Magnesium Supplements: Overview and Options

What is magnesium? Do you need a magnesium supplement? Here we will go over common questions about magnesium supplements and offer a few good products you can try.

Do you feel tired, run-down or stressed out? While you might not have much control over life’s stressful events, you can help control how your body responds internally. Specifically, a lack of magnesium can contribute to a variety of health problems. Our complete guide to magnesium supplements has everything you need to know including a description of benefits.

An Overview of Magnesium Supplements

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a small mineral which can have a big impact on your health. This versatile nutrient performs many different functions inside the body. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, muscle function, nerve function and more.

Energy production and metabolism functions within the body require magnesium. As a cofactor for over 300 enzymes, magnesium helps with protein synthesis, fatty acid synthesis, glucose metabolism and more.(1) Many neuromuscular contractions require magnesium for proper function.

Magnesium also helps regulate the calcium balance of the parathyroid gland. With every heartbeat, calcium and magnesium interact to tense and relax the heart muscle. If you’re taking a calcium supplement, you’ll want to add a magnesium supplement as well. This will help keep your heart rhythm steady and blood pressure regulated. Plus, magnesium reduces the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. (2)

What are Some Common Sources of Magnesium?

Magnesium is found in a diverse range of foods including almonds, whole grains, fish and wheat germ. Most green, leafy vegetables are also a great source of magnesium.(3)

Unfortunately, obtaining that recommended daily allowance can be difficult – if not downright impossible. Many adults suffer from a severe magnesium deficiency.(4) Instead of relying on food for magnesium, a supplement is often the better solution.

What is the Recommended Daily Intake of Magnesium?

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has developed guidelines for daily magnesium intake. The specifics will vary based on age and sex.

Generally, adults need between 300 and 400 milligrams of magnesium each day. Requirements increase with age. Also, pregnant women are recommended to take an increased amount of magnesium through pregnancy and lactation. (5)

What are the Signs of Magnesium Deficiency?

Unless you take Magnesium supplements or consistently eat a diet of Magnesium-rich foods, you probably have at least mild Magnesium deficiency. Fortunately, the kidneys limit the amount of Magnesium you’ll eliminate as waste.

Certain conditions can cause excessively low Magnesium levels. Common causes include alcoholism, certain medication and a variety of illnesses.

The initial stages of Magnesium deficiency are marked by nausea, weakness, fatigue, vomiting and loss of appetite. The next stage of deficiency includes symptoms such as muscle contractions, cramps, coronary spasms and even personality changes. Finally, hypokalemia can occur, which is a life-threating low level of Potassium in the body. (6)

Who Should Take Magnesium Supplements?

Basically, every adult will benefit somewhat from Magnesium supplements. The average person’s Magnesium level is pretty low. Plus, magnesium supplements aren’t particularly dangerous. Most people can safely use Magnesium supplements to boost their overall health levels.

Certain groups have an increased risk of low Magnesium levels, so they’ll benefit the most from regular use of a supplement. Those groups include:

• People with Frequent Gastrointestinal Issues
• People with Type 2 Diabetes
• Alcoholics
• Seniors

Certain medications can reduce Magnesium levels.(7) While you’ll want to discuss the specifics with your doctor, generally you’ll want a Magnesium supplement if you’re taking any of the following medications:

• Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax (commonly used to treat osteoporosis)
• Antibiotics such as tetracyclines, Cipro and Levaquin
• Diuretics such as Lasix and Aquazide
• Prescription proton pump inhibitors

As with any supplement, you’ll want to discuss any potential side effects or drug interactions with your doctor.

What are the Differences in Magnesium Supplements?

Magnesium is a mineral, so how can it be different between brands? The quality of the manufacturing plays a big role. You want to make sure the capsules or tablets are created in a sterile environment. Many manufacturers will also conduct third-party independent testing. This ensures each batch is high-quality.

You’ll also want to watch out for unnecessary ingredients. Some manufactures add filler. These can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the Magnesium properly. Generally, you’ll want to avoid products which contain Magnesium Oxide. This is a compound which doesn’t have the same health benefits as Magnesium, but which can slow absorbs ion in the small intestine.

Finally, you’ll want to take a look at the manufacturer’s reputation. Magnesium supplements have become popular relatively recently, but they’ve actually been available for decades. So you can find manufacturers who have been in business since the 1980s. Generally, a company with a lot of experience is one you can trust.

But there’s no need to avoid companies with a relatively short history. Mainly, you want to select a company with a strong commitment to pure ingredients.

How Do Magnesium Supplements Work?

Most supplements are in capsule or tablet form. A few are a water-soluble powder, although that form is much rarer to find. Each brand’s tablet will contain a different amount of magnesium. You’ll have to compare the Magnesium levels to your recommended daily intake.

