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The Importance and Health Benefits of Magnesium Citrate

  • 5 min read

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

While many people are familiar with the importance of electrolytes, magnesium has been referred to as “the forgotten electrolyte.” Magnesium is a mineral in your body that helps improve brain function and promote muscle function.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is mainly stored in our bones. Since our body cannot produce magnesium, we must get it from our diets or supplements. You can get magnesium supplements in various forms, one of which is magnesium citrate. It is popular for treating certain health conditions.

Magnesium supplements help maintain adequate levels of magnesium in the body to prevent deficiency. It is important to note that two-thirds of the western world population does not get the recommended daily dose of magnesium from their diets.

In this article, we will learn more about magnesium citrate and its health benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before changing your nutrition plan or adding any supplements to your regimen.

What is Magnesium Citrate?

Magnesium citrate is a dietary supplement that contains magnesium and citric acid. It is produced by the reaction of magnesium chloride and citric acid in the presence of water. Magnesium citrate is used to treat and prevent low levels of magnesium in the blood.

Magnesium citrate is also known as the “saline laxative” as it effectively works to relieve constipation and clear out the intestines due to its ability to increase fluids and water in the small intestine.

It has more health benefits than treating constipation, as they are also taken for nutritional support. Magnesium citrate and other forms of this supplement maintain healthy levels of magnesium since deficiency can lead to various symptoms and illnesses, such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, muscle spasms, and aches.

The Health Benefits of Magnesium Citrate

Here are seven ways that taking magnesium citrate may benefit your health:

1.      Treats constipation and clears out the intestines

One of the main benefits of magnesium citrate is that it helps relieve constipation by encouraging movement through the digestive system without causing diarrhea. The increased water content in your intestines helps soften stool and makes them easier to pass. If you’re taking magnesium citrate to treat your constipation, follow dosage instructions carefully and don’t take more than recommended dosages because they may cause diarrhea instead of relieving constipation.

Magnesium citrate pulls water into the intestines because of its chemical structure. Magnesium and citric have different charged atoms, which leads to an osmotic effect in your digestive tract when you take them together in the form of a supplement.

2.      Prevents magnesium deficiency symptoms

Magnesium deficiency is fairly common in the United States because magnesium-rich foods are not consumed as often as other nutrients. Magnesium occurs naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Magnesium citrate can help prevent magnesium deficiency symptoms like muscle cramps, spasms, and irregular heartbeat. If you have low blood pressure or type 2 diabetes, taking magnesium citrate can help control your blood sugar levels.

3.      Supports muscle and nerve functions

The majority of magnesium found in the body is stored in bone tissue. The rest of it is found throughout the body’s cells, with high concentrations in muscles, soft tissues, skin, and bone marrow. Magnesium plays a vital role in many biological processes, including building new cells and maintaining cell membranes, which help control the flow of nutrients into cells as well as waste products out of them.

Magnesium also helps regulate nerve transmission, which is essential for muscle function and movement. Magnesium citrate can help support both muscle functions and nerve transmissions.

One study in 2,570 women linked to higher magnesium intake showed an increase in muscle mass and power. Another study suggested that magnesium supplements can help protect against some markers of muscle damage in professional cyclists.

4.      May combat depression

If you suffer from depression, magnesium may help you feel better. Large controlled clinical trials have found that magnesium supplements improve symptoms of depression in people who have low levels of this mineral in their blood. Several studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements can help alleviate symptoms of depression, even in people who don’t have low blood levels of the mineral.

In one small 8-week research, taking 500 mg of magnesium per day led to significant improvements in symptoms of depression in people with a magnesium deficiency.

5.      Supports cardiovascular and bone health

Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps maintain bone density, pulmonary function, normal cardiac rhythmicity, and healthy blood glucose levels. Having enough levels of magnesium is important for maintaining regular blood pressure, heartbeat rhythms, and protection against issues like arrhythmia and hypertension.

Magnesium citrate is mostly used to prevent arrhythmia. In addition to that, it makes artery walls more flexible as rigid walls are an atherosclerosis risk and can lead to cardiovascular issues.

Adequate magnesium intake also helps prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures by improving calcium balance in the body and increasing bone density.