat include electrolytes, principally sodium and magnesium. Loss of magnesium by sweating takes place at an accelerated pace when there is a failure in sweat homeostasis, a situation, which arises when exercise is made in conditions of damp atmosphere and high temperature.

In reality a quartet of electrolytes play a critical role in muscle function and other biochemical processes. The loss of sodium is by far the most substantial and well-studied but the loss of and replacement of potassium, calcium and magnesium are also of supreme importance because over time all are lost through sweat.

Dr. Sarah Myhill says, “Heavy exercise also makes you lose magnesium in the urine and this explains why long distance runners may suddenly drop dead with heart arrhythmias.”   Magnesium depletion and deficiency play a role in the pathophysiology of physical exercise.


Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes

You can dump these into a post-workout bath.

Sports Injuries & Transdermal Magnesium Therapy

Transdermal magnesium chloride mineral therapy enhances recovery from athletic activity or injuries.

Injury is an almost inevitable part of an athlete’s life. It may take the form of an acute ligament tear or be as mild as post-exercise muscle soreness. Either way, the majority of sports related injuries can be prevented or alleviated. It is not uncommon to hear of an athlete suffering a sports injury. Generally when a star athlete is injured, the injury becomes headline news.

And the public waits anxiously to hear any news on the condition of the player. Every athlete gets injured from time to time; it’s part of the courage and discipline of athletes to endure and a challenge to their spirits to remain positive and optimistic about their return to full performance.

When an athlete gets injured they want top quality care that is at the leading edge of sports medicine.  If you are like most athletes, you want to heal naturally from your injury and do so in record time without having to resort to drugs or surgery. There is no greater way to accomplish this then employing transdermal medicine using magnesium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.

Dr. Jeff Schutt says that hamstring injuries can be avoided through nutritional support because contraction and relaxation are dependent on adequate cellular levels of magnesium.

“A shortened hamstring is a result of lack of available magnesium,” he says. Liquid magnesium chloride can be simply sprayed and rubbed into a sore Achilles tendon to decrease swelling. And soaking the feet in a magnesium chloride footbath is the single best thing—apart from stretching—that you can do to protect yourself from or recover from hamstring and other injuries.

As already explained, oral magnesium is not easily absorbed and at high doses creates diarrhea. Thus taking magnesium orally offers little to athletes while transdermal application opens up an entirely new universe to athletes as well as their coaches and doctors.

A whole new world of sports medicine is going to explode when athletes and coaches find out that magnesium chloride from natural sources is available for topical use.


Magnesium & Sports Massage

Having one’s massage therapist use the magnesium oil is Nirvana for athletes.

Sports massage is excellent as a pre-event rubdown or for post-event recovery to sooth the aches and pains caused by physical exertion. A restorative or rehabilitative sports massage during training helps the athlete train harder or nurse a sports injury back to health. Imagine if magnesium oil is used instead of massage oils how much more dramatic will be the results.

Massage has been used for thousands of years and in recent decades has re-emerged as an accepted method to enhance the physical, physiological, and psychological wellbeing of athletes. Magnesium sports massage increases flexibility and muscle tone and therefore reduces the risk of injury.

Other benefits are:

breakdown of scar tissue after injury, improved blood circulation and oxygenation, and providing general relaxation and reduced stress. Athletes recovering from injuries will find that magnesium massage will speed up their return to competition. Even non-athletes, people who are active either through work or “play,” tend to become hurt or sore. These individuals are in need of a massage modality that will enable them to maintain their active lifestyle and recover faster.

A magnesium sports massage on a regular basis will assist with the body’s natural recovery process, thus speeding up healing as well as helping to prevent future injuries for those sore and stiff muscles.

A typical treatment of sports injuries includes massage, gentle rhythmical movements (harmonics), stretching, and articulatory and manipulative techniques. Emphasis is placed on increasing the range of movement, decreasing muscle tension, and improving circulation of the blood vessels and lymphatic system. The effect of this is to decrease swelling and pain, thereby enhancing the body’s self-healing process.

