Maintaining optimal health requires proper nutrition and supplementation, with magnesium being vital for numerous bodily functions. However, meeting the recommended daily intake solely through diet can be challenging. 

This is where magnesium supplements, such as Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate, come into play. In this article, we will explore the comprehensive comparison of Magnesium Glycinate vs. Citrate. Uncovering their benefits and their common uses. 

Join us on this journey to uncover the potential of Magnesium Glycinate and citrate for enhancing your well-being.

How much Magnesium Does a Human need?

The recommended amount of magnesium may differ depending on one’s age, sex, and other conditions. For instance, young men need around 400mg of magnesium, while older men need 420mg daily. Meanwhile, young women need 310mg daily and 320mg for older ones.

Pregnant and breastfeeding need more, which can go around 350-360mg daily. Interestingly, children need a lesser amount of magnesium, but the amount they need does not differ despite their sex differences. The difference begins to exist upon reaching 14 years old. [1][2]

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate: Differences

Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate are two of the most common forms of magnesium our body can absorb. These two mineral forms can be found in several sources, including dietary supplements. However, like many things, both come with their differences.

We can distinguish those differences through the following general key concepts:

  • Bioavailability and origin
  •  Benefits and Uses
  • Side effects
  • Dosage

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate: Bioavailability and Origin

The first difference between Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate is noticeable through its bioavailability and origin. Bioavailability is the state of a substance in terms of digestion. Therefore, when we say that a substance is bioavailable, the body can absorb it easily.

Studies show that Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate are more bioavailable than their other forms. This is one of the reasons for its wide availability of dietary supplements. However, as for its origin, Glycinate is also found in Glycine-rich foods. [3]

Glycine is one of the amino acids that work well with regulating hormones. It is something that Magnesium Glycinate also influences in the body. Thus, many health benefits have been seen on it.

Meanwhile, Magnesium Citrate is a substance also present in laxatives. It is primarily composed of salt and some compounds of foods rich in citric acid. It has said to be commonly used for treating constipation. [4][5][6]

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate: Benefits

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate
Source: Canva

In general, magnesium positively affects our overall health. It lowers the risk of developing heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and bone fractures and reduces the likelihood of having headaches. It is also associated with better sleep and reduced muscle cramps.

However, the two come with differences in terms of sets of benefits. For instance, Magnesium Glycinate can help through the following conditions:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Reduction of depressive symptoms
  • Bone health and strength
  • Healthy blood sugar
  • Premenstrual syndrome management
  • Pain relief
  • Migraine

On the other hand, Magnesium Citrate is known as a good aid for the following conditions:

  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Quality
  • Bone’s health and strength
  • Muscle strength

These differences sometimes make it hard to decide which form of magnesium they should take. For most studies, Glycinate is more effective in general well-being, while Citrate is more effective for calming the body. [7][8]

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate: Uses

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate
Source: Canva

As we can observe from the benefits of Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate, generally, both affect one’s health through similar aspects. This part will discuss more details about these common forms of magnesium.

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate for Sleep

Both Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate may affect sleep patterns or a person’s sleep quality. However, they differ in the ways they do such a thing. Nevertheless, magnesium generally affects neurotransmitters and the production of melatonin – a hormone associated with sleepiness.

According to a study among people with depression, Magnesium Glycinate helped improve their mood. Aside from that, it also improved in alleviating symptoms like anxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughts, ideations, and many more, just like the DHEA hormone.

The study results suggest that mood improvement can also contribute to better sleep. While it helps the regulation of melatonin, a more uplifted mood, reduction of stress, and anxiety relief lead to high-quality sleep. [9]

Meanwhile, Magnesium Citrate works better with constipation relief. As it works with your digestive system, the body can adjust and regulate other hormones that may affect other aspects of health.

This way, the body is least likely to be overwhelmed in fulfilling one’s needs, such as relaxation for sleep. In short, Citrate’s effect on sleep is less direct than Glycinate. [10]

Magnesium Glycinate vs. Citrate for Leg Cramps

According to research, both forms of magnesium may help reduce leg cramps. However, the evidence needs to be improved, and additional research is needed to verify its efficacy further. 

