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Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in your body. It’s involved in many essential functions, including muscle contractions, blood pressure regulation, and blood sugar control (
Although it’s found in numerous foods like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans, observational studies show that most Americans don’t get adequate amounts from their diets (
As such, many people turn to a magnesium supplement.
These supplements may also improve sleep and help relieve anxiety, muscle cramps, and constipation (
Forms of magnesium include:
- magnesium glycinate
- magnesium citrate
- magnesium chloride
- magnesium sulfate
- magnesium oxide
- magnesium malate
These forms differ in terms of their absorbability and specific uses. For example, magnesium citrate and glycinate have been shown to be absorbed better than magnesium oxide and sulfate.
Additionally, certain forms are more beneficial for treating symptoms like constipation and headaches. Thus, it’s important to choose high quality supplements that use the form that’s most likely to benefit your specific needs (
Healthline evaluated the best magnesium supplements based on the following criteria:
- the quality of their ingredients
- the type of magnesium
- the use of third-party certification
- the intended use
Here are the 10 best magnesium supplements for 2021, for every use.
- Dose: 2 capsules provide 300 mg — 71% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Price: $$$
If you’re looking for the best overall magnesium supplement, BioEmblem’s Triple Magnesium Complex should be at the top of your list.
Certified for purity and accuracy by Labdoor, this supplement is made in a California-based facility registered by NSF International, a testing and inspection organization.
It’s also certified to meet current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
All of BioEmblem’s ingredients and products go through several rounds of testing to ensure optimal quality and accuracy.
Its Triple Magnesium Complex contains a blend of three types of magnesium — citrate, glycinate, and malate — all of which are chelated to make them easier for your body to absorb.
This product gets high ratings for its wide range of benefits, such as aiding sleep, migraine, anxiety, and muscle cramps and pains.
Each capsule is vegan and gluten-free, as well as free of fillers, artificial ingredients, preservatives, and genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
- Dose: 1 capsule provides 500 mg — 119% of the DV
- Price: $
Life Extension is a trusted company that’s been making high quality supplements for over 40 years.
As they pride themselves on transparency and quality, each of their products contains a Certificate of Analysis that allows you to confirm its quality and accuracy.
Manufactured in an NSF International-registered GMP facility, Life Extension’s Magnesium Caps are not only safe but also one of the most budget-friendly options.
Each capsule is non-GMO verified and combines magnesium oxide, citrate, succinate, and chelated glycinate.
Just keep in mind that these pills pack more than 100% of your daily needs for magnesium, so it’s best to check with your healthcare provider before taking this higher dose.
- Dose: 1 scoop (4 grams) provides 200 mg — 48% of the DV
- Price: $$$
Thorne Research is known for creating high quality supplements that have been extensively researched.
Its products are made in a lab that meets quality and safety standards set by NSF International and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a regulatory body in Australia responsible for assessing supplements.
Their supplements are also NSF Certified for Sport, ensuring that they’re free of more than 200 substances banned by many major sports organizations.
Thorne’s Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder is one of the best magnesium powders on the market due to its high quality and limited ingredient list.
Unlike other magnesium powders, it’s flavored only with monk fruit concentrate and free of added sugars, thickeners, and artificial flavors and colors. Furthermore, it gets good reviews for its flavor and ease of use.
Additionally, it supplies magnesium glycinate, a form regarded as highly absorbable and digestible.
- Dose: 2 capsules provide 200 mg — 48% of the DV
- Price: $$
Research reveals that magnesium plays an important role in stimulating relaxation pathways, including the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) — a neurotransmitter responsible for quieting your nervous system and promoting sleep (
Magnesium glycinate is a form bound to glycine, an amino acid shown in animal and test-tube studies to have a calming effect on the brain (
It’s important to note that there’s currently limited human research on the effectiveness of magnesium glycinate for sleep.
Still, if you’re interested in trying it, one of the best options on the market is Nested’s Magnesium Glycinate tablets.
Made with chelated magnesium glycinate for better absorption, each product is manufactured in an NSF International- and GMP-certified facility, third-party tested for quality and accuracy, and certified gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
Easy on the stomach, this supplement gets high reviews for improving overall sleep quality, as well as relieving restless leg syndrome and nighttime leg cramps.
- Dose: 1 capsule (100 mg) 1–3 times daily — 24–71% of the DV
- Price: $$
In addition to aiding sleep, magnesium’s calming effect on the nervous system may alleviate anxiety.
While more research is needed, one review of 18 human studies suggests that magnesium may reduce anxiety symptoms (
Klaire Labs’ Magnesium Glycinate Complex is one of the best options, as it’s third-party tested, manufactured in a GMP-certified facility, and free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Each capsule blends chelated magnesium glycinate with magnesium oxide.