Note: Always apply magnesium oil before touching or putting ice on an injury. The first thing we want rushing to any area of pain and inflammation is magnesium. Magnesium is the single most important mineral to sports nutrition. Adequate magnesium levels will help an athlete’s body against fatigue, heat exhaustion, blood sugar control, and metabolism. It also offers part of the secret why athletes often die young—magnesium levels in tissue analysis of athletes who have heart attacks are usually very low while mercury levels are often very high.


You'll see some sections in there where Dr. Sircus talks about baking soda too. He has some interesting thoughts about this, but I'm not going to give away the farm. Just read his book.

Three other good magnesium resources are:

-the Pacific Elite Fitness bookstore

-a search for “magnesium” in the upper right corner of BenGreenfieldFitness.com

these products by a company called Natural Vitality, which bases all it's supplements on magnesium

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, then leave them below.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

51 thoughts on “Why I Slather My Body With Magnesium Oil After Every Hard Workout.

  1. Susan Jones says:

    Hello, I am reading Dr Sircus’s book at the moment and finding it a great help. Though I am taking magnesium citrate orally together with MSM, there is slight improvement in my right hip. Foot baths will be a good place to start transdermal treatment – better still magnesium chloride in gel form rubbed into my hip. Am starting the cheapest way first though together with stretching exercises and see how things go. There is a nerve which jars when I stand or bend over, something like a hip impingment – am more comfortable when seated, but hurts when lying down.

  2. Will says:

    Hi. I have suffered for nearly two years now with painful and tight hamstrings, ITB and calves in both legs. The medical world can’t find anything wrong. Someone recently told me I could be magnesium deficient. Would these symptoms point to this? I’d love to know what you think. Thanks. Will.

    1. I'm not a doctor, and this is not to be construed as medical advice, but I think it's certainly worth seeing if it helps.

  3. John says:

    What will give you the longest lasting effects from Magnesium – Spray on Oil, Foam, Lotion or some other form of topical application? Products exist for all of these forms and they seem to have different duration of effects. Curious what your experience has been.

  4. J. White says:

    Wow. So I realize this is an OLD story. But it looks like you’re still tending to comments.

    Ben, I’m a big fan and listen to your podcast routinely.

    Question: Have you seen any reviewed studies demonstrating that transdermal magnesium is actually absorbed? I’d been using a spray for a little while. At first it seemed great. Notable benefits were reduced leg cramping and better sleep. But then it sort of stopped.

    Recently I’ve been insanely tight and restless, despite slathering on the oil before bed. (I’m pretty liberal with it — I’d guess I use 500mg or more of it.) Yesterday I stumbled across the following article on PubMed, saying that the only studies showing absorption of topical magnesium were dubious, and that peer reviewed items demonstrated that it had no discernible effect on serum levels: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579…

    I’m just wondering. I have horrible digestive trouble with oral versions, even the chelated ones. I guess, if I am in a pinch, I could request that my doc write me a script for magnesium sulfate solution for injection. But if there’s research demonstrating that topical magnesium is absorbed fine, I guess I’ll try to figure out what else might be causing my listless sleeping and muscle cramping.

    1. It is definitely absorbed. Check out my podcasts with Dr. Mark Sircus where we discuss this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/suppleme… https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/why-i-sl…

      Also, check out this article for some alternative fixes: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/…

      1. Ab says:

        There’s lots of information on the web showing he’s a quack. Beware

        1. Andre Burrell says:

          Ben as much as I love the work you do and what you stand for, you didn’t really contribute any actual science on the matter or any valid points that cast doubt on the study. A podcast discussion with a doctor who promotes transdermal magnesium is obviously going to reinforce the notion that it works, but the actual science seems dubious at best. Furthermore, the study promoted by him was released with no data to scrutinize; just an abstract. Judging from the comprehensive review J. White linked above, transdermal application of magnesium-chloride (the form used for oils, lotions, baths, and sprays) don’t seem to be well supported by actual studies. At best, the small amount of elemental magnesium that DOES penetrate the skin seems to be through the hair follicles, which isn’t much, and thus doesn’t seem to be worth the hassle, especially considering how much people are spending on magnesium flakes & oil.

