Most of us could use more Magnesium, an essential mineral and electrolyte found in the earth and sea. Humans can’t synthesize Magnesium on our own, but it’s required for normal biological function and overall health, supporting heart health and function, energy production, bone strength, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in our bodies. Yet over 50% of the population is deficient in this mineral. Because you likely need more Magnesium than you’re getting from your diet alone, you might be considering a Magnesium supplement. Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate are two popular forms, and both are generally well absorbed by the body, which is why they’re so commonly used in pills and powders.
So if you’re comparing common types of magnesium supplementation, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate and which is right for you? Below, everything you need to know about Magnesium Glycinate vs. Citrate.
What is Magnesium Citrate?
Ideally, we would get enough Magnesium through the foods we consume, like seeds, beans, nuts, fruits, grains, and veggies. Some foods that are rich in Magnesium include spinach, avocados, chia seeds, edamame, black beans, kale, brown rice, squash, potatoes, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dark chocolate.
But due to the soil depletion of our modern food crops, along with the consumption of processed food and demineralized water in our standard American diets, it’s difficult to get the recommended Magnesium intake (320-420 milligrams) per day.
While you can take a Magnesium supplement alone (in Magnesium oil, for example), this mineral is often combined with other compounds to make it more bioavailable for your body. You’ll find it in forms like Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Threonate, and Magnesium Sulfate, to name a few.
One of the most popular choices for a Magnesium supplement is Magnesium Citrate, or Magnesium salt that’s combined with citric acid. This results in a form that’s about 16% elemental Magnesium. It’s typically taken orally to raise Magnesium levels in your body.
Benefits of Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium Citrate is more bioavailable than many other forms of Magnesium, meaning that your body is better able to absorb it. So even if this form contains less elemental Magnesium, your body might still be absorbing more compared to other types.
It also tends to be more affordable than many other forms of supplemental Magnesium, so if you’re using it daily, you could save costs over time.
By increasing your Magnesium levels, Magnesium Citrate can support your overall body health.
Magnesium Citrate benefits range from bone health to sleep support and is also commonly used to support digestive health and cardiovascular function.
It promotes regularity by drawing water into your intestines to soften stool. It’s sometimes used as a laxative depending on the type of Magnesium Citrate that you’re taking.
And because so much is linked to the gut (through your gut-skin axis or your gut-brain axis, for example) if you’re experiencing breakouts or low mood as a result of gut dysbiosis, Magnesium Citrate can help clear things out. It’s gentle, non-stimulant, and non-habit forming.
What is Magnesium Glycinate?
About 14.1% elemental Magnesium by mass, Magnesium Glycinate is Magnesium salt mixed with the amino acid Glycine. This amino acid is important for building protein, and it’s found naturally in fish, meat, dairy, and legumes.
Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that’s often used alone to support sleep. So Magnesium Glycinate is often used as a calming nighttime aid to help you wind down for the night.
This form of Magnesium is widely recognized as being more bioavailable compared to most forms of Magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium Glycinate is typically considered the best form of Magnesium before bed for supporting sleep, thanks to its ability to lower body temperature, relax muscles, and calm the central nervous system.
It can also help support your efforts to destress and keep you out of a low-energy loop. That’s because your stress response starts on a cellular level. When you’re stressed, the body pushes Magnesium out of the cells for protection and regulation. In other words, stress depletes Magnesium, and when Magnesium levels are low, this encourages cortisol production.
Conversely, cells with high concentrations of Magnesium can more easily regulate the stress response and enhance feelings of relaxation. Magnesium Glycinate may help you unstress and achieve calm, and evidence supports taking Magnesium Glycinate to lift your mood.
Differences Between Magnesium Citrate & Glycinate
Compared to many forms of Magnesium, both these supplements are typically considered to be more bioavailable, meaning it’s easier for your body to absorb and use the mineral. But because they’re different ingredients, they can be used with different intentions.
As a recap, Magnesium Citrate is Magnesium salt that’s bound with citric acid, while Magnesium Glycinate is Magnesium salt that’s bound with the amino acid Glycine.
- Magnesium Citrate is commonly used as a supplement to support digestive health and regularity. It’s also commonly used to support overall Magnesium levels in the body.
- Magnesium Glycinate, on the other hand, is the more common choice for sleep supplements or to help you unwind. It’s also the one that’s more commonly used to support mood.
Is it Better to Take Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate?
Which supplemental Magnesium you should incorporate into your routine will ultimately come down to your initial reason for taking a Magnesium supplement. If you believe your body is deficient in Magnesium and you’re looking to boost your overall levels of this essential mineral, Magnesium Citrate is the most common choice, and it’s bioavailable.
