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Best magnesium supplements

Which magnesium supplement is best?

Magnesium plays a key role in regulating various biochemical reactions in the body, such as muscle function, blood pressure, protein synthesis and more. While most people get enough magnesium from a well-balanced, healthy diet, some people suffer from a magnesium deficiency. This could result in muscle and leg cramps, increased stress levels and insomnia.

There are many magnesium supplements available, each with its own benefits. For a fast-absorbing, all-around helpful supplement that’s gentle on the body, consider Dr. Mercola’s Magnesium L-Threonate.

What to know before you buy magnesium supplements

Magnesium supplement types

Magnesium supplements come in many forms, each with its own purpose and effectiveness. Here are some of the most popular options.

  • Magnesium citrate: Commonly found in citrus fruits, magnesium citrate is one of the easiest forms for your body to absorb. It may help with relaxation, stress reduction and depression.
  • Magnesium chloride: Although it contains only 12% magnesium, magnesium chloride is a popular ingredient in lotions, ointments and tablets. It may provide relief to sore muscles.
  • Magnesium malate: A compound form of magnesium and malic acid, magnesium malate is popular for those with chronic fatigue and energy production. It’s soluble, which makes it easy to absorb.
  • Magnesium glycinate: A non-laxative magnesium supplement that may help with insomnia, stress and anxiety. It’s a great way to boost magnesium levels.
  • Magnesium sulfate: Magnesium sulfate is used to aid in digestion, relieve stress and soothe sore muscles or cramps. One of its most popular forms is called Epsom salt.
  • Magnesium aspartate: This supplement is useful in soothing migraines and muscle cramps. It’s also easy for the body to absorb.
  • Magnesium lactate: A gentle alternative to other options, magnesium lactate may help reduce stress and anxiety levels. It’s also a popular supplement for those with a magnesium deficiency, indigestion or mild heartburn.
  • Magnesium orotate: This form of magnesium may promote better sleep and alleviate nausea, acid indigestion and heartburn.

Absorption rate

Chelated magnesium supplements are among the easiest to absorb. Common forms of chelated magnesium include magnesium malate, magnesium taurate and magnesium aspartate. Natural forms of magnesium, such as magnesium lactate or magnesium citrate are also easy to absorb.

Magnesium supplements that contain inorganic magnesium, such as magnesium oxide or magnesium sulfate, are difficult for the body to absorb. For example, the body can only absorb around 4 percent of magnesium oxide (taken orally), which could result in diarrhea as the body rejects the remainder.


High doses of magnesium from prescription medication or dietary supplements could lead to nausea, abdominal cramping or diarrhea. Magnesium supplements that are difficult to absorb, such as magnesium chloride, carbonate or oxide often have a laxative effect. When not taken as recommended, they could lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.

What to look for in quality magnesium supplements

Magnesium supplement purpose

Although the body needs magnesium, most people get enough of the mineral in their natural diet. Before you start taking a supplement, ask yourself why you need it and which form of magnesium is best for you.

Some magnesium supplements are best for sleep or relaxation, while others aid in muscle soreness and fatigue. Certain magnesium supplements are designed to alleviate headaches. Others are better for regulating blood pressure, decreasing the risk of chronic disease or increasing energy levels.

Another thing to consider, especially if you’re trying to boost your overall magnesium levels, is whether the body can easily absorb the magnesium supplement. Consult a physician to determine whether you need a supplement and why.


Magnesium supplements usually come in pill or tablet form, but not always. Some skincare products are formulated with magnesium. There’s also Epsom salt, which isn’t exactly a supplement, but can be beneficial.

Side effects

The most common side effect of taking a magnesium supplement is gastrointestinal discomfort, which is usually minor and temporary. The severity and duration of the side effect depends on things like the type of magnesium supplement and how much of it you take. Before you start taking a magnesium supplement, check its ingredients, instructions and intended effect.

How much you can expect to spend on magnesium supplements

Magnesium pills cost anywhere from $0.05-$0.25 each. Supplements that include other vitamins or are marketed towards enhanced sports performance and athletes usually cost more than daily magnesium supplements.

Magnesium supplements FAQ

Should I take a magnesium supplement?

A. If you are unable to absorb enough magnesium through your normal diet, you may need a magnesium supplement. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or Chron’s disease, you may also benefit from a magnesium supplement. Consult a doctor if you’re considering taking a supplement.

What are symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

A. Weakness, muscle spasm, heart palpitations, fatigue, migraines and cramps are all common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. However, these symptoms could also be the result of another nutrient deficiency, lack of sleep or a medical condition.

Will magnesium alleviate soreness?

A. When used in salt or flake form, such as in magnesium flakes or Epsom salt, magnesium can help with leg cramps, muscle soreness and mild pain from injuries. There are also topical creams that use magnesium to alleviate soreness.

What’s the best magnesium supplement to buy?

Top magnesium supplements

Dr. Mercola Magnesium L-Threonate

What you need to know: These L-Threonate magnesium capsules provide quick, easy absorption.

What you’ll love: They are premium quality magnesium supplements for bone development and detoxification, and may aid in memory, concentration and sleep quality.

What you should consider: The capsules are large and may be difficult to swallow.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top magnesium supplements for the money

Solaray Magnesium Glycinate

What you need to know: These vegan magnesium capsules come at an affordable price for those suffering from muscle soreness or body aches.

What you’ll love: They effectively alleviate leg cramps and muscle pain, strengthen bones and improve overall relaxation. They are easy-to-absorb capsules with no laxative effect.

What you should consider: The labeling is a little confusing, so read the fine print for proper dosage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Natural Vitality Calm Gummies

What you need to know: These raspberry-lemon flavored gummies are great for kids and adults who don’t like swallowing pills.

What you’ll love: They are the best magnesium supplements for relaxation and stress relief. They’re absorbable and gentle on the body.

What you should consider: The gummies are sticky and contain some sugar.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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