The 6 Best Magnesium Supplements of 2023 to Optimize Your Levels

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Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for a number of important functions throughout the body including energy production, blood sugar regulation, and DNA synthesis, among others. It's found in many of the foods we eat including green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and certain fortified products. Even so, lots of people struggle to meet their daily needs and may turn to the best magnesium supplements to fill the gaps in their diet. In fact, regularly supplementing with magnesium has been associated with a number of positive health outcomes including promoting healthy blood pressure, improving sleep, and even reducing migraine severity.(1)

But, there are several forms of magnesium available, each one varying in absorbability and specific use. Therefore, it's important to select the best magnesium supplement for your goals. To provide some guidance on the available options out there, we consulted with a registered dietitian to research the top magnesium supplements. We compiled our favorites in this guide, separating them out by different categories so you can find which is right for you.

The Best Magnesium Supplements - Our Top Picks

Why Trust Us?

The health and safety of ACTIVE's readers is of the utmost importance to us. To ensure your well-being when consuming nutritional supplements, the ACTIVE.com editorial team prioritizes products that are independently tested by a third party. We've also consulted with a team of nutritionists and dieticians to ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. This helps us create the most accurate, authentic review content for our readers.

Best Overall Magnesium Supplement - BioEmblem Triple Magnesium Complex

BioEmblem Triple Magnesium Complex

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules
  • Form: Capsule
  • Type: Magnesium malate, glycinate, citrate
  • Magnesium per serving: 300mg

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When supplementing with magnesium, finding a form that is well absorbed is one of the most important factors for most people. Selecting the wrong form can leave you with some undesirable side effects, or simply have a minimal impact on your blood magnesium levels.

Our pick for the best overall magnesium supplement, BioEmblem Triple Magnesium Complex, includes a blend of three well absorbed forms of this important mineral. These include magnesium malate, glycinate, and citrate, in a research-backed 300 milligram dose.(2)

This complex makes a fitting choice for those looking for a well-rounded magnesium supplement to prevent deficiency, address sleep health, boost energy production, and promote muscle recovery.

Why we picked it: We like that this magnesium supplement supplies three forms to optimize absorption and is third-party tested.

Best For

  • Active individuals in search of a magnesium complex for improved absorption
  • Those who value third-party testing
  • Those following a vegan diet

Not Best For

  • People who don’t do well swallowing multiple capsules

BUY: BioEmblem Triple Magnesium Complex


Best Affordable Magnesium Supplement - Life Extension Magnesium Caps

Life Extension Magnesium Caps

SPECS

  • Dosage: 1 capsule
  • Form: Capsule
  • Type: Magnesium oxide, citrate, and succinate
  • Magnesium per serving: 500mg

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It's no question that magnesium plays a vital role in various areas of our health. That said, when you pair magnesium with any other supplements you might be taking, the cost can really add up. For those who value the importance of optimizing their magnesium intake, but can't justify the high cost for some brands, we've selected Life Extension Magnesium Caps as the best affordable option.

The capsules provide a respectable 500-milligram dose of magnesium oxide, citrate, and succinate for less than $0.10 per serving, making them a suitable choice for even the most cash-strapped shoppers.

These forms of magnesium are ideal for supporting cardiac health, though can also promote healthy bones and good blood sugar control.(3, 4)

Why we picked it: We liked that this option is cost-effective while also supplying a hefty dose of 500mg of three different types of magnesium.

Best For

  • The cash strapped supplement shopper that also values quality
  • People looking for a magnesium complex to improve absorption

Not Best For

  • People who prefer a third-party tested supplement

BUY: Life Extension Magnesium Caps


Best Magnesium Supplement for Anxiety - Klaire Labs Magnesium Glycinate Complex

Klaire Labs Magnesium Glycinate Complex

SPECS

  • Dosage: 1 capsule
  • Form: Capsule
  • Type: Magnesium bisglycinate chelate, oxide
  • Magnesium per serving: 100mg

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While feeling anxious from time to time is totally normal, some people experience more frequent anxiety that can interfere with everyday life. Anxiety is often treated with pharmaceutical medications, though some people prefer a more natural approach to finding relief by using certain vitamins and minerals. One such mineral that may help with anxiety is magnesium.(5)

Our choice for the best magnesium supplement for anxiety, Klaire Labs Magnesium Glycinate Complex, contains TRAACS, a specialized form of magnesium glycinate that is optimized for absorption. Research suggests that boosting magnesium levels with such a supplement may help alleviate markers of anxiety and stress.(5)

It's important to note that if you are experiencing severe anxiety, you'll want to seek guidance from a qualified psychotherapist as pharmaceutical medications may be required.

