Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium Glycinate

The side effects of having low levels of magnesium levels are many, as magnesium is a primary player in the way your nerves, muscles, bones, heart, and cells function.

The most common method of treating the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is the use of a supplement such as magnesium glycinate.

Although magnesium glycinate does have its own list of side effects ranging from being mildly irritating to severe, the alternative to taking them is much worse.

With magnesium deficiency being responsible for muscle spasms, low bone density, possible heart problems, and adverse nerve reactions.

In this article, I’m going to explain why magnesium glycinate is essential to our health, and where to get it.

What is Magnesium Glycinate

According to WebMD, Magnesium Glycinate is a magnesium supplement that is used to treat a deficiency in the blood’s magnesium content that is not corrected by eating a proper diet.

Specifically, magnesium glycinate is a mineral supplement that is made from the magnesium salt found in glycine.

There are many varieties of magnesium supplements such as, magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, and magnesium acid complexes that are all intended to do the same thing.

However magnesium, glycinate is the supplement form that falls closest to the magnesium that is found naturally in your food sources and nature.

Although magnesium chloride is the most soluble of the magnesium supplement options, it has a lower magnesium absorption rate than magnesium glycinate.

In addition to having a lower absorption rate magnesium chloride often causes diarrhea which makes it most commonly used as a laxative.

The most common clinical uses of magnesium are for treating restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, chronic stress, anxiety, constipation, and high blood pressure.

Since magnesium needs to be bonded to another molecule, you will find several forms of magnesium supplements on the market, with the most common variations being magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium amino acid chelate.

Because of magnesium glycinate’s easy absorption within the body with fewer intestinal side effects than other magnesium supplements, it is the recommended version for treating anxiety, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and muscle issues.

Magnesium glycinate can be purchased in different dosage levels as well as in both liquid and pill form at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and even online for use as a supplement.

As with any supplement or medication, it is important to speak with your doctor before adding them to your diet and routine.

Even though having a magnesium deficiency is detrimental to the overall function of your body, having too much of a good thing is also not a good thing.

You will want to monitor your intake and dosage to avoid experiencing negative side effects from possible overdosing.

Other Names for Magnesium Glycinate

You may also find magnesium glycinate listed in the ingredients as magnesium diglycinate or magnesium bisglycinate.

Editor’s Note

Although I have not used magnesium glycinate, in particular, I have used other forms of magnesium for treating muscle spasms, tension, migraine headaches, and anxiety issues.

The product that I used contained magnesium carbonate and worked well on my muscle cramps, with no noticeable side effects, but the effects on my migraine headaches were negligible.

I do believe that I may have seen more results in regards to my migraine headaches had I increased the dosage, however since I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, increasing the dosage was not an option for me without triggering diarrhea and intestinal pain.

Even though I did not see a significant improvement in my migraine when attempting to treat it with magnesium, it did take the edge off of my symptoms making the pain more bearable.

I have seen much more effective results when using magnesium to treat minor headaches that stem from tension or stress, though.

Having done a fair bit of research before taking magnesium, I can say that the reviews that I have come across while doing the research for this article have been mostly positive.

Most individuals stating that this product has helped them with insomnia, muscle spasms, anxiety, improved memory and brain functions, and general muscle pain problems.

Because of the overall magnitude of magnesium’s effects on the body’s ability to function properly, I believe it is important to maintain sufficient levels of magnesium either through a healthy diet or a quality supplement as explained in the YouTube video below.

Magnesium Glycinate Reviews

While researching this project it became apparent that most individuals who have tried magnesium glycinate or one of the different varieties of magnesium were for the most part happy with their results, and they recommended taking magnesium for muscle pain, cramping, anxiety, insomnia, mental acuity, and general tension.

Benefits and effects

Because Glycinate is an amino acid, you will find that the benefits of taking a magnesium glycinate supplement closely mirror those of taking a magnesium amino acid chelate supplement.