Magnesium Citrate is also the better option If you’re looking to improve your digestive health. Just note that too much of this Magnesium supplementation can have a laxative effect and could cause you to have loose stools, so be sure to follow recommended dosages if you don’t want Magnesium to make you poop too often.
Unbalanced cells have low levels of Magnesium. This leads to a weakened stress response and continued Magnesium loss. If you’re taking a Magnesium supplement to unwind, improve mood, or specifically at nighttime to help you sleep, opt for Magnesium Glycinate.
Both supplements are generally considered safe. Once you’ve reached adequate levels of Magnesium, your body will pee out the excess.
The Best of Both Worlds: A Magnesium Blend
To maximize your benefits and get adequate magnesium intake, you could also take a Magnesium blend. Magnesi-Om® has 3 bioavailable forms of Magnesium: a chelated Magnesium blend of Gluconate, Acetyl Taurinate, and Citrate for relaxation, sleep brain health, and regularity.* It also contains L-Theanine, a nootropic amino acid that promotes alpha-wave activity and is shown to support brain function and healthy cognitive aging.*
- Citrate 204mg, supports healthy morning movements*
- Gluconate 77mg, supports muscle relaxation*
- Acetyl Taurinate 28mg, supports cognitive function and can help alleviate symptoms of PMS*
This Magnesium Chelate Blend was specifically chosen due to its high bioavailability and easy absorption into the gut with minimal discomfort.* Chelated just means bonded to an organic or amino acid for increased absorption so not as much stomach acid is needed for digestion.
The L-Theanine in this Magnesium powder supplement also helps provide cognitive support for feelings of alert relaxation and mental clarity without over-stimulation.*
Because Magnesium levels fluctuate during your cycle and drop during the luteal phase (when PMS kicks in), taking Magnesi-Om® can also help soothe PMS symptoms like bloating, cramping, tenderness, and moodiness.
Some of these effects are immediate, while others are more long-term. You should feel the benefits of taking magnesium for relaxation within a few hours after taking your natural magnesium powder supplement. Supporting your brain health is a longer game, and the sooner you start, the better. Regularity, if lacking, usually begins in a day or two of making it a habit.
Tips for Taking Magnesium Supplements
Start with one teaspoon at night or whenever you need to chill and increase if needed. If you like to start your day off regular, taking Magnesi-Om® in the evening can help support a bowel movement in the morning.*
You can also try microdosing mag. Smaller doses actually lead to higher absorption, so to maximize, take 1/4 tsp of Magnesi-Om® in water, 4 times throughout the day.
It’s important to note that high doses of Zinc and/or Calcium can interfere with your absorption of Magnesium, so make sure if you’re also taking those supplements, allow some time before taking your Magnesium. Magnesium also assists in the activation of Vitamin D, which helps regulate your Calcium levels, so pair Magnesi-Om® with Vitamin D supplements like SuperHair®, SuperBeauty® or SuperPower® for a synergistic effect.
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Magnesium is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body, from energy production ro nerve transmission and heart health. We need it to regulate heart rate, high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It facilitates bone formation and muscle contraction, which is why if you’re deficient in Magnesium you might experience muscle cramping and soreness. Magnesium deficiency has also been associated with low mood and insomnia.
Every cell in your body needs Magnesium to function, and over 50% of us are deficient in this essential macromineral. With so many different forms of Magnesium supplements available, it can be hard to know which one to take. Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate are two of the most common forms you’ll find, thanks to their bioavailability and other benefits.
As for the difference between Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate? Choose Magnesium Citrate if you’re looking to boost your overall levels of Magnesium in your body, or if you’re looking for digestive regularity or cardiovascular support. Choose Magnesium Glycinate if you’re having trouble sleeping, need enhanced calm and muscle relaxation, or want to support your mood.
If you’re looking to maximize your Magnesium benefits, look for a blend of chelated Magnesium containing Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Gluconate, and Magnesium Acetyl Taurinate. Magnesi-Om® enhances feelings of calm, improves mood, and reduces muscle aches.* It also supports healthy cognitive aging and brain function, as well as regular bowel movements.*
While we would ideally be getting enough Magnesium through our diet, modern agriculture and the proliferation of processed foods and beverages have made it much harder for us to meet our mineral needs through whole foods alone. It’s become increasingly necessary to find a Magnesium supplement, and a responsibly sourced one at that. Magnesi-Om® is 100% traceable, 3rd party tested, and bioavailable.
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