Magnesium Glycinate Vs Citrate – There is a wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market today. Each one has its own set of pros and cons, making it hard to decide which supplement is right for you.
But what is the difference between Mg glycinate and Mg citrate? What are they used for? And should you be taking them at all?
Let’s take a look at their differences and see if there are any benefits to choosing either over the other.
- What Does Magnesium Do?
- Why Is Magnesium Important?
- Types Of Magnesium
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Why Do You Need Magnesium Supplements?
- How Much Should I Take?
- Benefits of Magnesium
- What Are Magnesium Glycinate & Magnesium Citrate – Which Is Best?
- Side Effects Of Magnesium Supplements
- Final Thoughts
- Related Post
What Does Magnesium Do?
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions within our bodies.
It helps regulate blood pressure, heart rate, muscle function, bone health, and much more.
The body requires magnesium to produce energy from food, and it also uses magnesium to build bones and muscles.
In addition, it has been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and even boost mood.
But did you know that magnesium deficiency is common in today’s society?
This is a problem that appears to be on the rise, and which can cause serious long-term health issues.
To combat this, supplements and alternative forms of magnesium are becoming increasingly popular, but which is best for you, and what are the pros and cons?
To help, we have put together everything you need to know about magnesium glycinate versus citrate, to help you make a smart, informed decision.
Why Is Magnesium Important?
Magnesium is an important mineral and electrolyte that humans must obtain from a balanced diet, and the human body requires high amounts of magnesium every day in order to stay healthy and perform optimally.
It has over 300 different functions in the body and is a crucial part of hormonal balance, playing a key role in a number of functions within the body; for example, magnesium has been shown to affect thyroid function, estrogen detoxification, blood sugar, stress hormone levels, and more.
Women with PCOS are 19 times more likely than others to be deficient in magnesium, and this means that they lose one of the main benefits of magnesium: the regulation of glucose and insulin.
If you don’t get enough magnesium as part of your diet, you are at risk of your body becoming resistant to insulin, which can lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Types Of Magnesium
Magnesium comes in a number of forms when it comes to supplements, and the most common include:
Magnesium glycinate (MgG) is a compound made up of magnesium (Mg) and a particular amino acid known as glycine (Gly), that has been shown to be tolerated by most people and causes few side effects.
It is often a top choice if you need high doses of magnesium, or if you experience unwanted side effects after taking magnesium in other forms.
Magnesium lactate is a compound that is made up of magnesium (Mg) and lactic acid (LA) which is easily absorbed by the gut.
Magnesium malate is a compound comprised of magnesium (Mg) and malic acid (CH3COOH).
It has been shown to be extremely bioavailable, and well tolerated by most users, as well as being amongst the fastest sources of magnesium to absorb, though more information is needed on this.
Magnesium citrate is one of the most common forms of magnesium and has been claimed to be one of the easiest options to be absorbed by the body, when it is compared to other forms, making it a popular choice in supplements.
There can, however, be an increased risk of unpleasant and unwanted side effects for the digestive system, such as diarrhea.
Magnesium chloride is a common type of salt often found in topical magnesium products such as bath salts and specialist magnesium oils.
It is often touted as a popular alternative method to increase the amount of magnesium in the body, though it is unclear whether the skin can absorb much magnesium through this method.
You can also ingest magnesium chloride orally, as it can be easily absorbed by the intestines, but there can be some unwanted side effects to the digestive system.
Magnesium sulfate is a type of magnesium that is found in the popular Epsom salts though, like magnesium chloride, more research is required to determine the amount of magnesium that can be absorbed through soaks and baths.
Magnesium oxide may be used by doctors as a treatment for constipation or for cases of indigestion or heartburn.
As a result, it is a key ingredient in some dietary supplements. This is one of the hardest forms for the body to absorb, however.
Magnesium taurate is a compound of taurine (Tau), and magnesium (Mg).
Limited research so far suggests that it may be useful in reducing blood pressure and protecting the heart after it was shown to reduce heart disease and high blood pressure in rats who had consumed and been poisoned by a toxin.
Researchers posited that these results show the potential of magnesium taurocholate as a cardioprotection nutritional supplement.
Until deeper research has been done, however, individuals should avoid the use of supplements containing magnesium as treatments for cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.
Of all of these types of supplements, magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate tend to be the most popular options.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium each day.
And according to the Mayo Clinic, magnesium deficiency is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, many people have low levels of magnesium in their bloodstream despite adequate dietary intake.
This happens because our kidneys are unable to efficiently remove excess magnesium for proper storage or use by other parts of the body.
The first thing to establish is whether you are deficient in magnesium, and therefore whether supplements are necessary. Some of the key symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle cramps
- Weight gain
- Concentration problems
- Irregular menstrual cycles in women, as well as vaginal dryness
- High Blood Pressure
- Low energy levels
- Heart Palpitations
- Stiff muscles
- Blurred vision
- Impotence & ED
- Digestive issues
- Chronic Pain and Inflammation
- Skin rashes
Why Do You Need Magnesium Supplements?
