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How to Choose the Right Magnesium Supplement

If you’ve heard, “You should take magnesium for that,” there’s a good reason. Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that is used in over 300 processes in our body. It helps with muscle contraction, nerve conduction, blood sugar regulation, mitochondria function, DNA synthesis, energy production, and absorption of other vitamins such as vitamin D and B-vitamins. This means magnesium is extremely helpful in prevention and treatment of many conditions including inflammation, sleep, constipation, muscle cramps, PMS symptoms, brain/mental health (i.e. anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, migraines), heart health (i.e. high blood pressure, stroke), blood sugar regulation (i.e. type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance), and osteoporosis. So, yeah… magnesium is pretty great.

Delicious food sources of magnesium are available, including spinach, swiss chard, avocados, dried figs, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and black beans; however, supplementation may be needed. If that’s the case, start with smaller dosages and increase slowly as needed. The RDA recommends dosages around 320 mg/day for women and 420 mg/day for men, which includes magnesium we are getting from foods. If supplementing, it’s also a good idea to take magnesium in split doses, which helps with absorption and preventing digestive issues. There are at least 10 different magnesium supplements, which can make choosing a supplement pretty confusing. No worries, I got your back. Here is a list of common magnesium supplements and which one is most helpful for your need(s):

  • Sleep, Anxiety, Blood Sugar Regulation, & Heart Health – Magnesium Glycinate (well absorbed; less likely to cause upset stomach)

  • Brain Function, Sleep, & Depression – Magnesium L-threonate

  • Constipation – Magnesium Oxide (this isn’t absorbed well, which is the point to help you poop, so it’s best to use another form of magnesium along with this to help with deficiencies)

  • Anxiety, Muscle Relaxation, Constipation, & Sleep – Magnesium Citrate (easily absorbed; increase dosage slowly since it has a laxative effect as well)

  • Muscle Relaxation, Detoxification, & Sleep – Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salts for bath; absorbed through skin)

  • Muscle Relaxation, Blood Sugar Regulation, & Heart Health – Magnesium Taurate

  • Energy & Muscle Soreness – Magnesium Malate (if you have digestive issues with magnesium, this has less of a laxative effect)

  • Bone Health – Magnesium Lactate (well absorbed and tolerated)

  • DNA & Heart Health – Magnesium Orotate

  • Muscle Relaxation – Magnesium Chloride (as spray bottle; well-absorbed through skin; good alternative if don’t tolerate well internally)

Prior to taking any supplements, it’s always best to consult your doctor since magnesium can interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications. Also, supplements aren’t regulated in the United States, so look for products that are third-party tested such as NSF International, USP, or ConsumerLab.

Did you find this magnesium break-down helpful? If so, please comment below—I love hearing from you! Also, if you thought this blog was helpful or know someone who would gain value from it, please like it and share it.

With love, Steph


1. Grober, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7, 8199-8226. doi:10.3390/nu7095388.

2. Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute: Retrieved June 2020 from

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