Bone Building, Supplementation

Magnesium – why you need it and where to find it

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including energy metabolism, protein synthesis, brain function, and bone and heart health. Though it’s found naturally in many foods, magnesium deficiency is relatively common. Luckily, magnesium supplements can help improve various health conditions. In this article, we review different types of magnesium supplements and how to determine the best dosage for your needs.

Different Forms of Magnesium Supplements
There are many different types of magnesium supplements on the market. The three most common forms are magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride.

Magnesium oxide is the most inexpensive form but is also the least bioavailable, meaning your body absorbs less of it. Magnesium citrate is more expensive but is better absorbed by the body. Magnesium chloride is the most expensive but is also the best absorbed by the body .

The different forms of magnesium supplements also come in different shapes and sizes. Some are capsules while others are powders that can be dissolved in water or taken sublingually (under the tongue).


How Much Magnesium Should You Take?

The recommended daily intake for magnesium differs depending on age and gender.
For example, adult men aged 19-30 need 400 mg per day while adult women aged 19-30 needs 310 mg per day. Pregnant women need 350-400 mg per day while breastfeeding women need 310-360 mg per day.

Birth to 6 months (AI) 30 mg 30 mg
7–12 months (AI) 75 mg 75 mg
1–3 years (RDA) 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years (RDA) 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years (RDA) 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years (RDA) 410 mg 360 mg
19–30 years (RDA) 400 mg 310 mg
31–50 years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg
51+ years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg

The best way to ensure you’re getting enough magnesium is to eat a diet rich in magnesium-containing foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and milk products. If you think you may still be deficient, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. They can help you determine the best dosage for your needs.

Magnesium supplements come in a variety of forms

Magnesium is available in a wide variety of dietary supplements.

Before choosing a supplement, the absorption rate of the supplement, also known as how well the supplement is taken by your body, is the single most significant factor to think about.

The following is a list and quick explanation of the most popular magnesium supplements.

Magnesium gluconate

Magnesium gluconate is produced by adding magnesium ions to gluconic acid in the form of a salt. It has been demonstrated to have the highest rate of absorption among the various forms of magnesium supplements when tested on rats.

Magnesium oxide

The highest percentage of magnesium in the form of elemental or real magnesium can be found in magnesium oxide. On the other hand, it has a poor absorption rate. According to a number of studies, magnesium oxide is almost completely insoluble in water, which results in low absorption rates.

Magnesium citrate

Citric acid is mixed with magnesium in the form of salt to create the compound known as magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate has a high solubility in water, which means it dissolves easily in water and mixes well with other liquids. Magnesium citrate is also reasonably readily absorbed by the body.

It is usual practise to take magnesium citrate in the form of a tablet prior to major surgery or a colonoscopy in order to act as a saline laxative.

Magnesium chloride

It has been shown that the body is able to absorb magnesium chloride just as effectively as magnesium gluconate and magnesium citrate.

It is also available as an oil that may be applied topically, but in order to gain a complete understanding of how well magnesium in this form is absorbed via the skin, additional research is required (11Trusted Source).

Magnesium hydroxide

Magnesium hydroxide, which is more generally known as milk of magnesia, is a substance that is utilised in the treatment of both constipation and heartburn. Magnesium hydroxide is typically administered in the form of a laxative (2Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

Magnesium aspartate

Magnesium aspartate is another another popular magnesium supplement that the human body is able to absorb in large quantities (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Magnesium glycinate

It has been demonstrated that magnesium glycinate has a pretty good absorption rate and less of a laxative effect than other magnesium supplements.

It is possible that this is due to the fact that it is absorbed in a different region of your intestine in comparison to the vast majority of other magnesium supplement types.

Epsom salts

Epsom salt is a natural substance with a crystalline form that comprises magnesium sulphate. For hundreds of years, people have used Epsom salt to cure a range of diseases, including pain. Many of the medical claims, however, are supported by little evidence.

According to the hypothesis, immersing feet in an Epsom salt bath encourages the skin to absorb magnesium, which could help alleviate a variety of foot disorders. Some modest studies support the claims, but additional study is needed to prove how well Epsom salt foot soaks help.


Magnesium is an essential nutrient for maintaining proper health. Though it’s found naturally in many foods, low magnesium intake is relatively common. Supplementing with this vital nutrient has been linked to many benefits, including constipation relief and improved blood sugar regulation and sleep. Different forms of magnesium supplements are available on the market, and the best dosage for you depends on your age and gender. If you think you may be deficient in magnesium, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. They can help determine the best dosage for your needs.

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