Which Magnesium Supplement Is The Most Beneficial To Your Body?
Did you know that magnesium is a vital nutrient for health? Medical experts believe that it’s involved in around 300 of your body’s biochemical reactions. It’s needed by your nerves and muscles, as well as by your bones. (1)
Perhaps you’ve taken magnesium to manage painful muscle cramps in pregnancy, or to help you to sleep better. (2, 3) It’s found in many foods, including milk and yoghurt, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens, such as spinach. Recommended amounts of magnesium are around 300 mg daily for women, and 400 mg daily for men. (1)
Should you take a magnesium supplement?
Since it’s available in many foods, a supplement shouldn’t be necessary. However, in Western societies, people may have low levels of magnesium without being aware of it, especially if their diet is heavy in industrially processed foods. Although wholemeal bread, for example, should have good levels of magnesium, processing and additives can destroy it.
If you often miss meals, or you’re concerned about your diet, you may wonder whether you should consider a magnesium supplement.
When you’re looking for a magnesium capsules however, you may be confused by the many options, and wonder which form is the most beneficial.
Magnesium supplements: which form is the most beneficial?
Magnesium supplements are available in different forms. Essentially, they differ in the type of magnesium salts they offer. They may include vitamins and minerals too, which are added to the product because they may make it easier for your body to absorb the magnesium.
Some supplements have specific applications. Magnesium citrate for example, is often used as a treatment for constipation.
Although many claims are made for the various forms of magnesium, few definitive studies have been done which would confirm those claims.
Commonly-found magnesium supplements offer magnesium in the form of:
- Magnesium glycinate: often taken as a supplement, and readily available (7);
- Magnesium citrate: used for symptoms of constipation, as well as for a supplemental magnesium;
- Marine magnesium: may have benefits as a supplement because the magnesium is readily bioaccessible.
Let’s look at these commonly-available forms in more detail.
Magnesium glycinate: gentle on your tummy
When you check the labels on magnesium supplements, you’ll often find that the supplement contains magnesium glycinate. This form is known to be gentle on your tummy; it’s often in tablet form.
Be guided by the instructions on the label. If you’re concerned, check with your doctor. Usually, it’s recommended that you take magnesium glycinate with a meal, and with water.
Magnesium citrate: often used for constipation and acid indigestion
As with all supplements, check the label on any product you’re considering. Some magnesium supplements include magnesium citrate; this form of magnesium is often used as a treatment for constipation or acid indigestion. If so, it will normally declare this on the label.
Magnesium citrate is also available as a magnesium supplement for low magnesium levels. When labeled as a supplement, it may include vitamins, such as C and D, and minerals such as iron, which make the magnesium easier for your body to use.
Marine magnesium: may offer a more bioaccessible form of magnesium
Although magnesium is available in many foods, often the magnesium isn’t in a readily bioaccessible form. (8) That is, your body can’t easily make use of it. This also applies to supplements, which can include vitamins and minerals to help your body to use the magnesium.
Studies do seem to indicate that a marine magnesium may be readily bioaccessible and bioavailable. In supplemental form, it may include other minerals. (8)
Is it possible to suffer side effects from too much magnesium?
Although side effects from taking a magnesium supplement aren’t common, they do occur. Usually your kidneys remove an oversupply of magnesium. However, if you take too much magnesium for too long, side effects are possible. They may include fatigue and vomiting.
Visit your health professional before you take a supplement or buy supplement from a store, especially if you’re already on medication. Magnesium is known to interact with some antibiotics and other medicines.
Tips for making the most of a magnesium supplement
Let’s look at some tips to help you to make the most of a magnesium supplement.
- Many claims are made for magnesium supplements, however always be guided by your doctor’s advice, especially if you take medication. If he suggests a supplement, he knows which medications you’re on, and also which form can best help.
- Even if you’re supplementing your magnesium, assess your diet. Many foods contain magnesium. However, processing destroys or removes beneficial elements. Eat vegetables and leafy greens. Your diet is always important.
- Are you active, with an exercise regime? If you’re an athlete, or exercise regularly, your body may need extra magnesium for energy, and to help your muscles expand and contract. A supplement may also help to reduce muscular damage after heavy exercise.