Last modified on June 26th, 2023
One type of magnesium that has gained popularity in recent years is high absorption magnesium glycinate.
Magnesium glycinate is bound to the amino acid glycine.
This form is believed to be more easily absorbed by the body than other forms. It is less likely to cause digestive upset or diarrhea, a common side effect of other magnesium supplements.
Chelated supplements are a type of supplement in which the mineral or nutrient is bound to an amino acid, such as glycine in the case of magnesium glycinate. This binding process helps to improve the absorption and utilization of the mineral by the body, potentially making it more effective than other forms of the same mineral. Chelated supplements are commonly used to improve nutrient absorption and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
In addition to its general benefits for overall health, high absorption magnesium glycinate has been shown to have specific benefits for certain conditions.
For example, research suggests that this type may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and reduce muscle pain and stiffness.
Below, we go into more detail about our recommended branded vitamins that contain magnesium bound to glycinate.
These products can be good options for healthy adults and are free of additives, artificial flavors, and other unnecessary ingredients.
Swanson Albion Chelated High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate
Swanson Albion Chelated Magnesium is excellent because it’s made by creating organic chelated minerals and including glycinate.
Albion’s chelated magnesium glycinate capsules have glycinate chelated so that it’s small enough to pass directly into cells, giving you the most benefits.
This supplement makes chelated mineral glycinates highly absorbable.
You’re absorbing individual amino acids and immune health nutrients in the most effective ways possible. Plus, Swanson health products are generally excellent.
Codeage Liposomal Magnesium Glycinate
Among our recommended branded vitamins, we focus primarily on the fact that chelation occurs in a very specific manner.
The Codeage chelated magnesium liposomal product is not only chelated but is also liposomal, which further helps with absorbing individual amino acids.
This dietary supplement is considered very high absorption magnesium, and like our other recommendations, deserves 5 stars in our opinion.
Whether you’re taking it for bone health, anxiety, sleep, heart health, or any other disease or health condition, this, paired with amino acids, is excellent.
Bioemblem Triple Magnesium Complex
For high absorption mineral support, this is one of our top recommended branded vitamins. Along with glycinate, it contains malate and citrate, so you’re getting every possible benefit of taking a supplement with magnesium.
It helps relax you, has an excellent average rating among users, and again since it contains glycine, it’s ready to facilitate the transport of the mineral.
The Role of Different Magnesium in Optimal Health
Magnesium is a vital mineral that the body needs to carry out various essential functions, and its benefits to overall health are numerous.
- Supports Bone Health and Healthy Muscles
- Reduces Muscle Pain
- Promotes healthy blood pressure levels
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Offers Cardiovascular Support
Despite its importance, many people don’t get enough in their diet, which can lead to deficiency. Some common symptoms of deficiency include:
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Fatigue and weakness
- Numbness and tingling
- Anxiety and depression
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Migraines and headaches
Risk Factors for Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency is a common issue, with many people not getting enough of this essential mineral in their diet.
Some factors that can increase your risk of deficiency include:
- A Diet Low in Magnesium-Rich Foods: Magnesium is found in many foods, including leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. If your diet lacks these foods, you may not get enough.
- Chronic Digestive Issues: Medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease can affect absorption in the gut, leading to deficiency.
- Alcohol Abuse: Excessive alcohol intake can interfere with absorption and increase the risk of deficiency.
- Age: As we age, our body’s ability to absorb magnesium declines, making older adults more susceptible to deficiency.
- Certain Medications: Some medications, such as diuretics, antibiotics, and proton pump inhibitors, can interfere with absorption, increasing the risk of deficiency.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes may be at increased risk of deficiency due to increased urinary excretion.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can increase magnesium needs, especially in endurance athletes, as it’s essential for proper muscle function.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women require more magnesium to support fetal development, and inadequate intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications.
What Is Magnesium Glycinate Good For?
Magnesium glycinate is a form of supplement that is bound to the amino acid glycine for optimum absorption.
This type is considered more easily absorbed by the body than other forms of magnesium, such as magnesium oxide, which can often cause digestive upset or diarrhea.
Magnesium glycinate is believed to be gentle on the stomach and less likely to cause these side effects.
In addition, magnesium glycinate is often recommended for individuals with anxiety, sleep disorders, and muscle pain, as it has been shown to have specific benefits for these conditions.
Glycine is a small amino acid that is easily transported across the intestinal wall, making it easier for the body to absorb magnesium when it is bound to glycine.
Additionally, magnesium glycinate is less likely to compete with other minerals, such as calcium, for absorption in the gut.
Some forms, such as oxide, can bind to other minerals, reducing their absorption in the body and digestive process.
Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, does not have this issue and can be absorbed more easily.
Overall, the combination of glycine’s ability to transport magnesium across the intestinal wall and magnesium glycinate’s lower competition with other minerals for absorption make it a highly bioavailable form that is easy for the body to use.
What Are the Benefits of Glycine?
