Find our updated list of natural alternatives to ADHD meds here for more ideas!
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and you’re hoping to avoid medication, you may be interested to learn that there is a specially-formulated magnesium that may help with behavior and brain health.
According to studies, “magnesium is known to play a major role in cellular metabolism and is critical for nervous system functioning. [Deficiency] in magnesium leads to biochemical deregulation and may contribute to psychological and neurological disorders.” (source)
In other words, magnesium is critical to brain health and cellular function. This probably isn’t news to you, because we know that all vitamins and minerals play their own critical parts in the health of our bodies, including our brains.
What you might not know, is that all magnesium is not created equally! There is a newer form of magnesium, formulated especially for brain health, and it’s called magnesium threonate.
According to this article by Dr. David Perlmutter, “one of the most aggressively studied forms of magnesium threonate is a patented product called Magtein, developed by researchers at MIT including a Nobel Prize winner. Their research has demonstrated actual restoration of function in aging neurons in laboratory animals. Further, it appears that this specific form of magnesium, Magtein, may in fact be the only form of magnesium that significantly increases the levels of magnesium within the brain.”
Children and adults taking magnesium threonate have noted:
- increased focus
- fewer angry outbursts
- reduced headaches
- better energy levels
One doctor-recommended brand with good results, which is formulated with clean ingredients is MagMind, which you can find here one.
Other helpful supplementation for ADHD
In addition to magnesium, a healthy, paleo-style diet is best for brain health. Start here to learn about toxic ingredients to remove from your child’s diet first.
There are a couple of other supplements that can be helpful:
-a good probiotic like Smidge, which is formulated for sensitive children like those with ADHD
-a high-quality fish oil, as the omegas feed the brain and help it to function properly. We like this highest-quality extra virgin cod liver oil.
ADHD supplement protocol
To read more about a whole supplement routine with an innovative product called Neural Balance which may help with impulse control and hyperactivity, read more about the best supplements for ADHD here.
While it’s best to get as many nutrients as we can from whole, organic foods, it’s just not possible to get high doses of things like magnesium and other vital nutrients from our depleted and over-farmed soils. In this case, wise supplementation can be helpful to fill in the gaps.
Danielle Reese says
How would you suggest finding a good quality holistic doctor for a child? We live in a small town in North Carolina
That can be a tough question to answer, Danielle. We also live in a smaller town, so we travel a few hours to visit holistic doctors. We have also used more than one because sometimes one just doesn’t work out or different practitioners have different insight.
My best suggestion is look for local facebook groups. Input the name of your town or nearest larger town with the words “holistic” or “natural” in the facebook search box. In these groups, you can ask for suggestions. There is also a group called “recovering kids” on facebook where you may be able to ask around for the nearest holistic doctor. Facebook is the best way I have found to connect with other moms working to heal their children, who can share advice and tips. Hope that helps!
Does the magnesium come in any other form? I don’t think my daughter could swallow the capsules.
Does the dosage change based on age/size? My daughter is only 8 and about 50 pounds. We have tried prescription medication for her ADHD and the side effects made it totally not worth taking 🙁
That’s how old/big my son is as well. We just followed our practitioner’s orders to give him one in the morning and one in the evening.
Thank you for sharing your story and experiences! I am wondering how to supplement my ADD/ODD child with the Magtein, as she cannot swallow capsules. Will it dissolve in liquid? She will drink smoothies but not consistently and certainly not if I tell her she has too :p Any creative ideas would be appreciated.
Hi Kirstin. I’ve never opened up a capsule, so I’m not sure how they taste. It’s a white powder, so it may be easy to dissolve into something she can drink. If you try it out, let us know how it works!
Same boat! I have a son who cannot swallow a capsule. They are NOT small. Day 3 and still trying to find a liquid it’ll mix with, but they’re just an odorless and tasteless powered that sort of floats on every drink. I even tried to use the blender with ice and OJ, and still it separates. Last I sprinkled it in his cereal with the milk and mixed it up. He could totally tell. There is one Magnesium L-Threonate made by Physicians Nutrients that is a scoop to dissolve in water. I will try that next. Same ingredients, as far as I could tell. 😀
That sounds great Heidi!
Hello, what is the dose you recommend for a 6 year old?
Hi Lina. I can’t really suggest a dosage, as there are too many factors other than age, but when my son was around 8, he took 2-3 capsules/day.
Sandy Toman says
Try putting it in a spoonful of applesauce.
Yes! Applesauce is the BOMB for this task bc it totally works!
Always use organic & unsweetened. If needed, You can also add a pinch of cinnamon mixed in the applesauce to hide the powder & add some heathy yummyness!
How did you get your kids to take 3 capsules of magmind? We are already doing liquid Omega 3s but trying to do as few pills as possible as she is new to pill form. Was all excited i could find Magmind in Canada but not sure i can convince her to take the 3 capsule doses
Just start with one capsule, then. 🙂 We do two in the morning and one in the evening, so the dose is at least broken up a bit.
