You may have already heard of some of the benefits of taking a magnesium supplement to help you sleep, relax tight muscles, relieve cramps, reduce anxiety and hypertension and solve all our first world problems but the truth is not all magnesium were created equal.
Not sure why we even need magnesium?
Magnesium is one of the most vital nutrients to the human body, and an inadequate amount can cause a number of major health concerns. It is recommended to try to meet your body’s daily magnesium requirements through diet before considering taking magnesium supplements. One way to increase the bioavailability of the magnesium in your foods (like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, dark chocolate is to juice them and eat them raw.
Researchers are discovering new ways in which magnesium supplements can be vital in the treatment of conditions such as depression, diabetes, and other major diseases such as heart attacks. Magnesium comes in many forms but it is a very safe compound that, in the rare cases of overdose or toxicity, will only cause mild symptoms such as diarrhea or fatigue.
Wait! There is more than one type?
There are actually man types of magnesium available for us on the market so it's essential you find one that suits your needs best. It's sort of like show shopping if it doesn't fit just right there is no point in buy it, even if your friend raves about how it works for here!
Types of Magnesium
1. Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
This one is a mineral chelate form of magnesium-containing an ion of magnesium oxide connected to a mixture of some other form of amino acid. This could be a lactate, a glycine, aspartate or arginate, etc. The best-chelated amino acid form of magnesium is aspartate or arginate.
2. Magnesium Threonate -Powers the Brain
It turns out, one form of magnesium, magnesium threonate, has the unique ability to permeate the blood-brain barrier and enter your BRAIN. It works to enhance the receptors that are involved in activation of nerve channels increasing synaptic plasticity aka brain function. That means that magnesium is critical for the physiological events that are fundamental to the processes of learning and memory.
3. Magnesium Oxide
This one is also referred to as “Magnesia”, magnesium oxide is commonly used therapeutically as a laxative and relief for acid reflux. This type of magnesium shows high levels of concentration, but poor levels of bioavailability (only 4%). So no real health improvement benefits here.
5. Magnesium Citrate-this is CALMING
Derived from the magnesium salt of citric acid, this form of magnesium has lower concentration, but a high level of bioavalibity (90%). Magnesium citrate is commonly used as to induce bowel movements as it has a laxative effect in higher quantities, but has also been studied for kidney stone prevention. You may have seen this one powdered and flavoured on the market as Natual Calm. This is not the best option when it comes to relaxation and sleep, read on.
5. Magnesium Orotate
The most effective form of magnesium supplement, created through the use of the mineral salts of orotic acid. Both plants and animals use orotates to create DNA and RNA. Extensive scientific research by Dr. Hans A. Nieper, M.D. shows orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the innermost layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus. Magnesium orotate contains many properties that can help protect you and your health while offering your cells the most readily absorbable form of magnesium on the market today.
6. Magnesium Chloride
A form of magnesium showing moderate concentrations, but higher levels of bioavalibity when compared to magnesium oxide. Magnesium chloride has many uses, most commonly to help manufacture paper, some types of cement and fireproofing agents. No good for us.
7. Magnesium Lactate
This type of magnesium shows moderate concentrations, but higher levels of bioavalibity as compared to magnesium oxide. Magnesium lactate is a mineral supplement that is most commonly used for treating digestive issues. Magnesium lactate should be avoided by those with kidney disease or kidney-related problems.
8. Magnesium Sulfate
An inorganic form of magnesium with an elemental concentration of 10% and lower levels of bioavailability. Magnesium sulphate contains magnesium and sulphur and oxygen; it’s commonly referred to as Epsom Salt. So just throw this in the bath and relax.
9. Magnesium Carbonate
This form of magnesium has moderate levels of elemental concentration and 30% bioavalibity rates. Magnesium carbonate has a strong laxative-effect when taken in high amounts. It is also commonly known as chalk and is used as a drying agent by pitchers, gymnasts, rock climbers and weightlifters.
10. Magnesium Glycinate, Malate & Taurates-best for sleep and relaxation
Chelated forms of magnesium are less concentrated, but the magnesium in them is a much more bioavailable form. All three types of magnesium have a variety of uses, but none are as beneficial as the previous magnesium supplements listed above.
I personally use magnesium Bis-glycinate for sleep and muscle relaxation. The recommended dose is starting at 200mg and watching for loose bowel movements the next day if you do not get that you can try moving up to 400mg. Be sure to check out brands like CanPrev and Genersta that have great magnesium formulations you can trust.
If you need support or just have a question about a current supplement you are using, maybe wondering if it's actually right for you to feel free to reach out to me. I am here to help.