Your body needs magnesium for a whole host of functions, from keeping your heart rate regular to creating energy. Magnesium is a mineral that you can obtain by eating a balanced diet that includes magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens. However, according to some nutritionists, many people are deficient in magnesium. In addition, a magnesium supplement can help with various conditions like constipation, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue.
There are a lot of different types of magnesium supplements and some are better absorbed by the body than others. To learn more, read this quick buying guide. We've also included our top recommendations, like this potent magnesium pill by Zhou Nutrition.
Considerations when choosing magnesium supplements
Benefits of a magnesium supplement
While you should always check with your doctor before starting a supplement, here are some of the common benefits reported from taking a magnesium supplement:
Help falling asleep
Relieve muscle spasms and aches
In addition, magnesium plays an important role in bone and heart health. There may also be a link between depression and attention-deficit disorder and magnesium deficiency.
Types of magnesium supplements to consider
Magnesium citrate: This common form of magnesium, derived from citric acid, is easily absorbed by the body and often used in laxatives.
Magnesium taurate: This chelated form of magnesium is attached to taurine and is commonly used to prevent arrhythmia and other cardiovascular issues. It doesn't carry a laxative effect.
Magnesium malate: Another chelated form of magnesium, this type is attached to malic acid, which is used in energy production. This easy-to-absorb form is best for chronic fatigue sufferers.
Magnesium glycinate: This form is attached to the amino acid glycine. It's absorbed really well by the body without causing diarrhea. It's the best choice if you've had a long-term deficiency.
Magnesium carbonate: Also known as magesite, it works with your stomach acid to make magnesium chloride, which is an excellent antiacid and in high doses, has a laxative effect.
Magnesium chloride: This type of magnesium is easily absorbed by the body but only contains 12% magnesium. It helps with kidney function.
Magnesium oxide: This form isn't easily absorbed by the body because it's not chelated, but it is the most inexpensive type. These often have higher magnesium content to rival the same absorption rate as other forms.
Magnesium orotate: This expensive form is often marketed as an athletic performance enhancer, but may also be recommended by your doctor for cardiovascular or sleep support.
Magnesium sulfate: Otherwise known as Epsom salt, this form comes in salt form to be used in baths. It only contains 10% magnesium and isn't recommended for oral consumption.
Magnesium lactate: This form is derived from lactic acid and is used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and magnesium deficiency. It is easily absorbed by the body. Don't take this form if you have heart or kidney disease.
Magnesium aspartate: This chelated form is combined with aspartic acid, an amino acid. It's easily absorbed by the body and used to relieve headaches and muscle cramps as well as protect the heart.
Forms: Magnesium supplements typically come in tablet or capsule form. There are also powders, liquids, and gummies available if you have trouble swallowing pills. Sprays are also available for topical use.
Added ingredients: Some magnesium supplements come with additional vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E, or vitamin B6 for added health benefits.
Potency: Magnesium supplements range in strength from 100 to 500 milligrams per pill or dose. However, don't judge potency on milligram measurements alone; some types aren't fully absorbed by the body.
Magnesium supplement prices
Magnesium supplements range in price from five to 25 cents a pill.
Q. Is there anything that counteracts with magnesium supplements?
A. Calcium supplements can affect the absorbency of magnesium supplements.
In addition, certain medications can cause a loss of magnesium, leading to deficiency. Check with your doctor if you're taking calcium or medications before starting a magnesium supplement.
Q. Can I get enough magnesium by taking an Epsom salt bath?
A. Although your body does absorb magnesium topically when you take a bath with Epsom salt or magnesium flakes, it may not be enough to correct a deficiency.
Magnesium supplements we recommend
Best of the best: Zhou Nutrition Magnesium Glycinate 450 MG
Our take: A strong dose of magnesium glycinate tablet that's gentle on your stomach.
What we like: Highly absorbable form of magnesium. Each pill offers 450 milligrams of magnesium. Calms anxiety and heart palpitations. Won't cause stomach upset.
What we dislike: May not be effective on severe muscle soreness.
Best bang for your buck: Nature Made Magnesium Oxide 250 MG
Our take: Budget-friendly, easy-to-swallow pills from a trusted brand.
What we like: Company follows high standards of quality control. Small pill size. Relieves migraines and muscle cramps. Contains no additives.
What we dislike: Not the most absorbable form of magnesium.
Choice 3: Solaray Magnesium 200 MG
Our take: Mid-priced chelated magnesium from a reputable vitamin company.
What we like: High purity standards. Gentle on the stomach. Helps with pain-related issues. Absorbable form of magnesium.
What we dislike: Nothing.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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