Taking magnesium may provide a number of beneficial effects for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
The most important thing to consider when deciding whether or not to consume magnesium would be to ensure that you aren’t deficient in the first place.
According to the NIH, around 2/3rds of the U.S. population do not get sufficient amounts of magnesium through diet alone.
If you already eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, then chances are good that you meet the recommended amount of magnesium every day.
However, some foods such as nuts and seeds, bread products, dairy, beans, grains, meat, and fish are higher in magnesium than others.
Because magnesium can be easily lost through sweat, urine, and stool, and as a result of poor intestinal absorption, there’s no way to predict how much magnesium you might actually be consuming.
Supplements, therefore, can be very useful in helping you to stay healthy and balanced.
How Much Should I Take?
While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact dose, based on current research findings, taking 200 mg per day should be considered perfectly safe.
However, if you are currently experiencing any symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, then it could be worth increasing your dosage to 400 mg per day.
Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium offers a number of crucial benefits to the body, and these include:
- Improving mental alertness and focus
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Supporting nerve and muscle functions, including during exercise
- Promoting healthy skin and hair
- Keeping joints healthy
- Helping with digestive problems
What Are Magnesium Glycinate & Magnesium Citrate – Which Is Best?
Magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are two types of supplements that are popular for topping up magnesium levels, and both have their own pros and cons, as we shall explore below:
Magnesium citrate (MgCitrate) is one of our top picks for magnesium supplementation.
Magnesium is combined with citric acid, which is an organic compound. Magnesium citrate is cheaper and has a better absorption rate than magnesium oxide.
- Magnesium citrate can be a good option for people who suffer from constipation because it has a mild laxative effect.
- Magnesium citrate might also be recommended for preventing migraines.
This supplement works by drawing water into your intestines to make your stools softer and easier to pass through.
Unlike magnesium oxide, which can cause diarrhea, the laxative effect of senna is much more tolerable than that of magnesium oxide.
Another popular option for magnesium supplements is magnesium glycinate.
Magnesium glycinate, which may also be referred to as magnesium bisglycinate, is well tolerated and absorbed by the body.
Here, the magnesium is combined into a compound called glycinate.
Glycine helps regulate the release of many neurotransmitters, including GABA, which promotes feelings of calm.
- Glycine may help improve sleep quality and promote healthy circadian rhythms.
- Magnesium has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and magnesium glycinate may be used to improve blood sugar levels or to help reduce overall body inflammation.
- Magnesium glycine is also less likely to have a laxative effect on the body than magnesium citrate.
In addition, this form of magnesium is bound to an amino acid known as glycine.
Glycine is an essential amino acid that is found naturally in foods like eggs, milk, meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
It is also found in supplements.
Glycine is considered a calming amino acid because it helps to relax muscles and improve sleep quality, and these benefits may also be enjoyed from magnesium glycine.
Side Effects Of Magnesium Supplements
As mentioned above, there are several different forms of magnesium supplements on offer, including magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrates and, on the whole, these tend to be safe when taken in the correct doses, and according to the instructions.
However, as with any supplement, there is a risk of unwanted side effects.
One possible downside of using a magnesium supplement is that it will usually contain some form of aluminum salt.
Although most magnesium products don’t actually contain aluminum salts themselves, they often use these compounds in order to give them a neutral pH level.
An alkaline environment is important in terms of helping the body absorb magnesium more efficiently.
If you suspect that you are suffering from magnesium toxicity – which is rare but not impossible – then you should take your supplement precautions seriously.
If you start to feel dizzy after eating foods containing magnesium, then you should consult a doctor right away so that medical attention can be given.
Even though it is rare, magnesium toxicity could lead you to experience severe headaches, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, and other serious health problems.
If you have been taking magnesium supplements and start to feel unwell, or suspect that you may be experiencing magnesium toxicity, it is crucial that you seek medical advice as soon as possible, and stop taking the supplements immediately.
Like all vitamins and minerals, magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining optimal health and offers a number of benefits to our bodies, as well as our emotions and mood.
As with any supplement or addition to your diet, however, balance is key, and it is wise to only consume moderate amounts at regular intervals throughout the day – preferably from your diet as much as possible.
The ideal way to ensure adequate levels of magnesium is to eat plenty of nutrient-rich food sources such as leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds, dairy foods, and dark chocolate.
Although we recommend consuming magnesium via a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods over extra supplementation, it is still best to discuss this decision with a qualified nutritionist before beginning any kind of dietary regime.
You may wish to consider starting out with small increases in daily dosage until you find what works best for your specific needs and goals.
Ultimately, by ensuring that your body is getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs, through a combination of diet and additional supplements, you can help to ensure that you are strong, healthy, and ready to take on any challenges that life has to throw at you!