This can be important if you need to take a lot of Magnesium each day. Magnesium pills tend to be pretty large. Taking four or five large pills each day can be a hassle. You’ll want to pay attention to the size of the supplement, especially if you have a hard time swallowing pills.

Top Magnesium Supplements

1. Pure Encapsulations - Magnesium (Citrate) - 180 Capsules

Pure Encapsulations - Magnesium (Citrate) - Hypoallergenic Supplement Supports Nutrient Utilization and Physiological Functions* - 180 Capsules
455 Reviews
Pure Encapsulations - Magnesium (Citrate) - Hypoallergenic Supplement Supports Nutrient Utilization and Physiological Functions* - 180 Capsules
  • NUTRIENT METABOLISM SUPPORT: Supports the metabolism and utilization of many essential nutrients and the proper functioning of important enzymatic and physiological functions.*
  • OVERALL HEALTH: Magnesium activates the enzymes necessary for a number of physiological functions, including neuromuscular contraction and cardiac function.*
  • CELLULAR ENERGY PRODUCTION: Magnesium is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats, as well as for energy production and the utilization of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and...

As their brand name implies, Pure Encapsulations puts a lot of emphasis on the quality of their products. Their raw ingredients are sourced from trusted suppliers. Before capsules are assembled, the Magnesium is tested by an independent lab. Plus, the vegetarian capsules are 100% hypoallergenic.

The Pure Encapsulations manufacturing facility is located in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Every piece of equipment is sterilized before each production run. If cross-contamination and purity are your main concerns, Pure Encapsulations magnesium capsules are worth consideration.

What We Like:
  • Manufacturing process exceeds supplement manufacturing requirements
  • All ingredients are GMO-free
  • Pure, professionally-tested magnesium
What We Dislike:
  • Capsules can be hard to swallow
  • Can potentially cause nausea

2. Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium

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Natural Vitality Natural Calm Diet Supplement, Raspberry Lemon, 16 Ounce
3,226 Reviews
Natural Vitality Natural Calm Diet Supplement, Raspberry Lemon, 16 Ounce
  • Features a proprietary formula that provides a highly absorbable, water-soluble magnesium in ionic form
  • Gradually reduce accumulated calcium, giving fast relief to many symptoms of magnesium depletion
  • Mixes easily with water for a convenient dose of magnesium

Natural Vitality takes a more holistic approach towards their magnesium supplements by emphasizing the calming, stress-relieving properties of their capsules.

These all-organic, gluten-free pills help restore healthy magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency can result in high blood pressure, increased anxiety and gastrointestinal disorders. Supplements can treat the physical causes of anxiety and stress, which in turn reduces their emotional impact.

If you do suffer from anxiety, you might want to start with only half of the recommended dosage. Starting with the full dosage can potentially cause stomach issues.

What We Like:
  • Emphasizes stress-reduction benefits
  • Gluten free, 100% organic
  • Small doses help treat GI issues
What We Dislike:
  • Full dose can cause stomach pain

3. Thorne Research - Magnesium Citrate

Thorne Research has been on the forefront of nutritional supplement development since 1984. Emphasizing both health and education, they manufacture over 350 products including a Magnesium supplement.

These supplements are easy to absorb. They contain no coatings, fillers or unnecessary binders which can interfere with absorption. Supplements are made in strict adherence with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). They’re also NFS certified.

The capsules are medium-sized. Considering how large many other Magnesium supplements are, this brand is a good choice is you normally have difficulty swallowing pills.

What We Like:
  • Easy absorption
  • Trusted manufacturer
What We Dislike:
  • High doses can cause upset stomach

Conclusion

Magnesium is far more important than many people think. But don’t worry! If you’re just now learning about the value of magnesium, you can add a supplement to your diet to start receiving a variety of important health benefits.

All of the supplements above provide an excellent supply of magnesium. However, our top recommendation is Pure Encapsulations Magnesium. The company uses a variety of safeguards to ensure they consistently use only the highest quality ingredients.

Each capsule is independently tested by professionals in safe supplement manufacturing. Plus, the raw ingredients are only obtained from trusted suppliers. All capsules are created in Massachusetts under strict federal quality-control guidelines. You can rest easy knowing the Magnesium supplement is pure and safe.

If you’re a bit wary about quality, a runner-up we recommend is NOW Magnesium Citrate tablets. With over 40 years of experience, this manufacturer has an excellent reputation in the supplement industry.
Magnesium is a little-known mineral with a funny name. But the health benefits are seriously great. If you’re looking to improve your heart health, energy levels and other body processes, a Magnesium supplement is an easy and effective solution.

TFT Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

What is magnesium? Do you need a magnesium supplement? Here we will go over common questions about magnesium supplements and offer a few good products you can try.​

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API