Demystifying Magnesium

We’ve probably gotten the sage advice to increase our magnesium and we would do well to take heed — it’s one of the most common mineral deficiencies (almost 50% of Americans aren’t getting enough through their diet). However, when you hit the aisles of your local supplement store, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options. Magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, the list goes on and on.

A good place to get started is to deliberately incorporate magnesium-rich foods into your diet. These include legumes, nuts, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, whole grains, and even a nice bit of dark chocolate! Then in addition to giving your diet an upgrade, you could consider magnesium supplements.

Magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are two of the more common magnesium supplements because they are the two most “bio-available” (most easily absorbed) forms of magnesium. But what is the difference, and which is best for you?

Both supplements can be used to treat the main symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, including fatigue, muscle cramps, and digestive cramps. They interact differently with the gastrointestinal system. Magnesium citrate has significant laxative purposes, as it increases the amount of fluid in the small intestine. Therefore, if you have constipation issues or are looking to increase gut motility, this may be the best fit.

Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, is best for people with more sensitive stomachs, who are looking to relieve muscle cramps, aches, headaches, and insomnia without affecting the balance of their gastrointestinal systems.

Originally from upstate New York, Clara moved to Brooklyn in the spring of 2017 to finish her undergraduate degree and pursue her passions for architectural restoration, music composition, and visual art. She works as a receptionist at Element. In her free time, Clara likes to explore new neighborhoods, go to museums, and play the piano.