How do I Choose the Best Magnesium Citrate?

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  • Written By: Dennis Wilcox
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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Choosing the best magnesium citrate depends on its intended use. If used as dietary supplement, the best choice is a pill or powder. If for a general laxative or to cleanse the intestines prior to a medical procedure, then the best choice is a water solution.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals used by the body. In fact, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Magnesium is necessary for healthy heart function, for maintaining strong blood vessels and muscles and for a strong immune system. Several hundred chemical reactions in the body also involve magnesium.

A good diet should ensure a proper intake of magnesium and ward off any magnesium deficiencies. This diet should include leafy green vegetables, fish such as salmon and halibut, nuts, seeds and unrefined grains. Hard water and some mineral waters can also provide magnesium in a person’s diet.

If a person feels the need to take magnesium as a dietary supplement, however, or if he or she has been directed to do so by a healthcare provider, then magnesium citrate is often a good choice. This is because it is more readily absorbed by the body than several other types of magnesium supplements. For this use, it is best taken in pill or powder form.


More commonly, though, people will use magnesium citrate either as a short-term laxative to treat constipation or to empty the intestines in preparation for a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy or abdominal surgery. For these uses magnesium citrate is taken as a solution. Magnesium citrate solution works by drawing water to the intestines. This, in turn, helps to induce defecation. The amount of magnesium solution that’s ingested and its frequency will determine whether it acts as a short-term laxative or as an intestinal cleanser.

Magnesium citrate solution can be purchased off the shelf in a drug store. Some solutions are citrus flavored. The best choice is the one that allows a person to more easily ingest it as required. Chilling the solution before taking it can make it more palatable.

Keep in mind that because of magnesium’s importance in the body as a mineral and its strong action on the intestines when administered as a solution, caution should be used when taking magnesium citrate. If nausea, vomiting or intestinal disturbances or distress occurs, a physician should be consulted immediately. If a person has a history of kidney disease, he or she should report this to his or her physician before taking magnesium citrate supplements or ingesting it as a solution.

In addition, certain medications can interact with magnesium. These can include certain blood thinners and antibiotics. If a person is on medication of any kind, he or she should also report this to a physician before taking any kind of magnesium.


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