Which Magnesium is Best for You?
BySarah Axtell, ND •October 10, 2022
Magnesium is the top nutrient deficiency among Americans. It is a natural muscle relaxant. It relaxes our skeletal muscles, providing relief from headaches, muscle pain, cramps and tremors. Magnesium also relaxes our muscles lining our intestines and can draw water into the intestines, providing for a nice smooth bowel movement. And it can help with hypertension, or high blood pressure, as it dilates blood vessels. In addition to its role as a muscle relaxant and vaso-dilator, it also maintains heart rhythm, nerve function and builds strong bones (it is NOT all about Calcium!).
I often get asked, “Which magnesium is best?” The answer is it depends. Overall, my favorite forms of magnesium are magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate.
If you struggle with constipation, magnesium citrate is best. Magnesium citrate helps to draw water into the intestines, resulting in more regular, softer stools. Best to take at night.
If you struggle with insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and/or muscle cramps, magnesium glycinate is best. Mag glycinate does not have as much of a stool-softening effect and should not result in loose stools. Best to take at night.
If you struggle with brain fog or poor memory, magnesium l-threonate may be best for you. This form could be more energizing so best to take in the morning.
Magnesium oxide is a cheap form of magnesium and is not well absorbed. It can cause diarrhea. I do not routinely recommend this form.
What is a therapeutic dose of supplemental magnesium?
Everyone has a different threshold for the amount of Magnesium their body can tolerate. A sign that you have exceeded your threshold is loose stools. A typical dosage is 400-800 mg, but it is advised you talk to your naturopathic doctor about the correct dose and form for you.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.