Would this be okay for a 4 year old to take? Having trouble finding this info elsewhere on the web; not sure if he has ADHD but has some ODDtype behaviors and could use some help with sleep.
I would feel ok about giving it to my four year old, but he can’t swallow capsules, so I’d have to figure out other ways to get it into him.
In my online research on magnesium, I found this info relating to young children that might be helpful. Hope this is OK to share.
1. Eliminate any foods that can deplete magnesium and increase those that provide magnesium.
2. Try giving epsom salt baths and a applying some coconut oil after the bath so it does not dry the skin. Do not use more than 1/2 cup of Epsom salt per bath.
3. You might try Malle’s Magnesium Oil, which is collected from the Dead Sea: https://www.corganic.com/collections/magnesium-deficiency/products/malles-magnesium-oil ;
You can add this to the bath instead of Epsom salt or rotate them, or apply a small amount to the bottom of the feet before bed into bed (and again with a little coconut oil to prevent dryness and itching).
4 If you want to give your son/daughter a magnesium supplement, you can try the Goodnight Maggie but must first check with a qualified healthcare professional. And if you do administer some, it must be in teeny tiny amounts only. You could open the capsule and give him/her just a fraction of the contents in a beverage before bed. Again, please check with a doctor first.
5. If you use different forms of mag, try rotating them all.
Kara jean says
What a great post! I’ve read so much about studies with magnesium but so nice to hear a personal experience with it! Ordered mag mind today, and they have them through subscribe and save ? which makes me happy! I just actually received another form of magnesium type supplements that we will try until then. Scary to just try it your self but Im desperate. My son ran out of a coffee shop today and around the corner with me and my 3 year old daughter trailing behind. Scared me to death! He also did this at the fabric store a few weeks ago while I was checking out. He just turned 5 and I need help. He has always been home with me and I teach them all kinds of things and do all sorts of crafts and projects but he’s like a speeding bullet 24/7. So hard to keep him busy and still balance household duties somewhere I there. I’m hopeful this will help bring some peace and balance to my home!! Thanks again for the good read!
Quirita powell says
Omg…. I have been trying to find a post like this forever my son is currently on Adderall and he has been on medication since 2015 and it is so disturbing to me because I have seen the worst side effects and I honestly think it makes his condition worse especially when it wears off thank you so much for this .
Hi, my grandson also has ADHD and takes methylphenidate, 20mg morning. had awful rebound and went wild in late afternoon. Dr. then added 5mg in afternoon which did the trick.. I would like to try the mag mind for him hopefully replacing the meds.
I am wondering if you have tried to replace his meds with the supplements and if you have seen a noticeable difference.
Hi, really hoping the MagMind is helping & your son is off the Adderall. Just a heads up, the worst side effect is heart failure. No warning of issues, just death. Sorry, but this is the honest truth. Best wishes!
Hi! What multivitamin are you and your kids on? What else do you take besides the magmind, gutpro, and cod liver? Can you list it all out including how much of each you take of everything? New to all this and trying to find the best holistic “good” items and it’s insane and overwhelming w so many options – thanks so much
Hi Kim. We don’t take any multivitamins. We try to focus on nutrition from food, then fill in the gaps with the probiotic, cod liver oil, and desiccated liver capsules when I remember (though I try to sneak liver into our foods several times a week).
Danielle Reyes says
We’ve had the same phenomenal results for my son with a fish oil supplement alone. I had to do alot of research to figure out which kind had the required levels of EPA and DHA to be effective, but it was well worth it to have a natural way to treat. Maybe we’ll work in the magnesium and take it up a notch! Thanks so much for posting!
Thanks for stopping by Danielle! Hope it helps!
Which fish oils pills worked for you?
Do you follow the dosage on the bottle for your son?
Hi Courtney, when he is regularly taking this supplement (we rotate supplements and take breaks from time to time), he generally does take the dosage on the bottle.
Was there any lab test ran to check for magnesium difenciency? I wouldn’t want to give a supplement of magnesium if there wasn’t a difenciency. Isn’t there the chance of taking too much?
Yes, we did run labs. However, magnesium is a mineral most of us are deficient in, and testing is not always reliable.
Brenda Devine says
Thanks for this information. I am currently working with a Functional Medical Doctor/Chiro who is also doing some Brain Balance work with my son. And we are doing right/left brain connection stuff too. I know in my gut that he contracted gut issues from his 4 month immunization. After that I delayed things, but I was still believing in conventional medicine at the time, trusting the doctors and nurses. Now, having watched two disturbing documentaries, The Truth about Vaccines and part of Vaxxed, I am convinced my son issues are caused by this. While he presents as ADHD, it is not severe, but it has impacted his learning. He is going into grade 1 and I want to ensure that his health journey starts now and feels successful in school. So, I would appreciate anything that you can send.
