Magnesium supplements can help you get enough magnesium in your diet when food just doesn’t cut it. Magnesium is essential for all sorts of things, including keeping your heart healthy and producing testosterone. It is no surprise that magnesium supplements are associated with an array of benefits.
Many of these benefits are backed with scientific research showing just how essential magnesium is. These supplements are also incredibly safe when taken as directed, so there are few downsides to getting a bit of extra magnesium in your diet.
For those looking to get the most benefit out of these supplements, choosing a high-quality option is essential. Check out our ratings for some of the most popular magnesium supplements below. You may be surprised by how some of them ranked!
1. LiveWell MagWell Magnesium And Zinc
This magnesium supplement by LiveWell is by far the best option out there. It contains three different types of magnesium to maximize the absorption, ensuring your body is using the magnesium you’re taking.
Furthermore, it also includes zinc and vitamin D3, which do a lot of the same things magnesium does. This supplement is also one of the cleanest options out there. It is free of GMOs, soy, gluten, dairy, shellfish, sugar, and fillers.
It is also third-party tested to ensure quality and purity. Because of these features, it is FitBug’s #1 magnesium supplement.
2. Essential Elements Magnesium Plus Zinc With D3
Like most high-quality options, the Essential Elements magnesium supplement includes three different forms of magnesium, as well as zinc and vitamin D3. These extra ingredients help with bioavailability. It is made in the USA and is third-party tested to ensure purity and safety.
All of these features helped it land at #2 on our list.
3. Nuzena Magnesium Pure +
Though this one didn’t make it to the top of our list, it is another reliable option. It comes with 400mg of magnesium per serving, which is far more than most other options. Furthermore, their customer service is second-to-none, and they pay very close attention to product quality.
We loved the level of safety they put into each supplement. You can read real-time quality reports, see quality certifications, and they have registered dieticians on staff.
4. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium
The magnesium in this supplement is chelated, which makes it absorb more comfortably into the body. This ensures that your body uses the magnesium you’re consuming. Furthermore, your body tends to react better to this sort of magnesium, so you’ll have fewer side effects.
Furthermore, this supplement is not expensive in the least. It is quite a bit cheaper than most of the other supplements on the market.
5. Magnesium by Nature’s Bounty
Nature’s Bounty is a pretty popular supplement company. While their magnesium supplement wasn’t our favorite, it was an okay choice. It contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and the pills are designed to be easy to swallow.
Each of their supplements is run through a variety of quality tests to ensure safety and potency. They only use suppliers for their ingredients that meet GMP supplement standards as well.
6. Nobi Nutrition High Absorption Magnesium Complex
Nobi Nutrition’s magnesium supplement includes 500 mg of magnesium, which is far higher than most other supplements on the market. You may think this content would make the supplement rate higher. However, most people do not need this much magnesium.
The pills are designed to be easy to swallow, and the vegan capsules should not cause any gastrointestinal effects.
7. Sundown Magnesium
This supplement by Sundown is very clean. It contains no gluten, dairy, or artificial flavors. They are also non-GMO. They believe so heavily in the quality of their supplements that they offer a quality guarantee.
With 500 mg of magnesium per serving, this supplement contains more than most of the competition.
8. Natural Vitality Calm #1
This magnesium supplement is one of the few powders on the market. It is advertised as an anti-stress drink, though we will get behind the science of magnesium and stress later in this article. It is easy to prepare, and they recommend starting with a small dose and slowly working your way up.
This supplement has won multiple awards, including the 2016 Clean Eating Choice Award.
9. Magnesium Glycinate 400
For those concerned with clean eating, this supplement isn’t a bad choice. It is free of soy and dairy on top of being vegan. It is also GMO-free and gluten-free. It is easy to digest thanks to the ActivTab technology the company utilizes.
The magnesium used in this supplement is chelated and bioavailable.
10. Triple Calm Magnesium
This supplement includes magnesium, taurate, and glycinate. It is designed to restore healthy magnesium levels and be easy on your stomach, unlike some of the other magnesium blends out there.
This supplement is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. If you’re concerned about healthy eating, this is a reliable option you may want to consider trying.
How We Ranked
On the surface, a magnesium supplement may look similar, but there are many differences between them. Firstly, different magnesium supplements include different types of magnesium. While all magnesium does the same thing inside your body, the absorption rate varies depending on the type. Many will include multiple types of magnesium to improve overall efficiency. These are the best options out there and were rated higher in our ranking system.
Secondly, some magnesium supplements include extra vitamins and minerals, which are designed to help the magnesium work as well as possible. When the extra ingredients were backed by science, we rated these supplements higher. Our top pick, for example, including zinc and vitamin D3.