          I remember reading about magnesium oil a while ago and rushed out and bought two 8lb bags of magnesium chloride flakes, practically reeling in excitement from the possibility of supplementing my magnesium-poor diet through a daily foot bath, how simple! Turns out, it may have been marketing for an otherwise hardly-effective product. Despite this, you’ll see countless anecdotes on Amazon extolling the benefits for everything from mood, to sleep and skin conditions. Placebo effect? I hate to be the type of person to discount personal anecdotes because they are vitally important imo, but it does cause me to tread more carefully. At the very least, if we’re going to be 100% science based, it’s probably better off getting your magnesium from oral supplements and diet since those methods are actually scientifically supported (obviously).

          — NOTABLE EXCERPTS from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579607/ —

          1. “The stratum corneum functions to form a water-repellent barrier to protect underlying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress [9]. Overcoming this layer in significant quantities is only possible for lipophilic substances. In magnesium chloride solution, magnesium is present in ionized form and therefore not able to penetrate a lipophilic layer. In addition, the radius of the hydrated magnesium ion (86 pm) has been reported to be 400 times higher than its dehydrated form, leading to the assertion that it is almost impossible for magnesium ions to pass through biological membranes [2].”

          2. “In this two-week pilot study, transdermal delivery of 56 mg Mg/day (a low dose compared with commercial transdermal Mg2+ products available) showed a larger percentage change in both serum and urinary markers from pre to post intervention compared with subjects using the placebo cream. However, based on this data from the original abstract, Kass et al. only show a slight increase of serum magnesium via transdermal magnesium-containing cream.”

          3. “One of the first studies on transdermal magnesium absorption was published by the naturopathic doctor and founder of the American Holistic Medical Association Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D in 2000. He was an early advocate for the particular benefits of transdermal applications of magnesium [12]. Shealy argued that a magnesium deficiency can be compensated by transdermal application within 4 to 6 weeks, whereas an oral supplementation is effective only after 4 to 12 months. A full publication of this comparative study could not be found. Only an abstract for a conference was published not showing any additional data to substantiate this statement [7].”

          1. Steve says:

            I was gonna say the same. Im invested in it working having already bought some, but cannot find any scientific support for the idea that it passes through our skin in significant amounts.
            Appeals to the authority of the transdermal mag book author’s interview are not science.

    2. Penny says:

      It’s your environment that is loaded with blue light and wifi – it causes dehydration which makes magnesium fall off a cliff because magnesium needs water to bind to – also, when blue light/wifi hit melanopsin, it breaks the bond of vitamin a and melanopsin freeing up vitamin a to attack your melanopsin photoreceptor – along with b12 – another photoreceptor and catalase – the last 2 will destroy glutathione and catalase – 2 of your body’s major antioxidant systems – it also heightens your immune system causing it to attack itself – this is why skin diseases are at an all time high – it will also destroy leptin in your fat cells as leptin is right next to melanopsin when it goes unbound – free vitamin a is toxic to the body and is the cause of most autoimmune diseases the modern world is now reeling from – wait until we get 5g… it will be hellish….

      1. Jeannene says:

        Wow Penny you are on to something, I believe what I hear you saying is stay hydrated and get proper rest….I would love to hear anything else you might want to share that is health related

  5. Mark. B says:

    Hey Ben,

    I started taking magnesium oil about a week ago and have noticed increased stiffness in my legs and more so in my knees. Why would that be? I feel it’s improved my digestion though.

    1. Try smearing it into your legs and knees and rubbing it in really well. Sometimes it can make skin dry if you don’t rub it in well, and this can be confused with muscle stiffness!

  6. Kacy says:

    Thanks for the post. Cant wait to immerse myself in magnesium products. I have heard so many positive stories about the health benefits. Iwill be particulary using it for skincare too so it will be interesting to see if it has other benefits others than pain relief…

    1. Carey Willaims says:

      I been using magnesium oil that I got on Amazon and it has just been life changing. I have tried all types and Magnesium Oil is probably the best I have used. It has really helped me with a lot of my issues (pain, cramps, etc) I suggest everyone try magnesium oil!

  7. paul says:

    My wife has been having joint pain in her hip and down that leg, we talked to somebody in the supermarked the other day and she said that she had suffered from the same problem. She had used the magnesium spay with great results, whould you recomend this and why.

