The big problem is that many people are silently suffering from magnesium deficiencies. In fact, research suggests that a shockingly large percentage of people may have some degree of undiagnosed magnesium deficiency.
We lose magnesium in our sweat and while stressed. In addition, soil depletion from large-scale farming has led to lower levels of magnesium in our fruits and veggies.
For all of these reasons, many people wisely choose to supplement with magnesium.
The trick with magnesium is that it’s poorly absorbed on its own.
Magnesium must be bound to other molecules so it can be absorbed effectively.
That’s why we have so many different forms of magnesium.
Over the years, chemists have played around with different binding molecules trying to create the best magnesium supplements. The consequence is that we now have 10+ different forms of magnesium with some very specific health benefits.
Seven Of The Most Common Types Of Magnesium
#1: Magnesium Oxide
This is perhaps the most common form of magnesium sold in supplement stores because it’s relatively cheap to produce.
Unfortunately, Magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed compared to other forms of magnesium and often leads to the common side-effect of diarrhea and intestinal cramping.
If a laxative effect is your goal of taking magnesium, this form may do the trick.
If you’re interested in actually increasing your body’s magnesium intake, then the other forms on this list will likely be better options for you.
#2: Magnesium Citrate
This is the second most common form of magnesium, and it has a much better bioavailability than Magnesium oxide.
Magnesium citrate is bound to citric acid, a very common compound in citrus fruits that gives them their characteristic tart flavor.
Citric acid is a mild laxative in its own right, so, although Magnesium Citrate is fairly well-absorbed, it can still lead to diarrhea and loose stools.
#3: Magnesium Taurate
This form of magnesium is particularly good for improving heart health.
Both magnesium, and the Taurine amino acid it’s bound to, work to stabilize the cell membranes in the heart, have been found to help decrease heart arrhythmias, and lower blood pressure in several studies.
Notably, Magnesium Taurate does not have the laxative effect of many other magnesium forms, which makes it one of the best magnesium supplements.
#4: Magnesium Malate
I call this the “athlete’s magnesium,” because it’s bound to malic acid, which plays key roles as an enzyme that increases ATP and energy production.
For those that exercise regularly, and want to take magnesium to increase their athletic performance and recovery, Mag Malate may be the best choice.
#5: Magnesium Sulfate
This form is commonly referred to as Epsom salts, and it is definitely not one of the best magnesium supplements for oral use.
Magnesium sulfate is a very poor source of oral magnesium because of the serious gastrointestinal issues it causes. In other words, it increases the risk of experiencing explosive diarrhea!
However, adding Magnesium Sulfate to a nice warm bath is a safe and effective way to soothe aching muscles and creating whole body relaxation.
#6: Magnesium L-Threonate
In my opinion, this is perhaps the most interesting form of magnesium.
Magnesium L-Threonate is the only form that has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier making it available to support metabolism and function of key neurons.
According to new research, Magnesium L-Threonate can be used to treat anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Mag L-Threonate has even has gained popularity for Silicon Valley CEO types as a nootropic aid for boosting cognitive performance.
#7: Magnesium Glycinate
Last, but certainly not least, we have Mag Glycinate, which is one of the most bioavailable (and safest) forms of magnesium for correcting long-term deficiencies.
When magnesium is bound to the amino acid glycine, it’s bioavailability dramatically increases, without the gastrointestinal side-effects from other forms of magnesium.
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