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Ranking the best magnesium supplements of 2023

Written by John Davis

Last updated: October 27, 2022

If you want to boost your testosterone levels, improve your heart health, or enhance the quality of your sleep, a magnesium supplement might be the right place to start.

Magnesium supplementation has been successfully used in scientific research studies to improve sleep quality, treat restless leg syndrome, and even to increase androgen levels in older men.

Looking to reap these benefits from an all-natural mineral? Check out our rankings of the top magnesium supplements on the market, as well as our detailed review of the science behind magnesium supplementation.

Why You Should Trust Us

    Our advisory panel and our research team rank the best health products and supplements based on performance, label accuracy, and the efficacy of the ingredients in the products.

At A Glance
our top picks for magnesium supplements
  1. Best overall: Live Conscious MagWell Magnesium And Zinc
  2. Best for women: Essential Elements Magnesium Plus Zinc With D3
  3. Best for anxiety: Nuzena Magnesium Pure +
  4. Best for sleep: TransparentLabs RawSeries Magnesium Bisglycinate
  5. Metagenics Mag Glycinate

Rankings

Last updated: October 27, 2022
Magnesium supplements considered: 27
Hours of research: 45
Experts reviewed:12
Scientific papers referenced: 22

IMAGE PRODUCT
1. Live Conscious MagWell Magnesium And Zinc
  • Combination of magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate
  • With vitamin D3 to further help enhance the overall effectiveness
  • Completely free of GMOs, soy, gluten, dairy, shellfish, sugar, fillers, etc.
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2. Essential Elements Magnesium Plus Zinc With D3
  • Made in the USA
  • A magnesium supplement that improves anxiety and sleep
  • It reduces oxidative damage in the body
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3. Nuzena Magnesium Pure +
  • Excellent attention to product quality and customer experience
  • Relieves anxiety and promotes better sleep
  • Non – GMO, Gluten Free and Vegan friendly
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4. TransparentLabs RawSeries Magnesium Bisglycinate
  • Provides more energy, improves muscle function, and better sleep
  • Has ingredients that can be easily absorbed by the body without unpleasant side effects
  • No artificial sweeteners or coloring, Gluten-free and non-GMO
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5. Metagenics Mag Glycinate
  • Offered by a company that are known for their high-potency supplements
  • Supports the nervous system and helps the muscles relax
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian product
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6. Now Foods Magnesium Citrate
  • Comes in a loose powder form
  • Helps and supports production of energy for the body
  • It's a best-seller, and is very simplistic
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7. Life Extension Magnesium Caps
  • Uses an uncommon form of magnesium: Magnesium L-Threonate
  • Has the potential to improve memory in older adults
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free
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8. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium
  • Provides a reliable 100 mg dose of magnesium in each tablet
  • Has chelated magnesium to help your intestinal tract absorb it more readily
  • Promotes and support overall heart health
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9. Natural Vitality Natural Calm
  • Comes in a powder form that you scoop into a glass of water to drink
  • An anti-stress drink that is vegan and gluten free
  • Gives essential nutrients for the body to cope with stress and maintain a healthy body
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10. Jigsaw Health Magnesium w/ SRT
  • Time-release magnesium supplement
  • Provides several ingredients that work together to help magnesium do its job inside your body
  • Provides vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and malic acid
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1. Live Conscious MagWell Magnesium And Zinc

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For those serious about taking the best magnesium supplement out there, MagWell is the top dog. MagWell contains three different types of magnesium to maximize absorption and efficacy: magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate.

It also stacks the already-potent magnesium formula with zinc picolinate (the most bioavailable form of zinc) and vitamin D3 to further help enhance the overall effectiveness. It’s completely free of GMOs, soy, gluten, dairy, shellfish, sugar, fillers, etc. Each serving contains 225 mg of magnesium, 7.5 mg of zinc, and 1000 IUs of vitamin D3.

Made in the USA and third-party tested to ensure quality, this is without a doubt Alpha XR‘s #1 overall magnesium supplement of 2023.

2. Essential Elements Magnesium Plus Zinc With D3

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Essential elements Mg contains 3 different forms of magnesium – magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate and magnesium citrate – alongside zinc and vitamin D3  to help with bioavailability and overall effectiveness.

It’s also made in the USA, and third-party tested to ensure quality.

With a lengthy list of positive reviews about Essential Elements Mg, you can be certain this is an excellent magnesium supplement to improve anxiety and sleep.

3. Nuzena Magnesium Pure +

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Magnesium Pure + by Nuzena is another solid option. Nuzena’s Magnesium Pure + contains a dosage of 400mg. While we see comparable dosages in magnesium supplements from other brands, what separates Nuzena from the crowd is their attention to product quality and customer experience.

Nuzena offers registered dieticians, quality certification and real time quality reports, alongside their product formulas being; non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan friendly.

