Magnesium Glycinate - Side Effects, Benefits, & Supplements.

Magnesium Glycinate - Side Effects, Benefits, & Supplements.


Magnesium glycinate has been around for a long time now and has been used for centuries to cure mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and many more. However, it’s benefits have not been known to the public until now. Not because it’s been kept a secret, but because people are starting to see the results for themselves now, and they really are wonderful.

The goal of this article is to bring all your magnesium glycinate questions and answer them all in one place!

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Magnesium Glycinate 400mg Zen Supplements.

Here at Zen Supplements, we carry our own magnesium glycinate supplement that is specially made to help with relaxation, calmness, and other benefits associated with the glycinate form of magnesium.

We made our supplement 400mg as a kind of middle ground between the recommended amounts for men (420mg) and women (320mg). If you’re deficient in magnesium, then this supplement has the right amount to allow your body to overcome this and become reliant on a healthy diet instead.

Being magnesium deficient (like approximately 50% of Americans) can be a daunting task to reverse. That’s why our supplement is Albion chelated for maximum absorption from the world leader and innovator in mineral amino acid chelate nutrition, Albion Laboratories.

Our formula is also optimized to help the body better cope with stress and deal with it in a healthy way. In addition to this, it’s much less likely to give you a laxative effect like other forms of magnesium; something I’m sure you’ll appreciate at work.

Something else you’ll appreciate is this form of magnesium has been found to improve mood in everyday life. It’s also easy on the wallet with 90 capsules only being $14.20.


Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate

The benefits of this form of magnesium are immense. Mostly because this form is highly bioavailable and can be easily absorbed by the body. In addition to this magnesium glycinate can easily pass the blood-brain barrier and be of use in your brain, unlike other forms that are too large to pass though and thus cannot be of any help for mental disorders.

Magnesium Glycinate

Here are the benefits of magnesium glycinate

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lowered risk of stroke and heart attack from atherosclerosis and calcifications
  • Lowered risk of type II diabetes (lowered blood sugar)
  • Increased bone health from the magnesium
  • Could prevent migraines
  • Relieve anxiety
  • Maintain healthy heart rhythm
  • Reduce PMS symptoms
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Amplify exercise performance
  • Could Relieve Depression

With a list of benefits this long, it makes you wonder how it could possibly contribute to all these incredible benefits. This is because Magnesium Glycinate plays an important role in facilitating the chemical reactions in your neurotransmitters. This includes the ones in your muscles, which is why it contributes to increased athletic performance through allowing the skeletal muscles to contract more efficiently.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is when your body does not get the required amount of magnesium for a prolonged period of time. This is pretty straight forward, however what’s more shocking is the number of people who are deficient in magnesium and don’t know it.

It’s very difficult to test for magnesium deficiency. This is because about 99% of magnesium resides in your bones, cells, tissue, and about 1% in your blood, so a blood test can be misleading. Especially if your body has been taking magnesium out of your bones in order to make up for the deficit in your diet.

If this happens the levels in your blood will likely look normal, but the levels in your bones will be depleted, leading to weaker bones and an increased chance of developing osteoporosis.


Having a balanced diet will often take care of any magnesium needs your body has. These foods include leafy greens, nuts, whole wheat, and legumes. The majority of Americans do not eat enough of these every day to sustain their magnesium levels, however.

 In addition to this, while nuts, legumes, and wheat all have magnesium, they also have something called “phytic acid” which decreases the absorption of minerals like magnesium.

Sources of Magnesium in Food

Because of this the only great source of magnesium is green leafy vegetables, which some people avoid religiously in favor of a hamburger. I know that I for one do not eat the recommended amount of green leafy vegetables.

An exercise that you could do to see how you fair up against the 400mg recommended daily intake, you could go about your normal day, eating what you normally would. Except this time, you’ll be recording the magnesium content of each thing you eat that day. If you're honest, the likelihood that you reach 400mg is slim.

