Best Magnesium Supplements For Sleep, Leg Cramps, and More

Magnesium can be a worthwhile addition to many strength athletes’ supplement regimen.

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Magnesium is a vital nutrient, playing a role in hundreds of enzyme systems in our body. It helps regulate protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, glucose levels, and even blood pressure (1)(2). Humans do not produce magnesium on their own accord and must rely on diet to get enough of it. Magnesium is found in a variety of widely available foods, including leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and seeds. However, nearly half of Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets. Fortunately, there are a number of magnesium supplements available on the market.

Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms and strength levels. Though there’s virtually no harm in absorbing as much magnesium as possible from foods, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has set a daily upper limit of 350 milligrams of magnesium from supplements for adults (more specifically, 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women).

Before adding magnesium supplements to your dietary routine, consult with a medical professional, as too much can have negative side effects, including gastrointestinal issues. (3) For those who are ready to implement a magnesium supplement into their diet, these are a few of our favorite products. 

The Best Magnesium Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Magnesium Supplement 

The type of magnesium supplement that’s best for you may not be best for someone else. However, when it comes to a magnesium supplement that may help with sleep, inflammation, and cardiovascular health, we think this magnesium glycinate is one of the best. 

BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

We appreciate that this concentrated magnesium supplement from BulkSupplements is free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives. BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate is a combination of elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine. You can expect this product to provide 225mg (or 54 percent of your RDI, or recommended daily intake) of magnesium per one 1/2-teaspoon serving, as well as the potential to improve sleep, and possibly help reduce inflammation and your risk of developing some cardiovascular diseases.

BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate
BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate
BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

 This concentrated magnesium supplement from BulkSupplements is free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives. BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate provides 225mg (or 54 percent of your RDI, or recommended daily intake) of magnesium per one 1/2-teaspoon serving.

Who Should Take BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

  • Customers who value having a magnesium supplement that’s free of additives, sugar, soy, gluten, dairy, and yeast. 
  • Athletes who may want help improving sleep and reducing inflammation.
  • The straightforward ingredients list stands out to us with this product — it contains magnesium glycinate and nothing else. 

Who Shouldn’t Take BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

  • Anyone looking for a more robust ingredient list. Some magnesium products contain other ingredients (like calcium or melatonin) that can add an extra boost to the magnesium to support specific goals. 
  • People with digestive issues that may be better off taking a magnesium oxide or citrate for help with constipation. 

Though BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate may be simple, it’s ideal for people who are looking for a magnesium that may aid in improving sleep and reducing inflammation. 

[Related: Could Baking Soda Be The Best Workout Supplement You’ve Never Tried?]

Best Magnesium Supplement For Sleep

Since a lack of magnesium may cause insomnia or poor sleep quality, many people supplement their diets with magnesium to help. This pick was specifically made for this purpose.

Performance Lab Sleep

Performance Lab combines three main ingredients to make a magnesium supplement that doubles as a potential sleep aid. First off, it contains 100 milligrams of magnesium (a blend of magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium from NutriGenesis®) per two-capsule serving. Secondly, it has 500 milligrams of “CherryPURE®” which consists of 500 milligrams of melatonin derived from whole Montmorency tart cherries. Lastly, it includes 250 milligrams of “TryptoPure®” which is the essential amino acid L-tryptophan.

Compared to many other competitive options on the market, Performance Lab is not necessarily prioritizing magnesium in this particular supplement as reflected by the smaller dose per serving when compared to magnesium-only supplements. However, that might be appealing for athletes trying a magnesium supplement for the first time to see how their body responds before moving to a higher dose option.

Performance Lab Sleep
Performance Lab Sleep
Performance Lab Sleep

This supplement provides 100 milligrams of magnesium, 500 milligrams of melatonin from tart cherries, and 250 milligrams of L-tryptophan. Each capsule is made from the natural prebiotic fiber pullulan.

Who Should Take Performance Lab Sleep

  • If quality sleep is a priority for you, then this supplement with magnesium and melatonin may help you achieve this goal more than magnesium alone.
  • People who are looking for a lower dose of magnesium — this is just 27 percent of your RDI. 
  • Vegans who are looking for a supplement that’s free of animal products.

