What Does Magnesium Citrate Do? Benefits and Side Effects

Discover the benefits and side effects of magnesium citrate, a popular mineral supplement. Uncover its role in health and wellness.

Magnesium Citrate

You open the bottle of magnesium citrate, pour yourself a tall glass, and take a sip. Instantly, you're hit with a wave of an intense lemony flavor, triggering your taste buds to life. Little do you know that what you just drank could be the key to unlocking a huge range of health benefits.

But what does magnesium citrate do exactly, and what are its potential side effects?

To get to the bottom of it all, we've done the research on magnesium citrate and we're here to break it down for you. We'll explain what it is, what its benefits are, and inform you of any potential side effects.

Read on to learn more about this powerful supplement.

Quick Explanation of Key Points

Magnesium citrate is known to provide many health benefits, such as improved digestion and regularity, relief from constipation, balanced electrolyte levels, and increased energy.

It can also help with reducing stress and anxiety, promoting cardiovascular health, and improving bone strength.


What is Magnesium Citrate?

Magnesium Citrate is a dietary supplement composed of magnesium, citric acid, and water. It has been used to treat constipation, aid the digestive process, and act as an overall general health supplement.

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals that our body requires in order to carry out many vital functions. In its citrate form, it has become an increasingly popular choice due to its bioavailability and absorption capabilities that make it easier for the body to take in more magnesium through supplementation.

The debate over the effectiveness of Magnesium Citrate remains split. Those who advocate for its use cite flexibility, widespread availability, fast-dissolving properties, and its lower price than other forms of magnesium (such as amino acid chelates or malate forms).

Its opponents tend to focus on studies that have shown increased potential for side effects such as abdominal bloating, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, and headaches potentially resulting from excessive consumption of the supplement.

Though there are both proponents of Magnesium Citrate and skeptics – recent studies have shown increasing evidence in support of its effectiveness when taken at proper amounts and dosage levels set forth by medical professionals.

Either way, while we may differ in opinion on whether supplementation with Magnesium Citrate is necessary or beneficial – it's clear that we are still uncovering more about how this particular form of magnesium acts differently within the human body compared with other alternatives.

With more knowledge continuing to surface, we can then start to look into more specifically where supplemental forms of magnesium come from.

In our next section, let's delve deeper into understanding the various sources from which our bodies can obtain essential elements such as magnesium.

  • A 2018 study found that magnesium citrate supplementation can reduce oxidative stress and improve metabolic parameters in adults with type 2 diabetes.
  • According to a 2017 review, magnesium citrate has been shown to increase the absorption of calcium, which may help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • A 2020 survey found that magnesium citrate was associated with improved sleep quality and duration, as well as reduced fatigue in participants taking it.

Where Does Magnesium Come From?

Just as organisms need other essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function, they also require magnesium. Magnesium is found in a variety of dietary sources such as dark leafy greens, fish, nuts, avocados, and seeds, making the mineral naturally accessible for many individuals.

Although these foods provide a natural source of magnesium, not all people receive enough of it from their daily diets. As a result, supplemental form of magnesium such as magnesium citrate has been designed to help those with an insufficient intake obtain enough of the nutrient for proper functioning.

However, debates arise over whether food sources or supplements are more effective in providing the mineral. While experts recommend getting our micronutrients through food sources whenever possible due to their quality and bioavailability, some individuals may still lack sufficient amounts of magnesium in their diet even when trying to be mindful about food selection.

Therefore, it may be wise to consider supplement use if dietary intake still falls short.

Both sides have valid points - relying on food sources can be beneficial compared to supplementation because it provides an individual the potential to benefit from additional phytonutrients that cannot be obtained through supplementation alone; while supplementation helps make up for any shortage in an individual's diet that could potentially lead to issues down the line if not addressed properly.

That being said transitioning into different types of magnesium supplements can help one optimize their own health based on their needs and situation.

Different Types of Magnesium Supplements

Now that we know where magnesium comes from, it’s important to understand the various forms of magnesium supplements and which form is best for you. Each type carries its own benefits and potential side effects and knowing what type works best for each person may be the difference between providing an individual with beneficial health results or leaving them at risk for potential side effects.

The major types are Magnesium citrate, Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Aspartate, Magnesium Threonate, Magnesium Orotate, and Magnesium Taurate. All these have slightly different functions.

For example, magnesium oxide is a good option for constipation relief as it is easily absorbed by the body and helps regulate bowel movements; while taking magnesium aspartate may be helpful in treating stress or muscle cramps because it helps improve the transmission of nerve impulses in the body.

In making a decision on which magnesium supplement to take an individual may benefit from the advice of their doctor or nutritionist who can assess their particular needs.

Ultimately, taking any of those mentioned above may likely contribute to better overall health but to get specific results one should pay close attention to their own basic needs and go for the most appropriate magnesium supplement for their situation.

That said, if one is looking to use a magnesium supplement as part of their daily routine then Magnesium citrate has been found to provide some general health benefits that make it worth considering.