Dietary is the main reason, however there are some other risk factors that play into being low in magnesium chronically. Like these below:

  • Type II Diabetes. People with type II diabetes are at a higher risk of being magnesium deficient because the conditions for it are often accompanied by magnesium deficiency.
  • Long-term vomiting or diarrhea. This is because vomiting or having diarrhea constantly doesn’t allow you body to digest the food properly, leaving any magnesium that might have been in the food in the toilet bowl instead.
  • Digestive problems like Crohn’s Disease. This is due to the same problem associated with vomiting and chronic diarrhea.
  • Kidney Problems. Your Kidneys regulate the removal of toxins and excess material from your blood. Much like how you're blood sugar works. If you’re having a problem with your kidneys, they might be removing too much magnesium, leaving you with not enough to go around.
  • Certain Medicines. Certain medicines can leave your body unable to absorb magnesium properly. When you cannot absorb magnesium efficiently for a long period of time it puts you at risk of being magnesium deficient.
  • Alcoholism. Being an alcoholic has a lot of bad things associated with it. However, one thing that people don’t tend to think about is that alcohol actually makes you lose magnesium more quickly. If kept up, leading to magnesium deficiency.
  • Chronic Stress. If you have a lot of stress in your life like Kids, a high stress job, or any number of things that can cause stress in everyday life. Then your body is probably producing a hormone called Cortisol. When produced constantly cortisol actually drains your body of magnesium, and a lack of magnesium causes the stress to be more intense, fueling a cycle of deficiency.
  • Drinking Coffee or Caffeine Daily. Because the kidneys control a large part of magnesium levels in the body, what affects them will also affect magnesium levels ultimately. When you drink caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, soda every day they cause the kidneys to remove more magnesium from your blood regardless of the body’s status. Putting you at an increased risk of magnesium deficiency.
  • High intake of daily Calcium. Calcium is also a mineral that your body needs, especially for your bones. However, calcium and magnesium have to compete to be absorbed into your body during digestion. If you are eating a meal with lots of calcium, and then take a magnesium supplement it will likely not be absorbed due to the body already absorbing the calcium.



The Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency.

Deficiency of magnesium can manifest itself into any of these symptoms:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Shaking
  • Pins and needles
  • Sleepiness
  • Muscle spasms

While you may experience these symptoms, the nature of magnesium (being needed for over 300 bodily functions) means that it could come up as any number of symptoms almost anywhere in the body.

If you feel that you’re deficient in magnesium talk to your doctor, they can help with your specific queries. Unfortunately, because approximately 1% of your magnesium is in your blood running blood work may not give the whole picture on whether you’re deficient or not.

With about 75% of Americans not consuming the recommended amount of magnesium daily, it’s leading to more and more people suffering from magnesium deficiency, often times without even knowing it.

One way to weigh your likelihood to be deficient in magnesium is to compare yourself with the risk factors contributing to magnesium deficiency. If you feel like that mostly describes your dietary habits then you should consider the possibility of being deficient in magnesium.

Magnesium Glycinate for Sleep

Magnesium Glycinate For Sleep.

Magnesium is one of the easiest things that can help you sleep at night. Rather than lay out a complex routine on turning specific YouTube video, light this candle, do this magic dance, pray to the sleep gods that you get enough tonight; it could be as simple as a magnesium deficiency.

As stated, earlier magnesium glycinate passes through the blood-brain barrier easily so that it can help in your brain, where you need it to sleep.

Magnesium is known to be excellent at calming the nerves. It does this by regulating the biochemical reactions in your neurotransmitters. One of these transmitters is known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

GABA is responsible for putting your brain into sleep mode, slowing down metabolic processes, and putting a damper on communications, allowing you to have a peaceful mind and eventually fall asleep.

You could have insomnia making it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, have shallow sleep, as well as wake up too early. Magnesium can help ease these symptoms allowing you to have a good night’s sleep and get you ready for the day! Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation for insomnia effectively reduces insomnia in older adults (who are more prone to insomnia).

