Magnesium Series: 6 Different Kinds of Magnesium You Can Buy

Magnesium comes in different forms and some can be used for a particular need, while others are better for daily maintenance. You can take more than one kind at a time and how much you take will depend upon your current magnesium level, plus what your body demands to meet its daily needs. The standard for women is about 310mg and 410mg for men daily, but if you are deficient and under stress you will need to consider taking more, at least for a short while. You don’t need to get tested to figure out how much you need. Your body will tell you.

How do you figure out how much you personally need?

The general rule is that if you have zero cramping and no tightness in your body, plus no eye/face/mouth-ticks, but you are experiencing a noticeable increase in the softness of your bowel movements --that is different from usual problems and you can’t reason out what might be the cause (food, stress, no sleep are a few) then its fair to assume you took a bit too much magnesium. Magnesium relaxes the gut and if you get too much the colon muscle doesn’t extract enough water from the bolus. Don’t worry, it’s easy to fix and if this happens the good thing is that you know your magnesium stores are full.

What to do if you get too much magnesium.

Cut your magnesium intake by half and see if things slowly begin to firm up in the next 5 days. If nothing changes stop taking all your magnesium. Give the matter 3 more days. If there is still no change, then its not your magnesium intake and resume taking your magnesium. In this case, the soft bowel is not related to magnesium intake.

Because everyone has a unique level of magnesium need, which is influenced by body size, diet, stress, history, it honestly is better to let your body tell you what the best level is for your needs. This is decided by your gut. You want to take enough to get rid of cramping, eye-ticks, insomnia, restless legs, tight muscles, headaches, plantar fasciitis to name the “big” symptoms of a deficiency, but not too much that your gut is too relaxed.  Mind you, I have never had a client ever take too much using my topic magnesium spray or the crystals for a magnesium bath. You really need a lot and most people are seriously deficient in magnesium to begin with.

Magnesium is best taken topically, if you can find it. If it only comes in a capsule, absorption becomes a matter to consider and should be taken into account when deciding how much is enough. Generally, the better your stomach pH and the functioning of your gut the more you will absorb. This is why a topical spray or cream is best, because you have more control over how much you actually get.

Below is a general list of available kinds of Magnesium, their estimate cost and their benefits. The first kind is what we carry in the shop.

1.Magnesium chloride or Magnesium citrate $

* Absorbs easily, retained easily and is best for general, overall use

* Laxative effect is minimal

  • Nocturnal leg cramps 
  • Constipation 
  • Heartburn
  • Preventing headaches 
  • Replenish magnesium levels

Magnesium chloride and Magnesium citrate are the best for general use. They assist the gut and the nervous system, promote relaxation, sleep, digestion and proper brain/muscle function. You also absorb and hold onto these forms of magnesium. If you were to just choose one kind of magnesium, either of these would be your best bet.

Note: We carry Magnesium Chloride bath crystals and topical spray:

Topical Spray:

 Crystals for Bath:

2.Magnesium glycinate $$

* Absorbs easily

* No laxative effects

  • Promoting a sense of calm
  • Supports sleep
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Supports blood sugars 

This magnesium is ideal if you are having trouble sleeping or would like a natural remedy for anxiety. It can be costly, but might be worth the extra expense.

3.Magnesium L threonate  $$$

* Best for the brain

* Moderate laxative effect

  • Improves cognitive function
  • Prevents the loss of synapses (in animal studies) 

If you are suffering from Dementia, or Alzheimer's this magnesium would be an excellent supplement for the brain. It is a bit pricey, so shop around.

4.Magnesium orotate  $$$$

* Good for top athletes

* Moderate laxative effect

  • Deep penetration
  • Improves energy 
  • Supports the mitochondria

This is great for fatigue, or if you are undertaking a lot of physical activity. The body uses a lot of magnesium to regulate muscle use and if you want to increase muscle energy out-put this magnesium would be a great advantage. Note, it is very pricey.

 5.Magnesium taurate  $$

* Moderate laxative effect

  • Supports blood sugars
  • Supports blood pressure (in animal studies)

If you have Diabetes this magnesium would be helpful.

 6.Magnesium malate  $$

* Laxative effect is small to none 

  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 

This magnesium supports the mitochondria and helps to combat cellular fatigue.


 You may want to avoid these versions of magnesium:

  • Magnesium sulfate- in Epsom Salt, but considered dangerous at high levels.
  • Magnesium carbonate-antacid laxative
  • Magnesium oxide- poor absorption
  • Magnesium hydroxide- a saline laxative that makes the body retain water

 Vitamins that support the absorption of magnesium

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B6 


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1.Hill, Ansley. Healthline. 10 Types of Magnesium. May 11, 2023

2.Berg, Dr. Eric. Best and Worst Types of Magnesium. Feb 8, 2021