Because magnesium is needed for virtually every function of the body, it helps to know which types of magnesium are the best. Should you supplement? Eat foods high in magnesium? Find out below!
As someone who doesn’t take a ton of vitamins (I, instead, rely more on homemade herbal extracts), I am really picky about the supplements I take. I’d like to think we can get the majority of our vitamins and minerals from our food, but, unfortunately, with modern farming depleting our soil of nutrients, that’s not as easy as it once was.
That’s why I take different types of magnesium to ensure that my needs are met, as magnesium is important to every bodily system and function.
Magnesium is beneficial for:
- relieving constipation
- easing muscle aches
- promoting calm
- preventing headaches
- balancing electrolytes
- promoting sleep
- improving energy levels
- & so much more!
Should I take a magnesium supplement?
That’s a good question, and one each individual should consider. I’ve written about how a special type of magnesium has helped with my son’s behavior, and that it was recommended by a practitioner we were seeing.
Though we later received test results that did confirm magnesium deficiency, our practitioner had us start on the supplement before we had the tests run. I think this a good example of the fact that most of us could probably benefit from magnesium supplementation.
If you’re not sure, maybe the following list of magnesium deficiency symptoms will be helpful.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are numerous, as magnesium deficiency can contribute to any number of health conditions, and most sufferers of serious health conditions are likely deficient in magnesium. Some of the common symptoms include:
- muscle cramps
- high blood pressure
- chronic fatigue
- muscle weakness
- heart rhythm irregularities
- depression and irritability
Basically, magnesium is really stinkin’ important! If you have any of the above symptoms, you may find that you need a magnesium supplement.
Increasing food sources of magnesium is also beneficial.
Food sources of magnesium
Unfortunately, today’s soil is depleted, so it’s hard to get a sufficient amount of magnesium from our food. Still, the best food sources of magnesium include:
- dark leafy greens
- nuts and seeds
- dark chocolate
The best (and worst) types of magnesium
Now that you’ve decided to supplement magnesium, how do you decide which one to take? There are so many available on the market.
It’s a question I’ve wrestled with for years, but after trying many, many different types, I’ll share my list of best and worst types of magnesium so you can choose what works best for you. (Keep reading further down to narrow down types of magnesium by your particular health need.)
The best types of magnesium
1. Magnesium threonate
- formulated for brain health
- may help to diminish symptoms of hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, and other brain-related disorders
- improves memory
- demonstrated restoration of function in aging neurons in animal studies
- the only form of magnesium that significantly increases levels of magnesium in the brain
2. Magnesium glycinate
- made from magnesium and the amino acid glycine
- promotes relaxation
- is easily absorbed
- may improve leaky gut
- may reduce nerve pain
3. Magnsium malate
- made from magnsium and the organic compound malic acid
- improves energy levels
- reduces muscle pain
- may counteract heavy metals
4. Magnesium oxide
- relieves constipation
- can help regulate blood pressure
- may reduce cholesterol
5. Magnesium orotate
- well absorbed
- improves athletic performance and recovery
- improves cardiovascular health
6. Magnesium chloride
- supports healthy nervous system function
- supports the body’s detox system
- high bioavailability
7. Magnesium sulfate
- promotes relaxation
- improves sleep
- can help ease constipation
- helps the body to eliminate toxins
8. Magnesium taurate
- made from magnesium and the amino acid taurine
- supports cardiovascular health
The worst types of magnesium
Magnesium citrate- this popular type of magnesium is used most frequently to keep users regular. While it does ease constipation, the way in which it does it isn’t the best for us.
Mag citrate actually pulls water into your intestines, which can lead to dehydration. What’s worse, this type of magnesium can reduce ceroplasmin levels, leading to mineral imbalances and deficiencies.
Finally, there is evidence that the most popular magnesium citrate on the market may contain high levels of arsenic (the original reason our family ditched it several years ago).
Magnesium hydroxide- like magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide moves the bowels by drawing water into the colon. In addition, side effects include nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Magnesium aspartate and glutamate- because the amino acids aspartate and glutamate are excitotoxins, it’s important they do not become imbalanced. While consuming them as part of a complete protein with numerous other amino acids in foods like collagen is ok, it is not wise to supplement them independent of other amino acids.
Types of magnesium by health needs
Here are suggested supplements based on your needs:
Better sleep- try taking an Epsom salt bath before bed, along with Good Night Maggie, which contains calming forms of magnesium. Get Good Night Maggie here.
Neurological conditions- Magnesium L-Threonate, found in MagMind.
Constipation- Magnesium oxide like this.
Cellular energy- a combination magnesium supplement like Wake Up Maggie, which contains the co-factor boron is a great option for increasing energy and getting magnesium into the cells.
Magnesium deficiency- again, Wake Up Maggie, hands down. If Wake Up Maggie is out of stock, try Good Night Maggie. Read more. ↓
My favorite magnesium supplement
Organic 3’s Wake Up Maggie
My favorite high-quality magnesium supplement by far is Wake Up Maggie from Organic 3. It is a combination of magnesium malate, orotate, and taurate, with the added co-factor boron, important for absorption.
Wake Up Maggie is my absolute favorite magnesium supplement because I FEEL better when I take it- more energized, clear-headed, and happier.
The ingredients in Wake Up Maggie are known to
- improve energy
- reduce muscle pain (such as that seen in fibromyalgia)
- improve cardiovascular function
I add it to hot tea in the mornings to make a bulletproof tea, stir it in a little water, or add a scoop to a smoothie. It’s pretty tasteless and easy to get down, especially if you blend it in something.
Other magnesium supplements I use
Magnesium oxide- to stay regular. This one is super cheap and very clean. You can take up to 2,000 mg at bedtime to produce a bowel movement the next AM, and be warned, it WILL move things along. You can also take smaller doses throughout the day for a less intense effect.
Magmind- one of our favorite supplements for combating symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity and impulsivity, this supplement is one you can usually find in my cabinet. Read more about why we love it here.
Topical sources of magnesium I use
Magnesium chloride lotion- a good way to absorb magnesium to bring levels up, using a lotion or oil topically helps with bio-availability. Make your own easy lotion using this recipe, or try a spray oil like this.
Magnesium sulfate baths- aka Epsom salt baths. These are great to relax before bed and improve sleep, as well as aid the body in detoxification, particularly in times of major healing.
How to choose the best magnesium supplement
If I could only choose one magnesium supplement, it would, hands down, be Wake Up Maggie. Obviously I’m partial because I’ve had such a good experience with it, but feel free to browse the list above and experiment based on the different properties of the different types of magnesium to choose the best magnesium supplement for you.