Magnesium is the one mineral that most of us don’t get enough of. Studies show that for example up to 75% of Americans don’t meet the daily recommended intake for magnesium. Why might that be? Magnesium deficiency is common when we look at the SAD (the Standard American Diet) and the way most Western people eat.

 

Calcium, although extremely important in the body, when in excess contributes to a magnesium deficiency. In common household foods like fortified orange juice, cheese, yogurt, and dairy, the ratio of calcium to magnesium is way off, leading to high calcium levels and low magnesium levels. And to add to that, processed foods, alcohol, coffee, sugar, stress, and prescription medication all further exacerbate the problem.

 

So why is magnesium so important?

 

If you’ve ever experienced muscle twitches or cramps, it’s probably a sign you’re a little low on magnesium. But it’s not just muscles that magnesium is important for. Here’s what else is helps with:

 

Boosts communication between your brain and body. Magnesium acts as a gatekeeper for NMDA receptors found on nerve cells that help with brain development, memory, and learning.

 

Helps keep a healthy heartbeat. Magnesium and calcium work in tandem to keep your heart pumping. Calcium is needed for the heart to contract, while magnesium is needed for it to relax. This movement keeps the heart beating at a healthy and regular pace.

 

Regulates muscle contractions. As we said before, there needs to be a proper ratio of calcium to magnesium for your muscles to contract and relax properly. Adequate levels of magnesium ensure that calcium is displaced in the muscles after contraction and they are able to properly relax.

 

Powers our enzymes. Magnesium is crucial to more than 300 enzyme-driven reactions in the body. It allows enzymes to function, which enables the majority of the body’s chemical reactions to take place including glucose and fat breakdown, production of proteins enzymes and antioxidants, creation of DNA and RNA, and regulation of cholesterol production.

 

Improves sleep. Due to it’s muscle relaxing effects, magnesium appears to help relax both the mind and body allowing for a deeper more restful and restorative sleep.

 

But choosing which magnesium supplement to buy isn’t always the easiest choice. Citrate, glycinate, chloride, sulfate — how do you know which is right for you? 

 

  1. Malate — A great choice for energy and muscle soreness, the malate form contains malic acid, which helps cells create and use energy. It also helps to soothe muscle pain by relaxing areas of tension. With magnesium malate, you’ll likely notice a significant difference in how you feel.
  2. Citrate — More absorbable than some other forms, magnesium citrate is a great choice for promoting mental and muscle relaxation, as well as reducing frequency of muscle cramps. Beware of the dosage, as too much can have a laxative effect.
  3. Glycinate — Magnesium glycinate is one of the most absorbable forms out there. Because the magnesium is bound to glycine, this form has a calming effect on NMDA receptors and is great if you’re looking to improve sleep quality.
  4. Sulfate — Magnesium sulfate is usually found in the form of epsom salts. Added to a hot bath, they’re great to relax tight and sore muscles and help draw out toxins through the skin. Even though very little is absorbed through the skin, it’s still a great way to help decrease your stress load.
  5. Chloride — Typically containing only 10-15% magnesium, the chloride form isn’t ideal for increasing your magnesium levels. However, it’s great for chelating minerals like iron and heavy metals which makes it ideal for detoxing.

 

Magnesium glycinate and citrate are the best forms to look for when purchasing a magnesium supplement. That said, magnesium glycinate can be on the higher end of the price scale. In the interest of quality and affordability, we’ve narrowed it down to 3 great brands that offer high quality magnesium citrate at an affordable price.

 

NOW Magnesium Citrate, 200mg – 250 tablets

 

NOW Foods makes a great magnesium citrate supplement with a highly affordable pricetag. Offering 200mg per capsule, this product is free from dairy, egg, and soy, is non-GMO, and fully reacted, meaning there are no by-products.

 

Whether you’re looking to boost your energy levels, relieve constipation, soothe sore muscles, or help your digestion, NOW Magnesium Citrate is a great product at a great cost. However, if you’re not one for swallowing pills or tablets, powdered form may be a more suitable option, as these tablets are on the larger size.

 

Key features:

    • Easy to absorb
    • Tablet form
    • 400mg of magnesium citrate per serving (2 tablets)
    • Fully reacted mineral supplement (no by-products)
    • Non-GMO
    • Available in 100 or 250 tablets
    • Free of dairy, egg, and soy products

 

Downsides:

    • Contains additives and fillers
    • Large tablet size
    • Mild laxative effect

 

What customers say:

    • Great for relief of constipation
    • Milder strength
    • Tablets are slightly difficult to swallow due to size
    • Affordable
    • Helps with muscle cramps
    • No taste
    • Great for improving digestion and energy levels

 

Solgar Magnesium Citrate, 200mg – 120 tablets

 

As a producer of many award winning formulas, Solgar’s magnesium citrate is another good option in terms of both quality and affordability.

 

If you’re looking for a supplement that’s free of allergens, sweeteners, and preservatives to help with production of ATP (energy), support cellular energy metabolism, as well as nerve and muscle function, Solgar’s product is a great option. This formulation provides magnesium citrate, one of the most highly absorbable forms of this mineral, in an easy to swallow, 200mg tablet.

 

Be wary if you suffer from digestive disturbances as these tablets can have a mild laxative effect as well as cause gas if taken in improper dosages.

 

Key features:

    • High potency and highly absorbable
    • Tablet form
    • 400mg of magnesium citrate per serving (2 tablets)
    • Free of dairy, wheat, soy, gluten, yeast, sweeteners, and preservatives

 

Downsides:

    • Contains additives and fillers
    • Mild laxative effect
    • Causes gas

 

What customers say:

    • Helps with constipation
    • Improves insomnia
    • Cost effective
    • Great for helping reduce severity and frequency of migraines
    • Reduces severity of leg cramps
    • Increases energy levels

 

Thorne Magnesium Citrate, 135mg – 90 capsules

 

Known for their quality and purity, Thorne offers one of the purest magnesium citrate supplements on the market. Delivering 135mg of magnesium citrate per capsule, they’re easy to swallow, free from additives, stearates, and banned substances, and are highly absorbable.

 

If quality is what you’re looking for, Thorne offers a scientifically-tested formula to benefit energy production, cardiac function, carbohydrate metabolism, and pulmonary function. It’s a great option for those looking for quality over price.

 

Key features:

    • 135mg of magnesium citrate per serving (1 capsule)
    • Capsule form
    • No additives
    • Free from dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, nut-based ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup
    • No colourants, stearates, BPA, or banned substances
    • High absorption than other forms

 

Downsides:

    • Large capsule size
    • Mild laxative effect
    • Lower dosage than other brands
    • More expensive

 

What customers say:

    • Great as a sleep aid
    • High quality, very pure product
    • Helps with restless leg syndrome
    • Improves digestive issues and thyroid function
    • Great for reducing leg pain
    • Helps to prevent constipation
    • Increases stamina

 

When you’re working with you health, you should never have to compromise quality. With these three supplements, you’re getting the best bang for your buck in terms of quality, quantity, and effect.

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