Why we picked it: We like that this magnesium supplement comes in a highly absorbable form, making it easy to digest and tolerate.

Best For

  • Those looking for relief from mild anxiety
  • People seeking a better absorbed form of magnesium to minimize digestive side effects

Not Best For

  • Those that require a higher dose of magnesium
  • People who prefer a third-party tested supplement

BUY: Klaire Labs Magnesium Glycinate Complex


Best Magnesium Supplement for Sleep - Nested Magnesium Glycinate

Nested Magnesium Glycinate

SPECS

  • Dosage: 2 capsules
  • Form: Capsule
  • Type: Magnesium glycinate chelate
  • Magnesium per serving: 200mg

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Sleep is an incredibly important, often forgotten, part of the recovery process from physical activity and daily life. When you don't sleep well, it can impact various other areas of your health. People who struggle with sleep often utilize over the counter sleep aids, though these can become habit-forming over time. A natural alternative that shows some promise is supplementing with about 200 milligrams of magnesium before bed.(6) This mineral helps to regulate neurotransmitters and melatonin levels to promote better sleep.

Nested Magnesium Glycinate provides a special chelated form of magnesium to promote improved absorption, making it our top pick in the best magnesium supplement for sleep category. Each dose provides a blend of magnesium bisglycinate chelate and magnesium oxide to help maximize your body's stores and promote relaxation.(5)

For additional reassurance on safety, this product is third-parted tested by an outside lab for purity. In addition, it's vegan-friendly and produced with non-GMO ingredients.

Why we picked it: Nested provides a third-party tested magnesium glycinate that may help promote relaxation when supplemented before bed.

Best For

  • Those looking for a magnesium supplement to help promote a restful night sleep
  • People who follow a vegan diet
  • Those who value third-party testing

Not Best For

  • Those that have difficulty swallowing large pills
  • People who have to stick to a tight budget

BUY: Nested Magnesium Glycinate


Best Liquid Magnesium Supplement - Trace Minerals Liquid Mega-Mag

Trace Minerals Liquid Mega-Mag

SPECS

  • Dosage: 4 full droppers
  • Form: Liquid
  • Type: Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium per serving: 400mg

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Magnesium supplements are most often found in capsule form due to cost and ease of processing, however some people don't do particularly well with swallowing them. Thankfully there are other forms available that allow you to get your daily dose of magnesium without choking down capsules, one of them being liquid magnesium.

Our selection for the best liquid magnesium, Trace Minerals Liquid Mega-Mag is quite unique in that it's naturally sourced from an inland sea in Utah, USA. Each 4 milliliter or 0.8 teaspoon serving provides 400mg of magnesium chloride, a particularly well-absorbed form of this important mineral.

This liquid supplement can be added to beverages, food, or consumed on its own, though it may have a mineral taste when consumed alone. It makes a solid general use magnesium supplement for active individuals looking to maximize their levels for health and performance purposes.

Why we picked it: We like the liquid form which is easier for some people to take, plus it provides a unique magnesium chloride sourced from inland sea water and packs 400 milligrams per serving.

Best For

  • Those looking for a naturally sourced form of magnesium
  • People who prefer not to swallow pills

Not Best For

  • People who are adverse to mineral taste
  • Those with a sensitive digestive system

BUY: Trace Minerals Liquid Mega-Mag


Best Magnesium Supplement for Leg Cramps - Megafood Magnesium

MegaFood Magnesium

SPECS

  • Dosage: 1 tablet
  • Form: Tablet
  • Type: Magnesium bisglycinate
  • Magnesium per serving: 50mg

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Among the numerous roles of magnesium in the body, supporting nerve transmission and muscle contractions are some of the most important. Even a slight magnesium deficiency can result in leg cramps and muscle spasms.(2) Considering that many people don't get enough magnesium from their diets, some may choose to supplement to prevent getting cramps.

MegaFoods Magnesium provides a fermented form of magnesium bisglycinate to help improve absorption. In addition, each tablet provides 50mg of organic spinach for additional vitamins and minerals.

While research on muscle relaxation is mixed, correcting a mild magnesium deficiency with a supplement like MegaFood may help improve nerve transmission and optimize muscle contractions, resulting in reduced risk of cramps.(7)

Why we picked it: This supplement supplies a responsible daily dose of magnesium in an absorption-optimized form ideal for correcting milk deficiencies associated with leg cramps.