4. TransparentLabs RawSeries Magnesium Bisglycinate

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For more energy, improved muscle function, and better sleep—not to mention better overall performance—you need to watch your magnesium levels.

For that, we like TransparentLabs RawSeries Magnesium Bisglycinate. Its formula gives you your daily dose in a form that your body can immediately absorb and put to use without creating extra stomach acid or other unpleasant side effects.

The key here is absorption. Research has found that magnesium bisglycinate chelate can actually be used by your body, unlike the alternatives.

And because it’s easy for your body can access it, you can enjoy even the smallest benefits, including protection against bone loss, stress-induced thyroid disease, protein deficiency, nerve disorders, and DNA toxicity (yes, that’s a thing).

Magnesium Bisglycinate isn’t as cheap as other types of magnesium, but it’s definitely worth the difference. No artificial sweeteners or coloring. No artificial preservatives. Gluten-free and non-GMO.

5.  Metagenics Mag Glycinate

mag-glycinate

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Metagenics made a name for itself as a prescription-style supplement company that offered high-potency supplements that were only available with a code from a doctor, chiropractor, or other medical professional.

Their magnesium supplement offering comes in the form of magnesium glycinate, a salt form of magnesium that’s not as well-absorbed as a chelate, but tends to be better tolerated than magnesium oxide (used in inexpensive magnesium supplements), which can upset the stomach because of its alkalinity.

The dosage is a fairly standard 100 mg per tablet, and the inactive ingredients are almost identical to a number of its competitors—cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, etc.

Regardless, it does quite well on independent analytical tests of its contents.  Lab testing reveals that it contains 105 mg of magnesium per capsule, meaning there’s an excess of 5% magnesium.

6.  Now Foods Magnesium Citrate

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Now Foods Magnesium Citrate is simple powder-form magnesium that’s best-suited for people blending up their own multi-ingredient supplements.  You’ll need a micro scale to accurately measure dosage, so this is definitely a niche pick for DIY-ers only.

7.  Life Extension Magnesium Caps

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Life Extension uses an uncommon form of magnesium, magnesium L-threonate. While it’s not as high of a dosage as you’ll find in other magnesium supplements, this particular form has been studied for its potential to improve memory in older adults, so it’s a good option if your goal is preserving cognitive function.

8.  Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium

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Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium provides a reliable 100 mg dose of magnesium, though it’s got a bit more fillers and binders than we’d like to see in a top-tier product.

9.  Natural Vitality Natural Calm

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Natural Vitality is a powder-form magnesium supplement that’s easily mixed up with water to make a flavored drink. For most people, tablets are a better choice, but if you have a hard time swallowing, it’s a good targeted option (especially for older adults).

10.  Jigsaw Health MAG SRT

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Jigsaw Health’s magnesium supplement combines magnesium with vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and malic acid.  It’s nice to see these additional ingredients, but MAG SRT does have more binders and fillers than some of its competitors.

Category winners

Best magnesium overall: MagWell Magnesium and Zinc

MagWell takes the crown thanks to its multi-source approach. With magnesium citrate, glycinate, and malate, MagWell is rapidly and efficiently absorbed by your body.

Best magnesium for sleep: Transparent Labs Magnesium Bisglycinate

If you’re taking magnesium for sleep, you want an ultra-pure supplement that’s not going to upset your stomach. Transparent Labs wins on both accounts thanks to its non-alkalizing magnesium bisglycinate formulation.

Best magnesium for anxiety: Nuzena Magnesium Pure +

Most research on using magnesium to treat anxiety uses doses of at least 300 mg. Nuzena Magnesium Pure +, with its 400 mg dose, is an excellent choice to get the best chance of improving your anxiety.

Best magnesium for older adults: MagWell Magnesium and Zinc

MagWell shines for older adults thanks to its inclusion of zinc and vitamin D alongside magnesium. This triad of micronutrients are vital for supporting strong bones and healthy hormone levels in older adults, and deficiencies in magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D are all more common in the elderly. 

Best magnesium for women: Essential Elements Mg

At all stages in life, women need less magnesium than men. That’s why Essential Elements Mg is the best choice for women: with 225 mg of magnesium per serving, it’s plenty to ensure you aren’t deficient, without overloading your body with too much magnesium.

Best magnesium for athletes: Nuzena Magnesium Pure +

Nuzena is a great option for athletes thanks to its solid dosage and focused, pure formulation. Its lack of any extraneous ingredients means it combines well with the other compounds in your athletic performance supplementation stack, making it perfectly suited for boosting recovery and increasing testosterone.  

Who should buy magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that can be helpful for everything from boosting testosterone to improving sleep quality. These applications suggest a few key groups that might benefit from magnesium supplementation:

Men with low testosterone. While there are plenty of testosterone boosters, estrogen blockers, and male enhancement pills that use sophisticated blends of ingredients to help men with low testosterone, sometimes the cause of the problem is a lack of magnesium.

There’s good scientific evidence suggesting that older men with low levels of magnesium are far more likely to have lower androgen levels, and moreover, if these men take a magnesium supplement, their testosterone goes up (1).

People with sleep disturbancesLow levels of magnesium have been associated with poor sleep quality, and for this reason, magnesium is a key ingredient in many sleep aids.

Research on older adults (who often have trouble getting quality sleep) suggests that magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality (2).

People with restless leg syndrome. Restless legs at night are a particularly troublesome source of reduced sleep quality that is not usually well-treated with other sleep aids.

The good news is that magnesium supplementation might help calm restless leg syndrome at night (3).

People with anxiety. Emerging scientific data also suggest that magnesium plays a role in regulating feelings of nervousness and anxiety, with evidence indicating that boosting magnesium levels can soothe feelings of anxiety (4).

How we ranked

For our rankings of the best magnesium supplements, we used criteria that ensured our top supplements would be as effective and versatile as possible:

Dosage suitable for a broad range of applications. Since magnesium has unusually high versatility as a supplement, we searched for supplements whose per-capsule dosage allowed a broad range of dosage. Our preferred dosage per tablet was 100 mg but we allowed some variance around this range.

A moderate dosage is important because of the “ceiling effect” around magnesium’s bioavailability: very high doses are not absorbed, because you can only absorb so much at one time.

No generic mineral supplements. Next, we eliminated products that only provided magnesium alongside other trace minerals. This meant that products like Solaray Calcium Magnesium Zinc didn’t make the grade, despite being a best-seller.

These additional ingredients make it much harder to adjust your magnesium dosage, since you also have to worry about your intake of the other minerals. 

High bioavailabilityWe ranked those that used water soluble forms of magnesium like magnesium citrate higher than those that use less expensive but insoluble forms of magnesium like magnesium oxide.

That’s because these cheaper forms of magnesium rely on your stomach acid to dissolve the oxide and release the magnesium ions into solution, which makes absorption slower, but more importantly, can reduce the acidity level of your stomach.

Clean supplement design. Finally, we cut anything with too much in the way of unnecessary fillers, flavorings, and colorings.

Several magnesium products come in powder form, so mixing them into a shake or smoothie is a much better solution than going with a chewable tablet or a gummy.

Natural Vitality Calm Gummies, with its high sugar content, is just one example of multiple magnesium supplements that did not make the final rankings because of this requirement.

FAQ

Q: When should you take magnesium?

A: Since there is a “ceiling effect” to magnesium absorption, it’s best to split your magnesium dosage up into several smaller doses throughout the day.

One clinical trial conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture demonstrates one protocol: two tablets in the morning, one at lunch, and two in the evening (5).

Q: What problems can magnesium deficiency cause?

A: Low levels of magnesium intake have been associated with poor sleep quality, restless leg syndrome, and low testosterone in men.

People particularly vulnerable to magnesium deficiency include people who are obese and older adults (6).

Q: How much magnesium is too much?

A: According to health experts at the National Institutes of Health, it is not recommended to supplement with more than 350 mg in a day for healthy adults, unless under a doctor’s supervision.

Notably, clinical trials often use higher doses than this, especially when treating magnesium deficiencies, but once magnesium levels reach healthy levels, the usual caveats apply.

Q: Can magnesium supplements help with constipation?

A: Yes, magnesium can help with constipation in two ways.

First, large doses of magnesium salts such as magnesium sulfate (also known as Epsom salts) can directly treat constipation by drawing water into your digestive tract and inducing a laxative effect.

Second, supplemental doses of magnesium, while not a treatment for acute constipation, are known to soften stool.

In fact, this effect is even tracked as an adverse side effect of magnesium supplementation, but if hard stools are a problem for you, you could leverage this as an advantage instead of a side effect.

Q: What is magnesium citrate?

A: Magnesium citrate is a common source of supplemental magnesium that’s notable for being soluble in water.

This makes its absorption levels quite high compared to insoluble forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide.

For this reason, many of our top-ranked magnesium supplements use magnesium citrate or other soluble and highly bioavailable forms of magnesium.

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Recap

Magnesium is an incredibly versatile supplement that can be used to improve your sleep, calm anxiety, and boost testosterone levels.

It’s a potent but safe supplement, and combines well with other supplements you might be taking for higher testosterone, better sleep, or improved mood and mental wellbeing.

Magnesium works best when you take a high-quality, highly bioavailable supplement split into several doses taken throughout the day.

For Alpha XR’s #1 recommended magnesium supplement, click here.

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John Davis

John Davis is a Minneapolis-based health and fitness writer with over 7 years of experience researching the science of high performance athletics, long-term health, nutrition, and wellness. As a trained scientist, he digs deep into the medical, nutritional, and epidemiological literature to uncover the keys to healthy living through better nutrition.
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