Testosterone Boosters With Magnesium

muscular man looking at the ingredients of a supplement bottle

Does Magnesium Raise Testosterone?

LAST UPDATED: September 2018.

Author: Nicola Joyce is a fitness writer with plenty of her own experience to draw upon. Nicola is a competitive power lifter and has won two world amateur bodybuilding titles.

This article is supported with references to 4 reputable study sources.

What is the impact of magnesium deficiency and supplementation on testosterone levels?

The mineral magnesium plays a key role in the human body – in fact, we can’t survive without it.

Magnesium helps to regulate fluid balance, improves sleep quality, and even helps with ATP (giving energy to the cells). But what about using it as a natural test booster?

Magnesium and Testosterone Levels

You probably already know that zinc is a valuable test booster.

And, magnesium is often taken along with zinc in male health supplements like ZMA.

There has been plenty of research to back up anecdotal findings of magnesium as a test booster.

There have been studies looking at the links between magnesium supplementation, athletic performance, strength gains, and testosterone levels.

Results are encouraging for athletic guys who want to use this simple, cost effective supplement to look and feel better.

One study (see below) showed that active men who took magnesium had the biggest increase in total and free testosterone.

Another example  demonstrated that a magnesium supplemented group had significantly greater gains in strength.

And one study focusing on older men found that that higher levels of magnesium supplementation are associated with greater levels of testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).

We detail these studies more later in this article…

What we can take from these studies (and many more) is that magnesium supplementation appears to significantly increase both free and total testosterone, as well as boost strength and increase other anabolic hormones.

Magnesium supplementation can support your performance in the gym, too, which will have a positive impact on muscle mass, fat loss, and (in a roundabout way) your test levels.

It’s clear that magnesium is part of a healthy upwards spiral, all of which supports your anabolic hormones.

Increase Your Test Levels

Supplemental magnesium can have a positive impact on your test levels in less obvious ways, too.

Magnesium is well knows as a sleep aid (it is often combined with zinc and B6 as ZMA).

It can also control anxiety by blocking stress hormones.

If you get more good quality sleep, more often, and if you feel less stressed and anxious, you are likely to have healthier hormones.

Think about it: we know that a healthy diet, regular weight training, lots of sex, and a healthy body weight all lead to higher test levels (in one way or another).

So if magnesium helps set you up to have that kind of lifestyle, it will have a positive impact on your test levels.

Magnesium, zinc, and the B Vitamins are often taken together and it is widely accepted that these simple, cost effective supplements can support healthy testosterone levels.

Scientific Research

This 2011 study looked at the effects of magnesium supplementation on the test levels of athletes and sedentary people after exercise, and found that both groups had an increase of free and total testosterone levels. [1]

The good news for us is that the increase was more significant in the athletic group.

Another 2011 study examined whether mag supplementation had any impact on the test levels of older men (the average age of men in the study was 74).

Again, there was a positive link between magnesium levels and testosterone levels.

The study also concluded that mag supplementation had a positive impact on other IGF, too. [2]

This slightly older study looked at how magnesium supplementation might improve strength training performance.

The study concluded that magnesium supplementation did improve muscle strength after a period of 7 weeks intake. [3]

Testosterone levels help to build muscle mass and strength, and more muscle typically supports test levels – so this one is a win/win.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is the second most common deficiency in the UK and USA (after Vitamin D). Mag deficiency can lead to higher blood pressure and lower insulin sensitivity.

If you are deficient in magnesium, this can have a significant impact on your test levels, even contributing to low test.

Lots of people are deficient in magnesium, especially those of us that sweat a lot.

The mineral is not easy to get from food, but it is easy to lose through everyday sweating.

Transdermal Magnesium

The best way to supplement with magnesium is through tablets, capsules, or a powder (easily mixed with water, ideally before bed).

However, you can also address magnesium deficiency by using a topical source of the mineral. [4]

One way is through a magnesium skin spray (which some people find a great home treatment for DOMS and muscle soreness after training).

You could also consider Epsom Salt baths – Epsom Salts are simply hydrated magnesium sulphate which break down into magnesium and sulphate in the bath water.

Magnesium Supplements

The absorption of magnesium will vary according to how much your body needs, so it is very difficult to take too much.

But be aware that excess magnesium has been linked with gut issues including diarrhea.  A standard dose – depending on body weight – is 200mg-400mg daily.

Take your mag supplements every day and without food.

There are various forms of magnesium supplements you can take, so which is best for boosting testosterone?

Since magnesium is so easily depleted, you should choose a form of magnesium that is fast and easy to absorb.

Magnesium glycinate is the most bio-available oral magnesium which has a high absorption rate, making it the best to take if you need to top up your mag levels quickly.

Magnesium l-threonate is the least effective form because it contains less elemental magnesium than any other type of magnesium.

Calcium can affect the body’s absorption of magnesium, so don’t take high doses of calcium (from supplements or food) if you want to maximize your uptake of magnesium.

Remember that magnesium passes through the body quickly, so it’s better to have two or more smaller doses than just one large dose a day. But anything is better than nothing!


[1] Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Cinar V, Polat Y, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Apr;140(1):18-23. doi: 10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3. Epub 2010 Mar 30. PMID: 20352370

[2] Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men. Maggio M, Ceda GP, Lauretani F, Cattabiani C, Avantaggiato E, Morganti S, Ablondi F, Bandinelli S, Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M, Paolisso G, Semba RD, Ferrucci L. Int J Androl. 2011 Dec;34(6 Pt 2):e594-600. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2011.01193.x. Epub 2011 Jun 15. PMID: 21675994

[3] Effect of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans. Brilla LR, Haley TF. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Jun;11(3):326-9. PMID: 1619184

[4] Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium? Gröber U, Werner T, Vormann J, Kisters K. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 28;9(8). pii: E813. doi: 10.3390/nu9080813. Review. PMID: 28788060

Article by:

Nicola Joyce (aka “the fit writer”) is a fitness industry copywriter who has been writing for and about sport and fitness since 2004. Nicola is a competitive drug-free bodybuilder (with two World titles at amateur level) and has also competed in powerlifting and a couple of strongman comps. Prior to her strength training days, Nicola was an endurance athlete and has even swum the English Channel twice. She can be found on all social media at: thefitwriter.



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