There are so many conflicting studies regarding one of the world’s most popular drinks: coffee. Some say it causes insomnia; others say it might help you live longer.  

The general consensus is that coffee, like most things, is healthy in moderation.

But one new claim is that coffee might impact your body’s magnesium supply. “There are a few very anecdotal studies that show that when you drink coffee, the intestinal lining actually has a drop in its ability to absorb magnesium,” says Dr. Niket Sonpal, an internist and gastroenterologist. He says some research has found an association between people who drank lots of coffee and magnesium deficiency, Well and Good reports. 

Of course, there are tons of if’s and’s and but’s when it comes to this coffee criticism. The first thing to note is that coffee doesn’t directly cause a magnesium deficiency. “The coffee isn’t leeching the magnesium out,” Sonpal explains. “The coffee itself [may reduce] your intestine’s ability to absorb [magnesium], which over time can result in a magnesium deficiency.” Another thing to keep in mind: Many of these studies are small or performed on rats, so the relationship still needs more study.

The good news? As long as you eat a generally healthy diet, you probably won’t become magnesium-deficient.

Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency, according to Women’s Health, include tingly fingers and toes, flu-like symptoms, having a seizure without a seizure disorder, muscle cramping, mood changes, faster heartbeat and constipation. 

As for magnesium-rich foods that will allow you to keep up your current coffee habits without being depleted, you’ll want to reach for foods packed with dietary fibre, including dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, salmon and tuna, soybeans and edamame, avocado, bananas, dark chocolate and low-fat yoghurt, according to Everyday Health. 

You also don’t want to make the mistake of simply popping a magnesium supplement without talking to your doctor first because, just as too little magnesium can be an issue, too much can be as well. Though it is rare in healthy individuals, Medical News Todayassures.

According to one anecdotal study, If the body has absorbed too much magnesium, a person may notice any of the following symptoms, which can range from mild to very severe: lethargy, facial flushing, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, depression, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, urine retention, and other issues. We draw your attention to some comments which dispute this finding and remind you that the quality of studies varies tremendously. New studies may be forthcoming that contradict earlier ones, and you should always refer to medical experts or your doctor if you have a concern.

This article first appeared on: www.phillyvoice.com by Bailey King.


  1. Creo que están en un error: el Magnesio en cantidades elevadas no genera depresión, al contrario, la carencia de Magnesio puede desencadenar depresión, debilidad muscular, y letargo.

    No sé si se equivocaron al redactar o quien escribió esto se confundió en sus fuentes, pero son vastos los estudios que comprueban el aporte benéfico de un consumo eficiente de magnesio y su aporte al estado de animo por depresión. Saludos

    1. Thanks for your comment, the story reflected the opinion of a Doctor that was informing our writer of their opinion based on anecdotal studies. We write much less about coffee and health now because there is so much contradiction from different studies. You raise an important point, however, and I think we should update the article to make it clear that this was just one opinion, based on small anecdotal studies. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. Coffee is a rich source of magnesium.
    People drinking too much water in their coffee is the issue, 2-3 the more you urinate the less minerals you hold on to.
    Below is a summary list for the top ten coffee items ranked by the amount or level of magnesium in 100g.

    1. Coffee, instant, regular, powder, half the caffeine : 327mg (82%RDA)
    2. Coffee, instant, regular, powder : 327mg (82%RDA)
    3. Coffee, instant, decaffeinated, powder : 311mg (78%RDA)
    4. Coffee, instant, with chicory, powder : 213mg (53%RDA)
    5. Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared, decaffeinated : 80mg (20%RDA)
    6. Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared : 80mg (20%RDA)
    7. Coffee, instant, with sugar, mocha-flavor, powder : 68mg (17%RDA)
    8. Coffee, instant, with sugar, cappuccino-flavor powder : 43mg (11%RDA)
    9. Coffee, instant, with sugar, french-flavor, powder : 26mg (7%RDA)
    10. Coffee, brewed from grounds, prepared with tap water, decaffeinated : 5mg (1%RDA)

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