Another common sleeping problem people have is RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s described as being a constant, uncontrollable urge to be moving your legs, accompanied by a constant pins and needles feeling that only goes away when you’re moving your legs. There is not definitive cure that we know of yet, however supplementing with magnesium has been shown to relive symptoms and make it manageable.

Magnesium Glycinate Anxiety

Magnesium glycinate for anxiety.

Anxiety is something that seems to be becoming more common in Americans today. The cause of this can be debated forever, however what can be said is that magnesium glycinate can help relieve some symptoms of anxiety.

Magnesium plays a major role in the biochemical functions in your brain, over 300 chemical reactions in fact. Anxiety is a mental disorder, making it (on a basic level) a chemical reaction in the brain. Obviously, it’s a little more complicated than that.

A major factor is the stress hormone cortisol that act like brakes on the nervous system. Cortisol is beneficial if you’re dealing with a life-or-death situation, like how evolution intended it to be used. However, today that is rarely the case.

Because we do deal with high levels of stress almost constantly, many of the benefits of the hormone become null. The effect is a decrease in overall brain function, worrying, difficulty with memory, and finally, anxiety is the result in a lot of cases where there is chronic cortisol release.

Magnesium Glycinate blocks the release of cortisol, lowering its levels in the brain, promoting calmness, anxiety relief, and an overall increased sense of happiness. Even more than this, magnesium slows down the neurotransmitters and allows the muscles to relax, promoting peace of mind and a relaxed body.

Magnesium Glycinate Depression

Magnesium glycinate for Depression.

Depression and anxiety are closely linked together as far as mental health conditions go. Just like that Magnesium helps to relieve Depression as well. Magnesium is responsible for regulating the amount of calcium that flows through the neuronal calcium channels, which leads to the production of nitric oxide.

However, when there is not enough magnesium, too much calcium flows through “causing neuronal damage that could manifest itself as depression” (2006 Study on magnesium for depression). A deficiency in magnesium can be caused by stress hormones adrenaline, and cortisol(from chronic stress), a lack of dietary magnesium, or an excess of dietary calcium.

A study in 2006 took several patients who displayed major depression and administered high doses of Magnesium. The results showed rapid recovery (less that 7 days) for most cases.

This is worth a try seeing as how the benefit is being rid of depression, and the risk is about $15 and a couple weeks.

In addition to depression, historically magnesium has been used to treat other emotional problems like anxiety, apathy, aversions, insecurity, irritability, sensitiveness, restlessness, uncertainty, and nervousness.

This is probably due to the fact that stress is a major contributor in many mental health disorders. Chronic stress can be detrimental to the mental state of individuals. When the stress hormone cortisol is activated, it requires magnesium to do its job, and without proper intake levels, it slowly drains your body of magnesium.

Without magnesium the cortisol only amplifies the effects of stress and leads to more stress. A vicious cycle that could quickly lead to depression, anxiety, or any number of mental health conditions. So, magnesium doesn’t “cure” depression or anxiety directly, it simply alleviates a major contributor which will have a significant impact on mood and overall well-being.

While the claims to other benefits besides anxiety and depression need to be investigated further, there is cause to believe that it could be possible.

Magnesium Glycinate for Heart Health

Magnesium Glycinate for heart health.

Because of its role in muscle contractions, magnesium deficiency can lead to an irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest.

You heart is a huge muscle, squeezing in to push the blood out, and expanding out to suck it back in, pumping it throughout the body, every second of every hour, of every day for as long as you’re alive. So knowing this magnesium plays a large role in keeping it going.

When you’re extremely deficient in magnesium it leads to Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). This is dangerous because it can lead to your heart skipping a beat, causing chest pain, or even causing cardiac arrest.

Metaphorically, this is like if your car was running rough in the idle because of a vacuum leak and if left alone, the RPM fluctuates. Jumping up and down in RPMs. At any second it could drop so low that the car shuts off. In this way your heart could fluctuate in BPM (beats per minute) and could accidentally stop working (cardiac arrest).

