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Best Magnesium Supplement

Find out how magnesium supplements help boost mood, enhance sleep, and build immunity.

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Best Magnesium Supplement

When taking care of yourself and eating a balanced diet, you may focus on getting the right amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But you may not think about making sure you’re eating magnesium-rich foods.

Magnesium is a vital mineral that is necessary for dozens of bodily functions. And magnesium deficiency can lead to many health complications, including depression, fatigue, and high blood pressure. Studies estimate that only about 50% of people in the U.S. get the right amount of magnesium in their diets.

Magnesium supplements exist to assist with this issue. But it’s not as simple as taking a magnesium pill every day, as many products on the market target specific health concerns. This guide breaks down the different magnesium supplements and gives our top recommendations while keeping cost, effectiveness, and safety in mind.

If you don’t have time to read the whole guide, take a look at our top 5 recommendations below.

Summary of recommendations

Our Top Pick

Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder

Thorne’s soluble magnesium formula promotes quality sleep and reduces stress, all while minimizing side effects like bloating and stomach upset.

Thorne’s ingredients are gluten, soy, and dairy free. They’re trusted by many third-party groups like the Mayo Clinic and are NSF-certified. Subscribe to save up to 20%. Your purchase is covered by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Magnesium supplement: top considerations

We look at various criteria when evaluating our top picks we think are essential in providing a comprehensive view of each product. These criteria include cost, ingredients, effectiveness, safety, and convenience.

Effectiveness

Winner: Thorne Research

Gauging the effectiveness of a supplement without trying it out can be difficult. But it’s important to look at the ingredients and any research that’s been performed that might indicate a supplement’s efficacy. Our top picks include clinically tested ingredients that have proven effective in trials or studies.

Our winner for effectiveness is Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder because it contains a soluble form of magnesium that is easily absorbed by the body. This reduces the likelihood of side effects associated with magnesium supplements, such as diarrhea or upset stomach. Glycine, the amino acid that makes magnesium more soluble, has also been shown in clinical studies to promote high-quality sleep.

Cost

Winner: 1MD

When choosing a magnesium supplement, it’s important to pay attention to quality and safety, among other factors, but you also want to ensure that you’re paying a fair price. We looked at companies that offer affordable products, analyzing their opportunities for saving, generous return policies, and other value-adding factors.

Our winner in this category is 1MD because their MagMD Plus is inexpensive and high-quality. One bottle of capsules contains a two-month supply for only $19.99 ($0.17 per capsule). 1MD also offers subscription plans that save you up to 35% and include free shipping. If you don’t like MagMD, you can take advantage of their 90-day money-back guarantee.

Ingredients

Winners: Pure Encapsulations and Life Extension

Magnesium should be the primary ingredient in these products, but some also include other vitamins and minerals to enhance effectiveness. It’s also important to pay attention to quality and purity standards when choosing a magnesium supplement. These ensure that you choose a product without fillers, allergens, or other unnecessary ingredients.

Pure Encapsulations and Life Extension tie for best ingredients because they both include natural components with few extras. Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate includes vegan ingredients without gluten, GMOs, wheat, soy, nuts, or artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate is a vegetarian product and is gluten- and GMO-free. It also contains L-threonate, shown in clinical studies to enhance memory.

Safety

Winner: Live Conscious

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements the same way they regulate food and prescription medication, it’s important to consider supplement manufacturers’ steps to produce safe, high-quality products. Most companies disclose this information on their website to demonstrate their commitment to pure, effective products.

Live Conscious is our winner for safety because MagWell is rigorously tested by third parties to ensure ingredient safety and purity. Live Conscious also follows cGMP guidelines, which are FDA-approved benchmarks for safe supplement manufacturing. To take their product’s safety a step further, the company ensures the product does not contain common allergens like shellfish or soy and is also free of dairy, gluten, preservatives, and sugar.

Convenience

Winner: Thorne Research

Complicated dosing instructions can make it difficult to add a new dietary supplement into your routine. Since you won’t feel the effects of a supplement immediately, consistent use is key to unlock best results.

