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Magnesium is, in general, a nutrient vital for so many of the processes of our body and brain. Magnesium supports your body’s production of protein, DNA, and bone. It supports muscle and nerve function and is also important for mood and mental health. Our body requires large amounts of magnesium, which many of us aren’t getting from our diet alone, so we turn to supplements. One type of magnesium supplement is magnesium glycinate. Below, we cover what you should know and answer the question, “what is magnesium glycinate good for.”
My picks for the top magnesium glycinate supplements include:
- Integrative Therapeutics Magnesium Glycinate Plus
- Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate Lysinate
- Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate
The Basics of Magnesium
Magnesium is a cofactor in hundreds of processes. The mineral regulates many of our biochemical reactions. We require magnesium for energy, the synthesis of DNA, and the transport of calcium and potassium. Magnesium is needed for normal muscle contracts and heart rhythm.
Surveys show that most people consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Severe magnesium deficiency symptoms include cramps, personality changes, numbness, and tingling. Low magnesium levels can also lead to low calcium or potassium levels because of the disruption of mineral homeostasis.
Along with people who don’t get enough magnesium from their diet, some people have certain health conditions or risk factors for deficiency, including:
- People with gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s, celiac disease, or other conditions that impair absorption.
- Individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- People with alcohol dependence or who drink excessively.
- Older adults.
Health conditions associated with magnesium deficiency include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Anxiety and depression
What Is Magnesium Glycinate?
Magnesium comes in many different forms if you’re considering an oral supplement. Along with oral supplements, you can also find topical magnesium, also known as transdermal magnesium.
Magnesium glycinate is one of the best types of this supplement because it’s easier to absorb than other forms. Magnesium glycinate is also gentler on the stomach, so you might not deal with side effects common with different types of magnesium, like loose stools or stomach upset.
Magnesium salts are created in labs, and then they’re combined with amino acids, also known as an amino acid chelate. Magnesium glycinate combines organic magnesium salt and an amino acid chelate. The amino acid it’s combined with is called glycine.
Amino acids are protein building blocks. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that our body can produce naturally, but what we produce isn’t usually enough to keep up with metabolic demands, so a supplement can be helpful. Glycine is the tiniest amino acid that can squeeze into small spaces. Glycine plays a role in the formation of collagen and bile acids.
This amino acid also acts as a central nervous system neurotransmitter. Glycine plays a critical role in inflammation, the function of the immune system, obesity and type 2 diabetes, sleep, and the function of the nervous system.
Glycine and GABA are the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters of the central nervous system. Glycine has been shown as a result to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety. Low levels of glycine and GABA are associated with OCD and ADHD, among other psychiatric disorders.
Glycine supplementation can have anti-cancer properties, be protective for the liver, reduce the risk of stroke or reduce recovery time.
Even without being bound to magnesium, glycine has incredible health benefits.
When glycine is combined with magnesium salts, the magnesium becomes highly absorbable and bioavailable. Magnesium glycinate is considered the most bioavailable form of magnesium. Magnesium glycinate is also thought to effectively and efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, so it can raise magnesium levels in your brain cells relatively quickly.
What Is Magnesium Glycinate Good For?
Back to our original question—what is magnesium glycinate good for?
Benefits of magnesium glycinate include:
- It may help with sleep. Magnesium is a natural sleep aid because it can help reduce stress and induce muscle relaxation. In studies, magnesium glycinate improves insomnia symptoms and can reduce central nervous system stress, assisting people in staying asleep longer. Magnesium glycinate may also help support a healthy circadian rhythm.
- Magnesium glycinate can help with short-term memory and reduce daytime sleepiness.
- A magnesium glycinate supplement can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Magnesium, in general, is good for your bones and bone formation.
- If you have migraines and headaches, magnesium glycinate supplements may help reduce these.
- Magnesium glycinate has been found to lower prostaglandins that lead to PMS symptoms, and it can reduce menstrual cramps and support estrogen detox.
- If you suffer from leg cramps, magnesium glycinate may help you.
- If you’re dealing with mood or mental health symptoms, magnesium glycinate is often the preferred form of this supplement.
- Taking magnesium glycinate might help with symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium glycinate can reduce pain.
Another thing that makes magnesium glycinate one of the preferred forms of this supplement is that it has the fewest side effects of any other type.
With a lot of types of magnesium supplements, side effects can include diarrhea and upset stomach. This can occur with magnesium citrate and oxide, as examples. Magnesium glycinate has the fewest side effects and is least likely to cause stomach symptoms when used.
If you need higher doses of magnesium to correct a deficiency or have side effects from other types, think about a glycinate supplement.
Are There Any Risks of Taking Magnesium Glycinate?
Magnesium supplements are safe, but you should still talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.
You want to make sure you’re choosing high-quality products like the recommended ones, and you should ask your healthcare provider before taking magnesium of any type if you have kidney or heart problems.
You can get too much magnesium, although this is rare because the kidneys will flush it out in healthy people. If you were to take too much magnesium, you could experience nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, or muscle weakness.
Final Thoughts—What is Magnesium Glycinate Good For?
Magnesium glycinate is one of the best types of magnesium supplement, and it’s suitable for everything from depression and anxiety to improving memory, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Magnesium glycinate is a particularly good version of this supplement because it’s the most absorbable and available and has the fewest potential side effects.