Therefore, it’s very important to make sure you’re not magnesium deficient. While being so deficient that you have cardiac arrest is not common, it’s not worth ignoring.

Calm Magnesium

Calm Magnesium glycinate.

One of the important roles of magnesium involves the brain and its neurotransmitters. Magnesium when present in adequate quantities blocks the activity of hyperactive neurotransmitters as well as bind itself to calming receptors. Overall, this shows itself in a more peaceful resting state.

This isn’t only for the brain. Magnesium is found all over your body in all of your muscles and is needed for contraction. When you don’t have enough magnesium your muscles may start cramping, have pain, twitch, or stiffness/tension in your muscles.

When you have enough magnesium in your muscles, they are able to relax. Cramping, pain, stiffness/tension, and twitching will all decrease in severity and frequency.

Magnesium Glycinate Side Effects

Although the benefits of magnesium are tremendous, there are some side effects associated with taking too much.

Because the body cannot effectively get rid of any excess magnesium, it’s easier to have a buildup or magnesium in the body from excess supplementation.

For adults, daily doses of 350mg are very unlikely to cause any negative side effects. Doses slightly higher than this are also not at a high risk of adverse side effects. However, if you feel that you are experiencing any of these side effects then contact your doctor.

Even doses of 600mg have been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines by a statistically significant margin (5).

While Magnesium supplementation is generally considered to be safe, it is possible to take too much, which could result in:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Or other gut related issues

It’s also important to consider that people with preexisting kidney problems may be at a higher risk of experiencing adverse side effects from magnesium supplementation.

Best Time to Take Magnesium Glycinate

The best time to take magnesium glycinate.

The thing about magnesium is that it’s a trace mineral, and is nether water, or fat soluble. Unlike vitamins can be either, water soluble being easily absorbed with water, and fat soluble being easily absorbed with fat. However, Magnesium is nether of them, so what should you do to make the most of your magnesium supplement?

Magnesium Glycinate is one of the best magnesium supplements when it comes to absorption and bioavailability. So, it’s easy to do what needs to be done to get the most nutrients from it.

All you have to do to maximize absorption is to take it with a meal (to reduce diarrhea and upset stomach) and with a full glass of water. This will ensure that you get the most from each and every supplement!

However, there are certain medications that can complicate the absorption of magnesium. For instance, if you’re taking any tetracycline-type medications like demeclocycline, doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline, you should separate the doses with at least 2-3 hours apart.

What time of day should I take them?

The great thing about magnesium is that it can be taken at any time during the day, so long as it’s taken consistently at that time for the best results. Taking them first thing in the morning is the easiest to remember for most people.

However, if that doesn’t work for you don’t sweat it, any time during they day is just as good!

It would be wise to make this time a time that you usually eat consistently, so that way you can take your supplement with a meal to maximize the absorption as well.

Magnesium Supplements

Supplementing your diet can be an easy way to get the nutrients that you need, however this is not to say it’s a replacement for eating healthy.

You should always strive to be eating healthier for yourself and the one’s you love. If you’re in a rut, which can be very difficult to get out of yourself, supplements can help give that extra shove to get you over the top!

Eating a well-balanced diet is enough to maintain healthy magnesium levels, but if your deficient it would take a long time to correct it with diet alone. But what should you look for in a magnesium supplement?

Fundamentally, there are a few things that you should look out for when purchasing your magnesium supplements.

First, is that it contains a high quality, bioavailable form of magnesium. What’s the point of using a magnesium that cannot be absorbed when you’re trying to replenish your magnesium levels? Forms of magnesium that cannot be absorbed are magnesium oxide, and magnesium sulfate

Second, is that this type of magnesium is specialized for what you want to do. There are many types of magnesium, and each one is specialized for a job. For instance, Magnesium Glycinate helps with the brain because it specializes in passing through the blood-brain barrier unlike other forms.

Third, should be the side effects of that form of magnesium. Magnesium Glycinate is more accepted by the body and is known to have less side effects for larger doses unlike other forms of magnesium. If large doses of magnesium oxide are taken, there will likely be very uncomfortable side effects (but it will get rid of any constipation really quick).