Best For

  • Users looking to rule out magnesium deficiency as source of leg cramps
  • Those adhering to a vegan diet

Not Best For

  • People who require a higher dose of magnesium

BUY: Megafood Magnesium


How We Chose The Best Magnesium Supplement

When reviewing the top magnesium supplements on the market there were a few specific factors we took into consideration to bring you the best options.

Type

Magnesium comes in a number of different forms, some of which come with some pretty nasty digestive side effects. We selected products that provided digestive friendly forms of magnesium to help reduce the risk of users experiencing any side effects.

Form

Magnesium typically comes in tablet or capsule form though some users prefer not to swallow large pills. We included a variety of magnesium forms ranging from tablets to liquids in order to suit the preferences of most users.

Dosing

The amount of magnesium found in each supplement can range drastically. Considering that research suggests 250 to 450 milligrams is enough to meet the needs of most people, we sought out products that fell within this range.

Cost

Just as dosage varies, cost can also fluctuate greatly between different brands of magnesium. We picked products that hit a sweet spot between quality and price to give you the best bang for your buck.

Third-party testing

Third-party testing is when brands send out their products to an outside lab to get tested for purity and potential contaminants. We sought out products that included third-party testing to ensure safety for all users.

What to Look for When Shopping for Magnesium Supplements

When shopping for a magnesium supplement, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure you select the right product for your goals.

Types of Magnesium

Magnesium supplements come in a number of different chemical types, all of which differ slightly in solubility and application. Be sure to determine which type of magnesium a supplement provides to ensure it aligns with your goals for its use.

  • Magnesium glycinate: One of the more common forms of magnesium found in supplements due to its good absorption and wide range of benefits.
  • Magnesium citrate: Generally used as a laxative, not ideal for supplementation purposes.
  • Magnesium chloride: Well absorbed. Often naturally extracted from sea water.
  • Magnesium sulfate: Also known as Epsom salt. Commonly used as a soak for minor muscle aches, bruises, and pains. Not often found in oral supplements.
  • Magnesium oxide: Not as well absorbed. Often used in laxatives.
  • Magnesium malate: Well absorbed for most people. Commonly used to help treat migraines, chronic pain, and depression.

Forms

In general, when browsing for a magnesium supplement you’ll typically find them in capsule and tablet form. That being said, not everyone enjoys or is capable of swallowing large pills on a regular basis. For these users, some brands offer magnesium supplements in a number of other forms including liquids, gummies, and chewable tablets. Think about which form you are most likely to take on a regular basis to make the best selection when supp shopping.

Dosing

Research suggests that 250 to 450 milligrams is enough daily magnesium to meet the needs of most people.(2) In general, it's best to start with a lower dose and work your way up, as it can have a laxative effect for some people when too much is taken at once. Some brands will require that you take multiple servings per day to meet the daily requirements.

Third-Party Testing

Many companies send their products to outside labs to be tested for purity and contaminants—this is referred to as third-party testing. This ensures the product is safe to consume and compliant with federations that test for banned substances. When you have the choice, it's always best to select a supplement that undergoes third-party testing.

Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation

Although magnesium is found in many of the foods we eat such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, some people just simply don’t get enough on a daily basis to meet their needs. To prevent or correct a mild deficiency, magnesium supplementation is a highly effective option. In fact. maintaining healthy magnesium levels, or correcting a mild deficiency, comes with a number of potential benefits. Here are the top benefits associated with magnesium supplementation.

May Help Boost Heart Health

Magnesium is one of the predominant electrolytes in the body that provides a mild electrical charge that allows for muscle contraction. One of the most important muscles in the body, the heart, also relies on sufficient magnesium levels to beat properly.

In fact one study found that regular magnesium supplementation can help lower blood pressure, a common risk factor for heart disease.(8)

Additionally, another study found that maintaining healthy magnesium levels helped reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.(9)

May Help Improve Sleep

You may have heard that magnesium supplementation can be beneficial when it comes to improving sleep. This is due to the fact that it serves as a regulator of several neurotransmitters that help regulate sleep and relaxation, a major one being GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).(5)

Particularly if your magnesium levels are on the lower side, supplementing may help you get a better night's sleep.(10)

May Help Support Nerve Transmission and Muscle Contraction

Considering that magnesium is an essential electrolyte that carries an electric charge, it helps facilitate nerve transmission and muscle contractions throughout the body. Without sufficient magnesium stores, muscles can start to cramp.

