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Magnesium Types: What Magnesium Do You Need?


Magnesium Types: What Magnesium Do You Need?


Magnesium Types and Sources

There are a lot of different magnesium types. Seriously…….SO. MANY. It can be confusing for many consumers because certain forms of magnesium can be beneficial for different ailments. We find magnesium in many different places. Some of the most bioavailable sources are from natural waters, such as our oceans and rivers. Ever heard of the Dead Sea? Yeah, CRAZY amounts of magnesium in there! We also find magnesium in the soil and in our food. Top magnesium sources for food:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Greens {Spinach, Kale, Collards, etc}
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Nuts + Seeds

Magnesium is an important nutrient to us because it’s a cofactor in over 300 reactions inside the body. We are using it left and right – all. the. time.

ATP is required universally for glucose utilization, synthesis of fat, proteins, nucleic acids and coenzymes, muscle contraction, methyl group transfer and many other processes, and interference with magnesium metabolism also influences these functions. Thus, one should keep in mind that ATP metabolism, muscle contraction and relaxation, normal neurological function and release of neurotransmitters are all magnesium dependent.

Clinical Kidney Journal

Over half of our magnesium found in our body is inside the bone. Magnesium is also found inside the cell. If you become deficient in magnesium, you’ll start to see nervous disorders, cardiac issues, neuromuscular problems, and more.

Magnesium Types and Depletion

Outside of diet, another magnesium drainer is STRESS. This is why I make sure to ask clients about stress. Magnesium is a cofactor to many enzyme functions in the adrenals, as that is where our stress hormone is released from! When our stress hormone, cortisol, is higher, our body releases more magnesium and creates a magnesium shift from the intracellular space to the extracellular space to block the negative effects of cortisol. So, not only do the adrenals need MORE magnesium to function, but our body releases MORE to blunt the negative effects. You can see how deficiency can become common because we don’t live in a society that is “stress free”.

Another component of magnesium deficiencies are medications. About every prescription medication somehow influences and can deplete an array of nutrients. These medications below affect magnesium absorption and/or causes our body to become depleted in it:

  • Protein Pump Inhibitors {Acid Blockers}
  • Antibiotics
  • Diuretics
  • Steriods
  • Birth Control / HRT

There may be more, but I just wanted to cover the main medications! Now, you might be thinking – which magnesium do I take?! Because if you’ve looked in Amazon or throughout health food stores, you’re like “there are a million types of magnesium!”

Which One Is Right For You?

Magnesium must be bound to something. It can’t be by itself – hence ALL the choices. These are not listed in any particular order. 🙂

  • Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium citrate is actually what I have in my multivitamin. It has good bioavailability, but it also helps keep you regular with bowel movements, which is awesome and MUCH NEEDED. As, we need to be going everyday. Magnesium is bound with citric acid in this case. So, if you need to upgrade your bowels and struggle with constipation, try magnesium citrate!
  • Magnesium Glycinate – Magnesium is bound with glycine in this case. This amino acid is fantastic, as it’s an anti-inflammatory, but plays a role in relaxation. Glycine is part of the inhibitory neurotransmitters that bind to ion channels to calm down the neurons in your central nervous system. This is an ideal magnesium for dealing with stress, wanting to improve sleep, anxiety, and overall relaxation.
  • Magnesium Chelate – This is a broad term for magnesium being bound to amino acids. High bioavailability with this one. This is usually magnesium combined with glycine (like above), but can be other amino acids. An overall good one for improving magnesium levels!
  • Magnesium Malate – Magnesium is bound with malic acid here. Malic acid is naturally found in foods, but plays an important role in ATP production, aka creating energy! Magnesium malate is recommended for people who are dealing with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other mitochondria issues.
  • Magnesium Chloride / Sulfate – These forms of magnesium you might be familiar with because they are more in topical items for magnesium – lotions, epsom salts, oils, etc. These forms are great for easing muscle tension and soreness and overall relaxation. I do like to combine internal usage of magnesium, with topical use of magnesium. I wouldn’t completely rely on topical use of magnesium because with magnesium chloride and sulfate it’s hard to pass the lipophilic layer of the skin. Sweat glands and hair follicles is where magnesium can bypass the outer skin layer, but since that is such a small percentage of what is on the skin – it’s hard to recommend only transdermal magnesium.
  • Magnesium Threonate – This magnesium is still pretty new to the market. Threonate has been studied to be able to be permeate into the brain and enhance a person’s ability of learning and memory. So, if you need a brain boost, try out this type of magnesium! It also has great bioavailability!
  • Magnesium TaurineThis type of magnesium is recommended for people who struggle with heart issues and/or diabetes. Make sure you check out other superfoods that are fantastic for heart health too!
  • There may be many other types of magnesium on the market, but these are the top that come to mind and what I see most! Do you know of another one and want an opinion on it? Comment below!

*There is also magnesium oxide, which I don’t recommend in general because of it’s poor bioavailability!

If you’re ready to decipher what exact magnesium types you need to be focusing on and ready to take a holistic approach to your health, book your free exploration call with one of our nutritionists + dietitians! We are ready to help you take the guesswork out of nutrition and find out what works FOR YOU!

Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).