Generally, do some research on which form is best to suit your needs and be optimized for your body in the bedst possible way. Only you know exactly what you need and what’s best for your body.

Magnesium Bisglycinate

If you’ve been looking around for magnesium glycinate supplements and came across something that was called “Magnesium Bisglycinate” and wondered what the difference actually was between this and magnesium glycinate.

You wouldn’t be alone in this, but it’s actually not very interesting. Magnesium Bisglycinate is just the proper chemical name for what most people know as just Magnesium Glycinate. Nothing special or different.

This is because the magnesium molecule is attached to two glycine molecules, making the more accurate name “Bis-glycinate” (bis = two). So next time you see it just know that they are exactly the same thing.

Chelated Magnesium

Chelated magnesium glycinate.

Chelated Magnesium might sound like a different type of magnesium; however, it’s actually referring to a process that is done to the magnesium.

This process can be done to any metal molecule. It involves attaching the in-organic metal molecule to an organic molecule (ligand) to create the organic form of the mineral.

After magnesium is chelated, it becomes much more bioavailable for the body, giving more benefit per magnesium molecule. This form is great for replenishing magnesium levels in someone who is deficient because of its high level of absorption in the digestive tract.

Look to make sure your magnesium supplement is chelated to get the most out of your money!

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate

Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate

Pure Encapsulations has a magnesium glycinate in liquid form that tastes great and can be absorbed easily. However, this supplement only has 165mg of magnesium glycinate in it, making it weak in terms of dosage.

This could be compensated by taking two doses per day (with 2 meals) however it would be easier if it had just been one. Coordinating two meals to fall on the same time every day could end up being exhausting.

Otherwise, this is a great supplement and meets the criteria for being a high-quality magnesium supplement.

Solaray Magnesium Glycinate

Solaray magnesium glycinate supplement

Solaray has answered the call as well with a high absorption form of Magnesium Glycinate. They are bringing 350mg spread across 4 capsules so you can take one with every meal and one before bed.

Solaray is known to have high quality products, and this is not a bad one. They’ve added something known as “Bioperine” from black pepper extract to further improve the formula by adding this antioxidant. While it does not have very much to do with magnesium, Bioperine will help your body overall.

While the dosage is lacking slightly, it’s not so low that you can’t benefit from it. That being said, because it’s low you are less likely to have any side effects from it as well.

Solaray’s products are not bad by any measure, and this is one that you should consider when picking out your magnesium supplements.

Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate

Thorne magnesium bisglycinate

Thorne is widely considered the best on the market for almost any supplement. This is due to the fact that they are comprised of a medical professional team whose products have been trusted by professional athletes, associated with the NBA, NFL, and UFC. They also have their own clinical trials and research facilities to test their formulas efficacy.

This being said they have a magnesium glycinate product that is high quality. It’s their Magnesium Bisglycinate with added monk fruit.

This product is NSF certified for sports to not cause disqualification.

A lightly sweetened powder that is well absorbed and can be added to any drink before meals or before bed to promote restful sleep and muscle relaxation.


In conclusion, Magnesium Glycinate is something that has a ton of potential to help people with many problems. Among its many benefits are calmness, muscle relaxation, improved mood, sleep support, anxiety support, lowered risk of heart disease, bone health, and much more.

More important than those benefits are the reason that you choose to take magnesium supplements, and how that will influence your choice on which form of magnesium to take.

Everyone should know the risk factors for magnesium deficiency, as it can make a huge impact on your everyday life. Knowing which habits will help and which will hurt your magnesium levels are a major step in healing from a deficiency and preventing a relapse.

The specific problems that you face will not be known, but what you should know is how each form of magnesium could help in its specific facet or niche supporting the human body.

Knowing this will lead to better overall understanding of your body and the decisions you make to improve yourself. Hopefully this has improved your understanding or your learned something from reading this. I hope you have a great rest of your day and thank you for reading!










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