Thirdly, we preferred magnesium supplements that were free of GMOs and fillers. We were looking for supplements that only included magnesium and other helpful vitamins and minerals. Those that included ingredients that don’t benefit our health, like artificial sweeteners, were rated lower.
Fourthly, we considered the safety and quality standards and tests each supplement had to run through. The FDA does not regulate supplements. Because of this, it is up to each company to test their supplement for safety and potency.
Sadly, many supplements do not contain the ingredients and amounts of vitamins as they claim. This is called label fraud and is sadly very common. To ensure that each supplement contains what it should contain, we rated those that underwent third-party testing higher than those that didn’t. This extra testing helps to ensure that each supplement contains the correct amount of magnesium.
GMP-facilities must uphold specific safety standards. Because of this, we rated facilities higher if they were GMP-certified.
Finally, we also considered the cost of each magnesium supplement. Most magnesium supplements are not very expensive in the least. However, there are a few that are relatively expensive when compared to other options. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if the supplement is of higher quality than the competition.
However, if the supplement costs more but doesn’t provide any extra benefits, we rated it lower than the less expensive options. No one wants to spend more money on a supplement than they need to.
Magnesium supplements may boost exercise performance. Magnesium may play a role in how you perform during exercise. When you exercise, your magnesium needs to go up. For example, according to one scientific study, your magnesium needs to go up by 10-20% when you exercise when compared to when you’re resting (1).
This is because magnesium plays a role in moving blood sugar into your muscles, which makes them work harder. It also removes lactate from your muscles. Lactate is a by-product of exercising and can cause fatigue (2).
This isn’t just theoretical. Studies have shown that supplementing with magnesium can boost exercise performance for athletes. Older adults and those with chronic diseases also appear to be positively affected by a magnesium supplement (3, 4, 5).
One particular study found that volleyball players who took 250 mg of magnesium every day saw improvements in their jumping and arm movements (6). A similar study found that athletes who took magnesium over four weeks performed better during a triathlon. These athletes also experienced reductions in their insulin levels and stress hormones (7).
Magnesium supplements may have a benefit for those with type 2 diabetes. Many studies show improvements among those with type 2 diabetes when they take a magnesium supplement.
One specific study looked at a group of 4,000 people. Over the 20 years the study was active, it was found that those with the highest magnesium levels were 47% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes (8).
A similar study found that 48% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have lower-than-average levels of magnesium in their bloodstream (9). Yet another study showed correcting low magnesium with a magnesium supplement improved blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes (10).
With that said, it does appear that those with normal magnesium levels do not benefit from a supplement. Instead, supplementation likely only improves type 2 diabetes in those who have lower levels (11).
Magnesium supplements have anti-inflammatory benefits. If you have low magnesium levels, you may also have chronic inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to all sorts of adverse health consequences and diseases. For example, inflammation is one of the risk factors for aging, obesity, and chronic disease (12, 13).
One study looked at the magnesium blood levels of children, as well as a few other factors like blood sugar levels and insulin. They found that those who had low magnesium levels also had the highest blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels (14).
Magnesium supplements may improve PMS symptoms. Most women of childbearing age who are not pregnant experience PMS symptoms of some sort. Some of these symptoms include things like water retention, abdominal cramps, and irritability.
Magnesium has been shown to improve these symptoms in a variety of studies. In particular, it was shown to improve mood and reduce water retention, though the reduction of other symptoms is likely possible as well (17).
Magnesium supplements may improve the symptoms of depression. Magnesium has long been known to play a role in brain function and mood. Decreased levels have been closely linked to depression and depression symptoms (18).
One analysis looked at a variety of studies on magnesium and depression. In total, it looked at 8,800 different people, all of which were under the age of 65. This analysis found that those with lower magnesium levels than the others tested had a 22% higher likelihood of developing depression (19).
Because magnesium is closely related to depression, many experts have argued that the low magnesium content of the modern Western diet is partially to blame for the increase of depression and mental illness (20).
One particular study found that those who took 450 mg of magnesium a day had much lower blood sugar overall (26).
With that said, it appears that magnesium supplements only help those with low levels of magnesium in their bloodstream. If you have normal magnesium levels already, you probably will not benefit from a magnesium supplement.
Magnesium supplements may help prevent migraines. In some cases, magnesium may also help prevent migraines and headaches. Researchers believe that magnesium deficiency may be more common in those with migraines (27).
