Magnesium citrate is a popular dietary supplement that is widely used for its numerous health benefits. It is a combination of magnesium and citric acid, which makes it more easily absorbed by the body. 

Magnesium citrate is known to improve heart health, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote better sleep. It is also used as a natural laxative to relieve constipation. In this article, we will explore the benefits, recommended doses, and potential side effects of magnesium citrate.

Let’s learn more about the benefits, doses, and side effects of magnesium citrate!

What is Magnesium Citrate? 

Magnesium citrate is a dietary supplement that is composed of magnesium and citric acid. It offers a range of health benefits, including promoting better heart health, regulating blood sugar levels, and aiding in better sleep.

It’s also one of the most popular forms of magnesium out there. The reason for this is that it is widely available and has relatively high bioavailability. 

Magnesium citrate is also commonly used as a natural laxative to relieve constipation. It is easily absorbed by the body, making it an effective and efficient way to supplement magnesium levels. 

Understanding the benefits, recommended dosages, and potential side effects of magnesium citrate can help individuals make informed decisions about incorporating it into their diet.

Magnesium Citrate Uses

Magnesium citrate is undeniably a versatile dietary supplement that offers a plethora of health benefits. It is widely recognized for its ability to promote better heart health, regulate blood sugar levels, aid in achieving better sleep, and relieve constipation naturally as a laxative. 

Magnesium Citrate Benefits

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While it is often utilized as a remedy for constipation, magnesium citrate has also been investigated for its potential advantages in other areas of health. Below are some of the potential and proven benefits of magnesium citrate:

Relieves Constipation

If you’re experiencing constipation, magnesium citrate solutions can help alleviate the issue. Magnesium citrate works by drawing water into the bowel and flushing waste out of the body, making it a reliable saline laxative. [1]

It’s safe to use occasionally, starting with 400 milligrams of magnesium citrate at bedtime and gradually increasing the dosage until you have a loose stool. However, it’s important to reduce the dosage once you’ve achieved a loose stool.

May Lower Blood Pressure 

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Taking magnesium supplements can aid in the relaxation of blood vessels and enhance blood circulation, leading to a decrease in blood pressure. 

A thorough review in Hypertension in 2016 scrutinized 34 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, which revealed that magnesium supplements with an average dose of 368 milligrams per day for roughly three months diminished both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension and those with normal blood pressure. [2

May Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

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The presence of magnesium in the body is important for the proper functioning of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which could potentially reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to a recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, consuming more magnesium can lower the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. [3]

Additionally, a review of controlled studies showed that taking magnesium supplements can improve blood sugar regulation in individuals with type 2 diabetes and potentially enhance both blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in those at risk. [4]

Promotes Better Sleep 

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The amount of magnesium in your body can affect the quality of your sleep. People who have low magnesium levels tend to have poorer sleep quality, while those who have enough magnesium in their bodies tend to sleep better. 

This could be because magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters responsible for promoting relaxation and sleep, such as melatonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

In 2021, small studies were analyzed to determine the impact of magnesium supplements on the quality of sleep in elderly individuals who suffer from insomnia. 

The analysis revealed that those who consumed magnesium were able to fall asleep approximately 16 minutes faster than those who did not. Although magnesium did increase sleep duration, it was not a significant statistical difference. [5]

Can Reduce Anxiety 

Many people believe that magnesium can have a calming effect on the brain, which may help reduce symptoms of anxiety. 

According to a review conducted in 2017, taking magnesium supplements could potentially alleviate mild anxiety, including anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome. [6]

Nevertheless, more extensive studies are required to determine if magnesium really has a significant impact on anxiety.

Helps Prevent Migraine 

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines, and taking magnesium supplements may be beneficial in lessening the frequency and severity of these headaches.

In 2016, a thorough analysis discovered that taking magnesium supplements considerably lowered both the frequency and intensity of migraines. It’s worth noting that the conclusion was drawn from observations of both oral and intravenous (IV) administration of magnesium. [7]

Studies have shown that magnesium may help decrease the frequency and severity of migraines, but there is no agreement on the optimal dosage for preventing them. 

Nonetheless, the International, American, and European Headache Societies, as well as the Neurological Academy, advise taking between 400 and 600 milligrams of magnesium each day to help prevent migraines. [8]

Can Help Improve Bone Health

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Maintaining appropriate levels of magnesium in the body is crucial for promoting healthy bones, as it plays a vital role in regulating calcium levels.

According to a review conducted in 2021, individuals who consume less magnesium are more likely to have lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of bone fracture. 

The studies included in the review consistently demonstrated that taking magnesium citrate or other types of magnesium supplements can enhance bone mineral density and lower the risk of bone fractures. [9]

Magnesium Citrate Side Effects 

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Although it is safe to consume the recommended daily amount of magnesium citrate, excessive intake can cause loose stools or diarrhea, in addition to nausea and abdominal cramps.

It is important to note that consuming large doses of magnesium citrate laxative solutions or antacids exceeding 5,000 milligrams per day can lead to magnesium toxicity, although this is uncommon.

Before taking a magnesium supplement, it is crucial to consult with your doctor as magnesium citrate can potentially interact with specific prescription drugs, antibiotics, and osteoporosis medications.


In conclusion, magnesium citrate is a valuable supplement for those who want to improve their overall health and wellness. It offers a range of benefits, including improved digestion, nerve and muscle function, and heart health. 

However, it is important to use the recommended doses and be aware of potential side effects, such as diarrhea and dehydration. As with any supplement, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding magnesium citrate to your daily routine.


Magnesium citrate is a medication that is commonly utilized to manage sporadic constipation in the short term. It belongs to a group of medications known as saline laxatives. Its function is to cause the stool to retain water. This leads to an increase in the number of bowel movements and softening of the stool, making it easier to pass.
Individuals with particular medical conditions or those who have undergone particular medical procedures should refrain from using magnesium citrate. Such examples include blockages in the colon or stomach, cardiac issues, and impaired heart muscles. It is essential to consult with a medical professional before using this product.
Interestingly, while the latter is commonly utilized as a remedy for sudden constipation, it is not an effective means of increasing magnesium levels due to poor absorption. In contrast, citrate is a versatile form of magnesium that can be used to address deficiencies, promote relaxation and rest, or serve as a gentle laxative.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References and Fact-Checking

  1. Siegel, J. D., & Di Palma, J. A. (2005). Medical Treatment of Constipation. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 18(2), 76-80.
  2. 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.
  3. Veronese, N., Demurtas, J., Pesolillo, G., Celotto, S., Barnini, T., Calusi, G., Caruso, M. G., Notarnicola, M., Reddavide, R., Stubbs, B., Solmi, M., Maggi, S., Vaona, A., Firth, J., Smith, L., Koyanagi, A., Dominguez, L., & Barbagallo, M. (2020). Magnesium and health outcomes: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational and intervention studies. European journal of nutrition, 59(1), 263–272.
  4. Veronese, N., Dominguez, L. J., Pizzol, D., Demurtas, J., Smith, L., & Barbagallo, M. (2021). Oral Magnesium Supplementation for Treating Glucose Metabolism Parameters in People with or at Risk of Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 13(11), 4074.
  5. Mah, J., & Pitre, T. (2021). Oral magnesium supplementation for insomnia in older adults: a Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 125.
  6. 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.
  7. Chiu, H. Y., Yeh, T. H., Huang, Y. C., & Chen, P. Y. (2016). Effects of Intravenous and Oral Magnesium on Reducing Migraine: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain physician, 19(1), E97–E112.
  8. Domitrz, I., & Cegielska, J. (2022). Magnesium as an Important Factor in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Migraine-From Theory to Practice. Nutrients, 14(5), 1089.
  9. Rondanelli, M., Faliva, M. A., Tartara, A., Gasparri, C., Perna, S., Infantino, V., Riva, A., Petrangolini, G., & Peroni, G. (2021). An update on magnesium and bone health. Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine, 34(4), 715–736.
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Kim Monasterial, BSN

Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


  • Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn