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The 14 Best Magnesium Supplements For Sleep, Bone Health, Energy & More*

Emma Loewe
Author: Expert reviewer:
Updated on January 13, 2023
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.

Around 600 processes in the body rely on magnesium to run smoothly, making it one important mineral.

Magnesium plays a big role in energy production, bone development, and muscle contraction, and it's vital for brain, heart, muscle, and skeletal health (nearly 60% of our body's magnesium1 is stored in the bones and teeth!).*

The mineral is also a building block for life on earth, so we're surrounded by it at all times.

It's in our water sources, the ground beneath our feet, and our vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, fish, and meat.

However, a large proportion of the population in Western countries2 doesn't get the recommended amount of magnesium from diet alone, due in part to dietary choices and also the way conventional agriculture strips soil (and therefore, food) of certain minerals.

Almost half (44%) of Americans don't get enough magnesium 3from their diet alone.

Taking a magnesium supplement is a helpful way to ensure you reach the recommended daily intake of magnesium—420 mg for men and 320 mg for women—so that your body has one of the essential mineral tools it needs to function at its best.

However, not all magnesium supplements are created equal. Here's how to choose the right one for you.

A quick look at the best magnesium supplements

Types of magnesium in supplements

From glycinate to citrate, chloride to oxide, malate, and more, there are many types of magnesium supplements available.

Like all minerals, magnesium is delivered as a complex, paired with another compound that assists with delivery.

These secondary, helper organic compounds (e.g., glycine amino acid, citric acid, etc.) can also have health benefits of their own.*

Here are some common forms of magnesium found in supplements, and their benefits:

  • Magnesium bisglycinate: The combination of magnesium and two glycine amino acids, magnesium bisglycinate (also sometimes called magnesium glycinate) is one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium. The combination is easy for the body to absorb, making it gentle on the stomach and GI tract. There are some other forms of magnesium, which we'll cover below, that are taken specifically to get the bowels moving at high doses. This is not Mg glycinate's primary design (although all forms of magnesium support digestive motility to some degree). Instead, the amino acid glycine shows the most promise in helping promote high-quality sleep4, making a nightly magnesium bisglycinate supplement a good choice for healthy magnesium levels and a more restful slumber.*
  • Magnesium chloride: Magnesium chloride, a blend of magnesium and chlorine, can be extracted from brine or seawater. It has a relatively high bioavailability and is a solid supplement to take if you're just looking to boost your dietary intake of magnesium.*
  • Magnesium citrate: A combination of magnesium oxide and citric acid, magnesium citrate can help promote healthy bowel movements.* Since it also has a relatively high bioavailability, it, too, can be used as a daily magnesium supplement in the right dose. This form of magnesium dissolves readily in water, making it a popular pick for magnesium powders and liquids.
  • Magnesium oxide: The most common (and least expensive) form of magnesium, this one is formed by combining magnesium and oxygen ions. This simple form has a lower absorption rate and is most often taken to encourage bowel movements5 and act as a helpful buffer for other magnesium forms.*
  • Magnesium malate: Together, magnesium and malic acid are relatively bioavailable and seem to stick around in the bloodstream6 for longer than some other forms of magnesium. There is also some anecdotal evidence magnesium malate can promote muscle comfort, but clinical results are mixed7.*
  • Magnesium sulfate: The magnesium and sulfate pairing can be used to replenish electrolytes and encourage bowel movements,* and it's often found in supplements and other remedies like Epsom salts. (Fun fact: The man who brought magnesium to Western medicine was said to be a farmer working in Epsom, England, who noticed that the salts in his well water had soothing effects on his cattle8.) These days, many people take Epsom salt baths to soothe muscles, though there isn't much research to back this up.

Summary

The most common forms of magnesium you'll find in a supplement include magnesium oxide, magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, and magnesium sulfate.

What to look for in a magnesium supplement

Once you’ve determined what type of magnesium supplement is best for you and your needs, it’s time to shop around to find a product that ticks the following boxes:

  • High bioavailability: First and foremost, if you're taking any magnesium supplement regularly, you'll want to make sure it's gentle on the stomach. Generally, the higher the bioavailability, the better for daily use.
  • Manageable format: Depending on its design, you may need to take three or four capsules of a magnesium supplement daily. Some people won’t mind this, while others will find it a hassle and want to look for more manageable serving sizes.
  • Reasonable price: You'll notice that the price point of magnesium supplements varies widely. While basic (stand-alone) magnesium supplements are relatively affordable, pricier ones will contain other nutrients or botanicals for a more well-rounded, functionally efficacious blend. Any premium supplement should feature high-quality, clean ingredients and ideally be free of GMOs, gluten, dairy, soy, and major food allergens whenever possible.
  • Safe dosing: Finally, unless otherwise specified by your doctor, you'll want to look for a supplement that falls near or below the tolerable upper intake level for supplemental magnesium, 350 mg910, to minimize the potential for unwanted side effects. For clinical reasons (in partnership with your healthcare practitioner), higher doses may indeed be warranted.

