Zinc and Magnesium – What you Need to Know about the Combination

Can I take Zinc and Magnesium supplements together?

Yes, you can take zinc and magnesium supplements together.  You don’t have to take them at the exact same time each day, but you can if you prefer.  Zinc and magnesium are found together in many of the same foods, and our bodies have evolved to handle them together.   Supplements generally contain much more zinc and magnesium than what is found naturally in food, so we will discuss some of the pros and cons of taking them at the exact same time each day, vs taking them both in the same day, but not at the exact same time.

What is the recommended dosage for magnesium and zinc supplements?


RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

Men: 420 mg/day

Women: 320 – mg/day

UL (Upper Limit)

**Note: The UL is based on magnesium from supplements only

Men: 350 mg/day

Women: 350 mg/day

Go here for very detailed information on magnesium dosage 



RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

Men: 11 mg/day

Women: 8 mg/day

UL (Upper Limit)

Men: 40 mg/day

Women: 40 mg/day


What are the health benefits of zinc and magnesium supplements?

There are many potential health benefits from taking zinc or magnesium supplements individually.  Most studies focus on either zinc or magnesium.  Here are some of the main benefits:

Zinc Health Benefits:

  • Reversing zinc deficiency
  • Helping to improve white blood cell count
  • Helping to improve immune system
  • Helping with testosterone production in males
  • Helping with wound healing and keeping skin healthy
  • Helping with eye health, taste, and smell
  • Helping with sleep

Magnesium Health Benefits:

  • 1. Reversing magnesium deficiency
  • 2. Helping to alleviate anxiety
  • 3. Helping with leg cramps
  • 4. Helping with restless leg
  • 5. Helping with fibromyalgia
  • 6. Helping with migraine
  • 7. Helping with sleep

Are there any potential side effects of taking magnesium and zinc supplements together?

In most cases, taking magnesium and zinc together is considered safe. Zinc and Magnesium on their own each have potential side effects.  

Potential side effects from magnesium supplements:

  • Diarrhea (very common)
  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 

Potential side effects from zinc supplements:

  • Nausea (very common)
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

There are many forms of both zinc and magnesium supplements, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are forms that absorb far better than the other kinds and cause close to zero side effects.

Read here about a form of magnesium that won’t cause diarrhea.

Read here about a type of zinc that won’t cause nausea

Non buffered magnesium bisglycinate and zinc bisglycinate are very gentle on the stomach, and cause virtually no side effects.  

What is the best form of magnesium and zinc supplements?

Non buffered magnesium bisglycinate is the highest absorbing form of magnesium, and it also causes the least amount of side effects.

Non buffered zinc bisglycinate is the highest absorbing form of zinc, and it also causes the least amount of side effects.

For more information on these 2 highly effective supplements, read our popular articles on each:

Magnesium bisglycinate
Zinc bisglycinate

Do zinc and magnesium inhibit the absorption of each other?

Very high doses of zinc, 142 mg per day, can inhibit the absorption of magnesium.  Here is a study showing this.  

Remember though, the UL (upper limit) of zinc is 40 mg/day for both men and women.  142 mg per/day of zinc is an extremely high dose.

At recommended doses of magnesium and zinc, are some synergistic effects of taking them together.  Most of the studies on magnesium and zinc, are actually on magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 (A combination called ZMA).  This combination can help with sleep, and help increase testosterone levels in men (not women, don’t worry).

Can I get enough magnesium and zinc from my diet alone?

It is possible to get enough magnesium and zinc from your diet by consuming foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. However, many people aren’t able  to get enough of these nutrients from their diet alone, and may need to supplement. 

Also, just because you aren’t technically deficient in either zinc or magnesium, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an optimal level of either mineral.  Many people experience benefits of taking more zinc and magnesium than the minimum amounts to avoid being deficient.  Just remember not to take too much of either, especially for extended periods of time, unless specifically recommended by your healthcare provider.  

Is it better to take magnesium and zinc supplements separately or together?

This really depends on the person, the amount of zinc and magnesium you are taking, and also the form of the zinc and magnesium.

Also, you can absolutely be supplementing with both zinc and magnesium at the same time, meaning in the same day.  The question is should you take them at the exact same time, or should you take the zinc in the morning and the magnesium in the evening, or vice versa.

If you are taking zinc and magnesium within the recommended dose ranges, and you are taking them for sleep, then you can take both together before bed.  Also, if you just like taking supplements together because you feel it is a waste of time to get the bottles out of the drawer more often than necessary, then you can take them together.  

If you are taking extremely large doses of zinc, you should definitely take the zinc and magnesium at different times during the day, at least a few hours apart.  Be extremely careful if you are taking very large doses of zinc because of zinc toxicity, and do so only under the direction of your healthcare provider.

Can I overdose on magnesium and zinc supplements?

It is possible to overdose on magnesium and zinc supplements if taken in large amounts. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.  To be on the safe side, make sure you are not taking more than the recommended UL (Upper Limit) of either mineral, unless specifically recommended by your healthcare provider.  Also, excessively high amounts of zinc can lower the amount of copper in your body, which is another essential mineral for optimal health.  Zinc doesn’t appear to reduce copper significantly if you are taking recommended doses of zinc.  Here is a study showing this. 

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Andrew Best

Cofounder - Director of R&D

Andrew educates consumers about the latest scientific research in the natural health supplement field.

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