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Everything you should know about Magnesium types & their benefits

Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is super important for keeping your body working right. It is involved in over 300 different things that happen inside you, like making proteins and getting rid of bad stuff. Even though lots of foods have magnesium in them, it can be hard for some people to get enough (usually about 300-400 milligrams per day). So, even if it doesn't seem like a big deal, it's a good idea to keep an eye on how much magnesium you're getting to make sure your body has what it needs.

Here are some things that might happen if you don't get enough magnesium:

  • Your muscles might hurt or cramp, and you could get spasms, which can even happen in your heart or legs
  • You might get headaches or migraines
  • You might feel really tired or weak
  • You might feel sad or worried
  • You might really want to eat chocolate (which actually has magnesium in it)
  • You might have a hard time exercising
  • You might have trouble sleeping and wake up a lot.

There are lots of different magnesium supplements you can buy, but not all of them work the same way. Cheaper ones like magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium carbonate don't get absorbed into your body very well, so they don't do as much good. Some cheaper ones can even make you go to the bathroom a lot or mess with your stomach acid. So if you want to make sure you're getting enough magnesium, it's better to choose a different kind of supplement instead.

a craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency

Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is a type of magnesium that is combined with the amino acid glycine. It's a great choice for supplements because it's easily absorbed by the body and is gentle on the digestive system. Taking 600-800 mg of magnesium glycinate can help with problems like PMS, trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, wanting to eat sweets, and experiencing leg pain or cramps. However, if you are sensitive to sulfur, magnesium glycinate might not be a good option for you.

Suggested Magnesium Glycinate Products

Best time of day to consume Magnesium Glycinate: Bedtime.

Provides relaxation and improves sleep quality.

Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium

Doctor's Best, High Absorption Magnesium

200 mg per serving/ 120 servings

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Nested Naturals Magnesium Glycinate Chelate

Nested Naturals, Magnesium Glycinate Chelate

200 mg per serving/ 60 servings

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Emerald Laboratories Pure Albion Magnesium

Emerald Laboratories, Pure Albion Magnesium

400 mg per serving/ 30 servings

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Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate is a kind of magnesium that's combined with citric acid. It's a popular type of magnesium because it's affordable and has good absorption when taken by mouth (around 30%). It's particularly helpful for relieving constipation by attracting water into the intestines. This form of magnesium is easily dissolved in the stomach and doesn't cause acidity, which is especially important for people over 40-50 years old. Magnesium citrate also has the benefit of alkalizing the body, which can help prevent cavities and kidney stones. Additionally, it's used by the body for energy production.

Suggested Magnesium Citrate Products

Best time of day to consume Magnesium Citrate: Around breakfast or lunchtime, with some food.

Has a mild laxative effect in higher doses.

NOW Foods Magnesium Citrate

NOW Foods, Magnesium Citrate

400 mg per serving/ 40 servings

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Natural Factors Magnesium Citrate

Natural Factors, Magnesium Citrate

150 mg per serving/ 90 servings

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Life Extension Magnesium Citrate

Life Extension, Magnesium Citrate

100 mg per serving/ 100 servings

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Magnesium malate

Magnesium malate is a type of magnesium that is combined with malic acid, which helps cells produce energy. This form of magnesium is particularly helpful for people who have low energy levels and may be beneficial for treating chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. It can be stimulating, so it's best to take it with breakfast.

Suggested Magnesium Malate Products

Best time of day to consume Magnesium Malate: In the morning, with some food.

Promotes energy production.

KAL Magnesium Malate 400

KAL, Magnesium Malate 400

400 mg per serving/ 45 servings

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Source Naturals Magnesium Malate

Source Naturals, Magnesium Malate

425 mg per serving/ 33 servings

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NOW Foods Magnesium Malate

NOW Foods, Magnesium Malate

115 mg per serving/ 180 servings

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Magnesium threonate

Magnesium threonate, also known as MgT, is another type of magnesium that is chelated with threonic acid, a metabolite of vitamin C. This form of magnesium is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, which can enhance learning and memory functions. As a result, it is being studied as a potential treatment for cognitive disorders.

Suggested Magnesium Threonate Products

Best time of day to consume Magnesium Threonate: In the morning, with some food.

Generates energy in cells and supports protein production.

Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate

Life Extension, Neuro-Mag, Magnesium L-Threonate

144 mg per serving/ 30 servings

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Jarrow Formulas MagMind

Jarrow Formulas, MagMind

144 mg per serving/ 30 servings

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KAL Think Magnesium L-Threonate

KAL, Think Magnesium L-Threonate

144 mg per serving/ 30 servings

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Magnesium taurate

Magnesium taurate is a type of magnesium bound to the amino acid taurine, which allows for easy absorption and is well-tolerated by those with sensitive digestive systems. This highly bioavailable form of magnesium is especially beneficial for supporting heart health.

Suggested Magnesium Taurate Products

Best time of day to consume Magnesium Taurate: In the evening before bed.

Supports relaxation and promotes healthy sleep.

KAL Magnesium Taurate +

KAL, Magnesium Taurate +

400 mg per serving/ 45 servings

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Cardiovascular Research Ltd. Magnesium Taurate

Cardiovascular Research Ltd., Magnesium Taurate

125 mg per serving/ 180 servings

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Magnesium via skin

Additionally, one can replenish magnesium levels through transdermal magnesium therapy, such as taking Epsom salt baths and using magnesium oils. This therapy is effective for improving migraines, sleep quality, emotional state, productivity, muscle pain and spasms, and skin health.

Suggested Magnesium via Skin Products

Magnesium via the skin is an effective way to supplement without fear of overdose.

White Egret Personal Care Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate)

White Egret Personal Care, Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate)

provides magnesium, and also helps to ease muscle soreness and stress

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NOW Foods Solutions Magnesium Flakes 100% Pure

NOW Foods, Solutions, Magnesium Flakes, 100% Pure

an ideal natural bath additive for softening skin

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Life-flo Pure Magnesium Oil Spray

Life-flo, Pure Magnesium Oil Spray

perfect for soothing overworked muscles and joints

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How to take magnesium

Magnesium is recommended to be taken with a dense meal. For better absorption, magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate can be taken along with vitamin B6.

Important! Complexes with B-group vitamins should only be taken with magnesium - it is necessary for their proper transport. It is not necessary to take supplements in one intake: B-group vitamins can be taken for breakfast, and magnesium - for dinner.

Do not be afraid to take magnesium, including high doses: it is difficult to overdose, as magnesium is quickly excreted from the body.