What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral, electrolyte & essential cofactor in hundreds of biochemical reactions in our bodies. It’s essential for everything from maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood sugar, to optimal immune system and mitochondrial function.
I like to call it the “relaxation mineral”, because it helps us chill out and relaxes our muscles!
It is naturally found in many foods, in particular, dark leafy greens, seaweed, salmon, chicken, beef, milk, almonds, avocado, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and dark chocolate.
Unfortunately for all of us, it is one of the most deficient minerals in our diet, which is why I often recommend that women supplement.
Many women see great results from magnesium supplements for:
- Menstrual cramps
- PMS & PMDD
- Blood sugar imbalances + it’s also helpful for PCOS as it helps with insulin dysregulation
- Thyroid disorders
- Phase two of liver detoxification & the production of glutathione
- Neurological and cognitive function
Magnesium requires adequate sodium, potassium and vitamin B6 for it to stay in the cells so these nutrients need to be considered when supplementing.
There are many forms of this magical mineral, each with its own unique properties and benefits.
Use my supplement dispensary for all your supplement needs and get 15% off all orders + free shipping in the US when you spend $50 or more.
NOTE: You will be prompted to enter your email address to gain access to the dispensary. Also note that I created a magnesium protocol for you. This does not mean that you need to order every type of magnesium that I included. Read through below and find the best option(s) for you and then you can easily add them to your cart in the dispensary.
The Different Types of Magnesium:
1. Magnesium Glycinate
This is arguably the most popular form of magnesium. It’s formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine and taken in an oral format.
Magnesium Glycinate is gentle on the stomach and has good bioavailability (absorption and utilization by the body).
It’s one of the best options for sleep support. It can reduce insomnia and supports deep, restorative sleep. It’s even been shown to help improve a variety of inflammatory conditions including migraines, heart disease and diabetes.
It also has a calming effect. It supports a healthy mood, it buffers stress and may help to reduce anxiety and depression.
This type of magnesium does not have a laxative effect. So if you tend towards loose bowels or diarrhea then this is a good option, as opposed to other forms of mag that do have a laxative effect.
Magnesium Glycinate is a great place to start if you’re new to magnesium supplementation.
I recommend Douglas Labs Magnesium Glycinate.
2. Magnesium Citrate
This is another well known and widely used form of magnesium. This form is magnesium bound with citric acid.
Citric acid is found naturally in citrus fruits and gives them their sour, tart flavor.
This is a cost effective, oral format that is not as bioavailable as magnesium glycinate, but still has a decent rate of absorption. This lower absorption rate can create a laxative effect, which is why it is often used for constipation.
Magnesium citrate has calming properties and may help to reduce premenstrual symptoms, stress, anxiety and depression and other neurological disorders.
I recommend Magnesium CALM Powder (Raspberry Lemon Flavor).
3. Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is otherwise known as the very popular epsom salt! It is formed by combining magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.
It’s also available in other types of skincare products like lotions to be applied transdermally (through the skin).
This type of magnesium is known to relax sore muscles and relieve aches and pains, including menstrual cramps.
As with other forms, it has a calming effect and may help to reduce feelings of stress. Magnesium sulfate also has a laxative effect and may support bowel movements.
I recommend San Francisco Salt Co Epsom Salts.
4. Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide is either magnesium or magnesium salt combined with oxygen.
This form very poorly absorbed so it’s not typically used to improve low levels of magnesium, but rather used to get the bowels moving.
It may also be used for short term relief of digestive symptoms such as heartburn, stomach acid problems and indigestion.
It may also be used for migraine support.
I recommend Douglas Labs Magnesium Oxide.
5. Magnesium Chloride
A magnesium salt that includes chlorine, an element that binds well with magnesium and sodium.
This type of magnesium is well absorbed by the digestive tract, so it’s great for people with low magnesium levels.
It has a laxative effect and can help with constipation. It may also reduce heartburn.
This form is most often used orally but may also be used topically (transdermal) in the form of a spray or bath flakes to soothe sore muscles. I love doing a foot soak with the latter! One cup in one gallon of water for 20-30 minutes is a great option, and much more convenient than magnesium baths. If you want to do a bath though, add four cups to your bath.
It’s worth mentioning that for some people the spray can cause itching, specifically if the person is more deficient, but this should subside with further use.
I recommend 100% Pure Magnesium Flakes from Now Solutions.
6. Magnesium L-threonate
A salt formed from mixing magnesium and threonic acid.
This form is highly absorbable and has a unique ability to permeate the blood-brain barrier, which increases magnesium levels in the brain.
With that in mind, magnesium L-threonate may be particularly helpful for depression reduction as well as both short & long term memory support. Animal studies have also found that it may enhance cognition and learning abilities.
I recommend Dr. Mercola Premium Products Magnesium L-Threonate.
7. Magnesium Malate
This type of magnesium is combined with malic acid, which occurs naturally in foods like fruit and wine.
Magnesium malate is potentially easier to digest than others and easily absorbed by the small intestine.
It is often used as a food additive for a sour taste.
This form is excellent for musculoskeletal pain relief. It may also be helpful for exercise performance and blood sugar balance.
It has less of a laxative effect than other types, which may be beneficial depending on your needs.
More research is needed, but there is some evidence to show that magnesium malate supports symptom reduction in cases of fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue syndrome.
Magnesium malate may also provide stress resiliency and relaxed mood support.
I recommend Pharmax Magnesium Malate.
8. Magnesium Orotate
This form of magnesium is combined with orotic acid.
As with Mg malate, it may enhance athletic performance by improving muscle endurance. This one has less of a laxative effect than others.
It’s supportive of heart health and effective in symptom management in those with severe congestive heart failure.
It’s a bit more expensive, so for the general consumer it may not be the best option, as you will see benefits from the more common accessible forms I’ve mentioned.
I recommend Biotics Research Mg Orotate.
9. Magnesium Taurate
A form of magnesium is combined with the amino acid taurine. It is highly bioavailable and absorbs well, so it has little laxative effect.
Magnesium taurate is particularly supportive for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance.
Studies have found that it also supports healthy blood pressure, improves heart muscle relaxation and irregular heart rhythm.
If you’d like to explore further you can head to my fullscript supplement dispensary. Use this for all your supplement needs and get 15% off your orders.
As always, this is not medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before implementing a new supplement routine.