5 Types of Magnesium (and Which One is Best For You)
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions that are essential for our overall health and vitality. It's one of the most abundant minerals in the human body.
Yet, about 52 percent of Americans do not meet their daily needs for magnesium through diet alone. Supplements play an important role in helping people meet their nutritional needs.
But not all magnesium supplements are created equal – there are different types of magnesium with varying levels of absorption. Knowing the differences between them can help you choose the right one for you and ensure you're getting enough of this essential mineral.
First, let's understand why this nutrient is so essential for our health.
The Role of Magnesium
According to the National Institutes of Health, your body uses magnesium for hundreds of processes in the body, including:
- Energy production
- Muscle contraction
- Sleep cycle regulation
- Blood pressure control
- Nerve signal transmission
- Synthesis of protein, bone, and DNA
Magnesium is essential for the heart, lung, bones, kidneys, and eye health. In fact, magnesium deficiency is associated with a variety of conditions: heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, and migraine headaches.
So basically, getting enough magnesium is a powerful way to support your health – from head to toe.
Best Dietary Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium can be found in many healthy foods. Some of the best food sources are:
- Nuts & seeds: pumpkin, chia, almonds, cashews,
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale
- Legumes: beans, lentils, and soybeans
- Whole grains: brown rice, oats, whole wheat products
- Cacao beans: dark chocolate
If you eat a healthy diet that includes these magnesium-rich foods, you're definitely getting some magnesium from foods. Still, a large part of the US population is not meeting their daily nutritional needs.
Additionally, the mineral content of foods can vary. This depends largely on the mineral content of the soil the food grows in – nutrient-depleted soil produces mineral-deficient food.
Supplements can offer an effective and reliable source of magnesium to help bridge any nutritional gaps.
5 Different Types of Magnesium Supplements
There are several forms of magnesium, some more effective than others. Plus, the effect of magnesium supplementation can vary depending on which form you take. Understanding the differences can help you make a more educated choice when searching for the best magnesium supplement for you.
1. Magnesium Citrate
One of the most common supplemental forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate. This form of magnesium is combined with citric acid, which is naturally found in citrus fruits.
Research suggests magnesium citrate has high bioavailability, meaning that the body absorbs it effectively.
It has a natural laxative effect and therefore it is often used at higher doses to treat constipation. It is also suggested to function as a calming agent and may help reduce symptoms associated with mood disorders, depression, and anxiety.
2. Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium glycinate is formed from the combination of magnesium and glycine. Glycine is an amino acid the body uses to produce proteins such as hormones and enzymes.
This type of magnesium has high bioavailability and is often well-tolerated due to being gentle on the stomach.
Magnesium Glycinate seems to help with insomnia by improving sleep quality. It also demonstrates calming effects and may help reduce symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress.
3. Magnesium Malate
Magnesium malate is a combination of magnesium and malic acid, an acid that is naturally found in some fruits, vegetables, and wine.
Magnesium malate is well absorbed in the digestive tract. One preliminary study found that, compared to other types of magnesium, blood levels of magnesium malate remained high for an extended period.
Another potential benefit of this form of magnesium is that it may help relieve muscle soreness, although research is still limited.
4. Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride includes chlorine, an element that is used to form salt.
This form of magnesium can be used to increase blood nutrient levels, reduce heartburn, and treat constipation.
Magnesium chloride is most frequently taken in capsule or tablet form. It's also available in ointments and creams to help relax sore muscles, though there is little research regarding how effective it is in topical applications.
5. Magnesium Oxide
Compared to other forms of magnesium, like magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide has relatively low absorption. Therefore, it may not be the best supplement choice for increasing levels of magnesium within the bloodstream.
Instead, magnesium oxide is used to help alleviate heartburn and constipation. It does so by pulling water into the intestines, making digestion smoother.
This form of magnesium appears more effective when taken in very high doses.
The Blueshift Difference
Blueshift's drinkable Magnesium pods contain a blend of premium, bioavailable magnesium that is more easily absorbed to support your body and your brain.
The powerful formulation includes Aquamin™ – a special form of marine magnesium that is sourced from sea water. It also contains magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium malate. Moreover, it includes taurine which helps transport magnesium in and out of cells, further enhancing absorption.
The delicious daily drink packs a bonus Organic Antioxidant Blend of real blackberries and raspberries. Plus, it was designed to be gentle on the stomach. Blueshift Magnesium is a well-tolerated and highly effective supplement to help you meet your daily nutritional needs.
Magnesium powers 300+ functions in the body. It is essential for human health, yet about half the population doesn't get enough through their daily diet to meet the recommended intake.
Supplementation can be an easy and effective strategy to help people attain their nutrient needs. Choosing the right supplement for you and pairing it with a healthy diet will help ensure you maintain adequate levels of this essential mineral. Doing so can improve overall wellbeing and keep you feeling your best!
About the Author
Carolina Schneider, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and a writer specializing in plant-based nutrition. Carolina is the founder of Hungry for Plants, a company dedicated to offering nutrition consulting services to health and wellness brands, primarily in the plant-based food and beverage space.