What is the Best Magnesium with no Side Effects?

With magnesium depletion in our soils at an all time high, most of us choose to supplement this vital mineral. But not all magnesium supplements are created equal.

Some types of magnesium can cause side effects such as stomach upset and diarrhea. Others may interact with medications you are taking. That's why it's important to choose the right type.

In this article, we'll take a close look at various types of magnesium supplements you might find in your local health food store. 

What is the best magnesium with no side effects

Which Type of Magnesium has the Fewest Side-Effects?

The table below provides a comprehensive overview of the most commonly used types of magnesium in supplement form.

Each type is evaluated based on its common uses, potential side effects, and bioavailability—how well it's absorbed by the body.

Pay close attention to Nano Magnesium, as it stands out for its high bioavailability and fewer reported side effects, making it a great option for many users.


Type of Magnesium Common Uses Potential Side Effects Bioavailability
Magnesium Citrate Digestion, Constipation Stomach cramps, Diarrhoea High
Magnesium Oxide General Supplementation Harsh on stomach, Low absorption Low
Magnesium Glycinate Muscle Relaxation, Better Sleep Mild headaches High
Magnesium Chloride Detox, Muscle Function Stomach upset, Diarrhoea Moderate
Magnesium Sulfate Short-term laxative, Epsom salt baths Overdose risks, Not for long-term use Low
Magnesium Taurate Cardiovascular Health Rarely reported side effects Moderate
Magnesium Threonate Brain Function, Memory Limited data on side effects High
Magnesium Lactate Digestive Aid Stomach upset Moderate
Magnesium Aspartate Energy Production High doses can be toxic Moderate
Magnesium Malate Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Rarely reported side effects High
Magnesium Orotate Cardiovascular Health Limited data on side effects Moderate

What Side-Effects Can Magnesium Supplements Cause?

Magnesium is an essential mineral, but taking too much can cause side effects. To understand why, it's helpful to delve into the underlying science.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

  • Diarrhea: Magnesium acts as an osmotic laxative, drawing water into the intestines and speeding up bowel movements.
  • Constipation: Lower doses may slow down bowel movements in some cases.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: These effects may be due to magnesium irritating the gastric lining or affecting muscle contractions in the stomach.
  • Gas and Bloating: Unabsorbed magnesium may react with gut bacteria, producing gas as a byproduct.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

  • Low Blood Pressure: Magnesium has vasodilatory effects, meaning it can widen blood vessels, leading to a drop in blood pressure.
  • Slow Heart Rate: High levels of magnesium can suppress the electrical conductivity in heart muscles.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Excessive magnesium can disrupt the balance of electrolytes, affecting heart rhythm.

Neurological Side Effects

  • Dizziness and Headache: These can occur due to changes in blood flow or interactions with neurotransmitters.
  • Fatigue: Magnesium plays a role in ATP production; excessive amounts can disrupt this process, leading to fatigue.
  • Depression and Anxiety: High doses may impact serotonin levels, affecting mood.

Musculoskeletal Side Effects

  • Leg Cramps and Muscle Weakness: Excess magnesium can interfere with the neuromuscular transmission of impulses.
  • Joint Pain: This is less understood but may be linked to interactions with calcium and other minerals.

Metabolic Side Effects

  • Low Blood Sugar: Magnesium is essential for insulin function; too much can lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Loss of Appetite: Excessive levels might affect the hypothalamus, an appetite-regulating region in the brain.

Dermatological Side Effects

  • Itching and Rash: These are often allergic reactions and not directly related to magnesium itself.

Ocular Side Effects

  • Blurred Vision: High levels can affect muscle control, including those that help focus the eyes.

Genitourinary Side Effects

  • Increased Urination: Magnesium has a diuretic effect, leading to more frequent urination.

Respiratory Side Effects

  • Cough: The mechanism is not well understood but could relate to magnesium's muscle-relaxing properties affecting the respiratory tract.

Miscellaneous Side Effects

  • Sleep Problems: Both low and high levels of magnesium are known to affect sleep regulation mechanisms.
  • Sweating and Flushing: Likely related to vasodilation and other systemic effects.

Side Effects of Different Types of Magnesium

While the side-effects listed above are fairly comprehensive, the really common issue people experience with supplementation is gastro-intestinal. As you'll see, this is where the different types vary most widely.

Let's learn more:

Side Effects of Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium Citrate can lead to gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. It can also cause electrolyte imbalance when used excessively.

Side Effects of Magnesium Oxide

Due to its lower absorption rate, Magnesium Oxide commonly causes gastrointestinal issues such as bloating and diarrhea. It is often used to treat heartburn or constipation.

Side Effects of Magnesium Chloride

This form can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Topical application may result in a tingling sensation or mild skin rash.

Side Effects of Magnesium Sulfate

Also known as Epsom salt, this form can cause skin irritation when used in baths. Ingesting it can lead to gastrointestinal issues, and excessive amounts can cause low blood pressure.

Side Effects of Magnesium Glycinate

Generally well-tolerated, Magnesium Glycinate can still cause diarrhea when consumed in large quantities.

Side Effects of Magnesium Taurate

Magnesium Taurate is used for cardiovascular health and generally has fewer side effects. However, high doses can still cause nausea and diarrhea.

Side Effects of Magnesium Malate

This form can cause gastrointestinal issues at high doses but is generally well-tolerated. It is often used for muscle pain and fibromyalgia.

Side Effects of Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium Threonate is promoted for cognitive function. While generally well-tolerated, excessive doses can lead to dizziness and other neurological side effects.

Side Effects of Magnesium Orotate

This form is used for heart health and endurance. Side effects are generally rare but can include sleepiness and skin flushing at high doses.

Side Effects of Magnesium Lactate

Commonly used in food production, Magnesium Lactate can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal issues if ingested in large amounts.

Side Effects of Magnesium Aspartate

This form is generally used for fatigue and muscle weakness. However, excessive intake can cause gastrointestinal upset and potentially lead to kidney problems.

Choosing a Magnesium Supplement: Considerations for Lower Risks and Enhanced Bioavailability

When selecting a magnesium supplement, it's important to consider the balance between efficacy and potential side effects. Each form of magnesium has unique properties that influence its impact on the body.

The Importance of Bioavailability

Bioavailability is a key factor, indicating the extent to which magnesium is absorbed into the bloodstream after consumption. Nano magnesium is developed to potentially enhance bioavailability through its molecular design, which might allow for a more efficient cellular uptake due to its smaller particle size and increased surface area.

Potential for Reduced Gastrointestinal Impact

Magnesium supplements can sometimes cause gastrointestinal discomfort or have a laxative effect. The design behind nano magnesium aims to offer effective dosages that might minimize osmotic effects in the gut, potentially leading to reduced instances of diarrhea or bloating.