Magnesium supplementation has been found to treat and lessen migraines in quite a few studies. However, the research into this area is relatively new, and more is needed to figure out the exact dosage required (28). In one particular study, supplementing with one gram of magnesium seemed to end a migraine attack quicker and more effectively than current medications available (29).
Magnesium supplements provide the building blocks your body needs for hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function correctly. It is an essential mineral that is required for hundreds of bodily functions. Without it, your cells just can’t do what they’re supposed to.
As you might expect, a magnesium supplement may help improve many different functions throughout your body because of this. Our scientific research is only just beginning to understand the full reach of magnesium in our body (30).
Magnesium supplements may cause some minor side effects in some cases. Like many different supplements, magnesium supplementation is associated with some gut-related problems, like diarrhea and nausea. This is the case with many supplements, though, and is not unique to magnesium (31).
Taking a smaller dosage or splitting your dosage up into multiple parts may help reduce these symptoms. Eating and drinking plenty of water with your supplement may also be helpful.
Magnesium supplements may cause significant problems for those with kidney issues. Studies have shown that those with kidney problems are more likely to experience adverse reactions to supplements. These reactions do vary quite a bit, however (32).
You should speak to your doctor before starting a magnesium supplement if you have kidney problems. They may help you choose an option to lessen the effect on your kidneys and give you some tips for managing the side effects.
Magnesium supplements aren’t useful for everyone. Unless you’re deficient in magnesium, you likely won’t benefit from a supplement. While magnesium is associated with a plethora of positive effects, most of these benefits are only apparent in those who were previously deficient in magnesium.
The evidence for magnesium supplements benefiting those who aren’t deficient is not very strong currently. The only way to tell for sure is to have your levels tested by a doctor. Then, they may suggest that you take a magnesium supplement.
Still, magnesium supplements are generally considered to be very safe. Because of this, there may be little reason for you not to take a supplement.
The recommended magnesium dosage is between 200 to 400 mg. This level will provide you with around 100% of your daily recommended intake. However, as you may have noticed, some studies used higher dosages.
Currently, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable limit to 350 mg a day. Anything below this level is unlikely to result in digestive side effects. If you are particularly sensitive to magnesium, it is probably in your best bet to stay below this recommended dosage (33).
Those who are deficient may need a higher dose to “catch up.” However, higher doses are more likely to create side effects. Because of this, you should take as low of a dose as possible for you to see positive benefits. You don’t want to take more than you need, as this may cause digestive issues.
The type of magnesium is also essential. There are many different forms of magnesium out there. Your body can absorb some better than others. Your genes play a part, as does whether or not you’re currently deficient. Because of that, it is hard to predict which types of magnesium are best for you.
Many supplements include multiple types of magnesium because of this. You just don’t know which one you will absorb the best.
What does a magnesium supplement do?
Magnesium is required for many different functions in your body. It is necessary for your muscles to function, as well as your brain. Your bones also contain a lot of magnesium. Sadly, the modern Western diet is often low in magnesium, so many people may find themselves with lower than optimal levels. Because of that, a magnesium supplement may help bring your magnesium levels back to a healthy level.
Low magnesium levels can cause higher levels of insulin, more headaches, and even depression. It is essential to keep your magnesium levels healthy to avoid these come health problems.
Which magnesium supplement is best?
There are many different magnesium supplements out there. Out of those we reviewed, we preferred the LiveWell MagWell Magnesium And Zinc. This supplement contains various kinds of magnesium to improve absorption, as well as zinc to improve the efficiency of the included magnesium.
This supplement is also free of soy, gluten, dairy, preservatives, and sugar. In other words, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
What are the symptoms of low magnesium?
A magnesium deficiency can show itself in a variety of ways. Some people may have higher levels of insulin, while others may have more headaches. Still, others may experience mood problems, which can contribute to depression and other similar mental illnesses.
For those with deficient levels, numbness, tingling, and muscle cramps may develop. This is because your muscles need magnesium to function. Without it, you may experience problems with your muscle function. Nausea, vomiting, weakness, and decreased appetite are also somewhat common when your levels get extremely low.
Should I take a magnesium supplement?
A magnesium supplement will likely not benefit you unless you’re deficient. However, magnesium deficiency is difficult to notice because the symptoms can be so varied and are often interpreted as other illnesses and disorders. For example, some people diagnosed with depression may just have a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium supplements are very safe. Because of this, you may consider taking one even if you aren’t sure whether or not you’re deficient.
Is it okay to take magnesium supplements every day?
Yes. Most supplements are designed to be taken every day. You should follow the dosage guideline son whatever supplement you purchase. Nearly all of them will tell you to take the supplement every day.
This is because magnesium needs to build up in your bloodstream for it to be useful. You don’t need just a single dosage of magnesium, but a small amount of magnesium each day.