With this in mind let us move on to understanding the benefits of taking magnesium citrate.

Healthy Eating Habits

Benefits of Taking Magnesium Citrate

The use of magnesium citrate supplements is becoming increasingly popular for its many health benefits. There are many potential benefits to taking magnesium citrate, including reduced muscle pain and spasms, improved nerve function, better sleep quality, and improved metabolism.

Additionally, some research has suggested that magnesium citrate may help reduce blood pressure and heart rate as well.

It is important to note that these potential benefits are largely anecdotal at this time and further research is needed to determine the validity of these claims.

Furthermore, it should be noted that while magnesium citrate may provide numerous positive benefits, it is still important to discuss any over-the-counter supplement with your doctor before taking it. This way, you can make sure that the supplement is right for you and will not interact with any medications you are already taking.

In addition to its potential health benefits, magnesium citrate is also very effective in improving digestion and bowel function. While no large-scale clinical trials have been conducted on the connection between magnesium citrate and digestive issues, smaller studies suggest there may be a correlation.

For example, one study in 2017 showed subjects using magnesium citrate had significant reductions in constipation symptoms within eight weeks compared to placebo groups.

Given these preliminary findings, it appears that taking magnesium citrate could be an effective tool for improving digestion and aiding in bowel movement regulation.

As more clinical trials are conducted, we may gain a better understanding of how useful it can be for those struggling with long-term digestive issues as well as those dealing with acute constipation or changes in bowel habits due to lifestyle or dietary changes.

For now, though, it's clear that incorporating magnesium citrate into one's daily routine could go a long way in improving digestive health and maintaining regularity.

With that said, transitioning into our next section exploring the connection between magnesium citrate and improved digestion and bowel function seems the next logical step to take.

Improved Digestion and Bowel Function

Magnesium citrate can also help with improved digestion and bowel function. It plays a role in muscle relaxation, stimulates nerve transmission, and encourages regular bowel movements by increasing fluid in the intestines.

People who experience frequent constipation may find relief from supplementing with magnesium citrate. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials showed that it was effective for relieving constipation when compared to other laxatives and mineral oil.

On the other hand, too much of this mineral might actually increase constipation. Because the body needs to maintain a balance between magnesium and calcium levels, taking too much of this supplement could disrupt this balance and lead to digestive issues such as constipation.

Therefore, using magnesium citrate correctly, especially under the care of a medical professional if needed, is important to ensure optimal digestive health.

Ultimately, while magnesium citrate has demonstrated its effectiveness as a laxative and its ability to improve digestion and bowel function, it should still be taken with caution to prevent any potential side effects or adverse reactions.

With responsible use, however, it can offer real and substantial improvements in one's digestive health. As a result, those looking for more regularity in their diet may want to consider adding magnesium citrate into their daily routine in order to reap these benefits. Its calming properties can even extend beyond the gut – helping us to better manage stress through relaxation and improved mood.

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Stress and anxiety can be detrimental to both physical and mental health, and there are many methods of stepping back to relax and relieve stress. Magnesium citrate has been looked at as a natural remedy for helping with both stress relief and relaxation.

Studies suggest that magnesium may help reduce the stress associated with physical exertion. A 2012 study found that supplementation of magnesium citrate in athletes resulted in reduced overall cortisol levels, which is a hormone activated during the body's response to stress.

Other studies looking at non-athletes have also shown similar effects, indicating that magnesium citrate may have some power in reducing overall stress.

Meanwhile, some studies have also shown the potential for magnesium citrate as an aid in sleep quality. Poor sleep can lead to greater bouts of fatigue during the day, as well as heightened physical and emotional reactions, including more severe responses to stressors throughout the day.

One small 2011 study found that supplementation with magnesium yielded significant improvements in participants' sleep quality. While additional research is needed to better understand and substantiate these findings, it does appear possible that magnesium citrate could be beneficial for proper relaxation and improved stress levels.

Having looked at how magnesium citrate can improve digestive issues and help provide relaxation with potentially decreased stress levels, the next step is looking into how this nutrient might help enhance physical performance.

Enhanced Physical Performance

Physical performance involves a variety of factors, from energy to muscular strength. Magnesium citrate may be able to contribute to improved physical performance by facilitating the production and utilization of energy within cells and increasing stamina and endurance.

Additionally, some research suggests that supplementing with magnesium may improve neuromuscular transmission, resulting in increased strength. However, more evidence is needed before drawing any hard and fast conclusions.

For example, one study found that daily supplementation of magnesium citrate in resistance-trained males resulted in significant increases in vertical jump height, power output, total work capacity, as well as isometric strength compared to the placebo group.

While this study suggests that magnesium citrate may enhance physical performance, larger and longer studies are needed before any strong claims can be made.

While magnesium citrate appears to potentially enhance physical performance, more studies involving athletes are needed to determine its efficacy. Moving forward, it's important to consider the potential risks associated with supplementing magnesium citrate before incorporating it into your regimen.

