Best Magnesium Supplements

When dietary sources of magnesium are insufficient for our needs, best magnesium supplementsusing magnesium supplements are the answer.

Depending on your general health and medical background, your requirements for the administration and absorption of magnesium may vary.

Magnesium is so essential to health and yet over 60% of Americans are not getting their recommended dietary amount.  For a list of foods rich in magnesium click here.

This, combined with diet and lifestyle factors further depleting the stored magnesium inside our bodies, necessitates the consumption of magnesium supplements.  If you are over 50, take calcium supplements, drink excessive alcohol or carbonated beverages, have a high sugar diet or a chronic disease such as diabetes, your risk of severe magnesium deficiency drastically increases.

Magnesium deficiency leads to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium buildup i.e. gall stones, fatigue, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, Alzheimer’s and more.

Do you have any of the classic symptoms of magnesium deficiency listed here?

So what are the best magnesium supplements for your needs?

Here are the top 5 preferred types of magnesium commonly found in the majority of readily available supplements on the market today:

1.Magnesium Chloride

Topical formulations of magnesium chloride is absorbed straight into the cells without going through the metabolic processes in the digestive system which results in almost all of it being used by the body.

This means you are less likely to suffer from the laxative side effect that you may find with the other common forms of magnesium supplement.

Because it has a bitter taste, magnesium chloride is more commonly used in the transdermal examples of magnesium supplements – oil, lotion or transdermal patches.  This makes it super easy to use by simply spraying or massaging it directly onto your skin.

Check out more information here on the Ancient Minerals range of topical magnesium chloride.

best magnesium supplements2. Magnesium Citrate

Because you need a larger mass to get the required amount of magnesium, the tablets of this variation are often quite large so it is commonly found in a powder form.

Magnesium citrate has a higher possibility of causing a laxative effect, especially if you take your whole recommended daily dose in the one go.  The dosage is easily controlled by using it in a powder form and making a solution which you then sip throughout the day.  Constipation can be a side effect of magnesium insufficiency so if you take magnesium citrate gradually throughout the day, it can have a positive effect of being a gentle laxative.

Magnesium citrate doesn’t dissolve in water so you can either stir it up in some liquid before drinking it, or sprinkle it on your cereals or soup for example.

3. Magnesium Gluconate

If you are administered magnesium in this form it usually means you have pressing need for fast uptake of magnesium.  It is administered intravenously in hospital to patients at risk of serious magnesium deficiency side effects.

Magnesium gluconate has, in recent years had a new resurgence in domestic use with the development of liposomal magnesium supplements.  See below.

best magnesium supplements

This is another very quick acting and well absorbed form of magnesium.  You probably know it best from Epsom Salts.  These pure magnesium rocks or flakes are dissolved in a hot bath or foot soak so you can up your magnesium uptake while you rest.  This is especially good for relieving muscle aches and pains.  Click on the picture (right) for more details!

Magnesium sulphate can also be used as an IV administered drug for emergency medicine with great efficacy.

5. Magnesium Oxide

This is used very commonly in magnesium supplement compounds as it is has a high magnesium content to a low mass.  However, it is not readily bioavailable with only 4% of the magnesium contained actually being absorbed into the body.  The magnesium oxide that is not absorbed is excreted by the digestive system, often in the form of diarrhoea so this is not one of the best magnesium supplements.

Other Forms of Magnesium

Liposomal Magnesium

best magnesium supplements

This contains magnesium gluconate and magnesium bisglycinate –  two of the most easily absorbed forms of magnesium which are encapsulated inside liposomes.  The phospholipids transport the magnesium molecules directly into the bloodstream and don’t waste a drop as they deposit it exactly where it is needed, within the cell membrane.

This means no wastage.  The only drawbacks with liposomal magnesium are the bitter taste, and the cost.  However it is the most effective at delivery and therefore is superior in terms of nutritional value.

Optimal Liposomal Magnesium by Seeking Health is among the best liposomal magnesiums on the market.

Chelated Magnesium

This is a specific category of oral magnesium supplements that you should look for.

When magnesium is chelated, it simply means it is easier for the body to absorb therefore you will have a higher rate of absorption of the mineral.  Chelation of magnesium bounds mineral molecules to negative ions which makes it more likely to make it all the way to the small intestine before its absorption begins.  Magnesium citrate is commonly found as a chelated version.

best magnesium supplementsIs there anything to avoid?