Thorne Research is our top pick for convenience because this powder supplement is easy to take and doesn’t require you to remember complex directions. To reap the supplement’s full benefits, mix one scoop of powder with eight ounces of water or juice once or twice daily.

How our top recommendations compare

  Thorne Research Pure Encapsulations Life Extension Live Conscious 1MD
30-day supply cost $44 $24 (capsules) $31 $20 $20
Price per serving $0.73 $0.26 $0.34 $0.33 $0.33
Money-back guarantee 60-day 30-day 12-month 365-day 90-day
Subscribe & save?
Yes
   
Yes
Yes
Delivery method Powder Capsule, powder, or liquid Capsule Capsule Capsule
Additional active ingredients       Zinc and vitamin D3 Zinc and vitamin D3

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral found in the human body that is essential to certain body processes, including:

  • Blood sugar control
  • Muscle function
  • Nerve messaging
  • Protein building
  • Energy production

We need to ingest magnesium for our bodies to function properly. Ideally, you would get enough magnesium from your diet, but studies show that around 50% of people have a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium can be found in foods like:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Meat and fish

If you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, you may experience physical symptoms that hint toward a deficiency. These symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness, aches, or twitches
  • Depression, anxiety, or apathy
  • Weakened bones
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe asthma symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat

Your age and gender determine how much magnesium you should have per day. The chart below shows the proper amounts for adults. If you want to know about doses for children or those who are pregnant or lactating, check out the full chart at the National Institutes of Health.

  Female Male
19-30 years 310mg 400mg
31-50 years 320mg 420mg
51+ years 320mg 420mg

If you’re not ingesting the proper amount of magnesium per day and experiencing adverse symptoms, your doctor may recommend a magnesium supplement.

How magnesium supplements work

Magnesium supplements help your body get enough magnesium (based on the daily requirements) to function well. Without the proper amount of magnesium, you may experience certain health issues, like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Taking a supplement helps stave off these potential issues by giving your body the magnesium it needs.

Here are a few ways that magnesium supplements can work to improve your overall health.

Reducing blood pressure

Studies show a connection between magnesium supplementation and lower blood pressure. This 2017 meta-analysis found that magnesium improved blood pressure in patients with chronic illness or who were pre-diabetic. Similarly, a 2021 review of studies showed that magnesium helped lower blood pressure in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Improving sleep

There could be an association between magnesium levels and sleep quality, according to several studies. This clinical trial showed that magnesium supplementation enhanced many aspects of sleep, including lengthening sleep duration and reducing time spent awake before falling asleep.

Boosting mood

Magnesium deficiency can lead to many mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and apathy. Some studies show that magnesium supplementation can help bolster the effects of antidepressants, and other studies show that magnesium supplementation on its own can improve some depression symptoms.

Reducing heart disease risk

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to heart disease because low magnesium levels can cause symptoms like high blood pressure and unregulated blood sugar. A review of studies found that magnesium supplementation could effectively prevent and treat heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in artery walls. Another review found that increased magnesium intake could mitigate issues like insulin sensitivity or an enlarged heart.

Reducing migraine symptoms

Some studies suggest that magnesium can be used to treat migraine, as magnesium deficiency may be a migraine trigger. Some health professionals believe that all migraine sufferers should be treated with magnesium. This recent review reveals that transdermal application of magnesium could be the best option for treating migraine.

Are magnesium supplements a good choice for you?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a magnesium deficiency, beginning magnesium supplementation may be a good choice for you. In addition, several health issues are known to deplete magnesium levels, including:

  • Dietary restrictions
  • Gastrointestinal conditions (such as IBS or Crohn’s disease)
  • Migraines
  • Pregnancy or lactation
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Substance abuse disorder

If you live with any of these conditions or take medication that depletes magnesium, talk to your doctor about your magnesium levels, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms like muscle weakness, fatigue, or irregular heartbeat. The natural aging process also depletes magnesium, so older adults should also consider reaching out to their doctor.

