7 Different Forms of Magnesium & Their Exciting Role in Bodybuilding Supplements


Are you an avid bodybuilder looking to optimize your muscle gains and overall performance in the gym?

If so, you might be familiar with the myriad of supplements available in the market. Among these, magnesium is often touted as a key player in promoting muscle health and athletic performance.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of magnesium and explore the different forms it comes in.

Whether you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just starting on your fitness journey, understanding the various forms of magnesium and their relevance in the context of bodybuilding can help you make more informed choices and unlock your true potential.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals we need to function properly. This fourth abundant mineral in our body is found in bones, muscles, and tissues.

Magnesium is utilized by more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is needed for protein synthesis, muscle function, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar control, nerve function, and more.

Magnesium Benefits

Magnesium plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal health and well-being. While it might not receive the same spotlight as other essential nutrients, its impact on the body is extraordinary. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the myriad health benefits of magnesium, shedding light on why this mineral deserves a prime spot in your daily wellness routine.

Mighty Heart Health

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Magnesium guards cardiovascular health. It contributes to maintaining a steady heartbeat and helps regulate blood pressure. Studies have shown that a magnesium-rich diet is linked with a lessened risk of heart disease, highlighting its importance in keeping this vital organ strong 1.

Energy Production and Metabolism

Think of magnesium as the unsung hero in energy production. It actively converts food into energy, ensuring your body’s metabolic machinery runs smoothly. By aiding the activation of enzymes involved in this process, magnesium becomes an indispensable ally for those seeking sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Bone Density and Strength

Beyond calcium, magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones. It supports calcium absorption and metabolism, contributing to the formation and maintenance of strong bone structure. For individuals concerned about osteoporosis and bone health, ensuring an adequate magnesium intake is a smart and proactive step 2.

Muscle Function and Relaxation

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Muscle cramps and spasms can be disruptive and uncomfortable. Magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant due to its ability to regulate muscle contractions and promote relaxation3. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often turn to magnesium to alleviate muscle soreness and enhance recovery post-exercise.

Mood Elevation and Stress Reduction

In the realm of mental health, magnesium stands out as a mood stabilizer and stress reducer. It actively participates in the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood and has been linked to a lower risk of depression 4. Incorporating magnesium into your daily routine may contribute to a sense of calm and emotional well-being.

Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels

For those grappling with insulin resistance or diabetes, magnesium can be a valuable ally 5. It aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates and helps regulate insulin sensitivity, contributing to managing blood sugar levels. Maintaining optimal magnesium levels is vital for a healthy metabolic balance.

Improved Sleep Quality

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Magnesium might be the missing piece of the puzzle if restful sleep eludes you. It has a key role in activating the nervous system, which promotes relaxation and can contribute to better sleep quality. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods or supplements into your routine may help you unwind and enjoy a more rejuvenating night’s sleep 6.

Types of Magnesium & Their Uses

Let’s explore different forms of magnesium and the specific roles they play in optimizing health.

Magnesium Citrate

Known for its superior bioavailability, magnesium citrate is a popular choice for those seeking efficient absorption. Its gentle laxative effect also makes it a go-to option for individuals dealing with occasional constipation. Beyond its digestive perks, magnesium citrate actively contributes to overall cardiovascular health and supports bone density.

Magnesium Orotate

Magnesium orotate form combines magnesium with orotic acid, a natural substance found in the body. This form is renowned for its superior bioavailability. Studies suggest that magnesium orotate may contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and boosting overall heart function. It also acts as a supportive companion for athletes and individuals looking to optimize exercise performance and expedite post-workout recovery.

Magnesium Glycinate

If you’re aiming for enhanced muscle relaxation and reduced anxiety, magnesium glycinate may be your ideal companion. This form of magnesium is attached to the amino acid glycine, promoting better absorption and offering calming effects. Athletes and individuals experiencing muscle tension often turn to magnesium glycinate for its potential to ease discomfort and support overall relaxation.

Magnesium Oxide

While magnesium oxide boasts a high magnesium content, it is commonly recognized for its use in addressing acid indigestion and heartburn. Its alkaline nature helps neutralize stomach acid, providing relief to those prone to gastrointestinal discomfort. However, its absorption rate is lower than some other forms, making it more suitable for digestive concerns than overall magnesium supplementation.

Magnesium L-Threonate

When it comes to cognitive function and overall brain health, magnesium L-threonate takes the spotlight. This unique form of magnesium has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, enhancing magnesium levels in the brain. Studies suggest that magnesium L-threonate may support cognitive function and memory and even contribute to the management of conditions like anxiety and depression.

Magnesium Chloride

If you’re looking to soothe sore muscles and promote skin health, try magnesium chloride. Widely used in topical applications like magnesium oil or bath salts, this form of magnesium is absorbed through the skin, offering a targeted approach to muscle relaxation. Additionally, magnesium chloride may assist in promoting skin elasticity and overall skin health.

Magnesium Sulfate

Recognized for its role in creating relaxing bath soaks, magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salt, is a staple in many households. Beyond its calming effects on the nervous system, Epsom salt baths are celebrated for alleviating muscle soreness, reducing inflammation, and promoting detoxification through the skin.