    1. Yes – please read above.

  8. James Tickner says:

    Hi Ben

    I’ve tried magnesium (citrate, ZMA & mag oil) numerous times in the evening and find that it actually gives me a terrible night’s sleep: increasing sleep latency and severely reduces sleep quality.

    Any ideas why this could be?



    1. Myles says:

      In Dave Aspreys book titled Head Strong, he mentions that magnesium is a circadian mineral and that it is in highest concentration at around noon, taking it in the evening maybe the wrong time to take it as it may mess with our circadian rhythm

  9. Peter says:

    I thought it was very interesting that Dr. Schutt says that hamstring injuries can be avoided through nutritional support because contraction and relaxation is dependent on adequate levels of magnesium. A shortened hamstring is a result of lack of available magnesium.

    Are there any peer reviewed articles to go along with this claim?


    1. Not that I have offhand but I would go check on Pubmed.

  10. Gina says:

    Hey Ben!
    Thanks for the throughout info! I would love to know what other resources you derived your conclusions from beside the book referenced. I have been looking for solid research regarding transdermal absorption of Mg for awhile now. There are a plethora of anecdotal references but actual scientific research seems to be dismal. If I’m missing something; however, I would love to read up on them. Do you happen to have a reference list of the studies you looked at?
    Thanks Ben!

    1. Gina, Check out Dr. Sircus's book, whic has good research: https://amzn.to/1YdkDp0 and also Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean https://amzn.to/1ryEgxm

  11. Maythew says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the quality information, as per usual.

    I have been taking mg orally, but now I have to try spraying. I’m seein other brands – like life-flo – that appear to contain only mg chloride (no heavy metals) and are way cheaper than ancient minerals brand. Would love for you to get commission, but of course I want a good deal, especially I I’m going to end up using this all the time. Do you think the cheaper (but still apparently pure) products are good also?

    Thanks again,


    1. haven't used the life-flo product, so I can't comment there specifically. I can tell you that there are companies who reconstitute our dry flakes to produce the spray, and Magnetic Clay/Ancient Minerals supply several of them. However, reconstituting the flakes produces an inferior product to the magnesium oil – and as you will note, Magnetic Clay/Ancient Minerals flakes are offered at a better value than any competitor, so you could technically make your own if you is after the 'best value.' Also worth mentioning is that when Magnetic Clay/Ancient Minerals started launched magnesium line 8 years ago, the materials going into the product were costing around 65% more than they are at present time due to a sharp decline in the value of the Euro. They haven't yet done so, but there will be price adjustments in 2016 to true this up, enabling them to offer our magnesium oil products at more attractive pricing.

    2. I haven't used the life-flo product, so I can't comment there specifically. I can tell you that there are companies who reconstitute the ancient minerals dry flakes to produce the spray. However, reconstituting the flakes produces an inferior product to the magnesium oil. Also just FYI, there will be price adjustments in 2016 to more attractive pricing.

  12. Rob says:

    Hey GiGi, I think some folks are more sensitive to the spray—put up with it for a while and see if it doesn’t stop. I pump 5 or 6 sprays on each side of my stomach before I go to bed, rub in a bit, wipe the residue on my arms and kneck–then rinse my hands off. I do experience a bit of itching from it but the benefits for me far outweigh any discomfort. Good luck and please update with your results : – )

  13. Gigi says:

    Does the stinging from the spray go away eventually? It’s so uncomfortable. I’ve started just spraying on the bottom of my feet and putting on socks before bed. That doesn’t seem to bother me. Will this eventually lead to a “tolerance” so I can comfortably spray it elsewhere?

    1. Angela Chace says:

      Put lotion or cream on after…or make magnesium body butter…no burning / itching

  14. Michael says:

    Wow, that took me a long time to read in full. If I knew it was going to be this long I’d have packed some lunch. :-)

    Great post and certainly a bit of an eye opener.. thanks for taking the time to do such comprehensive post.

  15. Price Weston says:

    Is it possible to get the RDA daily at least from spray on magnesium chloride? (Or at least say 1/2 of the RDA?)

