Parents, listen up, because there’s a new craze going around that might just be putting your teen at risk: Teens everywhere are taking twice the daily recommended dose of magnesium in order to regulate muscle function and improve sleep efficiency.
What?! Don’t these kids realize that decisions to supplement their diet must be made under the direction of a healthcare professional?
This scary new trend first debuted in a TikTok post in which one teen reveals how much better her sleep and recovery post-workout have been since she started doubling the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium. After the video went viral, it spawned what teens are calling the “RDA double,” a trend in which teens record themselves popping a double dose of magnesium, followed by a time lapse video of their uninterrupted eight hours of rest set to Passion Pit’s 2009 hit “Sleepyhead.”
With magnesium supplements widely available in grocery and drug stores, it’s going to be almost impossible to regulate teens’ intake of the mineral, which is why it’s crucial to observe the warning signs in your own home. If you hear your teen talking about their “total muscle glow-up” or their “high-key Zzz’s,” there’s a good chance that they’re participating in this terrifying trend. Although your teen’s magnesium intake may give them positive results at first, ingesting such a high dose of the mineral can come with devastating side-effects in the long run, including nausea and abdominal cramping. To avoid serious stomach upset, it’s crucial that teens take no more than the RDA, and certainly not double.
As the magnesium trend has swept through high schools across the country, teens have even begun to self-identify with their preferred type of magnesium via terms such as “citrate gang” or “team malate.” While it might feel like your teen is a lost cause if you find a bottle of magnesium under their bed, remember that it’s never too late for a chat about how it’s best to try to get nutrients from whole foods before resorting to supplements, and how, if supplementation is required, it’s essential to first consult a professional to decide what dose is appropriate for your body type and level of physical activity.
Let this be a wake-up call to parents—if you suspect your child might be participating in this magnesium trend, it may be time to order a blood work panel to see for yourself. Stay alert, adults!!