Let’s talk about magical minerals: specifically the magic of magnesium.
While magnesium occurs naturally in the body and can be found in abundance in certain foods (hellooo, pumpkin seeds!). But research shows that up to half of the adults in the U.S. are deficient in this vital nutrient. That stinks because magnesium contributes some big benefits to your body that you simply can’t get elsewhere! I’ll unpack all that goodness below but suffice to say, it’s important. In fact, magnesium is near the top of my list of supplements that you may want to consider adding to your diet as a nutritional insurance policy. (As I mentioned there, please consult your health care provider as you consider adding supplements to your routine. My goal here, as always, is to make you an informed participant in that discussion.) The biggest follow-up question I received about that magnesium recommendation was this: What is the best magnesium supplement? I get it. There are a lot of options out there. In case you’re a cut-to-the-chase gal like me, I’ll get straight to it. In my opinion, the best magnesium supplement is magnesium glycinate. There are a lot of great brands to choose from, including my all-time favorite, Healthy Gut.
Why Is Magnesium Glycinate the Best Magnesium Supplement?
Magnesium comes in many different forms, including some less common variations. Magnesium oxide is most often used to address digestive issues. Magnesium threonate is believed to support cognitive function. Magnesium malate alleviates muscle pain and is often a top pick with athletes. However, the two most common forms of magnesium supplements are:
- Magnesium Citrate: This form has some powerful laxative properties, which means that it could be a good pick for you if you struggle with chronic constipation and you’re looking to create more regular bowel movements. But for adults who are already regular, magnesium citrate can be tough on the tummy and lead to loose stools (AKA the dreaded scoots).
- Magnesium Glycinate: On the other hand, magnesium glycinate (the form of magnesium that’s bound with glycine) is specifically known for its superior absorption and gentleness on the digestive system. Folks with sensitive stomachs, rejoice! Plus magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium which means that it’s easy for your body to access and utilize, helping you feel the benefits of your magnesium supplement sooner.
“Best” is obviously a subjective term and will vary based on your specific needs. However, for most people, I’d say the best magnesium supplement to start with would be magnesium glycinate.
What Are the Benefits of a Magnesium Supplement?
Magnesium is a superstar in your body. It’s an alkaline mineral found in every one of your cells and is involved in hundreds of different biochemical reactions, including metabolism and muscle repair. When you’re low on magnesium, issues like anxiety, insomnia, cramps, headaches, constipation and high blood pressure can follow. Teeth grinding is another common symptom. When you get enough magnesium, you unlock a wide array of calming benefits in your body:
- Better digestion and more regular bowel movements
- Improved bone health and strength
- Stronger muscles (including better heart health!)
- Increased relaxation in the body, making you more resilient under stress and helping with mood stabilization
- More restful sleep and reduced insomnia
- It supports proper use of glucose, helping to stabilize blood sugar
- It also helps stabilize your heart rate and has been shown to lower the worst form of LDL cholesterol
- Increased magnesium levels have even been linked to a reduction in cramps and a significant decrease in PMS symptoms
In summary, magnesium contributes to greater calm, stability and ease throughout your body. What’s not to love?
How Do I Pick the Best Magnesium Supplement for Me?
Since magnesium deficiency is so widespread, healthcare practitioners advise most patients to include a magnesium supplement in their daily routine (typically 300–600 milligrams before bed). As I mentioned previously, I believe the best magnesium supplement to start with is magnesium glycinate since it’s more easily absorbed and gentler on the stomach. In terms of which brand to choose, always shop with a reputable company whose supplements are formulated by medical experts, contain no added fillers and are backed by verified customer reviews. The brand I use myself, Healthy Gut, passes all of those tests. I also appreciate that they have higher levels of magnesium than usual doses, per capsule (180 mg versus the typical 120 mg). That means that you can get your recommended daily magnesium support with fewer pills. Always a win!
What Else Can I Do to Increase My Magnesium Levels?
In addition to a daily supplement, you can up your magnesium levels by adding a few magnesium-rich ingredients to your plate. Pumpkin seeds pack a whopping 150mg of magnesium per ounce! Spinach and other dark leafy greens, plus nuts, seeds, avocados and dark chocolate are all good sources of magnesium. A big benefit of going this route is there are no known health risks associated with increased magnesium consumption via food. Your kidneys naturally dispose of excess dietary magnesium via your urine. That means there’s no downside, my friend, so get munching! Here are a few of my favorite magnesium-rich recipes to whet your appetite:
- Roasted Squash Soup with Almond Cream & Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
- 1-Pot Lentil, Potato and Spinach Soup
- Raw Vegan Lime Cheesecake
- Cashew Chocolate Pumpkin Spread
What Other Magnesium Questions Do You Have?
I hope this article has helped answer some of your biggest questions so that you can feel confident adding a magnesium supplement to your routine—and unlock all the big benefits of increased magnesium support. Now, I’d love your feedback in the comments. Your turn: What info in this article helped you most? Will you add a magnesium supplement to your routine (or do you already use one)? And are there any other questions that my team can help you answer? Love & magical minerals,