  • Better Absorption – It does no good to introduce supplements into the body if they are not going to be absorbed. Because magnesium glycinate is paired with a natural amino acid, it is more easily absorbed by the body than other variations of the mineral making it more effective. In addition, the body also received the benefits of absorbing the amino acid which the body also needs.
  • Fewer Negative Side Effects – With one of the side effects being diarrhea, taking the wrong type of magnesium supplement could, in fact, increase the amount of deficiency within the body since chronic diarrhea is the main cause of magnesium depletion. Magnesium glycinate’s ability to be easy on the digestive track provide it with the ability to supplement your magnesium intake without the digestive side effects seen when taking other types of magnesium supplements.
  • Homeopathic Solution to Pain, Anxiety, insomnia, and Mental Acuity – Since magnesium glycinate is a mineral and amino acid compound that has both halves found in the foods we eat, our physical makeup, and nature it is the most natural of treatment options. Choosing a natural supplement over a pharmaceutical option is gentler on the body and has fewer potential side effects, making the homeopathic solution a more sound choice.

In addition to the benefits listed above, LiveStrong also reports that taking magnesium glycinate is an effective treatment supplement for people who suffer from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

How It Works

Magnesium plays an integral role in a healthy nervous system as well as the activation and relaxation of muscle tissue.

As such, deficiency affects your ability to focus, the speed at which your muscles can recover and relax, and overall pain, tension, and stress within all areas of the body.

As explained by Ancient Minerals, Magnesium affects these vital organs and function of the body by activating more than 300 naturally occurring enzyme reactions within the body, which translates into the thousands of biochemical reactions that constantly happen throughout the body on a daily basis.

As a painkiller, magnesium works by relaxing blood vessels in the brain boosting platelets and blocking pain transmitters in the brain.

One of the nice aspects of taking a magnesium glycinate supplement is that they begin to work as soon as the body begins to absorb the magnesium.

That means that after only one dose you should begin to feel the relaxing effects of this supplement.

How long the effects last will depend on a number of things such as how magnesium depleted the individual is, how quickly their body is absorbing the supplement, the underlying cause of the depletion, and how consistent the individual is with taking their supplements.

Unless it is a random or temporary situation, supplements only work as a solution to any type of vitamin or mineral depletion if they are taken regularly.


Corpina explains that determining the correct dosage of magnesium depends on several things, including what your symptoms are, how magnesium depleted you are, and the kind of magnesium supplement that you are taking.

The recommended dosage of magnesium when using an oxide supplement for treating migraine headaches is between 400 and 500 mg per day.

While the dosage recommended for sleep problems is between 400 and 1,000 mg before bed of a magnesium citrate supplement.

Be careful with taking high doses of magnesium citrate though as it is also used for constipation at a dose that falls between 300 and 400 mg per day

Dosages for children will be significantly lower depending on age. Children between the ages of newborn and 6 months should take 30 mg, 7 to 12 months will be 75 mg, 1 to 3 years of age is 80 mg, ages 4 to 8 need 130 mg, and children 9 to 13 require 240 mg.

To minimize stomach upset, you should take this mineral supplement with food.

As with other nutrients, magnesium supplements can be found in several different forms, which can all yield slightly varying results when taken.  The magnesium metal ions can be bonded to other molecules, forming what are called salts.  Mainly, what makes the differences in the salts significant is absorbance within the body, where some are more efficient than others.  A more efficient supplement may be more expensive to produce due to technical reasons, but people need to take less of it to achieve optimal effects.

The cheapest and most basic magnesium supplement is in the form of oxide, or MgO.  It will get the job done, but it has the problem of causing digestive disturbances with high doses, which you would need to absorb much of the elemental magnesium.

Up the scale a bit further is magnesium citrate, which falls in between the basic oxide and the much more absorbent varieties.  It is joined by a plethora of other intermediates such as magnesium chloride or mag-zinc mixtures.  These types interact better with the human body, providing a clinically sufficient amount of pure magnesium per dose.