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally by the body. It is the simplest amino acid, containing only a single hydrogen atom as its side chain, and it plays an essential role in many physiological functions.
Here are some of the benefits of glycine:
- Improves Sleep Quality: Glycine has been shown to help improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing the time it takes to fall asleep.
- Reduces Inflammation: Glycine has anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have shown that it can help reduce inflammation in the body, including inflammation associated with autoimmune disorders.
- Supports Collagen Production: Glycine is an essential component of collagen, a protein essential for skin, bone, and joint health. Glycine supplementation may help support collagen production in the body.
- Enhances Memory and Cognitive Function: Studies have shown that glycine supplementation can improve memory and cognitive function in young and elderly individuals.
- Reduces Symptoms of Neuropathy: Glycine has been shown to reduce symptoms of neuropathy, a condition that causes nerve damage and pain.
- Supports Digestive Health: Glycine plays a role in the production of bile acids, which are necessary for the digestion and absorption of fats.
- May Help Protect Against Certain Cancers: Preliminary studies have suggested that glycine may have anti-cancer properties and could help protect against certain types of cancer.
Magnesium Glycine vs. Citrate
Magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are two different supplements with distinct differences in absorption, tolerability, and uses.
- Absorption: Magnesium glycinate is considered a more bioavailable form than magnesium citrate. This is because magnesium glycinate is bound to the amino acid glycine, which helps transport the magnesium across the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Magnesium citrate, on the other hand, is a salt form of magnesium that is less well-absorbed and may cause diarrhea in some people.
- Tolerability: Magnesium glycinate is generally better tolerated than citrate, especially for people with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. Citrate can cause diarrhea, which can concern people already prone to digestive issues.
- Uses: Magnesium glycinate is often recommended for people who want to increase their intake without experiencing digestive upset. It is also often recommended for people with muscle pain, anxiety, or sleep disorders. Citrate is commonly used as a laxative due to its ability to promote bowel movements. It is also a magnesium supplement to support overall health and well-being.
- Dosage: The appropriate dosage of each form depends on the individual’s needs and medical history. Magnesium glycinate is typically taken in smaller doses due to its higher absorption rate, while magnesium citrate is often taken in larger doses to promote bowel movements.
Magnesium Glycinate Sleep Benefits
Magnesium glycinate is a popular form of supplement often used to improve sleep quality.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Magnesium glycinate has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to improved sleep quality.
- Promotes Relaxation: Magnesium glycinate can help promote muscle relaxation and relieve muscle tension. This can help prepare the body for sleep and lead to a more restful night’s sleep.
- Enhances Melatonin Production: Magnesium glycinate can help enhance the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels typically rise in the evening, promoting sleepiness and preparing the body for sleep.
- Regulates GABA Levels: This form of the supplement can help regulate GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, making it essential for a good night’s sleep.
- Improves Sleep Quality: It can help improve sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the amount of time spent in deep sleep. Deep sleep is important for the body to repair and regenerate; a lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and other health problems.
Magnesium Glycinate Anxiety Benefits
Here are some ways in which magnesium glycinate can benefit anxiety:
- Calming Effects: Magnesium glycinate has calming effects on the nervous system. It can help reduce anxiety by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.
- Regulates Neurotransmitters: Magnesium glycinate can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, including GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is essential for reducing anxiety levels.
- Reduces Muscle Tension: Magnesium glycinate can help relieve muscle tension, which is often a physical manifestation of anxiety. By reducing muscle tension, magnesium glycinate can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
- Supports Sleep: Poor sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, and magnesium glycinate has been found to improve sleep quality. By promoting relaxation and enhancing melatonin production, magnesium glycinate can help improve sleep quality, which can in turn reduce anxiety levels.
- Enhances Mood: Magnesium glycinate has been found to enhance mood and reduce symptoms of depression, which often co-occur with anxiety.
Numerous studies have investigated the effects of magnesium on mood and anxiety, with many showing positive results.
One study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that magnesium supplementation was associated with improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety in adults with mild-to-moderate depression. The study included 126 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either magnesium chloride or a placebo. Participants who received the magnesium supplement showed significant improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms compared to those who received the placebo.
Another study published in the journal PLoS One found that magnesium supplementation was associated with significant improvements in anxiety levels in adults with mild-to-moderate anxiety. The study included 18 participants who received supplementation for six weeks. Participants who received the magnesium supplement showed significant reductions in anxiety levels compared to baseline.
Research has also shown that the mineral can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, including GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), essential for reducing anxiety levels. A study published in the journal Pharmacological Reports found that supplementation was associated with increased GABA levels in the brain, leading to reduced anxiety levels.
Additionally, magnesium has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to its mood-enhancing effects. Chronic inflammation has been linked to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, and magnesium’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation and improve mood.
Magnesium Glycinate Side Effects
Magnesium glycinate is generally safe and well-tolerated by most individuals. However, like any supplement, it can cause side effects in some people. Some potential side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Taking too much magnesium glycinate can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Excess magnesium can act as a laxative and cause increased bowel movements.
- Low Blood Pressure: It can cause a drop in blood pressure, which can be problematic for individuals with low blood pressure. It is important to monitor blood pressure regularly when taking magnesium supplements.
- Dizziness and Lightheadedness: In some cases, supplementation can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly.
- Interactions with Medications: Magnesium glycinate can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, blood thinners, and diuretics. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking supplements if you are taking any medications.
- Allergic Reaction: Some individuals may be allergic to magnesium glycinate and experience symptoms such as itching, rash, and difficulty breathing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions people have about this type of supplement.
What is Magnesium Glycinate Best For?
Magnesium glycinate is best known for improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety levels.
This is because glycine, the amino acid attached to magnesium in magnesium glycinate, has been shown to have calming effects on the brain and nervous system.
As a result, magnesium glycinate is often recommended for individuals who struggle with sleep issues or anxiety.
Is It Okay To Take Magnesium Glycinate Every Day?
Yes, it is generally safe to take magnesium glycinate every day.
Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in many important bodily functions, and many people do not get enough magnesium from their diet alone.
Therefore, taking a magnesium supplement like magnesium glycinate daily can ensure that you get adequate levels of this important mineral.
Magnesium glycinate is a particularly good option for daily use because it is well-absorbed and has minimal side effects compared to other forms of magnesium supplements. However, as with any supplement, following the recommended dosage and talking to your healthcare provider before starting a new dietary supplement regimen is important.
Monitoring for potential side effects or interactions with other medications or supplements is also important.
What Should You Not Take with Magnesium Glycinate?
There are some supplements and medications that may interact with magnesium glycinate.
Here are a few things that you should not take with magnesium glycinate without first consulting with your healthcare provider:
- Antibiotics: Magnesium can bind with certain antibiotics and reduce their effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended to take magnesium supplements at least two hours apart from antibiotics.
- Calcium supplements: Calcium and magnesium can compete for absorption in the body, so taking high doses of calcium supplements along with magnesium glycinate may reduce the absorption of magnesium.
- Iron supplements: Like calcium, iron can also interfere with absorption. Therefore, it is recommended to take magnesium supplements at least two hours apart from iron supplements.
- Bisphosphonates: This class of medications is commonly used to treat osteoporosis. Magnesium supplements can reduce the absorption of bisphosphonates, so taking them at least two hours apart is recommended.
- Diuretics: Some diuretics can cause the body to lose magnesium, so taking supplements along with diuretics may increase the risk of deficiency.
When Should You Take Magnesium Glycinate?
The timing of when to take magnesium glycinate can depend on the reason for taking it.
Here are some general guidelines:
- For better sleep: Magnesium glycinate is often taken in the evening or before bed to improve sleep quality. This is because it can have a calming effect on the body and help to promote relaxation. Taking magnesium glycinate 30-60 minutes before bed may help to improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
- For anxiety: Magnesium or magnesium glycinate capsules can be taken throughout the day to help reduce anxiety levels. Some individuals find it helpful to take magnesium glycinate with meals to minimize any potential gastrointestinal side effects.
- For overall health: Magnesium glycinate can be taken at any time of day to support overall health and well-being. Some individuals prefer to take supplements in the morning with breakfast.
What Dosage of Magnesium Glycinate Should You Take?
The appropriate dosage of magnesium glycinate can vary depending on a number of factors, including age, sex, health status, and reason for taking the supplement.
- For adults: The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults is around 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women. When taking magnesium glycinate as a supplement, a common dosage range is 100-400 mg per day.
- For children: The recommended daily intake of magnesium for children varies by age. For example, the recommended daily intake for children ages 1-3 is around 80 mg, while the recommended daily intake for children ages 9-13 is around 240 mg. When giving magnesium glycinate to children, it is important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines for their age.
Should I Take Magnesium Glycinate in the Morning or at Night?
The timing of when to take magnesium glycinate can depend on the reason for taking it. Here are some general guidelines:
- For better sleep: Magnesium glycinate is often taken in the evening or before bed to improve sleep quality. This is because magnesium can have a calming effect on the body and help to promote relaxation. Taking magnesium glycinate 30-60 minutes before bed may improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
- For anxiety: Magnesium glycinate can be taken throughout the day to help reduce anxiety levels. Some individuals find taking magnesium glycinate with meals helps to minimize any potential gastrointestinal side effects.
- For overall health: Magnesium glycinate can be taken at any time of day to support overall health and well-being. Some individuals prefer to take magnesium supplements in the morning with breakfast.
Magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium that offers a range of potential health benefits, including improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and enhanced mood.
It is generally safe and well-tolerated, with few reported side effects. However, as with any supplement, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new regimen, especially if you are taking any medications or have a pre-existing medical condition.
By following recommended dosage guidelines and being consistent with taking magnesium glycinate, you may reap the many potential benefits of this important mineral.