Oftentimes when magnesium levels are corrected, users may feel relief from cramping, especially in the legs.(7, 11) This can be accomplished through increasing magnesium intake through your diet or supplementing.

May Help Support Exercise Performance

Among its many roles, magnesium also aids in energy metabolism, specifically the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a particularly important macronutrient for high intensity athletes, serving as their main source of energy during exercise.

One review study suggests that optimizing your magnesium levels can help more efficiently shuttle carbs into your muscles, leading to an increase in energy availability, and potential increase in exercise performance.(12)

That said, those starting with normal magnesium levels may not see much of a benefit in athletic performance when supplementing.(13)

FAQs About Magnesium Supplements


What is magnesium good for?

Good magnesium intake, whether in food or supplement form, comes with a number of positive health benefits. These include:

  • Supporting healthy blood pressures
  • Improving fasting blood sugars
  • Reducing migraine severity
  • Improving sleep
  • Optimizing nerve transmission and muscle contraction

How much magnesium should I take daily?

In general, research suggests a dose of 250-450 milligrams per day is sufficient to meet the needs of most people.(2) It's best to start on the lower end and work your way up as needed to avoid any potential side effects.

Who should not take magnesium?

Magnesium supplementation is generally safe for most people, though some populations should use caution such as those with kidney disease, diabetes, or heart conditions. People taking certain medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and select drugs for osteoporosis should check with their healthcare provider before supplementing with magnesium as it may interfere.

What are signs of low magnesium?

Common symptoms of mild magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. More severe deficiency may result in further symptoms including numbness, muscle spasms and cramps, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and personality changes.

What foods are high in magnesium?

Foods that are generally high in magnesium include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, brown rice, legumes, nuts, seeds, and certain fortified products.

Does magnesium make people sleepy?

Considering that magnesium supplementation may have a nerve regulating effect, it can result in slight relaxation for some people. Generally this shouldn't result in acute sleepiness, though some users prefer to take it around bedtime to help them wind down and get ready to sleep.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References

  1. Al Alawi, A. M., Majoni, S. W., & Falhammar, H. (2018). Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. International journal of endocrinology, 2018, 9041694.
  2. Razzaque M. S. (2018). Magnesium: Are We Consuming Enough?. Nutrients, 10(12), 1863.
  3. Rondanelli, M., Faliva, M.A., Tartara, A. et al. An update on magnesium and bone health. Biometals 34, 715–736 (2021).
  4. ELDerawi, W. A., Naser, I. A., Taleb, M. H., & Abutair, A. S. (2018). The Effects of Oral Magnesium Supplementation on Glycemic Response among Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Nutrients, 11(1), 44.
  5. Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429.
  6. Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(12), 1161–1169.
  7. Moretti A. (2021). What is the role of magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps? A Cochrane Review summary with commentary. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions, 21(1), 1–3.
  8. Zhang, X., Li, Y., Del Gobbo, L. C., Rosanoff, A., Wang, J., Zhang, W., & Song, Y. (2016). Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trials. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979), 68(2), 324–333.
  9. Rosique-Esteban, N., Guasch-Ferré, M., Hernández-Alonso, P., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2018). Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies. Nutrients, 10(2), 168.
  10. Zhang, Y., Chen, C., Lu, L., Knutson, K. L., Carnethon, M. R., Fly, A. D., Luo, J., Haas, D. M., Shikany, J. M., & Kahe, K. (2022). Association of magnesium intake with sleep duration and sleep quality: findings from the CARDIA study. Sleep, 45(4), zsab276.
  11. Roguin Maor N, Alperin M, Shturman E, et al. Effect of Magnesium Oxide Supplementation on Nocturnal Leg Cramps: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(5):617–623. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9261
  12. Zhang, Y., Xun, P., Wang, R., Mao, L., & He, K. (2017). Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance?. Nutrients, 9(9), 946.
  13. Wang, R., Chen, C., Liu, W., Zhou, T., Xun, P., He, K., & Chen, P. (2017). The effect of magnesium supplementation on muscle fitness: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Magnesium research, 30(4), 120–132.

About the Author

Daniel Preiato, RD, CSCS

Daniel Preiato is a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and nutrition education. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an avid strength athlete. He uses his background in clinical nutrition to dissect research and help individuals meet their health and fitness goals.

See More from Daniel

Daniel Preiato is a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and nutrition education. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an avid strength athlete. He uses his background in clinical nutrition to dissect research and help individuals meet their health and fitness goals.

See More from Daniel

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