Health and Wellness

Is Your Daily Coffee Fix Depleting Your Magnesium?

By Salt Lab | Published the 09th Sep 2021

woman holding cup of latte

If you’re anything like us, your day only truly begins after that first sip of coffee in the morning. It’s a ritual, a sacred part of our routine, a pick-me-up, and something we genuinely look forward to - but is our daily need for a coffee fix working against us and depleting our body of the mineral we need most?!

We don’t want to be the bearers of bad news...but unfortunately coffee does cause widespread nutrient depletion of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. In particular, caffeine interferes with nutrient absorption of essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium, and of vitamins like vitamin B6.

When we drink coffee, our intestinal absorption of magnesium decreases, meaning the more coffee we drink, the less magnesium and other important nutrients our intestines can absorb. Coffee also acts as a diuretic, causing our body to flush out magnesium quickly and before we’ve had a chance to absorb enough to make the most out of all of its health-promoting benefits.

Since a few of the tasks in magnesium’s impressive job description include; improving our mood and cognitive function, providing energy, regulating digestive processes, supporting our immune system, improving muscle function, and strengthening bones - it’s safe to assume that anything that depletes our stores of this magic mineral isn’t ideal for us to be consuming every single day...often multiple times throughout the day (guilty!).

The good news (before we lose any of you coffee-addicts) is that coffee does not directly deplete magnesium from our body - it is the decreased absorption of magnesium and increased excretion that can cause our body to gradually lose this mineral, potentially resulting in a magnesium deficiency.  So that beloved morning coffee isn’t leeching your magnesium stores - it’s just putting you more at risk of not having enough in your system over time.

The fix? As coffee drinkers, we need to be a little more proactive and careful with how we’re replenishing our magnesium levels and making sure it is consistent to offset this greater risk of deficiency. For most of us, a nutrient-dense whole food diet and daily magnesium supplement should be enough to counteract the indirect depletion effects of coffee. 

Here are 4 simple tweaks that’ll mean you won’t need to abstain from your daily brew or suffer the health consequences of a magnesium deficiency:

  • Eat more foods that contain magnesium and eat them daily - think legumes, wholegrains, leafy greens, seeds, nuts, oats, bananas and dark chocolate (Ha! Coffee & chocolate see it is not bad news at all!)

  • Don’t have your coffee with your meals - separate them by at least an hour to make sure there’s no interference with absorption of nutrients. 

  • Maybe cut down just a little on the caffeine. We’re not telling you to cut it out completely (let’s be realistic here) - but if you’re reaching the ‘3-cups-a-day’ mark with your coffees, consider swapping one for a decaf, herbal tea or a magnesium-rich hot chocolate (recipe shown here!)

  • Replenish with a magnesium supplement. Our Salt Lab oils and bath bombs are a simple, effective and safe way to make sure your body is given the opportunity to absorb as much of the mineral as it needs to counteract any depletion.

The take-home message? You really can drink your coffee and have your magnesium too, you just need to balance it out and prioritise your diet and supplements - with no coffee detox required (phew!).