Michele Ross is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She primarily covers beauty, wellness, nutrition, and culture, and her goal is to empower readers to make informed decisions about their routines. Both on and off the clock, she geeks out on skin care ingredient deep dives, astrology, and K-pop.

Having difficulty passing healthy, consistent bowel movements? You’re not alone: Approximately 20 percent of the general population deals with constipation — and this statistic doesn’t even cover other types of GI conditions, whether short-term or ongoing. If you need a lifeline to pass bowel movements, there are a few key nutrients that can get things moving. Magnesium is one of the safest and most effective choices among them. Magnesium not only has the ability to make you poop if you’re backed up, but also promotes digestive regularity with habitual intake.

In this comprehensive guide to Magnesium and poop, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the mineral’s benefits for digestive health and bowel function— including how much you need and the best types of Magnesium for constipation. 

Why Does Magnesium Make You Poop?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that each and every one of your body’s cells need to function properly. Among its many health benefits and duties, it helps to regulate muscle and nerve function — yet it’s also a tried and true natural laxative to make you poop.

Whether you take supplementation for signs of Magnesium deficiency or eat Magnesium rich foods to maintain a healthy intake, you may be familiar with its laxative effect.

Magnesium helps to increase the amount of water in the intestines and works as a stool softener.

This is beneficial especially for those who deal with occasional or chronic constipation, as fluid loss and fluid restriction are among its key causes. Even if you’re able to pass hard and small poop that resembles pebbles or rocks, it’s a telltale sign of constipation. This, too, often indicates that your bowels need water to help soften stool. On the flip side, more water in your body and the intestines promotes a greater likelihood of passing bulkier, healthier, and regular bowel movements.

In addition, Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that muscle contractions in the large intestine need to function properly to avoid constipation. Since adequate Magnesium levels support muscle function, this is another vital way in which Magnesium makes you poop.

How Fast Does Magnesium Make You Poop?

The time frame in which Magnesium will make you poop depends on a few factors, such as:

  • The type of Magnesium you take
  • The dose
  • The level of your digestive issues
  • Personal factors like health conditions and medications

Curious how long it takes Magnesium Citrate to work? Research shows that Magnesium Citrate can take as little as 30 to 180 minutes to facilitate a bowel movement. In some cases and with other forms of Magnesium, this period can extend to up to 6 hours. It may even be longer if you’re dealing with severe constipation.

It’s important to remember that these are estimated ranges, rather than guarantees, since results will vary from person to person. As is the case with most supplements and dietary modifications, consistency is key. You’ll experience the best results with daily Magnesium supplementation over an extended period of time.

How Much Magnesium Should I Take for Constipation?

Whether or not you’re constipated, it’s important to reach your recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the mineral on a consistent basis. Doing so will help ensure that you’ll enjoy the benefits of Magnesium for digestion — as well as for sleep, stress, brain health, and overall well-being.
Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the RDA for Magnesium is as follows:

  • Adult women: 310 to 400 mg per day (varying by age group and pregnancy/lactation status)
  • Adult men: 400 to 420 mg per day (varying by age group)

Once you attain adequate Magnesium levels, you can anticipate greater relief from constipation and other digestive issues. Hemorrhoid Centers of America adds that some people experience healthier, more regular bowel movements with 200 to 500 mg of Magnesium in the morning and at night — yet this will vary from one person to the next. Moreover, they call out the important fact that although certain types of Magnesium offer a laxative effect, it’s non-stimulating and non-habit forming compared to other constipation treatments.

No matter how severe your constipation is, it’s important to not exceed the upper limit for Magnesium, which the University of Michigan cites as 2,000 milligrams. Undesirable effects of excessively high Magnesium intake include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure

You can prevent excess Magnesium intake and reduce your risk of these adverse side effects by staying within the healthy recommended limits shared above, unless otherwise instructed by a trusted healthcare professional. 

