Is magnesium a nootropic?

30 Sec Answer: Yes, magnesium is a nootropic. It has been shown to help improve cognitive function, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance memory formation and recall, improve sleep quality, and even increase focus and concentration.


Nootropics are substances that can enhance mental performance in healthy individuals. These substances are sometimes referred to as “smart drugs” because they may be able to improve the way your brain works. Magnesium is one of the many different compounds that have been studied for its potential benefits on cognitive functioning. In this article, we will explore whether magnesium is a true nootropic or not.

What is Nootropic?

A nootropic is any substance that has a beneficial effect on cognition, memory, and other aspects of mental health. They often contain ingredients like herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients that have been proven to provide positive effects on the brain. Nootropics are usually taken in supplement form but can also come from foods or beverages.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the body’s overall functioning. It helps to regulate energy levels, maintain nerve impulses, and keep muscles functioning properly. Additionally, it helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps bones strong. Magnesium can be found naturally occurring in some foods such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish, beans, whole grains, dairy products, and avocados. Additionally, it can be taken as a dietary supplement in pill form.

Benefits of Magnesium

The primary benefit of taking magnesium supplements is to ensure adequate intake of this important mineral which can be difficult to obtain through diet alone. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for overall health including cardiovascular function, nervous system regulation and metabolism regulation. Furthermore magnesium supplementation has been linked with improved cognitive performance such as enhanced alertness and attention span as well as better sleep quality.

Does Magnesium Work As A Nootropic?

Yes! Several studies have shown that magnesium can indeed act as a nootropic compound by improving various aspects of cognitive performance including alertness and focus while also reducing stress levels associated with anxiety disorders. One study showed that participants who took a daily dose of 400 mg magnesium citrate experienced reduced fatigue and improved mood when compared to those who did not take the supplement. Another study showed that taking 450 mg of magnesium daily significantly increased alertness compared to placebo group after four weeks of use.

How Does Magnesium Improve Cognitive Performance?

There are several ways in which magnesium might improve cognitive performance including:

  • Increasing the availability of certain neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine which plays an important role in learning and memory formation;

  • Reducing inflammation which could improve communication between neurons;

  • Acting as an antioxidant which could protect against oxidative damage;

  • Enhancing neuroplasticity (the ability for new pathways/connections to form);

  • Improving mitochondrial energy production which could lead to more efficient cell processes;

  • Helping the body manage stress better by regulating cortisol levels;

  • Improving the quality of sleep thereby allowing for better restorative effects on brain functions;

  • Enhancing blood flow throughout the brain leading to improved neural transmission rates;

  • Regulating calcium channels which could promote more effective synaptic connections between neurons;

  • Affecting enzyme activity associated with memory formation and recall;

    Is Magnesium Safe To Take As A Nootropic Supplement?

    Generally speaking yes – magnesium is considered safe when taken orally at recommended doses (400-500mg per day). However it is always best to speak with your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen just to make sure there won’t be any potential interactions or adverse reactions with other medications you may be taking.

Potential Side Effects Of Taking Too Much Magnesium

Though generally safe when taken at recommended doses, taking too much magnesium can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or abdominal cramping due to excess levels in the digestive tract. Additionally high doses may interfere with calcium absorption leading to muscle weakness or bone pain over time if left unchecked so it’s important to monitor your intake closely if you decide to take magnesium supplements regularly.

Are There Different Types Of Magnesium Supplements?

Yes! There are several different types of magnesium available on the market today depending on your needs:

  • Magnesium Oxide – this form contains the highest amount of elemental magnesium (60%) but has poor bioavailability meaning less than 4% actually gets absorbed into your system making it great for occasional constipation relief but not ideal for regular supplementation purposes;

  • Magnesium Citrate – this form is highly absorbable (upwards of 20%) making it ideal for supplementing purposes but may cause laxative-like side effects if taken in large amounts so start off slow;

  • Magnesium Glycinate – this form combines glycine (an amino acid) with magnesium offering higher absorbability without causing digestive discomfort however it contains only 12% elemental magnesium meaning you would need larger doses for therapeutic results;

  • Magnesium Threonate – this newer form provides excellent absorbability due to its unique molecular structure but again contains only 12% elemental content so larger doses would be required if supplementing with it long term;

    Final Thoughts On Whether Or Not Magnesium Is A Nootropic?

    Overall there is evidence suggesting that supplementing with magnesium can provide a variety of cognitive benefits making it a true nootropic substance despite not being typically classified as one under traditional definitions. That said individual responses vary so make sure you consult with your doctor before beginning any new supplementation regimen and always monitor your intake carefully if opting for larger dosages over extended periods of time since excessive consumption can cause unpleasant side effects

Hayden Russell

Hayden Russell is a writer and editor at, where he covers a wide range of topics including technology, business, and culture. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, Hayden brings a unique perspective to his writing and is always on the lookout for interesting and thought-provoking stories. When he's not working, Hayden can be found exploring the outdoors or tinkering with his latest tech project.

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