Always check the label for dosage and ingredients.  Mineral supplements should be organic where possible and avoid too many additives especially those which have no added health benefit whatsoever such as magnesium stearate.

Read more about magnesium stearate.

Magnesium toxicity is super rare as the body tends to self regulate absorption of magnesium and excrete the rest that is not needed.  However it is recommended to stick to the recommended daily intake of 320-420mg per day (NIH) with your supplements while maintaining a balanced and nutrition-rich diet.

When selecting the best magnesium supplements for your personal use remember this:

  • Magnesium chloride and magnesium gluconate are by far the best absorbed and gluconate has the least GI disturbances.  Of these two, the mode of delivery is the next consideration.

  • Magnesium chloride is available as an oral liquid such as Nutricology Magnesium Chloride Liquid however stomach upsets are a common side effect to oral use.

  • Magnesium chloride is best found in topical oils such as Dr. Barbara Hendel’s Magnesium Oil .

  • Gluconate is most commonly found in IV magnesium therapy or in liposomal magnesium liquid which is the best absorption rate of all the magnesium forms.

  • Optimal Liposomal Magnesium costs $29.95 for 6 ounces from Amazon

  • If you want the laxative effect, then go with magnesium citrate powder with a gradual dose.

best magnesium supplements
Click for details

See more about the side effects of magnesium supplements here.

Please consult a physician before commencing magnesium therapy if you are on medication, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have chronic kidney or liver disease.


DISCLAIMER The author of this article is not a doctor and the medical/dietary advice that is provided herein is not to replace users of the sites current medical situation or advice that may have been given by their GP or legal consultant. is here solely for support as an optional alternative.  In no way does the information contained within advise anyone to use this knowledge as a replacement for any medical condition.  
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  1. // Reply

    Great detail to all the ways to get the amount of magnesium your body requires. I was not aware of all the different forms in which you could get magnesium.

    I knew of the supplement pills and soaking in Epsom salt baths but never thought about getting the powder or liquid form. All excellent forms to know about and which ones are better than the rest, thanks.

    1. // Reply

      Thanks Travis,

      I hope you have found some awesome new ways to get your recommended daily magnesium intake of 300-400mg per day. Supplementaion is only meant to complement an already balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, not to replace it.

      Best of Luck, Kristine

  2. // Reply

    Nice Post. I haven’t heard of magnesium supplements before I landed on your blog. I must say you have giving much insight on this topic. Is there any ways we can get magnesium from natural vegetables or fruits. If so, Which are those veges and fruits. If not, which one you recommend. Thanks

  3. // Reply

    The type of magnesium I have is Magnesium Citrate. I sometimes take some in the evening to help me relax and sleep. I had a friend who struggled with sleep, and he said when he took magnesium before bed it helped him sleep really well.

    I’m sure magnesium deficiency is very common. A lot of people rely on milk products for their calcium intake, but this is a bad idea because calcium and magnesium work together, but milk is low in magnesium. If you have too much of one and not enough of the other, that’s bad news. My mum had terrible headaches because she was on calcium supplements for her bones. When she started taking a magnesium supplement the headaches went away.

    1. // Reply

      Hi Marcus thanks for commenting. Do you see results with the magnesium citrate before bed?

      Another thing about calcium supplements is that they require more magnesium to balance them out so use up heaps of your body’s stores. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium can also cause calcium deposits like gallstones or blocked arteries.

      Thanks again, Kris

  4. // Reply

    I am so overwhelmed that there are so many types of magnesium elements,Magnesium Chloride,Magnesium Citrate and magnesium Gluconate but thanks to your wonderful review you have made it a lot clearer,a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.
    I still have some choices to make when trying to decide the right magnesium supplements for me.
    Thank you.

    1. // Reply

      HI Sonny, You know there are even more types of magnesium out there however I have only covered the main ones in this article. If you need further advice or information on anything you read here, please do not hesitate to email me on

      Best of Luck, Kristine

  5. // Reply

    Hello here. It is interesting to read review of best magnesium supplements. I use magnesium for myself and see a big difference in my overall being.
    Previously I did not sleep well. After taking magnesium supplements I fee relaxed and calm.
    Magnesium citrate is affordable and does not give laxative results. It is a great option and it is cheap too.
    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

    1. // Reply

      Thanks for your feedback Nemira! I am happy to hear about your success with using this fantastic mineral.

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