Primeself's Definitive Guide to Magnesium Supplements:

Choosing the Right Form for Optimal Health

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies.  We require adequate magnesium for optimal health; everything from energy production, to focus to sleep and recovery is dependent on this essential mineral. Magnesium is truly a powerhouse mineral that our bodies can't function optimally without.

Here's Why Magnesium Matters

Better Sleep & Stress Relief

Magnesium helps us unwind after a hectic day, it can improve sleep quality and help to ease feelings of stress and tension.

Improved Mood

Studies have shown that magnesium is important for people who suffer from depression and anxiety.

Boosted Exercise Performance

Whether you're hitting the gym or just keeping up with a busy schedule, magnesium supports muscle function and energy production, helping you perform at your best and recover faster.

Stronger Bones, Happy Heart

Magnesium isn't just for muscles (and yes your heart is a muscle too); it's crucial for bone health too, lowering the risk of fractures and keeping your heart ticking smoothly.

Healthy Blood Pressure

Magnesium plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.

Blood Sugar Control

Keeping your blood sugar levels in check is essential for staying energised and focused throughout the day, not to mention maintaining a healthy weight. Magnesium lends a hand in regulating insulin and glucose levels.

In a nutshell, magnesium is your all-around mineral marvel, but falling short on it can lead to issues like trouble sleeping, feeling stressed out, tired or moody and even increasing the risk of diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. So, making sure you're getting enough magnesium is a smart move for staying on top of your game.

Do we really need to supplement with magnesium?

Unfortunately the magnesium content in our food has reduced over the past decades. This is partly due to lower levels in soil but also due to modern food processing. Things like stress, drinking alcohol, strenuous exercise and getting older all drain our magnesium levels even more. As a result, a large amount of people worldwide aren’t getting enough magnesium. Which is why supplementing magnesium is crucial for optimising our health.

This guide will help you choose the right form of magnesium for your unique needs.

Why are there so many different types of Magnesium?

Pure elemental magnesium is unstable and not very easy for your body to absorb, this is why you’ll usually find elemental magnesium bound to an organic compound. These organic molecules act as carriers for the magnesium, giving it a ride into your system.

With magnesium supplements, you've got to balance how much elemental magnesium you're getting versus how well your body can actually use it. Take magnesium oxide (an inorganic form), for example. It's got a bunch of elemental magnesium, but your body doesn't absorb it all that well, so it mainly works as a laxative. On the flip side, magnesium glycinate gets absorbed pretty well, although it might not give you quite as much elemental magnesium.

The organic compounds that elemental magnesium is bound to also provide some perks, so choosing the right one can really amp up the benefits you get from your supplement.

Different Types of Magnesium

Elemental magnesium is bound to 2 molecules of glycine, an amino acid that is associated with lower inflammation and improved sleep quality.

  • Pros: Gentle on the digestive system, glycine provides additional benefits for sleep quality and relaxation.
  • Best for: General magnesium supplementation, improving sleep, reducing stress. Ideal for people with sensitive digestive systems.
  • Absorption: Absorbed easily, with glycine serving as a carrier for efficient uptake.

Magnesium is bound to malic acid, a type of alpha-hydroxy acid naturally found in some fruits. Malic acid is transformed into malate in your body where it is a key ingredient in producing energy in the form of ATP

  • Pros: Supports energy production, may alleviate muscle pain and fatigue, may be beneficial for conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Best for: Those seeking energy support, athletes & individuals with muscle-related issues such as stiffness and pain.
  • Absorption: Generally well-absorbed, with malic acid potentially enhancing bioavailability.

A unique form of magnesium first identified by researchers at MIT, magnesium is bound to L-threonic acid, a natural metabolite of Vitamin C. Magnesium L-Threonate is rooted in nutritional neuroscience and specifically beneficial for cognitive health, this form of magnesium easily gets into the brain.

  • Pros: Supports overall cognitive function, research has shown promising results for memory, focus and concentration and preventing cognitive decline of ageing.
  • Best for: Those seeking cognitive enhancement, improved mood, memory, focus, and sleep quality.
  • Absorption: Very well absorbed, with a special affinity for crossing the blood barrier.

