Mya Care Blogger 09 Jul 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rae Osborn, Ph.D. and Updated on July 09, 2024

An essential mineral for our general health and well-being, Magnesium[1] has a role in more than 600 biochemical processes in the body, including energy production, the functioning of muscles and nerves, and blood pressure regulation. Despite its significance, a large number of people lack enough magnesium, which can result in a number of health problems.[2]

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz on TikTok about a specific form of magnesium - magnesium glycinate. Is this just another health trend, or is there real science behind the hype?

In this article, we will dive into the benefits of magnesium glycinate, its recommended dosage and side effects, whether it is the right form of magnesium for sleep, and which form of magnesium is best for sleep and anxiety.

What is Magnesium Glycinate?

Magnesium glycinate is a magnesium variant chemically bonded with the amino acid glycine. This combination allows for better absorption and bioavailability, meaning the body can use it more effectively. It is often referred to as "chelated" magnesium, which means it is bound to another molecule to enhance its absorption.

Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate

All forms of magnesium have similar benefits, which only change depending on how well or poorly absorbed they are. This is why magnesium glycinate is a popular choice among health enthusiasts. Here are some of the most notable benefits of magnesium:

Magnesium for Sleep

Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle, being a cofactor of ATP (the energy molecule) and signaling for rhythmic hormonal events that govern the body clock.[3] Research has indicated that magnesium glycinate can enhance the quality of sleep, prevent daytime sleepiness, and help with insomnia and restless leg syndrome.[4] The benefits of magnesium glycinate for insomnia were enhanced when supplemented with melatonin and vitamin B6[5].

Magnesium for Anxiety

Supplemental magnesium is known to have a calming effect on the body and mind. Adequate levels of magnesium can help to regulate neurotransmission by lowering the expression of calcium-dependent NMDA receptors[6]. These receptors accept glutamate and, when activated, reduce GABA levels, a neurotransmitter required for calming down the nervous system and for optimal sleep. Excess NMDA activation is associated with stress, depression, and anxiety. Magnesium can help to lower these effects by promoting stable GABA transmission.

Other benefits of magnesium include:

  • Better Digestion: Magnesium is essential for proper digestion and can help alleviate symptoms of constipation.
  • Muscle Relaxation: Muscle tension and cramps can be eased by magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant.
  • Migraines: Magnesium may help resolve migraines in those who are deficient.
  • Improved Mood: Magnesium helps to soothe tension, improve mood, and do away with depressive symptoms.
  • PMS Symptoms: Magnesium can help soothe menstrual aches, pains, and cramps.
  • Bone Health: Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and the prevention of conditions like osteoporosis.
  • Heart Health: Magnesium can lower the risk of heart disease and is essential for controlling blood pressure.

Recommended Dosage of Magnesium Glycinate

Depending on their age and gender, adults should consume 310–420 mg of magnesium daily. However, the dosage of magnesium glycinate may vary depending on the individual's needs and health goals.

A daily dosage of 310-420 mg of magnesium glycinate for adults is advised for overall health and well-being. To determine the right dosage for a particular health condition and to determine if your child or teenager should be taking this supplement, it is recommended to speak with a healthcare provider. A doctor can also advise on the correct dose for yourself or your family.

Magnesium Deficiency: A Common Problem

In fact, it is estimated that up to 75% of Americans do not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium.

The risk of magnesium deficiency is elevated for those suffering from digestive problems or chronic diarrhea and those taking various medications such as proton pump inhibitors and diuretics, especially loop diuretics and thiazide diuretics.

Muscle spasms, exhaustion, nervousness, and difficulty falling asleep are a few typical indicators of magnesium deficiency. A magnesium deficit can lead to more serious conditions, including osteoporosis and heart disease, if left unchecked.

Here are 10 natural food sources of magnesium:

  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Tofu
  • Salmon

Including these foods in your diet can help you naturally consume more magnesium.