Nevertheless, experts hypothesized that citrate is more effective than other forms of Magnesium. [11][12]

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate: Side Effects

Regarding side effects, both Magnesium Glycinate and Citrate perform well in the body. No negative impact will be visible if the person does not overdose. Otherwise, you may experience the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Deterioration of kidney function

To avoid such side effects, consider only the recommended dose. Alternatively, consult your doctor first, especially if you are taking other medicines. Note that magnesium, regardless of any form, may have a negative drug interaction with other treatments. [13][14]

Magnesium Glycinate vs. Citrate: Dosage

Magnesium Glycinate Vs. Citrate
Source: Canva

In terms of dosage, there are not so many differences between the two forms. However, each product comes with dosage instructions. Typically, it is also something that you should follow. Alternatively, doctors can prescribe a more suitable dose for you.

Bottomline

Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate are just two of the various forms of magnesium. While they have similarities, differences between them still exist.

For instance, Magnesium Glycinate stands out for its calming effects, promoting improvement in mood and sleep. On the other hand, Magnesium Citrate is better for treating constipation. Nevertheless, both can be beneficial to one’s health.

FAQs

Magnesium glycinate is often considered more bioavailable than magnesium citrate and other forms of magnesium. This is because glycine, the amino acid it binds to, facilitates the absorption.
It depends on your needs. Magnesium Glycinate is often favored for promoting relaxation and sleep. On the other hand, Magnesium Citrate is more effective for constipation relief.
Yes, you can. Combining different forms of magnesium can offer a broader range of benefits. However, consulting a doctor is still advised before doing so.

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. Zarean, E., & Tarjan, A. (2017). Effect of Magnesium Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes: A Randomized Control Trial. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page numbers. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.213879
  2. National Institutes of Health. (2021). Magnesium – Fact Sheet for Consumers. Retrieved from 
  3. DiSilvestro, R. A., Joseph, E., Starkoff, B. E., & Devor, S. T. (2013). Magnesium Glycinate Supplementation in Bariatric Surgery Patients and Physically Fit Young Adults. Experimental Biology 2013 Meeting Abstracts, 27(S1), lb291-lb291.    
  4. Walker, A. F., Marakis, G., Christie, S., & Byng, M. (2003). Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double-blind study. Magnesium Research, 16(3), 183-191. PMID: 14596323
  5. Walker, A. F., Marakis, G., Christie, S., & Byng, M. (2003). Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double-blind study. Magnesium Research, 16(3), 183-191. PMID: 14596323
  6. National Institutes of Health. (2023). Magnesium citrate. Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Magnesium-citrate
  7. Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: Are the health consequences underestimated? Nutrition Reviews, 70(3), 153-164. PMID: 22364157. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x
  8. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2023). Magnesium. The Nutrition Source. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium/
  9. Eby, G. A., & Eby, K. L. (2006). Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Medical Hypotheses, 67(2), 362-370. PMID: 16542786. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.01.047
  10. Botturi, A., Ciappolino, V., Delvecchio, G., Boscutti, A., Viscardi, B., & Brambilla, P. (2020). The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 12(6), 1661. PMID: 32503201. PMCID: PMC7352515. DOI: 10.3390/nu12061661
  11. 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. PMID: 33657750. PMCID: PMC8020016.
  12. Garrison, S. R., Korownyk, C. S., Kolber, M. R., Allan, G. M., Musini, V. M., Sekhon, R. K., & Dugré, N. (2020). Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9), CD009402. PMID: 32956536. PMCID: PMC8094171. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009402.pub3
  13. Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica, 2017, 4179326. PMID: 29093983. PMCID: PMC5637834. DOI: 10.1155/2017/4179326
  14. National Institutes of Health. (2021). Magnesium – Fact Sheet for Consumers. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
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Lily R. Guion, BSc

Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn

Author

  • Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn

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Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn