Types of Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the few supplements I take everywhere with me. Some form of green's powder, a protein powder, creatine and magnesium.

​Often times supplemental deficiencies are rare. For instance, it's pretty uncommon with an average diet to be deficient in vitamin C. However, a large portion of the US population doesn't get enough Magnesium on a daily basis [1].

So what does this actually mean for you? Poor results in the gym.

Adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) is the human bodies energy source and the gasoline that fuels our engine. It requires the presence of Magnesium, which is why it's so important.

Among other things ATP is responsible for protein synthesis and cell reproduction. There is evidence that even a marginal deficiency of Magnesium can impair these processes which ultimately impact our results.

Aside from providing energy Magnesium can also help us sleep, improve memory, increase testosterone, ease muscle pain and tension, prevent osteoporosis and improve digestion.

Now that we've established that it's important and there is a pretty good chance you're not getting enough of it. But what's the the best type of Magnesium?

Types of Magnesium 

There are a variety of different forms of Magnesium that are sold as supplements. The type is dependent on what the Magnesium (Mg) is bound to. There are three things that these substances will impact; the function of the Magnesium, the Magnesium by weight (ie: if it's bound to a larger substance it'll have less Mg by weight) and finally how well our bodies are able to absorb the Magnesium. 

  1. Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate

    Magnesium Amnio Acid Chelate is bonded to an Amino Acid. Ch

  2. Magnesium Oxide MgO

    Magnesium Oxide is one of the most common form of Magnesium on the market place. It's also is the least bioavailable option on this entire list. However, it often has the most Magnesium per dose so even though your body isn't absorbing a great deal of it, it still can provide a generous amount of Mg.

  3. Magnesium Citrate

    Magnesium Citrate is another extremely common form of Magnesium. It's bonded to Citric acid which helps it's bioavailability. It's easy to find and is a very popular form of Magnesium.

  4. Magnesium Orotate

    Magnesium Orotate is Magnesium that is bonded to Orotic Acid. Orotic acid is necessary for the production of ATP (see above). And while some claim that Magnesium Orotate is more readily absorbed because it can pass through cell membranes there isn't a ton of evidence.

    The main proponent of this research is Dr Hans Neiper. Most of the research that I stumbled across isn't public but the real problem is his brand is one of the few options on the market for Magnesium Orotate

  5. Magnesium Chloride

    Magnesium Chloride has slightly higher bioavailability than MgO. There are a few companies that make Magnesium Chloride tablets but it's more common to find Magnesium Chloride creams, oils or lotions. These oils can help to deal with overly oily skin.

    Like Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts), Magnesium Chloride can also be used for soaks. These baths are amazing for releasing tension and tight muscles. 
  6. Magnesium Lactate

    Magnesium Lactate
  7. Magnesium Sulfate

    Magnesium Sulfate is most often used in baths. A magnesium sulfate bath can help relax tense muscles, relieve muscle soreness and it's great for callused hands and feet.

    It can be taken orally, but it's less popular than many of the other Magnesium supplements on this list.
  8. Magnesium Carbonate
  9. Magnesium Glycinate

    Magnesium Glycinate is Mg bonded to the amino acid gylcine. For many it's the easiest on their stomachs and it is one of the most easily absorbed with the high levels of bioavailability. For these reasons it's one of the most popular types of Magnesium supplements. 

  10. Magnesium Threonate