9 Best Magnesium Supplements 2024, According to Registered Dietitians

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Written By Paklay Zablay

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Each type of magnesium supplement serves a specific purpose, whether it’s to support digestive health, alleviate muscle cramps, promote relaxation, or maintain overall magnesium levels in the body. “For example, magnesium citrate is good for digestion, while magnesium glycinate is ideal for relaxation,” says Lasta app nutrition consultant Barbara Kovalenko, RD. Here are some of the most common types of magnesium supplements.

Magnesium glycinate: This type of magnesium is commonly used to aid with sleep and anxiety, says Routhenstein. Larson says, “Magnesium glycinate is magnesium with an added amino acid called glycine. This combination is highly bioavailable, meaning it can pass through your gut without causing irritation so that more is absorbed by the body.” When supplementing for sleep, 200 mg of magnesium glycinate is recommended.

Magnesium taurate: This type of magnesium is commonly used for heart health and cardiovascular benefits, says Routhenstein.

Magnesium Citrate: “Magnesium citrate is commonly used as a laxative to relieve constipation,” says Routhenstein, so this supplement will be your BFF if you struggle to have a bowel movement. But magnesium citrate is also well-known to cause stomach discomfort, as it increases the amount of water your intestines absorb, says Larson.

Magnesium Oxide: Magnesium oxide is magnesium bound to oxygen, and “it’s commonly used to alleviate symptoms of indigestion and heartburn due to its antacid properties,” says Routhenstein. It’s also used to treat constipation. It might not be the best choice when purchasing a magnesium supplement, as it is not well absorbed by the body compared to other types, says Larson.

Magnesium sulfate: You may have heard of Epsom salt, which is what magnesium sulfate is sometimes called on product labels. “Magnesium sulfate is a magnesium salt that is commonly used for constipation and in IVs,” says Larson. That said, for most, familiarity with magnesium salt is as its Epsom salt alias: “It’s used to treat muscle soreness and stiffness, bruises, and other body aches in a relaxing bubble bath,” says Larson.

Magnesium Chloride: Magnesium chloride “is often used in topical applications, such as magnesium oil or lotions, for transdermal absorption to help alleviate muscle cramps and promote relaxation,” says Routhenstein. Muscle cramp relief? More relaxation? Pass the MgCl₂, please.

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