Nora is a writer and consultant working with sustainable brands to make an impact. In 2022, she founded Mossy Copy, LLC, a full-service copy studio based in Austin, TX. Her master’s in English is from NYU, and her bachelor’s in the same is from Sewanee. Areas of expertise include wellness, nutrition, style, and beauty.

Whether you’re using the supplement to lift your overall levels of Magnesium or as a digestive aid to help with regularity, you’re probably curious about how long it takes for Magnesium Citrate to work.

Every organ in the body needs this mineral, including the heart. It’s an important nutrient to replenish daily, since it isn’t made by the body but instead needs to come from our diet or through Magnesium supplementation.

Not only is it an essential cofactor for over 300 enzymatic functions in the body, but over 50% of us are deficient in Magnesium.

Because it has a high excretion rate, we typically pee it out quickly, often within 24 hours, and need to replenish.

That’s why a Magnesium supplement can be helpful to take. A popular subtype of supplemental Magnesium, Magnesium Citrate is generally considered to be bioavailable compared to most other forms — meaning it absorbs more rapidly and abundantly into your bloodstream. This supplement also has the added benefit of aiding in bowel movement regularity. So how long does it take for Magnesium Citrate to work? Find out below.


Does Magnesium Work Immediately?

The body doesn’t make Magnesium, so we need to get it from our diets. It’s considered one of the four “major” metals we need, based on our body contents and recommended intake:

  • Men: 400–420 mg/day
  • Women: 310–320 mg/day
  • Pregnant women: 350–360 mg/day

How long the effects of Magnesium take to kick in will depend on several factors, including the type of Magnesium consumed, whether that be transdermal (bath salts, sprays, gels, or creams) or oral (pills, powders, and beverages). It’s suggested that topical Magnesium may work faster thanks to its ability to absorb into your skin and bypass the digestive process, but more research is needed to fully compare both options.

Complete absorption of Magnesium takes time. It can be about 6-7 hours for 80% of oral Magnesium to kick in. Certain factors can also impede this process, like if you are currently taking other medications, if you consume diuretics or alcohol, or if you suffer from certain illnesses or GI disorders.


How Long Does It Take For Magnesium Citrate to Work?

This type of Magnesium is made up of one part Magnesium salt and one part Citric Acid, a flavor enhancer found naturally in citrus fruits that increases the element’s bioavailability. It’s an organic form, and studies suggest that organic salts are more readily bioavailable than inorganic forms. This type of Magnesium supplement is typically available in capsules, powders, and liquids.

The key difference between Magnesium Citrate and other forms of Magnesium is absorption! In most other forms, your body can only absorb a small percentage of the actual Magnesium. But when it’s combined with Citric Acid, this increases Magnesium absorption along your digestive tract.

As with most supplements, it’s good to be consistent with your intake and always speak to your healthcare provider about your diet and dosage needs. If you are currently taking any type of medication, be sure to seek medical advice before adding magnesium into your daily routine.


Bowel Movements

Magnesium Citrate is often used as a digestive aid to help relieve occasional constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

Magnesium makes you poop by pulling water into your bowels to help soften your stool.

In fact, it’s even prescribed as a saline laxative prior to surgeries like colonoscopies to help clear out your colon. For daily purposes, it functions as an effective way to increase your Magnesium levels while also gently aiding digestion.

So how fast does Magnesium Citrate work when it comes to helping you go? This depends on the dosage, when you’re taking it, anything you’re taking with it, and how sensitive you are to it.

It can take around 30 minutes to 3 hours to do its thing if you’re taking a normal dose of Magnesium Citrate on its own, or potentially longer if you’re taking it in a blend. If you’re taking it in a Magnesium blend or a lower dose daily, Magnesium Citrate should take effect in 6-8 hours.

Magnesi-Om® is a chelated Magnesium powder supplement blend with 3 bioavailable forms of Magnesium (Citrate, Gluconate, and Acetyl Taurinate) and L-Theanine for relaxation, sleep, brain health, and regularity. Drink it at night to help draw water into the bowels and encourage healthy bowel movements when you wake up.

Because Magnesium Citrate works by drawing water into your intestines from other parts of your body, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to make sure you’re staying hydrated.