    I have a relative who had a medical emergency and had to have their entire large colon and 1/3 of the their small intestines removed. Intestinal length varies a lot and theirs was shorter to begin with. Blood work continues to show low magnesium status and so far IVs have been the primary solution. Low B12 status too but the sublingual can work for that. Right now they self administer an IV daily (via pic[sic?] line) just to avoid dehydration but ostensibly the small intestines will adapt to absorbing fluids to compensate for no colon. In any case, they are looking for options to compensate in ways that overcome, to some extent, this life challenge.

    1. One spray is about 10mg. So you could do it, but you'd need (say for 400-500mg) 40-50 sprays. I personally do about 10-15 sprays, then I also have some magnesium in my EXOS multi, and then also from the produce, seaweed, nuts, seeds, etc. that i eat.

  16. venessa says:

    I am soon to be 40 year mother and wife. I have always enjoyed fitness as long as I can remember, from my very young teenage years. I do a lot of cardio and bootcamp in my training through Tae-Bo. I have experienced muscle weakness to an extent of not feeling like training any more. My breast size has decreased to an alarming size. I just want to know if magnesium will give me a second chance to go into training again which by the way I do enjoy and love.

    1. Honestly, I don't think magnesium is going to "fix all your problems". I'd instead look into getting stronger. Check out this episode with Dan John for example, or this one with Zach Even-Esh
      https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/11/mass-… https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/09/encyc…

    2. Castile says:

      I’d love to know if you found an answer, I have been dealing with the same issues you’re facing. I don’t understand it myself.

  17. The Marcellus Shale says:

    Little is it known that bicarbonate ions act as afterburners, thrusting the magnesium into the mitochondria, so when we combine magnesium therapy with bicarbonate we gain in cellular performance.

  18. baltic amber says:

    Which is precisely why I've been slathering my body with spray-on magnesium oil after every hard workout.

  19. Alex says:

    Hi Ben. Not having Ancient Minerals topical magnesium in Australia, what would be the best generic alternative? Thanks

    1. I think there is an Australian company called echolife. Try that!

  20. Daniel says:

    It mentions also using sodium bicarb

    Would you add this to the bath with the mag chloride? And if so how much?

  21. Kelcey says:

    Oh, one precaution. It stings cuts, and don't use it on freshly-shaven legs!

  22. Kelcey says:

    I have been using Ancient Minerals for about a year now. The stuff is great! I spray it on every night and before and after hard workouts. No stomach upset!

    1. james says:

      Going to give it a shot , never tried transdermals

  23. Michael says:

    In this text, Dr. Sircus states, “As already explained, oral magnesium is not easily absorbed and at high doses creates diarrhea.” Knowing this new bit of information, do you still recommend the Natural Calm supplement, or would it be better to do only topical magnesium?

  24. Brad says:

    What is the optimal way to supplement with 30mg Zinc? Say for instance there is 15mg in my multvitamin and 15mg in my living fuel superberry shake… is that enough and is it truly getting absorbed?

    1. Getting your zinc from the sources you've listed is fine!

  25. Gayle says:

    Magnesium is very beneficial to the body. It is great for alleviating arrythmias! The heart is the most critical muscle in the body. It is very unlikely that you can get enough magnesium in today's food. You will know when you need to decrease the dosage because you will have frequent loose bowel movements.

  26. Jack Nemeth says:

    Interesting stuff. Is their a toxicity risk with topical application?

    1. Cece says:

      Marshall,I am a big fan of yours and loved reading your book. I am 17 years old and in taniring for my first marathon, and I plan to start moving into ultra races in the next 6 months or so. I am planning on pursuing some sort of career with endurance sports. I am a strong believer in the value and importance of serving others. I am going into the Army after college, but I am only planning on staying in for 4 or 5 years. Afterwards I have been thinking about trying to take a year or two to compete in extreme endurance events to raise money for charity. Do you have any advice or thoughts on the feasibility of that idea? Assuming I can train hard/smart enough up until that point, do you think it would be possible to take a year or more just to train and compete in endurance events, maybe while being supported by sponsorships? Or do you have any other ideas on ways to better focus my time and efforts, possibly while working with or for a particular charity? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

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