View Full Version : Benefits of Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc

Mike Minium
10-12-2004, 08:37 PM
A friend recently emailed me the following question:

"Hey Mike,

When you have a chance could you run down what you know about the benefits of having calcium/magnesium/zinc in the functioning of the body - I guess that would be including the obvious ones."

I've looked through the archives (and found a few good articles) and it appears that there's a strong correlation between healthy magnesium levels and lower blood pressure. And calcium is good for maintaining bone density. I know basically nothing about zinc. But I haven't come across a definitive post on the effects (either positive or negative) these three minerals have on the body.

Does anyone know of a good website that explains the benefits of these three minerals? Or better yet, what are your thoughts and/or experiences related to these three minerals?

Also, what about dosage levels if supplementing?



Brian Hand
10-13-2004, 05:04 AM
Mike, in my opinion, minerals are even more important than vitamins. All three your friend mentioned are involved in a zillion things. Here is a good site that just scratches the surface:


The three your friend mentions are the exact three I supplement beyond what my multi supplies. I try to take a couple calcium citrate caps and a couple ZMA caps twice a day. The ZMA is 10 mg Zn and 150 mg Mg per cap, the calcium citrate is 150 mg Ca and 75 mg Mg per cap.

If I may piggy back a couple questions on your thread, is it really necessary to separate the calcium and magnesium because they compete for absorbtion? I have heard this but they acutally put Mg in the Ca caps.

Also, will calcium carbonate (in TUMS) rather than calcium citrate help reduce blood acidity?

Scott Kustes
10-13-2004, 10:48 AM
I also take ZMA...within 90 minutes of going to bed. Since I started taking it, I've been getting some amazingly deep sleep. Dreams are more frequent and vivid (if not 10 times weirder), which is a good thing as far as I understand the sleep cycle. I've also noticed that my performance has improved as has my body composition. Of course, this could be attributed to my dietary changes or the fact that I'm just getting better sleep.

Anyway, I feel that ZMA helps me. If nothing else, I sleep better and recover better. Therefore, I can go harder on the WODs.

From what I understand, low levels of zinc affects testosterone levels, so I may have also been lagging a bit in zinc and therefore, supplementing has kicked me back to normal, regulating my hormone levels better.

Mark Mueller
10-14-2004, 05:28 AM
I was doing the ZMA for awhile....I experienced the deep sleep and noticed faster recovery times. However I also found that I was incredibly achy and sore after doing it for about 3 weeks. As soon as i stopped it would gradually taper off. I did a little research and found something about excessive vitamin B (I was taking a B supplement) promoted nerve hypersensitivity (?) when combined with the ZMA....Anybody else heard of anything like this?

Scott Kustes
10-14-2004, 06:21 AM
I also take a B complex in the morning and have had no problems. That doesn't mean that the problem doesn't exist for some people...just that I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I can help you out more there.

James R. Climer
10-16-2004, 06:25 AM
Here's my take on the calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) & zinc(Zn) supplementation theory: ZMA is a blend of supposed highly assimilable compounds containing Mg & Zn with NO Ca-containing compounds which will compete with the Zn for absorption, taken 1/2-hour before bedtime on an empty stomach it is supposed to illicit a higher Testosterone release and induce brief periods of deep sleep in the normal sleep cycle, ZMA also contains a very small amount of vitamin B-6, which it's claimed works better in conjunction w/ Mg & Zn.

I have read several reports of people who work out intensely are often found to be deficient in the mineral Mg, this is taken mainly from bodybuilding rags, so caveat emptor.

Last, I've learned that milk isn't the magical preventative cure for bone loss it's advertised to be because while it has a lot of Ca and Phosphorus as well as Vitamin D added, it lacks the final ingredient to make it all work in the body, and that ingredient is Mg.

I offer this for evaluation and hopefully if I'm way off base, an expert will come along and set us all straight.

James R. Climer
10-16-2004, 06:35 AM
BTW, if you're curious, I take a cheapo Mg tablet and Zn tablet when I go to bed on an empty stomach daily, along with a small nip off a B-6 tablet. I chew them before swallowing. (B-6 is VERY bitter). Seems to give me some restful sleep, doesn't dent the wallet and doesn't hurt. I check the ingredients to verify the fillers don't contain Calcium, primarily diCalcium Phosphate which is common binding material in tablets.

Having the Mg separately allows the option of taking extra along with Ca at other times of the day, a combination that can be settling to a acid stomach, something Pukey often reminds me of. That's it I'm spent.

mark twight
10-16-2004, 08:07 PM

re: TUMS

I recall attempts 20 years ago (or so) to moderate blood acidity at high altitude by using TUMS. It was often prescribed by folks supposedly knowledgeable on the subject and theoretically it made sense. Now we know more and no one uses it for that because no benefits were ever proven.

Mark T.

Ron Nelson
10-25-2004, 02:10 PM
Call me crazy, but I noticed that if I took 2 MgCaZn capsules before going to bed, and after downing about 4-5 beers, I slept great (no doubt), but woke up feeling pretty darned good. Think it countered any potential hangover?

Chris Forbis
10-25-2004, 03:55 PM
Unrelated to everything buy hangovers, but Dr. Sears says to minimize a hangover, one needs lots of GLA. He recommends 5g of borage oil before you start drinking, 5g of borage oil before bed, and 5g in the morning.

I intend to put this to the test in a couple of weeks. College homecoming... my liver is fearing what is likely to happen to it.

Brian Gibson
10-26-2004, 06:44 AM
What brands are these supplements? It will give me somewhere to start looking if I purchase some.

Ron Nelson
10-26-2004, 11:39 AM
My CaMgZn is the Kirkland brand from Costco. Three capsules (tablets?) contain 100% of the RDA for each and thensome. Mike M. has had pretty good experiences with this brand and the company is very forthcoming when asked for info.

Brian Gibson
10-26-2004, 12:30 PM
Thank you, Ron.