Increasing Your Magnesium Levels

Though Magnesium Citrate can be used to help support digestion and regularity, it’s most commonly used as a way to increase overall Magnesium levels due to its superior bioavailability. Magnesium can be stored in your body, but up to 60% of your Magnesium levels are stored in your bones. The Magnesium levels that are in your blood are usually peed out on a daily basis, which is one reason many people are deficient. In order to prevent low levels of this mineral, it's important to understand the warning signs of a Magnesium deficiency and add a supplement to maintain healthy levels.

Taking a Magnesium Citrate supplement can help you increase your overall Magnesium levels so this mineral can do all of the things it's supposed to, including assisting in muscle, bone, heart, sleep, and nervous system health.

The timeframe of when an individual will begin experiencing the benefits of regular Magnesium consumption will vary from person to person. Building foundational health like strong bones and a strong heart won’t happen overnight, but quicker effects, like helping support a good night’s sleep, can kick in sooner.

Nervous System Support 

Because Magnesium plays an important part in regulating your central nervous system, a Magnesium Citrate supplement can be used to support calm energy through the day. In fact, many individuals turn to this mineral as there is a strong link between Magnesium for relaxation.

Magnesium balances the two main types of chemical messengers (glutamate and GABA) that are responsible for stimulating and calming you over the course of a day. So when glutamate and GABA are in balance, this can help you feel more awake during the day and more restful at night.


You may have already heard about the benefits of Magnesium for sleep. While Magnesium isn’t a sedative and won’t put you to sleep, it does help promote your body’s natural production of the sleep hormone Melatonin. It can also help relax and soothe muscles, signaling to your body that it’s time for bed. For this reason, professionals suggest taking Magnesium before bed to help improve sleep and increase overall relaxation.

Magnesi-Om® contains 77mg of Magnesium Gluconate, a form of Magnesium that helps your muscles relax so you can start to unwind. Take 1 tsp every night or when you need to chill.

Heart Health 

Magnesium is important in regulating the rate of your heartbeat and helping stabilize blood pressure so your heart doesn’t become overworked. For these reasons, optimized intake of Magnesium supports cardiovascular health, helping maintain even blood pressure and heart rate.

Bone Health 

Magnesium is also crucial for supporting bone health, working with your parathyroid hormones to help your body absorb and transport Calcium from your bones throughout your system. Some studies link low Magnesium levels to lower bone density, so it’s important to consider talking to your doctor about a Magnesium supplementation if you’re over 50 or have a family history of osteoporosis.

Magnesium is needed by every organ in the body, including your muscles, heart, and kidneys. It would be difficult to cover all of its functions in a single article, but know that if you’re deficient in Magnesium, like most of us are, taking a supplement can be an important step in addressing gaps in your nutrition and improving overall health. Different processes in your body work on their own timeline, but if your Magnesium is in balance, your whole overall health and wellness will benefit as a result.


How Do I Know If Magnesium Is Working? 

If you’ve been having mild constipation and are finally able to go within several hours of taking Magnesium Citrate, it’s safe to say it’s working! If you’ve noticed an improvement in brain fog, muscle cramps, tension, PMS, headaches, migraines, insomnia, fatigue, blood sugar imbalance, and other signs of Magnesium deficiency, this could signal that your levels are coming back into balanced state.

It’s important to trust dosage information from your doctor or the directions on the dietary supplement packaging and be consistent over time if you want to see long-term effects.

Side effects of taking Magnesium Citrate are minimal, but if you do experience any diarrhea, nausea, excessive gas or bloating, vomiting, dehydration, stomach cramps, or hypermagnesemia (high levels of Magnesium in the blood), this may be a sign that you’ve taken too much.



Ideally, we would get all the Magnesium we need from our diet, in foods like spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, chia, and legumes. But thanks to modern soil depletion from agricultural practices, we’re likely not getting enough from food alone, and it's important to stay on top of our Magnesium intake, since this is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.

Taking a Magnesium Citrate supplement can help you increase your overall Magnesium levels due to its high bioavailability, helping you reap all those benefits of sufficient Magnesium intake. It also has the added benefit of being good for promoting regularity. If you’re feeling constipated, it’s important to address the underlying causes, but taking a Magnesium Citrate supplement may help give you some much needed relief.

Any time you take a Magnesium Citrate supplement to help with digestion, just know that its effects could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on the dosage, any other medication you may be taking, and other individual factors.

Whether you are looking to improve sleep, support digestive health, or just support your body from the inside out, adding a daily Magnesium Citrate supplement into your routine just might be your answer.

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