Relationship Between Magnesium and Vitamin D

Magnesium and vitamin D work together in the body to support various functions. The body needs magnesium in order to activate vitamin D. Without adequate magnesium levels, vitamin D cannot be properly metabolized and utilized.[7]

Bone health is one of the most important functions that both magnesium and vitamin D serve. Strong and healthy bones depend on the absorption of calcium, which is facilitated by magnesium. The body's regulation of calcium levels is aided by vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that serves various functions in the body beyond bone health. Here are some additional roles of vitamin D:

  • Immune System Support: Vitamin D plays a vital role in supporting the immune system. It stimulates the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides, improves immune cell activity, and aids in the regulation of the immunological response.
  • Hormone Regulation: Vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body, influencing the expression of genes involved in cell growth, differentiation, and proliferation. It plays a role in regulating insulin secretion, blood pressure, and the function of the cardiovascular system.
  • Brain Health: Numerous brain regions have vitamin D receptors, demonstrating the relevance of this nutrient for neurological health. According to studies, vitamin D may be important for mood control, cognitive function, and lowering the risk of neurodegenerative illnesses.
  • Skin Health: Vitamin D plays a role in promoting healthy skin. It has been connected to diseases like psoriasis and acne and aids in controlling the growth and differentiation of skin cells.
  • Heart Health: A decreased risk of cardiovascular illnesses has been linked to adequate vitamin D levels. It enhances endothelial function, lowers inflammation, and controls blood pressure.

It is worth noting that deficiencies in both magnesium and vitamin D are common, and they often coexist, especially in winter or regions with limited sunlight. If you suspect that you may have deficiencies in either nutrient, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide appropriate testing and guidance.

Is Magnesium Glycinate the Best Form of Magnesium?

There are several forms of magnesium available, with some examples including:

  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium threonate
  • Magnesium taurate

Each form has its own unique benefits and uses, but magnesium glycinate is often considered the best form of magnesium for overall health and well-being.

One of the main reasons for this is its high bioavailability. Magnesium Glycinate is readily absorbable by the body, hence it reaches the muscles and organs effectively.[8] It also has a lower risk of causing digestive issues, which can be a common side effect of other forms of magnesium, including magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate.

It is important to note that magnesium glycinate does not have the highest absorption amongst all forms of magnesium and that studies are mixed. Yet it is often shown to be one of the best magnesium supplements, second to specialized formulations designed for enhanced absorption.[9]

Magnesium citrate is the best form of magnesium if you are looking to use magnesium as a laxative.

Magnesium threonate is the best form of magnesium for brain health due to better penetration of the blood-brain barrier and cognition-enhancing effects[10].

Side Effects of Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium is considered very safe, and there is no established upper limit with respect to how much magnesium one can take. Magnesium glycinate falls into the same bracket, although, like any supplement, there is a risk of side effects when taken in large quantities.

Common side effects of magnesium glycinate include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Upset stomach

Extremely high doses might eventually lead to bone mineral issues and electrolyte imbalances, which can result in cardiac problems. if consumed for a long period of time. 

If you experience any of these side effects, it is best to reduce your dosage or stop taking the supplement altogether. It is also essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Is It Safe to Take Magnesium Glycinate Every Day?

There is no research to indicate that someone cannot safely take a magnesium supplement daily, provided they stick to the recommended dose.

TikTok's Buzz: Magnesium Glycinate for Sleep and Anxiety

Magnesium glycinate has recently been dominating TikTok’s health scene. Many users claim that taking magnesium glycinate has helped them sleep better and reduce anxiety.

While there is some scientific evidence to support these claims, it is essential to remember that everyone's body is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Magnesium glycinate could be one of the best supplements for sleep if you hold tension in your body, are deficient in magnesium, and are suffering from muscle cramps. However, magnesium threonate can bypass the blood-brain barrier and might be a more beneficial form for those with conditions like anxiety caused by lack of magnesium in the brain[11].

There are also many reasons for sleep disturbances and anxiety that no magnesium supplement will ever resolve. Yet magnesium glycinate can still contribute towards enhancing sleep quality and is highly recommended as a supplement for overall health and well-being.

It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you are taking any medications.

Magnesium Glycinate Supplements: Are They Worth It?

Supplements containing magnesium glycinate are generally accessible and may be purchased online and at most health food stores. But are they worth the investment?

The answer depends on your individual needs and health goals. If you are deficient in magnesium or looking to improve your sleep and reduce anxiety, then magnesium glycinate may be worth trying.

However, you might not require a magnesium glycinate supplement if you eat a well-balanced diet and do not have any particular health issues.


One mineral that is absolutely necessary for maintaining our general health and well-being is magnesium. Better sleep, reduced anxiety, and improved digestion are just a few advantages of magnesium glycinate, a highly absorbable form of the mineral. While it may not be a miracle cure, it can be a helpful supplement for those who are deficient in magnesium or looking to improve their overall health.

If you are considering adding magnesium glycinate to your supplement routine, make sure to consult a healthcare professional first. They can help determine the appropriate dosage and ensure it is safe for you to take. With the right guidance and a healthy lifestyle, magnesium glycinate may just live up to the TikTok buzz and become a valuable addition to your wellness routine.

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