Who should avoid them

Just as some medical issues necessitate magnesium supplementation, some issues could lead to a build-up of magnesium. Magnesium toxicity can cause serious complications, like respiratory failure and cardiac arrest, so it’s crucial to avoid magnesium supplements if you:

  • Have impaired kidney function
  • Are undergoing treatment for cancer or preeclampsia
  • Ingest enough magnesium in your diet
  • Are on dialysis
  • Take medications like diuretics, PPIs, or antibiotics

In addition, it’s always important to consult your doctor before starting your infant or child on any supplement, including magnesium. While pregnant and lactating people generally need higher doses of magnesium to stay healthy, we also recommend speaking with a medical professional before beginning magnesium supplementation.

Are magnesium supplements safe?

Magnesium supplements are generally safe for healthy adults when taken as directed. Keep in mind that over-supplementation of magnesium can lead to adverse consequences like diarrhea, nausea, or other digestive issues. These symptoms generally subside once you reduce the dose.

Magnesium toxicity, which happens when your body holds onto too much magnesium or your kidneys can’t process it all, can result from taking too much magnesium, taking it while living with certain medical conditions, or taking certain medications (as discussed in the previous section).

Before beginning magnesium supplements, talk to your doctor to ensure supplementation is the right course of action for you.

Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder

Best for most people and best for sleep

Pros

  • Soluble form of magnesium that is easily absorbed
  • Helps with relaxation and sleep quality
  • Tasty powder formula
  • Gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free
  • NSF-certified
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
  • Subscribe and save 10-20%

Cons

  • May still cause some side effects

Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder is our overall top pick because it is made of a soluble form of magnesium that is easily absorbed by the body, leaving little room for common side effects like bloating or stomach upset. The glycine formulation is ideal for those who need help with rest and relaxation, as glycine is an amino acid that reduces stress and promotes sleep duration and quality.

In addition to helping with stress reduction and sleep, this powder also supports:

  • Muscle health and recovery
  • Cognition
  • Nerve health
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Strong bones

The powder is lightly sweetened and is free from gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial flavors and colors. You can mix one scoop of powder with eight ounces of water or juice and drink it once or twice daily. The product is NSF-certified, so you can rest assured that it doesn’t contain any banned substances.

Price

One canister costs $44 and includes 60 scoops of powder. This could be a one- or two-month supply, depending on how much powder you take daily.

You can also take advantage of Thorne’s subscribe and save offer, which saves you 10% on each refill order and includes free shipping. You can opt to have your subscription shipped every one to four months. If you subscribe to three or more products, you can save up to 20% on your entire order.

A 60-day satisfaction guarantee covers all purchases. If you’re unsatisfied with the product, initiate a return on the Thorne website within 60 days of purchase for a full refund or credit.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate

Best natural formula

Pros

  • Free of many allergens
  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • A good option for those with sensitive stomachs
  • Promotes heart, brain, muscle, and bone health
  • Available in capsule, powder, and liquid form
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No subscribe and save options
  • You must spend a lot ($100) to earn free shipping

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is our pick for best natural formula because it is made from vegan ingredients and does not contain any artificial ingredients or common allergens. The product — which comes in powder, capsule, and liquid form — is free from:

  • Gluten
  • GMOs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Sweeteners
  • Coating
  • Shellacs
  • Binders
  • Fillers
  • Preservatives
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Trans fats
  • Hydrogenated oils

Because of its all-natural formula, it is ideal for people with sensitive stomachs, especially those concerned about any potential side effects from a magnesium supplement. While this is still possible with Pure Encapsulations, the natural formula reduces the likelihood of irritation and allergic reactions.

This product helps support many body functions, including:

  • Heart health
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Cognition
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Energy production
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Bone strength

Dosage instructions vary depending on the formula you choose:

  • If you choose the capsule form, take one to four daily with food.
  • Mix one scoop of powder with water one to two times daily and drink with a meal.
  • Take one to two teaspoons of liquid per day with food.