Potential Side Effects of Magnesium Citrate

While magnesium citrate can be beneficial in enhancing physical performance, its potential side effects of it should not be overlooked.

Magnesium citrate can sometimes lead to tummy troubles such as loose stools, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort. It may also cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some people. People with kidney problems or other medical conditions should especially take caution when using magnesium supplements.

If a person experiences severe diarrhea as a result of taking magnesium citrate, they must stop taking the supplement immediately. Long-term use of monumental doses of magnesium citrate can damage the kidneys and even cause death in some extreme cases.

For this reason, it is important to speak to your doctor before beginning any type of supplemental program with magnesium citrate and to make sure you follow standard dosage instructions carefully.

As with any new supplement or medication, it is important for individuals to take responsibility for their own health by understanding the risks and benefits associated with taking something before introducing it into their bodies.

With its many potential benefits and few serious side effects when taken in the recommended doses, knowing the proper way to safely supplement with magnesium citrate can provide lasting improvements to your overall health and well-being.

Magnesium Glycinate

Must-Know Summary Points

Magnesium citrate can be beneficial for physical performance but has potential side effects such as loose stools, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

People with kidney problems should take caution when using magnesium supplements as long-term use of high doses can cause kidney damage and even death in some cases.

It is important to check with your doctor before taking magnesium citrate and to take responsibility for understanding the risks and benefits associated with its use. When taken in the recommended doses, it can provide improvements to overall health and well-being.

How to Safely Supplement with Magnesium Citrate

When considering supplementing with magnesium citrate, it is important to do so safely. Firstly, it is recommended to check with a doctor prior to supplementation to ensure that the individual does not have any underlying medical issues or conditions that may interact with magnesium citrate in negative ways. Because of its laxative effects, individuals with issues related to digestive health should proceed with caution before supplementing.

It is also essential for individuals to follow the dosage instructions provided on the packaging and never exceed what is written. Taking too much magnesium citrate can lead to unwanted side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting. Some sources recommend not taking more than 400mg at once, as higher doses can cause adverse reactions.

There is debate when it comes to taking magnesium citrate with food. Some nutritionists propose that supplementing on an empty stomach, with only water, is an effective way to get it into your system quickly and without interference from other substances.

While this may be true, there are some medical professionals who suggest that taking the supplement with food can reduce gastrointestinal issues stemming from consuming high doses.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual's discretion and medical advice should be sought if they are unsure.

Finally, some individuals who take magnesium citrate supplements have found success combining them with vitamin C tablets which have been known to increase the absorption of both supplements.

However, due to potential interactions between different vitamins and minerals, consulting a doctor prior to combining supplements should always be considered.

In conclusion, due to potential interactions with existing health conditions as well as potential side effects associated with supplementation, it is important for individuals considering adding magnesium citrate into their daily routine to consult a doctor prior to doing so.

Additionally, following proper dosage instructions, understanding when it may be beneficial to take on an empty stomach versus with food, and learning which other medications may potentially benefit absorption are all key components of safely supplementing with magnesium citrate.

Answers to Common Questions

The recommended dosage for magnesium citrate varies depending on the individual taking it and their specific health condition. For healthy adults, the National Institutes of Health recommends a daily intake of 350–400 mg of elemental magnesium from all sources.

For individuals with certain medical conditions, including kidney disease and heart failure, higher doses may be recommended. It is always best to consult with a physician before taking any supplement to determine the safest and most effective dose for your individual needs.

Are there any potential side effects of taking magnesium citrate?

Yes, there are potential side effects of taking magnesium citrate. Common side effects include abdominal cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. People with kidney disease should use caution when taking magnesium citrate, as it may cause kidney impairment.

Magnesium citrate can also lead to irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, and in rare cases even seizures or cardiac arrest. It can also interact negatively with certain medications, so it is important to consult a doctor before taking it.

What health conditions can magnesium citrate help treat?

Magnesium citrate has been researched to be beneficial for a number of different health conditions, including heart health, PMS, anxiety and stress relief, depression, osteoporosis prevention, migraine prevention, and as a laxative.

Cardiovascular Health: Studies have shown that magnesium citrate can help relax the coronary arteries, allowing more blood to flow. This increased blood flow helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

PMS: Magnesium citrate is thought to help regulate hormones during the menstrual cycle, relieving symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Anxiety and Stress: Magnesium is essential for proper brain function and studies have shown that it can improve mood and cognitive function by preventing anxiety and stress.

Depression: Magnesium citrate may also aid in treating depression by increasing levels of serotonin—a chemical responsible for regulating mood.

Osteoporosis Prevention: Magnesium plays an important role in the formation of strong bones and recent research suggests that magnesium citrate can help prevent osteoporosis.

Migraine Prevention: A small study has found that magnesium supplementation may reduce the severity of migraine attacks.

Laxative: Magnesium citrate has been found to be effective in treating constipation. It works by drawing water into the intestines, which makes it easier for waste to pass through.