Do you feel overwhelmed or confused about all the different types of magnesium available? If you do, you are not alone. There are lot of different types of magnesium on the market. It is one of the top 5 supplements that many patients are already taking when they first come in to see me. It is a wonderful mineral that can help with a variety of symptoms and there are minimal side effects to using it. BUT if you are not using the correct one, in the correct dose you may not get the results you are looking for…
So, let’s talk about the different kinds. Some forms are going to be more readily absorbed into the bloodstream than others. This doesn’t mean that the less bioavailable ones are not still useful, it just means they have a different purpose.
The Different Forms of Magnesium and Their Uses:
In order of how well a magnesium is absorbed, starting with the least absorbed to the most absorbed we have:
There are a few others but these are the most common orally dosed forms.
Where each type of magnesium is best used:
If you are struggling with constipation you are going to want to try any of oxide, citrate, or bisglycinate. When it comes to oxide and citrate they are not as effectively absorbed into the bloodstream but what this does is draw water to the colon increasing the fluidity of bowels. So if you are prone to dry, hard stool these magnesiums may be a good option for you. If your constipation is more to do with stress or muscle tension, having a hard time relaxing then you would want to try the magnesium bisglycinate.
Magnesium malate is really easy to remember because the ‘m’ in malate can relate to the ‘m’ in muscles. This magnesium is best used in conditions where the muscles may be congested. So, in cases of muscle tension or soreness but also in conditions like fibromyalgia where there’s a lot of pain in the muscles. This magnesium can help to detox and relieve that muscle congestion.
Magnesium bisglycinate is one of the most highly bioavailable forms, meaning it is well absorbed into the bloodstream. So, as I already mentioned you may want to use it for stress, to help relax the body but it is also really good at treating hypertension. If you are struggling with high blood pressure or heart health conditions, this magnesium would be the one to try.
Magnesium threonate is unique in that it is the only one that crosses the blood brain barrier. This is the barrier around our brain that restricts what can gain access to our brain. This is very protective for the brain and ensures an extra element of defense from pathogens. So this one is ideal in cases of mental overstimulation, or cognitive support. If you are having a hard time shutting your brain off at night in particular to fall asleep or if you struggle with ADHD (whether in a child or an adult) and mental focus, this one would be your go to.
When is it best to take it?
One thing people often ask is when is best to take your magnesium…before food, after, what time of day, etc? My rule of thumb for most supplements is that if you get a lot of conflicting info about what is best then the reality is that it probably doesn’t really matter that much OR it depends on what you are trying to use it for. In the case of wanting to help you relax to fall asleep, it makes sense to take your magnesium in the evening. It is rare for magnesium to cause any issues on an empty stomach.
If it comes down to you potentially forgetting to take it if the rules around when and how are super rigid, then you are better off to just take it when you remember. It is more important to me that you get it in you, then following a strict set of rules.
If you have questions about any of the above, are unsure how to dose your magnesium, or wonder whether or not it is safe with your medications, schedule a free discovery call with me and I can advise you on how I can help.
Dr. Kim Gowetor
Naturopath Sherwood Park
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