I’m so glad I found this. I was to the point of breaking down and calling for rx meds. We have been using calming and focus oils in his diffuser and on his feet as well as a calming supplement. Our straight A almost 9 yr old is making low grades. We are being told he can’t sit still, focus, doesn’t hear or follow the directions, can’t sit still and it’s hurting him. He hasn’t ever had a problem with sleeping or falling asleep though and he’s not one for outbursts but the first thing out of teacher’s mouths is medication. Again, I’m so glad I read this and am going to try the magmind out!
I hope it helps, Leigh. Do check out my updated post on all the supplements we’ve found to work well for ADHD here: https://thefamilythathealstogether.com/five-natural-alternatives-adhd-meds/
Jeanette Sawyer says
I love this pin! After 3 years on the medication merry-go-round, at the end of last school year, we walked away from medicinal treatment for our son’s ADHD/ODD. It was drug holiday time anyway, perfect timing to start working with a holistic chiropractor. I was nothing short of amazed at what a difference nutraceuticals, some very specific alignments, and a few acupuncture treatments, and an elimination diet made. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but my son’s behavior is now BETTER than before and while on meds, and that’s saying a lot!
One supplement we’ve found that also works extremely well is an adrenal supplement called Drenamin. It made a definite change for the better in my son’s demeanor. And you are SO right about magnesium. It’s very calming and relaxing. Starting the elimination diet was a good move too. Since the top 2 intolerances are gluten and milk casein, we started there, and hit one immediately with cow’s milk casein. I found some interesting research with Beta 1A and 2A casein proteins, with 2A not causing the issues. I’m going to get some 2A milk from Target this weekend and give it a try. Fingers are crossed because my son loves milk! We are still a work in progress, but so fa, this drug free year has started way better than last year’s pharma guinea pig year ended….by a LONG shot!
Jeanette Sawyer says
I give my son Smarty Pants Kids Complete with Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA). It also has B viamins, D3, Folate, and Zinc…..all that I have researched to be valuable nutrients to children with ADHD. Getting those nutrients from diet is optional, but I call it added insurance!
Do you think that this will have the same effects for children with ADD? Need focus not so much calm. Thanks
I believe it helps with focus, yes.
Meghan Lewis says
Do you do MagMind and Neural Balance in the same regiment?
Sometimes, at different times of day. Our supplement routine is a moving target these days and may change from one day to the next.
I’m guessing the magnesium supplement as well as the neural balance which has maltodextrin derived from tapioca didn’t cause any issues?
Hi Jaclyn I’m super happy and bless I found your website.
For adhd which bioray you have used? bioray happy? calm or focus? all all?
Hi Florentia. Focus is most appropriate for ADHD, but you can always call Bioray directly and they are very good about helping you choose the right supplements.
Wendy Kendrick says
Can you take these supplements with medication that are already currently prescribed?
You would need to research drug interactions and consider talking with the prescribing doctor (though I know doctors are not always positive about natural supplements).
So do you all 3 ? Can you tell me what exactly you use and how much please
Yes, we’ve used all of these supplements at once. I do not provide the dosages, but suggest going off of the suggested dosage and subtracting as necessary depending on your child’s age/weight.
Hi there Jaclyn,
Let me start off by saying Thanks a Bunch! Seriously!! While reading your articlel my smile grew wider after every sentence.
If you could be so kind to provide an update on your son with the most sever symptoms that would be phenomenal.
-Did things seem to get easier for him? Meaning things he would normally get frustrated with and give up on. I.e Math. Could he attempt to “problem solve” longer? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Yes, my son is able to complete his schoolwork with no trouble these days. 🙂
Caroline Petty says
Thank you for your detailed post, there’s nothing as scary as knowing your child is struggling and the meds that are supposed are only making it worse. Your post is a welcome relief. I’ve just ordered the MagMind and Neural Balance. I want to wean him off the meds but slowly even though he’s been on them for 1-2 months. He’s already getting fish oil and a multivitamin daily, the magnesium might just be the missing link. Thank you again
I hope those supplements provide relief, Caroline!
Hi Jaclyn just finding your post. Can you let me know if Magmind is still your choice as a Magnesium L-Threonate supplement? I am looking to try something for my 9 year old. We are currently trying matcha green tea but have found numerous articles on Mg deficiency and impulsive behavior and lack of focus. We would like to try Mg but want to make sure we get the right one. Please let me know. Thabk you for sharing all of this information it is so helpful
Yes, I still believe magnesium L-threonate is a good magnesium choice for hyperactive and impulsive children and those who struggle with focus.
So you gave your child an adult dose of magtein? That seems a little high.
We were under the care of a doctor and used the dosage he suggested.