Magnesium Daily Requirement and Its Dietary Sources

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According to ICMR 2020, the daily magnesium requirement for adult men is 385 mg, and for adult women, it is 325 mg. However, a woman’s daily needs may increase during pregnancy.

To prevent any deficiency disorders, the diet should include good sources of magnesium. Whole grains, seeds, legumes, nuts, spinach, and fatty fish are a few magnesium rich foods.

One can also consider magnesium tablets to ensure the levels are met in case of dietary inadequacy.

What Happens During Low Magnesium Levels?

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Here are a few common signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Low energy levels

Cardiovascular complications like irregular heartbeat

Frequent muscle cramps and twitching

Bone loss

Back and joint pain

Insulin resistance

Poor sleep health

Stress and anxiety

Increased inflammation

How to choose the best magnesium supplement?

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Magnesium supplements are easily available in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, syrups, and gummies. Selecting the best supplement involves thoughtful consideration of one’s health goals, preferences, and potential sensitivities. Here are a few tips to consider.

  1. Identify the reason for opting for a magnesium supplement. Are you aiming for cardiovascular support, muscle relaxation, or strengthening bones? Different forms of magnesium cater to specific needs, so aligning your goals will guide you towards the most suitable supplement.
  2. All magnesium forms are not equal in terms of absorption. Understanding the bioavailability of different forms helps ensure your body can make the most of the supplement.
  3. Check the product label to identify the elemental magnesium content, which is the key factor influencing the dosage you need to achieve your health goals.
  4. If you have a sensitive digestive system or are prone to gastrointestinal issues, the choice of magnesium supplement matters. While magnesium oxide is less expensive, it may sometimes cause digestive discomfort. Opting for magnesium citrate or glycinate may be gentler on the stomach.
  5. Some magnesium supplements come combined with other nutrients, such as vitamin D or calcium, to enhance their efficacy. Consider whether these additional components align with your overall health needs. For instance, magnesium and vitamin D work synergistically, supporting bone health.
  6. Look for products that undergo third-party testing for purity and potency. This ensures that what’s listed on the label is accurate and that the supplement is free from contaminants.

Are there any magnesium supplement side effects?

Magnesium supplements are typically considered safe when taken at the prescribed dosage. However, taking high dosages may cause side effects like abdominal distress, nausea, low blood pressure, diarrhoea, and muscle weakness.

People on medications, pregnant and lactating women, should prefer taking magnesium supplements only after consulting their doctor.


As we have explored the distinct forms of magnesium, each with its unique attributes, we hope you are now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice. As you curate your bodybuilding and fitness supplement regimen, consider the harmonious interplay of magnesium forms that align with your objectives.

List some foods containing magnesium.

Here is the list of foods high in magnesium:
1. Dark green leafy vegetables
2. Almonds
3. Cashewnuts
4. Pumpkin seeds
5. Sunflower seeds
6. Quinoa
7. Oats
8. Banana
9. Dairy foods
10. Chickpeas

Which is the best form of magnesium?

The best magnesium form often depends on individual factors, such as health goals, preferences, and specific health conditions. Each form of magnesium has unique characteristics, and the best choice may vary from person to person.

What is the best time to take magnesium supplements?

The best time to take magnesium supplements can depend on your individual needs and the specific type of magnesium supplement you are using.
1. Magnesium is often better absorbed when taken with food. Taking magnesium with a meal can enhance its absorption and reduce the likelihood of digestive discomfort.
2. If you’re taking magnesium to promote relaxation or improve sleep, consider taking it in the evening, close to bedtime.
3. For energy support or to enhance athletic performance, you may consider taking magnesium earlier in the day.
4. For medical conditions, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider about the best time to take magnesium to avoid potential interactions.

Can I take calcium and magnesium tablets together?

Both calcium and magnesium play crucial roles in bone health, muscle function, and various other physiological processes. One can take calcium and magnesium tablets together. In fact, these two minerals often work synergistically and are commonly combined in supplements.

What is the ideal magnesium supplement dosage?

It is important to note that individual magnesium needs may vary. Factors such as dietary habits, exercise levels, and health conditions can influence your magnesium requirements. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium as outlined by the ICMR, is 385 mg for men and 325 mg for women.

  1. Fang, X., Wang, K., Han, D., He, X., Wei, J., Zhao, L., Imam, M. U., Ping, Z., Li, Y., Xu, Y., Min, J., & Wang, F. (2016). Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC Medicine, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-016-0742-z[]
  2. 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, 34(4), 715–736. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10534-021-00305-0[]
  3. Reno, A. M., Green, M., Killen, L. G., O’Neal, E. K., Pritchett, K., & Hanson, Z. (2020). Effects of magnesium supplementation on muscle soreness and performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 36(8), 2198–2203. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000003827[]
  4. Pickering, G., Mazur, A., Trousselard, M., Bieńkowski, P., Yaltsewa, N., Amessou, M., Noah, L., & Pouteau, E. (2020). Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept revisited. Nutrients, 12(12), 3672. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123672[]
  5. Barbagallo, M., & Domínguez, L. J. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World Journal of Diabetes, 6(10), 1152. https://doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152[]
  6. Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. DOAJ (DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals). https://doaj.org/article/0948678c0dcd4ff7a9fca8655625591f[]
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