8 Types of Magnesium & Their Health Benefits

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in your body. It plays a role in over 300 essential metabolic processes, including energy production, nerve signal transmission, blood pressure regulation, and muscle contraction.

This mineral is present in many whole foods, like leafy greens, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. However, most people in the western world do not achieve their recommended daily allowance for magnesium through diet alone.

Supplements are a great way to ensure you are meeting your magnesium needs, but there is more than one type of magnesium supplement you can take. Keep reading to find out what the different types of magnesium are and their health benefits!

What Are the Different Types of Magnesium?

Types of magnesium that can be found in dietary supplements include:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium L-threonate

Each of these types of magnesium have their own unique properties and benefits.

What Type of Magnesium Should I Take?

Here is a quick summary of what each of type of magnesium is best for:

Best absorbed magnesium supplements with little to no laxative effect

  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • magnesium L-threonate

Best for muscle relaxation

  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Alternatively, you can soak in magnesium sulfate or chloride

Best for constipation

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium sulfate

Best for relaxation

  • Magnesium sulfate added to a bath

Best for sleep

  • Magnesium glycinate

Best for brain health

  • Magnesium L-threonate
More Information About Different Types of Magnesium

If you are still unsure of what type of magnesium you should take, here is some more in-depth information about the properties and benefits of the eight types of magnesium listed above:

1. Magnesium citrate

This popular form of magnesium is bound with citric acid. It is easier for the body to absorb than other forms of magnesium, such as magnesium chelate and magnesium oxide.

Magnesium citrate is commonly used to treat constipation and other unwanted digestive issues. It may also help with neurological disorders like anxiety and depression.

2. Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is a compound that contains elemental magnesium and glycine, which is an amino acid. People generally tolerate magnesium glycinate well and experience minimal side effects.

Improving sleep and treating inflammatory conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, are some things that glycine is often used for on its own. Magnesium glycinate is believed to have calming properties that can help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, though more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn.

3. Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide is a salt that is often used to treat constipation. It is also used as an antacid for indigestion and heartburn.

Unlike other types of magnesium supplements, magnesium oxide is not absorbed by the body very well, and it is not typically used to prevent magnesium deficiencies.

4. Magnesium sulfate

Also known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate is a combination of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur. It is frequently used in baths to soothe aching muscles and relieve stress, though there is not much evidence to support the fact that your body can absorb magnesium from magnesium sulfate baths.

Magnesium sulfate can also be used as a treatment for constipation.

5. Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is a type of salt that is generally well absorbed in your digestive tract. It is frequently taken as an oral supplement and can be used to treat constipation, heartburn, and low magnesium levels.

Magnesium chloride is also used in skin creams and lotions, though large-scale studies are needed to determine how effectively it is absorbed through the skin.

6. Magnesium lactate

Commonly used as an additive in foods and beverages, magnesium lactate is a salt that is formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid. Magnesium lactate is believed to be easily absorbed in the gut and is relatively gentle on your digestive system.

Some studies suggest that this form of magnesium may help treat anxiety and stress, but more research needs to be done.

7. Magnesium malate

Magnesium malate is a compound that contains magnesium and malic acid. It is well tolerated by people and well absorbed in the digestive tract. As such, it is a great option for keeping your magnesium levels up.

8. Magnesium L-threonate

This type of magnesium is formed from mixing magnesium and threonic acid, which is produced from the metabolic breakdown of vitamin C. Magnesium L-threonate is often used for its potential brain health benefits. Because magnesium L-threonate can elevate magnesium levels in the brain, it is believed to improve cognitive decline.

Magnesium L-threonate may also help manage brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

Now that you know what types of magnesium there are and the health benefits that they can provide, we hope that you are well-equipped to choose the magnesium supplement that is best suited to your unique needs. For more health-related content, be sure to follow Revivele on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn!