Magnesium Supplements: Choosing Between Bisglycinate and Citrate Forms

by Staff

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, from energy production and muscle contraction to bone health and brain function. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough magnesium through diet alone. That’s where magnesium supplements come in.

Two of the most popular forms of magnesium supplements are magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium citrate. But what’s the difference between them and how do you choose the right one for your needs? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Magnesium Bisglycinate?

Magnesium bisglycinate, also known as magnesium glycinate or magnesium diglycinate, is a highly absorbable form of magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine. This chelated form is gentle on the digestive system and less likely to cause the laxative effect that some other forms of magnesium can trigger.

The glycine in magnesium bisglycinate serves a dual purpose – it enhances the absorption of magnesium in the gut and also has a calming effect on the brain. This makes magnesium bisglycinate a great choice if you’re looking to support relaxation, sleep, stress relief, or mental well-being.

Some of the key benefits of magnesium bisglycinate include:

  • High bioavailability and absorption rate
  • Gentle on the digestive system
  • Supports relaxation and stress relief
  • May improve sleep quality
  • Helps maintain healthy bones and muscles

What is Magnesium Citrate?

Magnesium citrate is another common form of magnesium supplement. It’s made by combining magnesium with citric acid, which is naturally found in citrus fruits. Magnesium citrate has a lower absorption rate compared to magnesium bisglycinate but is still a good option for increasing magnesium levels.

One of the most well-known effects of magnesium citrate is its ability to draw water into the intestines and stimulate bowel movements. For this reason, it’s often used as a gentle, natural laxative to relieve occasional constipation.

Some potential benefits of magnesium citrate include:

  • Supports digestive regularity
  • Helps relieve occasional constipation
  • Replenishes magnesium levels
  • Affordable and widely available

Magnesium Bisglycinate vs Citrate: Which One to Choose?

So how do you decide between magnesium bisglycinate and citrate? The right choice depends on your individual needs and health goals.

If your primary aim is to boost your body’s magnesium levels for overall health, and you have a sensitive stomach, magnesium bisglycinate may be the better option. Its superior absorption and gentleness on the digestive system make it ideal for daily supplementation.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with occasional constipation and are looking for a supplement that can do double duty by increasing magnesium and supporting regular bowel movements, magnesium citrate could be a good fit. Just be aware that because of the laxative effect, it may not be the best choice for daily long-term use.

Ultimately, the best way to choose between magnesium bisglycinate vs citrate is to evaluate your individual needs and consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine the right form and dosage based on your health status, medications, and goals.

Tips for Taking Magnesium Supplements

Regardless of which form you choose, here are a few tips to keep in mind when taking magnesium supplements:

  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed to assess your tolerance
  • Take magnesium with food to minimize digestive discomfort
  • If you’re taking medications, check with your doctor for potential interactions
  • Choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable brand
  • Consider combining magnesium with other synergistic nutrients like vitamin D3 and K2

The Bottom Line

Magnesium is a vital mineral for overall health and well-being. If you’re not getting enough from your diet, supplementing with magnesium bisglycinate or citrate can be a convenient way to increase your intake.

When deciding between the two forms, consider your primary health goals and any digestive sensitivities you may have. Magnesium bisglycinate is ideal for boosting levels while being easy on the stomach, while magnesium citrate can provide gentle laxative effects for occasional constipation relief.

As with any supplement routine, it’s always best to consult with a trusted healthcare provider to determine the optimal form and dosage for your unique needs. With the right magnesium supplement as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to supporting your body’s vital functions and feeling your best each day.

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