Magnesium is a critical mineral needed for numerous processes in the body. It helps regulate blood pressure, sleep, heart health and more.
Getting enough magnesium through the diet can be challenging for some people, which is why many take supplements. But which type of magnesium is best?
Why Take a Magnesium Supplement?
Magnesium is a powerful nutrient vital in hundreds of processes inside your body. It is essential for normal bone and muscle health, heart rhythm, sleep, metabolism, blood pressure, and more.
Dietary magnesium is found in many foods, including dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. But many people need more, and the NIH recommends between 310 and 420 mg of magnesium daily.
In addition, numerous medications can reduce your magnesium levels and increase your risk of deficiency. For example, some antacids can block magnesium absorption, and certain antidiabetic drugs reduce magnesium levels over time.
If you take any of these medications, consult your doctor before adding a magnesium supplement.
If you have a magnesium deficiency or want to improve your health, high-quality magnesium supplements can help ensure you get enough of this critical mineral. But make sure that you carry the correct type of magnesium and absorb it well. The nutrient comes in various forms and dosages; figuring out which is best for you can be challenging.
Which Magnesium Supplement Is Right for You?
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals in the body. It plays a role in hundreds of processes, from regulating nerve function to supporting heart health.
Many people need more magnesium through diet alone, and supplementation can be an excellent option to help boost your levels. However, choosing the right type of magnesium for your needs is essential.
Choosing the proper form can depend on various factors, including your health goals, other nutrients you take and how well your body absorbs certain conditions. Magnesium is more easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract when bound with an amino acid (glycine, arginine, taurine) or an organic acid like citrate.
You can find magnesium in various forms, including citrate, malate, lactate, glycinate and carbonate. Some are better absorbed than others, and some may have more or fewer side effects.
Another great option is magnesium chloride, a pure source derived from the depths of the Zechstein seabed in Europe. This form is easily absorbed and provides many benefits, including stress relief, pain reduction, more restful sleep and more stable blood pressure.
It’s also recommended for people who are pregnant or nursing. Since magnesium deficiency can be expected during these times, supplements may help reduce pregnancy and breastfeeding symptoms.
Magnesium Citrate vs. Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs to support a healthy skeletal structure, muscle function and nerve transmission. It’s also integral to the body’s energy production and metabolism.
It’s commonly found in green vegetables, bananas, nuts, and black beans. But if you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet, you may need a supplement to help your body get the most out of this crucial nutrient.
The two most common forms of magnesium in supplements are magnesium citrate and glycinate. Both are absorbable and can provide a wide range of benefits to your health.
However, their absorption rate, cost, and side effects differ. For example, magnesium citrate can have a laxative effect and is used to help with digestive issues such as constipation.
On the other hand, magnesium glycinate is a more gentle mineral that can help relax your body. It’s also commonly used to promote sleep, as it is an amino acid that can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
Both of these forms of magnesium are considered chelated, which means they are bound to an organic compound that helps them pass through the lining of your gut and into your bloodstream. As a result, a chelated form of magnesium is absorbed better than a non-chelated one, which is why it’s often recommended for those looking to improve their overall health and wellness.
Magnesium Carbonate vs. Magnesium Sulfate
Several different magnesium salts are available. One of the most common is magnesium carbonate, also known as magnesite. This substance is an inorganic chemical compound that has a positive magnesium ion and a negative carbonate ion.
Magnesium carbonate is a common ingredient in many dietary supplements. It is an essential mineral for bone health and can help prevent or treat low magnesium levels.
Other uses for magnesium carbonate include making refractory bricks, fireproofing, and producing magnesium oxide. It also helps keep food white and can be used as a filler in various applications.
Another everyday use for magnesium carbonate is as an antacid. It can be dissolved in water and is a popular treatment for stomach upset and other digestive problems.
The FDA lists antacid products with magnesium carbonate as safe to take when taken according to the directions on the label. These products are often given in conjunction with other antacids to help relieve symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, and stomach upset.
Although magnesium carbonate is an effective antacid, it may not be the best option if you suffer from severe stomach irritation or diarrhea. In these cases, you should consider magnesium glycinate instead. It is more bioavailable than other forms of magnesium and may be easier on the stomach.