Magnesium Glycinate vs Citrate: Which Is Best For You To Take?

magnesium glycinate vs citrate

In the debate of magnesium citrate vs glycinate, how do you know which is the best form for you? Magnesium (Mg) is vital in hundreds of the body’s processes. The many benefits of magnesium have made it a popular supplement to help maintain blood pressure, regulate sleep, and reduce symptoms of menopause, among other functions.

There is an abundance of magnesium supplements available these days, including magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate. But, before choosing a supplement, it’s essential to understand a few things. What is magnesium? What is its role in the body, and which form will work best for your unique needs?

Learn about the differences between magnesium glycinate and citrate and which is better for you.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium helps to regulate and maintain cell functioning within the body. Many foods, such as bananas, green vegetables, nuts, and black beans, are high in magnesium. For people with normal magnesium levels, eating magnesium-rich foods is enough for the body.

But, as is often the case, lifestyle or diet preferences can mean that people don’t meet their required daily intake of this mineral. This can lead to magnesium deficiency.  

If you experience irregular sleep, fatigue, irritability, or anxiety, you might benefit from magnesium supplements or have them prescribed by a health professional.

Of course, there are hundreds of magnesium supplements out there. Currently, Magnesium citrate and Magnesium glycinate are among the most common magnesium formulations available. 

Magnesium Citrate vs Glycinate Explained

The central debate is often between magnesium citrate vs glycinate and which is more beneficial. However, both formulations are gentle, have a high bioavailability, and are available and cost-effective. 

Some formulations provide a combination of magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate. This combination may be helpful to people experiencing constipation with other conditions. Let’s investigate the two supplements in more detail. 

Magnesium Citrate as a Supplement

This formulation is a combination of magnesium and an organic salt called citrate. Magnesium citrate is a solution for people who suffer from constipation. Because it is an organic salt, citrate helps relieve constipation. In addition, it pulls water into the intestine, softening the stool. 

Citrate found in citrus fruits; only produces laxative effects when consumed in high doses. As a supplement, the citrate is concentrated and effective. Magnesium citrate is one of the most efficiently absorbed forms of magnesium. This makes it a practical solution to constipation.

Magnesium citrate promotes nerve and muscle function and helps prevent migraines. Among other things, it’s effective in bone strengthening.

Magnesium citrate also contributes to heart health – like glycinate, and is often used to treat arrhythmia. 

Magnesium Glycinate as a Supplement

Magnesium glycinate (magnesium chelate, magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium disglycinate) is a combination of magnesium and amino acid glycine.

Glycine is an essential component of physiological functioning. Glycine collaborates with neurotransmitters that regulate brain functioning and encourage feelings of calmness. This supplement is a favourite for light mood regulation and improving sleep quality.

Some studies indicated that magnesium glycinate might be the least likely type of magnesium to create stomach problems like diarrhoea, so it’s an easier supplement than magnesium citrate.

Magnesium glycinate is also sometimes taken to reduce the effects of menopause. Many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are similar to symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium glycinate is tolerable and absorbed easily by the body.

After menopause, women have an increased risk of developing heart disease. In this gentle form, magnesium could be instrumental in maintaining heart health. Magnesium glycinate regulates blood sugar and blood pressure.

Although women are often encouraged to use magnesium glycinate, men can benefit from it. Magnesium glycinate works to lessen anxiety and stress as well as reduce inflammation.

There is also a known link between Type 2 Diabetes and reduced magnesium levels. Magnesium glycinate can assist in regulating blood sugar when taken long-term.

The latter has less of a laxative effect when it comes down to magnesium citrate vs glycinate. This formulation is a popular supplement due to its benefits, gentleness, and low cost.

Recommended Magnesium Supplement Dosage

While taking a daily supplement is not harmful, they are only effective when there is an existing Mg deficit. Dosage is dependent on the degree of deficiency, age, weight, and dietary consumption.

Many people fear that supplements are ineffective as they don’t get completely absorbed by the body. There is some truth to this; not the entire supplement gets absorbed. But magnesium has an efficient absorption rate – also called its bioavailability.

Magnesium glycinate is a long-term supplement to regulate the body’s processes effectively. In contrast, magnesium citrate can take effect 2 to 4 hours after consumption due to its rapid absorption. 

It is essential to check your blood magnesium levels when taking magnesium supplements. This will ensure that your body is not in excess. The NHS suggests that women need 270mg of magnesium per day, while men should get 300mg daily.

Common Concerns About Mg Supplements

When Should You Take a Magnesium Supplement?

There is no perfect time of day to take magnesium supplements. Whether you find it most convenient to take them during the day or at night is up to you. As long as you are sticking to a daily routine to ensure your magnesium levels are in a healthy range.

How Much Magnesium is too Much?

Magnesium has a higher concentration in supplements than in food. However, too much of the mineral can cause diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. The NHS warns against taking more than 400mg of Mg per day and advises people to monitor their magnesium levels by taking a test.

Who Can Take Mg Supplements?

It is always advisable to consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplement. Most are safe for anyone to take, and the side effects are minimal. But, people with kidney and liver disease should consult a professional before consumption.

Which Magnesium Supplement Form Will Work Best For You?

Deciding which supplement wins the magnesium citrate vs glycinate debate is not easy. Although both are magnesium supplements, each offers different benefits to the body. 

Magnesium glycinate is better suited for people looking for regulation and general well-being. It is most effective when taken long-term. The supplement can improve sleep quality and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. In addition, this formulation contains glycine, which improves mental functioning and encourages feelings of calmness. 

Magnesium citrate is a short-term or long-term supplement often used to relieve constipation. It also assists in preventing migraines and promoting bone-strengthening and muscle flexibility. 

Both formulations are readily available and cost-effective.

Our take: Magnesium glycinate is an excellent choice for those looking for a variety of benefits with minimal side effects – as we are not fans of the possible laxative effects of magnesium citrate.

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