Is It Safe to Take Magnesium Every Day for Constipation?

Generally speaking, Magnesium is safe, healthy, and effective for daily intake to promote digestive function and support overall well-being. In fact, about half of people in the United States don’t get enough of this vital mineral. Even if you prioritize food sources of Magnesium in your diet — encompassing a range of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds — they often won’t help you achieve the RDA, so it’s crucial to habitually replenish your levels.

However, certain Magnesium supplements that are concentrated to produce a laxative effect — namely Magnesium Hydroxide, commonly known as Milk of Magnesia — are best to use only as needed for short-term constipation.

Moreover, it’s best to speak to your physician about supplementing with Magnesium if you have any health conditions and take certain medications (including but not limited to diuretics, insulin, and antibiotics). They can also advise on the best time to take Magnesium and how often you should take it. If constipation and digestive upset are more of a norm than a once-in-a-while occurrence, you’ll also want to consult your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist. 

What Type of Magnesium Is Best for Bowel Movements? 

Once you make an effort to get more Magnesium in your system, you’ll already be on the right track leading to better poop quality. But to take things a step further, you can prioritize certain forms of Magnesium that are proven to be beneficial for digestive health and regularity and support bowel function.

The best types of Magnesium for bowel movements include:

  • Magnesium Citrate
  • Magnesium Gluconate
  • Magnesium Lactate
  • Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium Citrate is a highly bioavailable form of the mineral. This means it’s easily digested and absorbed to eventually circulate through the bloodstream. In terms of digestive health, major

benefits of Magnesium Citrate include quicker digestion, softer stool that’s easier to pass, and more frequent bowel movements.

Magnesium Gluconate

This type of Magnesium is helpful for those who often experience diarrhea since it’s unlikely to cause loose stools and digestive distress. All the while, Magnesium Gluconate is known to support muscle relaxation, which can also help facilitate bowel movements that are easier and more enjoyable to pass.

Magnesium Lactate 

This form of Magnesium is easy to digest, even if you take it in higher volumes (under the care and guidance of your healthcare team). A 2017 study found that Magnesium Lactate showed favorable results such as minimal (if any) digestive upset in patients with a health condition associated with severe Magnesium loss.

Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium Oxide isn’t ideal to replenish low levels of the mineral due to a low rate of absorption. However, it can still be helpful for those who need assistance to pass bowel movements as it’s often used to alleviate constipation and indigestion. Plus, some people rely on it as an antacid for relief from heartburn.

What Is the Best Magnesium Supplement to Make Me Poop?

If constipation and digestive irregularity are (literally and figuratively) weighing you down, you can anticipate relief by supplementing with Magnesium. The best Magnesium supplements for constipation and overall digestion should include at least one of the forms listed above.

Magnesi-Om® is a high-quality, bioavailable Magnesium powder that packs two of the ideal forms of Magnesium for healthy digestion: Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Gluconate. But the benefits of this chelated Magnesium blend — which yields 310 mg of Magnesium per serving — don’t end there. Magnesi-Om® also packs:

  • Magnesium Acetyl Taurinate, which supports cognitive function and can help alleviate symptoms of PMS*
  • L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes alpha‑wave activity in the brain and supports healthy cognitive aging*

Think of Magnesi-Om® as your go-to nightcap to support healthy function of the muscles, brain, and bowels.* Depending on personal factors, you can generally anticipate a healthy bowel movement within a day or two of habitual intake. For best results, mix 1 teaspoon of the Magnesium powder in water each night. (While this Magnesium supplement can support relaxation and sleep, it’s non-drowsy. In other words, it’s perfectly fine to take it at another time of day when you need to unstress).

On top of its health benefits for your regularity, brain health, and relaxation, the gentle powder formula comes in two delicious flavors: Berry and Blue Lemon. And since poop quality and regularity all too often take a hit while you’re busy on the go or traveling, Magnesi-Om® is available in convenient single-serve sticks, too.

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