A Quick Guide on Magnesium Supplementation

With so many magnesium supplements on the market, you may find yourself asking “which magnesium supplement is right for me”? This brief reference will help you gain a better understanding of which magnesium form may work best for you based on your individual needs. The benefits of magnesium can seem endless. Improving muscle pain, sleep quality, energy production and nutrient absorption are just some of the ways magnesium benefits the body. It’s also an important electrolyte and dietary mineral that can be found in all tissues in our body including muscles, organs, bones and teeth. All cells in our body take up Magnesium because it’s a cofactor for many enzyme reactions and synthesis processes.

The problem is, next to calcium, and vitamin D :

Magnesium has the highest prevalence of deficiency in Canada. The good thing is, Magnesium deficiency can be corrected with a healthy balance of diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.

Why is Magnesium Supplementation so Important?

Let’s start with the simple task of understanding what exactly magnesium is. Magnesium is a mineral cofactor for over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. It also cannot be produced endogenously (within the body) and needs to be obtained through diet, and in some cases, supplementation. Magnesium benefits include:

  • Keeps calcium dissolved in the blood (which can be very helpful for lowering the risk of kidney stones)
  • Supports nerve function and cardiac muscle.
  • Relaxes the smooth muscle of the digestive system which can help with digestive issues
  • Supports blood pressure regulation
  • Assists in fat and carbohydrate metabolism which affects energy production
  • Supports blood sugar regulation
  • Improves sleep quality

What are the reasons for deficiencies?

Some of the lifestyle reasons that contribute to magnesium deficiencies include less than optimal diets that are high in processed foods and low in magnesium-containing foods (leafy greens, nuts, and seeds), and high doses of other minerals. Poor gut health also contributes to magnesium deficiencies as nutrient and mineral absorption may be affected by gut permeability. Agricultural and environmental factors also play a part in magnesium deficiencies as soil depletion has contributed to lower levels of magnesium in our foods.

Foods High in Magnesium (DRI and Daily Value - High to Low)

  • Pumpkin Seeds 45%
  • Spinach 37%
  • Swiss Chard 36%
  • Soybeans 35%
  • Sesame Seeds 30%
  • Black Beans 29%
  • Quinoa 28%
  • Cashews 28%
  • Sunflower Seeds 27%

Popular Forms of Magnesium listed below are some of the common forms of magnesium you would find on store shelves:  

Magnesium Bisglycinate:

Magnesium Bisglycinate is a chelated mineral and 5x more bioavailable than Magnesium oxide. This form of magnesium is chelated and attached to an amino acid (in this case, glycine). Magnesium bisglycinate tends to absorb more effectively and build up gradually in the body with continued use making it a great option for correcting a deficiency as saturation is more consistent with magnesium bisglycinate. Increased absorption is due to its ability to lower the pH in the intestine to improve passive transport across the wall of the intestine. Platinum Naturals includes magnesium bisglycinate (when appropriate). This form of magnesium is a great option for chronic pain and muscle conditions.

Magnesium Citrate:

Magnesium citrate is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium that is targeted for constipation. It’s absorbed faster by the body but tends to be excreted by the body just as fast. Citrate forms of magnesium can cause loose stools at higher doses and doesn't absorb and saturate the same way an amino acid-based magnesium bisglycinate would.

Quick Fact:
Did you know our Magnesium Bisglycinate is suspended in MCT oil?
Magnesium suspended in MCT oil affords us the ability to get magnesium across the intestinal tract Magnesium Malate:

This form of magnesium is paired with malic acid and studies have shown that it enhances ATP production. Malate serves as a cofactor for cellular energy production in the Krebs cycle. Studies have also shown positive effects on pain management making this a great option for populations suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic pain conditions. Magnesium Oxide: Magnesium oxide is poorly absorption compared to other forms of magnesium because of its low solubility in water. This form of magnesium is an option for people looking to address constipation issues but keep in mind that higher doses of magnesium oxide are also associated with loose stools and bloating.

Quick Fact:
Have you ever seen “elemental magnesium” written on the bottle of your magnesium supplement?
Elemental magnesium refers to the actual amount of magnesium in the supplement you are taking.

Magnesium Threonate:

Magnesium threonate has been studied for its positive effects on cognitive function by its ability to increase synapse function and density. This is due to magnesium threonate’s ability to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and increase brain concentrations of magnesium which leads to improved learning and memory functions of the brain.

How to Take Magnesium:

The thing to keep in mind about the absorption of magnesium is that it’s highly dependent on the need within the body and the formulation. However, we can’t blindly supplement with any dose. Most general ranges of magnesium range anywhere from 200-400mg. However, it’s worth noting the bioavailablity of the magnesium you are supplementing with as this can influence how much you should be taking. As mentioned, the amount of magnesium absorbed in the body will vary from person to person depending on the type of magnesium form you’re using and the individual's magnesium status in the body making general ranges tough to go by. Generally, bedtime is an ideal time for magnesium supplementation due to its calming effects. Magnesium supplementation makes a great addition to your nighttime routine and can help in signalling the body that it’s time for bed from a physiological and habitual perspective. See below the Recommended Dietary Allowances for Magnesium. When it comes to choosing the right magnesium supplement, consider the following:

  • The form of magnesium (base this on your individual needs) and quality of the product – Look for clean products that don’t contain binders, fillers or additives that can affect the effectiveness of the supplement.
  • Dosages (in this case, elemental magnesium).
  • Third-party testing of products.