What medications should you not take with magnesium supplements?
There are a few medications you should avoid taking with magnesium. Some of these medications include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), and isradipine (DynaCirc). This is because these medications lower your blood pressure, and magnesium also affects your blood pressure. Therefore, taking both together may cause your blood pressure levels to get dangerously low.
If you’re on medication, always talk to your doctor before starting a supplement to ensure that it is safe.
Can you get enough magnesium from your diet?
Yes. It is possible to get enough magnesium in your diet. However, the current Western diet is often deficient in magnesium, which is the main reason so many people are deficient today. It isn’t that you can’t get enough magnesium from food. But the food western cultures tend to eat is not very high in magnesium.
How long does it take for a magnesium supplement to work?
It depends on how deficient you are, as well as whether or not you’re deficient in the first place. Some people may notice health benefits in the first few weeks of taking the supplement. Others may not notice benefits for closer to six months. For those with significant deficiencies, it can take a while for your blood levels to return to normal.
Don’t stop your supplement just because you don’t notice any benefits right away. It may take it a few months to start working.
Do magnesium supplements make you gain weight?
Magnesium can affect your insulin levels. However, it is unlikely that it can affect your weight besides that. Out of all the studies we have regarding magnesium, not one mentions weight gain amongst its participants. This doesn’t mean that it absolutely can’t happen, but the chances are relatively low.
If you’ve started a magnesium supplement and gained weight, something else is likely causing it – not the magnesium supplement.
What are the side effects of magnesium supplements?
Magnesium supplements are incredibly safe. There are not many profound effects associated with that at all. If anything, most magnesium supplements are associated with a small amount of stomach nausea or diarrhea. This is true of nearly all supplements, though, and isn’t necessarily because of the magnesium. Some people’s digestive system just doesn’t react well to taking large amounts of vitamins or minerals at a time.
The amount of stomach upset you fee can vary quite a bit. It mostly depends on your sensitivity to supplements. If you’ve reacted badly to other supplements, you’re more likely to react badly to magnesium. The type of magnesium affects too. Some are more likely to cause stomach problems than others.
These gastrointestinal symptoms are usually greatly diminished by taking the supplement with some sort of food, as well as drinking plenty of water with it. You can also break your dosage up into multiple times a day if symptoms persist.
Should you take magnesium at night or in the morning?
Truthfully, it doesn’t matter. Magnesium can be taken during any time of day. None of the studies we looked at mentioned timing as an essential consideration when taking magnesium. Because of this, likely, the timing of your magnesium supplement does not matter much at all. We recommend taking them whenever it is most convenient for you.
To prevent stomach upset, it is usually best to take your supplement after you’ve already eaten for the day. Taking the supplement on an empty stomach may cause nausea.
Is magnesium adequate for anxiety?
Magnesium is critical in the function of our brain. Because of this, magnesium may be suitable for certain mental illnesses. There is a lot of evidence that magnesium is adequate for depression, as this is where most of the research has been to date. However, there is some evidence that magnesium is adequate for anxiety as well.
This wouldn’t necessarily surprise us either. Magnesium is required for lots of chemical reactions in our brains. If you’re low on magnesium, it only makes sense that some of these reactions may not work correctly, which may present itself as anxiety.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone with anxiety will benefit from magnesium. It is likely that magnesium supplementation only positively affects those who are currently deficient. Extra magnesium doesn’t help you very much, but keeping your magnesium blood levels at an average, healthy level does.
Does magnesium make you tired?
Magnesium may cause you to feel more relaxed and calmer, which can make you sleepy. However, this is not the case with everyone. Some people do not notice a difference in their relaxation levels when taking magnesium. It likely depends on what your current magnesium blood levels are and what symptoms you were having due to low magnesium levels.
If low magnesium is causing you to feel anxious, for example, you’ll probably notice a difference when taking a magnesium supplement. However, magnesium does not make you feel sleepy outright.
Can you make magnesium with vitamin D?
Yes, your body can create missing magnesium with other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D. However, many people in the west are also low on vitamin D, which means your body will not have enough to create magnesium. Many magnesium supplements also include vitamin D and zinc to help your body make more magnesium and adequately utilize the magnesium included in the supplement.
Magnesium supplements can help with your brain and muscle function, improving the symptoms of depression and your workouts. Magnesium is also used to control your insulin levels and fight inflammation, preventing an array of illnesses. Because it is used in so many parts of your body, magnesium is essential to your overall wellbeing. It can even help with PMS symptoms!
For FitBug’s #1 magnesium supplement, click here.