Elemental magnesium is bound to citric acid, this is one of the 1st generation magnesium supplements to enter the natural health scene and is still popular today.

  • Pros: Citric acid plays an important role in the citric acid cycle (aka the Krebs cycle), a biochemical process that our bodies use to make energy in the form of ATP. Magnesium Citrate can support overall energy production.
  • Best for: General magnesium supplementation, digestive health support, individuals with constipation.
  • Absorption: Magnesium citrate is absorbed relatively well although slightly higher doses will have a laxative effect.

Magnesium Sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salt, is a compound where elemental magnesium is bound to sulfate, a form of sulfur. This combination is cheap and even though it is poorly absorbed, is still sometimes used in oral supplementation.

  • Pros: Sulfate plays a role in the body’s detoxification processes and as such may provide benefits for overall detoxification, taken orally, this form of magnesium is a great laxative. Epsom salt baths are great for easing muscle tension and soothing skin irritation.
  • Best for: Muscle aches and tension when used in baths in the form of epsom salts, if used orally it is an excellent laxative by attracting water into the bowel.
  • Absorption: Oral absorption is poor, absorption through the skin is relatively good.

How to Pick a Quality Magnesium Supplement

Superior Forms

The most bioavailable and easily absorbed forms of magnesium are chelated ("KEE-lay-ted") with organic molecules like amino acids (glycine), malic acid, citric acid, threonate. Each of these forms provides unique benefits, so choose the one that suits your individual goals.

Chelated vs Non-Chelated

Chelated minerals like magnesium glycinate or bis-glycinate are attached to amino acids for enhanced absorption and bioavailability compared to non-chelated salts like magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate or magnesium carbonate.

Non-Chelated forms of magnesium aren’t very easy to absorb and can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Trademarked Ingredients

Look for branded, trademarked ingredients like Magtein® or Albion minerals that are backed by lots of human research and have gone through extensive testing to ensure quality and efficacy.

Potency and Purity

A high-quality magnesium supplement should list the elemental magnesium content and tell you exactly how much of that particular capsule or tablet is magnesium and how much is the chelating agent. It should also be free of fillers, binders, and artificial ingredients (for example coloured tablets).

PrimeSelf Magnesium - Our Promise

At PrimeSelf, we are committed to using only the highest quality, most bioavailable forms of magnesium in our formulations, where available we choose trademarked ingredients and always those that are backed by science. We ensure that each and every product we formulate contains an effective and clinically relevant dose of elemental magnesium.

Our Magnesium BisGlycinate and Magnesium Di-Malate contains the Albion TRAACS® mineral chelate for optimal absorption and utilisation by the body.

We also offer Magnesium L-Threonate, featuring the original and highly bioavailable Magtein® form that was developed by researchers at MIT and has been shown to effectively raise magnesium levels in the brain.

At PrimeSelf, transparency and integrity are at the core of everything we do, each product tells you exactly what’s in it. We're committed to providing our customers with accurate information and superior products that they can trust.


The recommended daily intake (RDI) for magnesium is 310-420 mg for adults. However, individual needs can vary based on factors like age, gender, and certain health conditions. As much as 600mg is sometimes recommended to address certain health conditions.

When taken at appropriate doses, magnesium supplements are generally well-tolerated. However, high doses can lead to gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea.

If supplementing with very high doses the risk of side effects can be reduced by taking the magnesium in a divided dose. Those with kidney disease should consult a doctor before supplementing.

Yes, you can take different forms of magnesium together as they provide complementary and varying benefits. For example, glycinate for general supplementation and threonate for brain health.

Magnesium can be taken any time of day. However, many people prefer taking it before bed as it may promote better sleep quality. Others find splitting the dose helps with absorption.

Magnesium can interact with tetracycline antibiotics and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, reducing the absorption of both - it’s best to take your magnesium at least 2 hours away from these antibiotics. Diuretics will generally increase the need for magnesium.