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The 16 Best Magnesium Supplements For Sleep, Bone Health, Energy & More*

Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
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.
Last updated on June 10, 2022

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 magnesium 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 countries 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 from 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, about five servings of spinach or four servings of chia seeds —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.

Best picks for 2022:

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 sleep, 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 movements 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 bloodstream for longer than some other forms of magnesium. There is also some anecdotal evidence magnesium malate can promote muscle comfort, but clinical results are mixed.*
  • 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 cattle.) 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.

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.

What to look for in a magnesium supplement

First and foremost, if you're taking a 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. Finding a supplement that is enjoyable to take and comes in a format that you can easily work into your routine—be it a capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid—is also important.

Some magnesium supplements need to be taken with food, which is another thing to be aware of. Depending on the serving size, you may also end up needing to take three or four capsules daily for certain products, so read the label (i.e., Supplement Facts panel and suggested use instructions) closely.

In addition to absorption factors, you'll want to tailor your magnesium selection for the functional benefits you're seeking (i.e., support for sleep, dietary gap filling, muscle relaxation, etc.)*

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.

Pricier options will also boast cleaner excipient profiles and more sustainable packaging. Any premium supplement should feature high-quality, clean ingredients and ideally be free of GMOs, gluten, dairy, soy, and major food allergens whenever possible.

Purity is also a sign of quality, so look for a supplement that is free of binders, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors.

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 mg, to minimize the potential for unwanted side effects that may occur in some individuals at higher levels. 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.

Some innovative formulas also contain other active ingredients for added benefits like deeper sleep, sharper focus, and healthier bones.*

Summary

Look for a magnesium supplement with high bioavailability, gentle absorption, clean ingredients, efficacy, and a high-quality formula that is free of GMOs, gluten, dairy, soy, and major food allergens.

Recommended dosage

While the magnesium supplements identified below are appropriate (and safe) for children ages 9 and up, we are providing the recommended daily intakes of magnesium for all ages—infants, teens, and adults—for your ease of reference:

  • 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

If you are pregnant, lactating, or planning to be, we've rounded up the recommended daily intake of magnesium below:

  • 19 to 30 years: pregnant: 350 mg/day; lactating: 310 mg/day
  • 31 to 50 years: pregnant: 360 mg/day; lactating: 320 mg/day

Our favorite magnesium supplements

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.*
amber supplement bottle

Best magnesium oxide: 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 malate: 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 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 liposomal magnesium: Mary Ruth Magnesium Calm Liposomal

$ 24.95
(Magnesium type: Bisglycinate liposome) This vegan liquid magnesium formula is a special liposomal form (via organic sunflower seed oil ingredient addition). With 135 mg of magnesium provided per tablespoon, this essential mineral is safe for adults, as well as for children 9 years and older. Mary Ruth's formula is spruced up with organic almond nut butter and organic vanilla flavor, that can be blended into smoothies or stand on its own. Each bottle comes with 30 servings.*
white bottle with blue label

Best combo 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 whole foods 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 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 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 cognitive function: 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.*

Best bone complex: 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 mitochondrial health complex: Pure Encapsulations Mitochondria-ATP

$ 69.40
(Magnesium type: Citrate, malate) This supplement from Pure Encapsulations enhances magnesium's natural ability to support cellular energy with a slew of other nutrients and antioxidants for mitochondrial health, like vitamins C and E, thiamin, niacin, and more. For the best results for mitochondrial function, aging, energy, and performance, Pure recommends taking 4 capsules daily, in divided doses, with meals.*
white magnesium supplement bottle with blue text

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 regularity & digestive function: 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

Safety 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 bottom line

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 and 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 Senior Sustainability Editor

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. 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 articles on mbg, her work has appeared on Bloomberg News, Marie Claire, Bustle, and Forbes. She has covered everything from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping to a group of doctors prescribing binaural beats for anxiety. 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.