The following supplements are the cream of the magnesium crop: They deliver science-backed doses of magnesium in convenient forms, without unnecessary fillers or additives.

Best for sleep

Best for sleep: mindbodygreen sleep support+

$60
(Magnesium type: Bisglycinate) mindbodygreen's highly absorbable magnesium supplement is formulated to help promote that deep, restorative sleep so many of us are missing. In addition to 120 mg of magnesium bisglycinate, each serving contains jujube seed extract, a botanical used in Traditional Chinese medicine for calming and sedation, and PharmaGABA®, a neurotransmitter clinically shown to enhance natural sleep quality. So beyond serving up the magnesium your body needs, two capsules of this vegan, GMO-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free product in the evening (with or without food) can deliver the sleep it craves.* Plus, save 10% on your first order with promo code MBG10.
amber supplement bottle

Best magnesium glycinate: Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate

$ 69.60
(Magnesium type: Bisglycinate) Each one of Pure's capsules contains 120 mg of highly absorbable magnesium glycinate, wrapped in a vegetarian capsule. They can be taken at any time of day with food, and are a good way to support healthy magnesium levels.*
White supplement bottle with blue label for magnesium

Best for digestion and regularity

Best budget: NOW Foods Magnesium Oxide Powder

$ 13.99
(Magnesium type: Oxide) NOW Food's supplement powder contains a super short ingredient list: Magnesium oxide, that's it! This pure formula is also non-GMO, vegan, and gluten- and dairy-free, delivering just what you need to increase daily magnesium intake—and nothing else. To keep the tummy happy, it's recommended to dissolve each serving (290 mg magnesium) in at least 6 oz. of cold water or clear liquid.*
Magnesium oxide supplement bottle with orange label

Best magnesium citrate: Bulletproof Magnesium Citrate

$ 13.99
(Magnesium type: Citrate) You'll find 320 mg of magnesium citrate in every serving of Bulletproof's option (3 capsules, which can be taken all at once or divided throughout the day). Soy- and dye-free, this is another solid option for supporting healthy magnesium levels daily.*
white magnesium supplement bottle with blue and orange label

Best magnesium powder: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Magnesium Raspberry Lemon Powder

$ 19.19
(Magnesium type: Carbonate) Magnesium carbonate is a powdered form of magnesium that isn't the most bioavailable on its own, but can be easier to absorb when combined with other ingredients. This blend by Garden of Life pairs it with brown rice protein and probiotics for healthy digestion and regularity. The fizzy drink is designed to be enjoyed before bed.*
White supplement jar with blue label

Best gummies: Nature Made High Absorption Magnesium Citrate Gummies

$ 19.79
(Magnesium type: Citrate) If you're going to get your daily magnesium fix in a confectionary supplement form, make it these gummies from Nature Made: They're free of artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. Each serving of two gummies tastes like a fruit treat but packs 200 mg of absorbable magnesium citrate.*
clear container with magnesium gummies and yellow label

Best for digestion: Nature Made Magnesium Citrate

$ 16.99
(Magnesium type: Citrate) In addition to helping maintain healthy levels of magnesium, this daily supplement from Nature Made may help make it easier to pass stool, thanks to the way it pulls fluid into the intestines. Free of synthetic dyes and artificial flavors, each serving (250 mg of magnesium citrate) should be taken with a meal for optimum absorption.*
supplement bottle with yellow label

Best for muscle support

Best for muscle support: Designs for Health Magnesium Malate

$ 24.78
(Magnesium type: Malate) Vegetarian-friendly, non-GMO, and free of gluten, dairy, and soy, Designs for Health's magnesium supplement is a clean way to reap the benefits of malate, like healthy energy levels and muscle support. Two capsules pack 360 mg of magnesium malate, and they can be taken any time of day, preferably with a meal.*
white magnesium supplement bottle

Best magnesium + calcium combo: Rainbow Light Magnesium Calcium+

$ 22.39
(Magnesium type: Oxide, ascorbate, aspartate) Designed for athletes, this Rainbow Light Formula replenishes the body with the calcium that might be lost during a tough workout, as well as a combination of magnesium sources to support healthy muscles and bones. Each vegetarian tablet is capped off with vitamins and a modest blend of botanicals that support digestion (spirulina, ginger) and muscle health (meadowsweet extract, turmeric extract, and rosemary leaf essential oil).*
white magnesium container with green cap

Best for bone health

Best liquid: Solgar Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate with Vitamin D