While magnesium glycinate is commonly used to help with sleep and anxiety, magnesium oxide is one of the most common forms tested in studies examining anxiety (
For best results, it’s recommended to take one capsule, one to three times per day, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
- Dose: 1 capsule provides 50 mg — 12% of the DV
- Price: $$
Magnesium has been shown to act as a natural calcium blocker to help your muscles relax. Thus, it’s thought that some muscle cramps may be due to insufficient magnesium intake (
Despite insufficient research, some individuals report muscle cramp relief from taking magnesium (
If you’re curious to try it, MegaFood’s Magnesium is one of the best choices.
MegaFood is a Certified B Corporation — a legal designation verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. The designation is given to companies that meet rigorous standards for accountability, transparency, and social and environmental performance.
MegaFood’s Magnesium supplement is tested for over 125 pesticides and herbicides, as well as quality-verified and certified non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.
In addition to magnesium, each tablet contains 50 mg of organic spinach, which is also a good food source of magnesium (
MegaFood’s Magnesium is praised for its ability to reduce leg cramps. Unlike many supplements, it can be taken on an empty stomach. As a result, you can easily take it just before bed to help keep nighttime cramps at bay.
- Dose: 1 capsule provides 300 mg — 71% of the DV
- Price: $
Migraine is a chronic condition that involves recurring headaches that are often associated with symptoms like nausea, weakness, and sensitivity to light and sound (
Human research indicates that magnesium supplements may help prevent and manage migraine attacks (
Douglas Laboratories makes all of its products in an NSF International-registered GMP facility. Its supplements are likewise non-GMO verified.
The company’s magnesium supplement uses magnesium oxide, a form often used to aid heartburn and indigestion. It has also been studied for its effects on migraine symptoms, though more research is needed (
Keep in mind that some individuals may experience diarrhea as a side effect.
- Dose: 1/4 teaspoon (1.33 mL) 3 times daily provides 399 mg — 95% of the DV
- Price: $$
For those who have difficulty swallowing pills, liquid supplements may be a good option.
Nevertheless, you should examine the ingredient list before purchase, as many liquid supplements contain added sugar and/or artificial colors and flavors.
NOW Foods’ Liquid Magnesium with Trace Minerals is one of the best liquid magnesium supplements, as it’s free of artificial ingredients and added sugars. Instead, the only ingredient is trace mineral concentrate.
NOW’s supplements are manufactured in a GMP-registered facility that has also been certified by Underwriters Laboratories, an independent testing company that ensures quality and safety.
The taste can be strong, so it’s recommended to mix 1/4 teaspoon (1.33 mL) with water, juice, or food 3 times per day.
In particular, magnesium citrate, sulfite, and hydroxide all have an osmotic laxative effect (
This means that these supplements help relax your bowels and draw water into your intestines to soften stool and make it easier to pass.
When taking magnesium for constipation, you should talk to your healthcare provider for individualized dosage recommendations.
- Dose: 1 capsule (150 mg) 1–4 times daily — 36–143% of the DV
- Price: $$
If you’re experiencing constipation, Pure Encapsulations’ Magnesium Citrate is a high quality option.
Made in a facility that’s NSF International-registered and GMP-certified, this supplement is also certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), non-GMO verified, and vegan.
Its middle-of-the-road dose of magnesium citrate can help move things along without causing an urgent trip to the bathroom.
For best results, take one pill with a meal, one to four times a day, depending on recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Dose: 1 teaspoon (5 mL) provides 215 mg — 51% of the DV
- Price: $$$
For those who prefer a liquid supplement, Pure Encapsulations also offers liquid magnesium citrate.
Free of artificial sweeteners and colors, this product contains natural fruit flavors, apple juice concentrate, and stevia extract to make it more palatable.
Pure Encapsulations’ Magnesium Liquid is certified gluten-free and verified non-GMO.
For best results, it’s recommended to consume 1 teaspoon (5 mL) with a meal once a day, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
When shopping for a magnesium supplement, it’s important to consider the form of magnesium, dosage, and product quality.
You may want to research which form of magnesium, such as citrate, glycinate, or oxide, is most appropriate for your needs. You may also want to consider a product with multiple types of magnesium.
To avoid potential side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps, try to keep your supplement-based intake under 350 mg per day, unless under the supervision of a health professional (
Given that the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the same way it monitors drugs, you should look for brands that are certified by third parties, such as NSF International, Labdoor, or Underwriters Laboratories, for safety and quality.
Finally, consider avoiding products with any artificial ingredients, such as colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient found in a variety of foods, including whole grains, beans, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
Supplements are a good option for people who don’t meet their needs through diet alone.
As supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA the same way that medications are, it’s important to choose reputable brands that have undergone quality testing. To make your decision simple, you can simply select a product from the list above.
If you’re unsure how much to take or which type is most appropriate for your needs, speak to your healthcare provider for a specific recommendation.