Are you considering taking a magnesium supplement? If you eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans, then you may be getting enough of this key nutrient in your diet.

However, many of us don’t get enough magnesium from our diets alone. If this is the case, magnesium supplementation can be beneficial. Since there are various types of magnesium available, it can be confusing to know which one to take. Learn about the different types of magnesium, when the best time to take magnesium is, and what to look for in a magnesium supplement.

man sitting down on a couch pouring vitamins into his hand
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Types of Magnesium

When you take a supplement, not all of it can be absorbed. While some of this is affected by the form of magnesium you choose, it’s also affected by your body since some people have malabsorption issues caused by health conditions.

Talking to your healthcare provider is always a good idea for pointing you in the right direction about which supplement may be best for you, but here’s a quick summary of six of the most popular types of magnesium.

1.  Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is easily absorbed orally and used to help treat heartburn, constipation, and low magnesium levels.

2. Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate is one of the most popular types of magnesium supplements and is easily absorbed by your body. It’s mainly used to support a healthy immune system, support energy production, and relax your muscles.

3. Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is one of the most readily absorbed forms of magnesium and can be used to power overall health and wellness. This type of magnesium can also support energy production, cardiovascular function, immune health, strong bones, and muscle relaxation.

4. Magnesium lactate

Magnesium lactate is used for general treatment to correct or prevent magnesium deficiency. Since this form is possibly gentler on the digestive system than other types of magnesium, it may be more suitable for those who don’t tolerate other forms or need to take especially large doses.

5. Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide may help relieve digestive complaints like heartburn and constipation. However, since the body doesn’t absorb it well, it isn’t a good choice for those who need to raise their magnesium levels.

6. Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is more commonly used in a medical setting by healthcare professionals and is generally administered as an injection or IV to treat hypomagnesemia or low magnesium levels. It’s also used to treat kidney problems in kids and prevent preterm labor and seizures in some cases of severe pregnancy complications.

You’re most likely familiar with this form of magnesium as Epsom salt, which is used by athletes and avid exercisers to help ease aching muscles and muscle cramps.

When to Take Magnesium

Ideally, magnesium should be taken at the same time every day, whether in the morning with your favorite beverage, at lunch, or in the evening before you go to bed. Some recommend taking this supplement right before bed to calm your mind and nervous system to help aid sleep, but you should do what works best for you to ensure it becomes a daily healthy habit. The consistency of taking magnesium daily is more important than the time of day you take it.

Regardless of when you take a magnesium supplement, don’t take it on an empty stomach as it may cause some digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea. For this reason, it’s important to take it with a meal or snack.

What to Look for in a Magnesium Supplement

The two biggest differences in the various forms of this essential mineral are cost and likelihood of causing side effects like digestive issues, as some forms are typically better tolerated than others.

Overall, the best supplement for you is going to be one from a trusted source that you can take consistently. Speak to your medical professional to see which type of magnesium may be most beneficial for you.

Ensure You’re Getting Enough Magnesium

Magnesium plays a vital role in health. If you’re not getting enough of this mineral in your diet, consider taking a supplement. You can get two of the most popular types of magnesium supplements, magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate, at Country Life Vitamins.


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