$ 15.09
(Magnesium type: Citrate) Another liquid option, Solgar's magnesium cirtrate is combined with two other essential nutrients, vitamin D3 and calcium citrate, to further support those bones and joints. The added vitamin D can also help promote a healthy immune system. Take 1 tablespoon of the fruity brew (note: it does contain added fruit sugar, aka fructose) daily with a meal, and each bottle should last you about a month.*
amber bottle with liquid magnesium supplement

Best magnesium + zinc combo: MagWell® Magnesium With Zinc & D3

$ 19.99
(Magnesium type: Citrate, bisglycinate, malate) To double down on the bone, muscle, and immunity benefits of magnesium, Live Conscious' Magwell® daily supplements pair it with 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 7.5 mg of zinc, in a two-capsule serving. Bonus: They're 3rd party tested for purity and manufactured in the USA.*
jar with orange label

Best for bone health: Metagenics Bone Builder® with Magnesium

$ 49.72
(Magnesium type: Citrate, aspartate, bisglycinate) This powerful combination of vitamin D3, calcium, phosphorous, and multiple forms of magnesium (including chelates) is geared towards enhanced bone strength. To support bone density and muscle function, take three tablets once daily.*
amber magnesium supplement bottle with white label

Best for general health

Best prenatal with magnesium: Nurish Prenatal + DHA

$ 16.67
(Magnesium type: Oxide) This well-rounded prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplement from Nurish contains 18 unique vitamins and minerals (including magnesium oxide), plus marine-derived omega-3s EPA and DHA to give women who are pregnant or hope to become pregnant the nutrients they need daily.*
orange and black box filled with magnesium supplements

Best for cognitive health: Life Extension Neuro-Mag® Magnesium L-Threonate

$ 30
(Magnesium type: L-threonate) In addition to all it does for the body, magnesium is essential for the brain, too. This supplement from Life Extension is tailored to a healthy memory and cognitive function, thanks to its magnesium L-threonate, a relatively new form of magnesium that has been shown to be readily absorbed by the brain in some studies. In three capsules, you receive 2,000 mg of the Mg L-threonate, which delivers 144 mg of elemental magnesium.*

How we chose

Purity

Purity is a sign of quality, so we looked for magnesium supplements that are free of binders, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors.

Innovation

While these supplements all feature magnesium, some stack it with other active ingredients for added benefits like deeper sleep, sharper focus, and healthier bones.*

Format

If you're taking a supplement daily, you'll want to make sure it's easy to work into your routine. For this reason, we feature a variety of different supplement formats, from capsules and tablets to powders and liquids.

Sustainability

Our list features a number of products made with sustainably in mind. We prioritize brands that use recyclable and reusable packaging and responsibly sourced ingredients.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of magnesium?

Since the body naturally uses magnesium for so many functions, getting enough magnesium on a daily basis can bring a slew of benefits. These are some of the best perks, but we cover the benefits of different types of magnesium in more detail here.

Promotes healthy blood pressure*

Promotes healthy blood sugar levels*

Promotes heart health*

Promotes bone health*

Helps support a healthy inflammatory response*

Promotes deeper and more restorative rest (if magnesium bisglycinate)*

How much should I take?

Birth to 6 months: 30 mg/day

7 to 12 months: 75 mg/day

1 to 3 years: 80 mg/day

4 to 8 years: 130 mg/day

9 to 13 years: 240 mg/day

14 to 18 years: females: 360 mg/day; males: 410 mg/day

19 to 30 years: females: 310 mg/day; males: 400 mg/day

31 years and up: females 320 mg/day; males: 420 mg/day

19 to 30 years: pregnant: 350 mg/day; lactating: 310 mg/day

31 to 50 years: pregnant: 360 mg/day; lactating: 320 mg/day

What are the risks and potential side effects?

Magnesium is an extremely safe (and essential!) mineral found in our diet and environment.

While every individual's nutrition needs and response are unique, the most common, potential side effects of magnesium supplements (particularly at higher doses, especially if you're not used to taking magnesium) are loose stools, upset stomach, and GI discomfort.

Taking a more gentle and bioavailable magnesium supplement helps avoid these unpleasantries. Starting low and going slow, building up to the best magnesium dose for you personally, can also help limit potential side effects.

Magnesium supplements have the potential to interfere with certain heart (e.g., blood pressure) medications and antibiotics, so you should always consult your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine.

The takeaway

Magnesium is an essential mineral that many people don't get enough of from food alone.

That's no surprise since the daily requirements for this macromineral are quite high.

Adding a high-quality supplement to your routine is one way to ensure that your body has adequate levels of magnesium each day.

Combine yours with a healthy, whole-food diet for added assurance that you're giving your body the nutrients it needs.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.