Finally, the best magnesium sources.  They absorb the most efficiently into the body, have the lowest effective dosages, and work especially well for nootropics.  They are the forms Malate, Glycinate, and Threonate.  In addition to being just darn good magnesium sources, these salts also serve to chelate, or connect and remove unwanted metals from the body such as aluminum.  The malate form especially is great for this.  Many proponents to using magnesium as a nootropic recommend threonate, as it has an especially high affinity for the brain according to various literature.

Side Effects

When taking any magnesium supplement, it’s important to remember that you’re also getting magnesium through your diet.

Many foods are rich in magnesium like dark green and bright colored vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These will interact with your supplement intake, and too much magnesium of any kind will potentially lead to negative side effects.

Because some people may have a sensitivity to absorbing magnesium glycinate they may find that they have stomach cramps, vomiting, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, and excessive sweating when they take a magnesium glycinate supplement.


Stacking supplements is a good way to get the most out of the supplements that you are taking, by combining compatible supplements that work hand-in-hand with each other for a more effective result.

According to Memory Improvement Tips, the best stack for creating better sleep is combining magnesium, L-Threonate, and Glycine. When you take a magnesium glycinate supplement, all you need to add is L-Threonate to complete this stack.

I’ve had some good success stacking Omega 3 with Magnesium, L-theanine, and Glycine on a daily basis to achieve better results when attempting to reduce anxiety without feeling sleepy.

Because magnesium affects so many bodily functions, there are numerous ways to stack these supplements to achieve different results.

Authority Nutrition explains that stacking this vital mineral supplement with other needed supplements will affect your energy levels, protein production, muscle movement, your body’s ability to create and repair DNA strands, and the regulation of your nervous system when combined correctly.


There are many forms of magnesium available in supplemental form, all of which are easily obtained and treat similar symptoms.

Choosing the one that works best for you will depend largely on the results that you are trying to achieve.

Some of the most common forms that you will find available are:

  • Magnesium Oxide – Although this type of supplement contains the highest levels of magnesium it is the least absorbable, and you will absorb only about 4 percent of the recommended dosage of 400 mg of magnesium that you ingest.Its uses include sleep, constipation, pain management, and cognitive improvement. The dosage that you will require will differ depending on what you are attempting to treat.
  • Magnesium Citrate – Due to its ability to mix well with liquids and its high absorption rate, magnesium citrate is the most commonly used ingredients when producing magnesium supplements. This alternative is used for treating sleep issues, and the standard dosage is 300 mg per day for maintenance and between 400 and 1,000 mg for onset treatments.In addition to treating sleep issues, Magnesium Citrate is also used for treating constipation problems, so when using the higher doses for sleep, you may find that you have to use the bathroom more frequently.
  • Magnesium Sulfate – Unlike other alternative supplements, magnesium sulfate can be absorbed through the skin and muscle tissue, which is why it is the main ingredient used in Epsom Salts.Soaking in an Epsom Salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes per day will provide you with the recommended dose of 600 to 900 mg of magnesium for treating anxiety and muscle cramping.
  • Natural Sources – As with any supplement the best alternative is through eating a healthy and balanced diet that includes large amounts of leafy greens, nuts, and sprouted seeds. This alternative is the most gentle on your digestive tract and absorbed more completely than by swallowing a handful of supplement pills.

Closing Thoughts

Although magnesium supplements come in a wide selection of compounds to treat a variety of different conditions, there are similarities in what these supplements treat.

Most magnesium supplement products cross over with each other treating conditions from insomnia to migraine headaches and mood stabilizing.

When choosing the correct magnesium for your particular ailments, you need to consider your overall health since some magnesium options can exacerbate some conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal distress.

In general, magnesium is a vital mineral to our bodies, and to reverse or prevent health issues it is imperative that you maintain the proper amounts of magnesium in your bloodstream at all times, whether it is by eating healthier or adding a daily supplement to your routine.

For treating the sudden onset of certain conditions taking a fast acting, highly absorbable magnesium supplement is recommended over pharmaceutical options since it is a more natural approach to medicine and has fewer serious side effects than the magnesium pharmaceutical counterparts.

Additional Resources

Other Magnesium resources
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