Price

The cost of Pure Encapsulations depends on which formulation you choose. If you select capsules, you can choose a 90-, 180-, or 360-count bottle. Prices are outlined below:

  • 90-count: $23.60
  • 180-count: $40.45
  • 360-count: $75.90

One container of powder contains 60 scoops and costs $27.05, and one container of liquid includes 96 teaspoons and costs $43.15. The company does not offer product subscriptions, but a 30-day money-back guarantee covers your purchase. Shipping is free on orders over $100 placed within the contiguous U.S. All other orders ship for a flat rate of $10-12, depending on your location.

Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate

Best mood booster

Pros

  • Formula supports brain health and cognition
  • Improves memory, mental fatigue, and executive function
  • Capsules are gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • 12-month return policy
  • Choose auto-ship option to save 11% per bottle

Cons

  • Take three capsules per day
  • High price tag for magnesium capsules

Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate is our pick for best mood booster because its formulation is designed to enhance cognition and promote brain health. These benefits help:

  • Improve memory
  • Reverse signs of cognitive decline
  • Create healthy pathways between brain cells
  • Enhance executive function

Improving these brain functions can help boost mood and reduce common cognitive issues like brain fog, mental fatigue, and memory loss. Magnesium levels also decline as we age, which can lead to age-related cognition issues. Boosting your magnesium intake can help to mitigate some of these issues. And improving your executive functioning means it’ll be easier to start, finish, and focus on your daily tasks.

Life Extension capsules are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegetarian. Take three capsules per day for best results.

Price

Each bottle of Neuro-Mag contains 90 capsules, a one-month supply. You can choose between a one-time purchase for $30.75 per bottle ($0.34 per capsule) or opt for auto-shipping every 1-12 months. Auto-shipping reduces the per bottle price by 11% to $27.50 ($0.31 per capsule) and grants you free shipping.

A generous 12-month return policy covers purchases of Life Extension products. Return your product for any reason within the timeframe and receive a replacement product, store credit, or refund.

Live Conscious MagWell

Best immune support

Pros

  • Formula also includes zinc and vitamin D3
  • Promotes immunity, bone health, and cardiovascular support
  • Third-party tested and follows cGMP guidelines
  • 365-day money-back guarantee
  • Subscribe and save up to 28%

Cons

  • Free shipping not available on one-time purchases of one or two bottles

Live Conscious MagWell capsules combine magnesium with zinc and vitamin D3 for an immune system boost, which is why it’s our top pick for best immune support. Zinc is a mineral essential for healing damaged tissues, promoting cell growth, and supporting the immune system, among other benefits. Vitamin D3 also helps with immune support, bone strength, and heart health. The combination of these ingredients makes MagWell an ideal choice for someone who wants to increase magnesium intake and bolster their immune response.

In addition to these benefits, MagWell also helps with:

  • Nerve and heart health
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Nervous system function
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Cognitive function
  • Enhanced mood

MagWell is third-party tested for ingredient safety and purity and does not contain dairy, gluten, soy, preservatives, shellfish, or sugar. Live Conscious follows cGMP guidelines for safe manufacturing practices.

Take two capsules once daily with eight ounces of water for best results.

Price

Live Conscious offers a 365-day money-back guarantee on all orders. Choose between a one-time purchase or a subscription order to save up to 28%. The price breakdown is below.

  Cost Per serving Savings Free shipping?
One-time purchase, one bottle $20 $0.33    
One-time purchase, two bottles $38 $0.32 5%  
One-time purchase, four bottles $70 $0.29 13%
Yes
Subscribe and save, one bottle every two months $17 $0.28 17%
Yes
Subscribe and save, two bottles every four months $32 $0.27 20%
Yes
Subscribe and save, four bottles every eight months $58 $0.24 28%
Yes

1MD MagMD Plus

Best budget pick

Pros

  • One-time purchase of one bottle only $19.99
  • Free shipping on subscriptions and one-time purchases over $100
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Promotes bone, heart, and brain health
  • Formula includes zinc and vitamin D3
  • Save up to 35% with a subscription

Cons

  • No free shipping on a one-time purchase of one to three bottles

1MD MagMD Plus is our best budget pick because it offers a quality product at a low price with many savings opportunities. Each bottle of capsules includes a two-month supply, and a one-time purchase of one bottle only costs $19.99, or $0.17 per capsule. In addition, 1MD also offers a subscription option that can save you up to 35% and includes free shipping. 1MD’s 90-day money-back guarantee protects your order in case it doesn’t agree with you.

Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s not a high-quality product. In fact, MagMD Plus combines zinc, vitamin D3, and magnesium to promote many bodily functions that impact overall health, including:

  • Cardiovascular support
  • Bone health
  • Nervous system function
  • Musculoskeletal system support
  • Heart health
  • Cognitive function
  • Immunity

After one month of taking MagMD Plus, you can expect to have reached desired levels of magnesium, and your second month should include boosted mood and improved cognition. By month three, your body has begun building bone, muscle, and heart strength, which it will continue to do as you take the supplement. 1MD breaks down this timeline of expectations directly on MagMD Plus’s product page, granting you extra transparency and honesty.

MagMD Plus does not include dairy, peanuts, wheat, shellfish, or GMOs. For best results, take two capsules daily.

Price

1MD covers all orders with a 90-day money-back guarantee, and shipping is free on all U.S. orders purchased through a subscription. The chart below breaks down prices and purchase options.

  Cost Per serving Savings Free shipping?
One-time purchase, one bottle $20 $0.33    
One-time purchase, three bottles $54 $0.30 10%  
One-time purchase, six bottles $100 $0.27 20%
Yes
Subscribe and save, one bottle every two months $17 $0.28 15%
Yes
Subscribe and save, three bottles every six months $45 $0.25 25%
Yes
Subscribe and save, six bottles every 12 months $78 $0.22 35%
Yes

Magnesium supplement FAQ

What do magnesium supplements help with?

In addition to increasing your magnesium levels (which helps with dozens of body processes), magnesium supplements also help improve sleep quality and digestive issues. Because magnesium stimulates GABA, an amino acid that slows the nervous system, magnesium supplements can have a relaxing effect, leading to better sleep quality and duration. In addition, magnesium citrate is known to have a laxative effect, which can help with constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. However, not every magnesium supplement uses magnesium citrate, so be sure to double check the Supplement Facts if you’re looking for GI support.

How do I know if I need magnesium supplements?

You may need a magnesium supplement if you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet or have an illness that prevents magnesium intake. You may also have a magnesium deficiency without knowing it, so paying attention to your body for the signs is essential. Magnesium deficiency causes many symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, and weakness
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures

If you have some of these symptoms and suspect a magnesium deficiency, talk to your doctor about magnesium supplementation.

How much magnesium should you take?

The amount of magnesium you take per day depends on your age, gender, diet, and health status. In general, adult women should have 320-360mg per day, and adult men should get 400-420mg per day. If you eat a magnesium-rich diet, you may require less supplementation to reach this daily value. In addition, those with a magnesium deficiency or other health concerns may require more or less magnesium than the recommended amount. It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider about dosing and how to avoid taking too much magnesium, which can have serious health consequences.

Which type of magnesium is best to take?

There are many forms of magnesium available, and the one you choose should depend on your health concern as well as which form is easiest for your body to absorb. The types of magnesium you will often see in supplements include:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium aspartate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium taurate
  • Magnesium L-threonate
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium orotate
  • Magnesium oxide

Each type of magnesium is intended to boost magnesium levels in the body, but some forms also help with other issues. For example, magnesium citrate is often used to treat constipation, and magnesium lactate helps reduce the production of stomach acid.

What foods are high in magnesium?

Many foods provide high levels of magnesium, from nuts and seeds to beans and whole grains. Here’s a more detailed look:

  • Legumes (black beans, edamame, lima beans)
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
  • Seeds (flaxseed, pumpkin seeds)
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, shredded wheat)
  • Low-fat dairy products (non-fat milk, yogurt)
  • Soy milk
  • Fortified cereals
  • Dark chocolate
  • Water

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Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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