Who Shouldn’t Take Performance Lab Sleep

  • This product has other sleep-aid ingredients in it, so people looking for a more concentrated magnesium supplement may just prefer pure magnesium.
  • Anyone who needs a higher dose of magnesium per serving — while 100mg may be good for some, it may not be enough for others. 

These natural prebiotic fiber capsules — made from the cultured tapioca pullulan — are approved by the Vegetarian Society, meaning that they are vegan-friendly. At the end of the day, if you are on the lookout for sleep aid, then this might be an easy pick off this list.

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Best Magnesium Supplement For Leg Cramps

If you’re struggling with leg cramps, a magnesium deficiency could be the culprit. This pick is a blend of three types of magnesium, including magnesium L-threonate, taurate, and glycinate 

Natural Stacks MagTech

The Natural Stacks MagTech provides three types of magnesium with every serving — L-threonate, taurate, and glycinate, which in combination, may help stave off leg cramps, promote better brain health and sleep, and reduce inflammation. Each single serving of three capsules provides 200 milligrams of magnesium.

Natural Stacks uses what they call an “Open Source” transparency program to guarantee that the consumer is purchasing ingredient-traceable, third-party tested batches of magnesium. However, each serving is three capsules, and it’s recommended you take a serving twice per day, which may be a lot for some to swallow. 

Natural Stacks MagTech®
Natural Stacks MagTech®
Natural Stacks MagTech®

This bioavailable magnesium supplement features L-threonate, taurate, and glycinate. Every batch is third-party lab tested with traceable ingredients. Each three-capsule serving provides 200 milligrams of magnesium.

Who Should Take Natural Stacks MagTech

  • Those who value having supplements that are third-party tested.
  • Anyone who is looking for a relatively high-dose magnesium supplement compared to the rest of the market.
  • Folks with a magnesium deficiency who get leg cramps, and may find this magnesium blend helpful.

Who Shouldn’t Take Natural Stacks MagTech

  • People who don’t like taking a lot of pills — it’s recommended that you take six of these each day.
  • Anyone who wants a lighter dose of magnesium per serving. Each serving of this supplement is 50 percent of your RDI.

One of the more common effects of taking a combination of different types of magnesium is an improvement in sleep quality. However, since a magnesium deficiency may also be a cause of leg cramps, this supplement’s magnesium blend may help reduce the frequency of these, as well.

Best Calcium Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium is necessary for calcium to be absorbed properly, so many people take both supplements. This pick combines the two, so there’s no need to take them as separate supplements. 

NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium can both be helpful for neurological, digestive, and muscular health. In order to absorb calcium properly, your body needs magnesium. This product has a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium with 1,000mg of calcium and 500mg of magnesium. The magnesium in this supplement is a blend of magnesium oxide, citrate, and absorbate. The calcium is made of a blend of calcium carbonate, citrate, and absorbate. This product is vegan and soy free, and you only need to take two per day for a full dose. 

NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium
NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium
NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium

 This product has a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium with 1,000mg of calcium and 500mg of magnesium. The magnesium in this supplement is a blend of magnesium oxide, citrate, and absorbate. The calcium is made of a blend of calcium carbonate, citrate, and absorbate.

Who Should Take NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium

  • Customers who want to take both calcium and magnesium, and would prefer a supplement that combines the two.
  • Those who aren’t looking for a single, specific form of magnesium as this one comes in a blend.
  • Vegans who need a product that is free of animal products. 

Who Shouldn’t Take NOW Supplements Calcium + Magnesium

  • Anyone who is looking for a smaller dose of magnesium — this one does contain over 100 percent of your RDI. 
  • Folks who just want a straight magnesium supplement, without the calcium. 

For a reasonable price, you can snag this supplement that contains both calcium and magnesium, cutting back on the number of supplements you’ll have to store in your cabinet and ensuring your calcium has a good dose of magnesium for proper absorption. 

Most Transparent Magnesium Supplement

For anyone who’s concerned with knowing exactly what ingredients are in your supplement and their exact amounts, BulkSupplements is the way to go. 

BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

BulkSupplements has a good track record of keeping their supplements simple and straightforward, and their magnesium is no different. Each 1/2-teaspoon serving provides 225 milligrams of magnesium glycinate. This type of magnesium is a combination of magnesium and the amino acid glycine. There are no additional ingredients, and this product is free of additives. Another perk of this product is that you can buy it in bulk — BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate comes in packages of 100 grams up to 25 kilograms. 

BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate
BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate
BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

 This concentrated magnesium supplement from BulkSupplements is free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives. BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate provides 225mg (or 54 percent of your RDI, or recommended daily intake) of magnesium per one 1/2-teaspoon serving.

Who Should Take BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

  • Anyone looking for a single type of magnesium supplement — this supplement is just magnesium glycinate. 
  • Folks who prefer to avoid additives altogether as this product contains only magnesium glycinate.
  • People who prefer to buy their supplements in bulk. This product comes in packages up to 25kg. 

Who Shouldn’t Take BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate

  • Those taking a magnesium supplement for sleep may prefer a magnesium that’s combined with melatonin. 
  • Anyone who only plans to add magnesium to their supplement regimen for a short period of time. You don’t need to buy these bulk packages of magnesium.

As previously mentioned, magnesium can help with sleep, inflammation, digestion, and heart health. BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate has an ingredient list that is shorter than many of its competitors — a value to those who want a concentrated, transparent magnesium supplement.

[Related: Study: Fruits And Vegetables May Help Switch Off Genes Responsible For Obesity]

Best Multivitamin Magnesium Supplement

For those who would prefer to take a multivitamin that has magnesium in it to eliminate the need for a separate supplement altogether, this pick has 300mg of magnesium included in its blend.

Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi

Transparent Labs clocks in with another solid magnesium supplement, but this time, it’s in the form of a multivitamin. There are many things to look for in a multivitamin and judging by this product’s ingredient list, it delivers. It provides 22 vitamins and minerals per four-capsule serving, consumers receive 300 milligrams of magnesium bisglycinate on top of high doses of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and Vitamin K. Furthermore this supplement provides extremely high doses of Vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and biotin.

Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi
Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi
Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi

This multivitamin provides doses of 22 different vitamins and minerals. Each four-capsule serving includes 300 milligrams of magnesium and 100 milligrams of Vitamin C.

Who Should Take Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi

  • Those looking for a high dose of vitamins and minerals alongside their magnesium intake.
  • Anyone who needs to up their micronutrient intake (which can be important for athletes).
  • People looking for a high dose of magnesium — this product has 300mg. 

Who Shouldn’t Take Transparent Labs Wellness Series Multi

  • Folks who want a magnesium-only supplement instead of a multivitamin with magnesium.
  • Anyone looking for a type of magnesium that’s not magnesium bisglycinate. 

The main downside of a multivitamin for those looking for a magnesium supplement is the same as the main upside — all those extra vitamins and minerals. If you are looking for a multivitamin, it would be hard to go wrong with Transparent Labs’ offering. If you’re not, then it might be best to pivot to one of the other magnesium supplement options on the list. All-in-all, most of the doses of each vitamin provided in this product are high and can be an easy way to bolster your diet.

[Related: Could Baking Soda Be The Best Workout Supplement You’ve Never Tried?]

Best Drink/Powder Magnesium Supplement

If you aren’t keen on taking a lot of pills and would prefer a powder magnesium supplement you can mix into water or a smoothie, this pick is the way to go. 

Utzy U-Mag

This lemon-flavored drink mix provides a whopping 400 milligrams of magnesium in each single-scoop serving. It is a highly concentrated form of magnesium with the only other ingredients being citric acid, an organic, natural lemon flavor, organic rebaudioside A, and silicon dioxide. Although it can be consumed in powder form, it is likely best when mixed into water or blended into a smoothie or a shake. It’s worth noting that this product only comes in one flavor though, so if you don’t like lemon, it’s probably best to find a different option. 

Utzy U-Mag
Utzy U-Mag
Utzy U-Mag

This supplement provides 400 milligrams of magnesium for each single-scoop serving. There are only five ingredients used: magnesium, citric acid, natural lemon flavor (organic), rebaudioside A (organic), and silicon dioxide.

Who Should Take Utzy U-Mag

  • Anyone who prefers drinking their supplements rather than taking them in pill form. 
  • Folks who want a very high-dosage magnesium supplement — each scoop of this product contains 400mg. 
  • People who like lemon flavored products as this supplement only comes in lemon. 

Who Shouldn’t Take Utzy U-Mag

  • Those who would prefer supplements in pill form for convenience. 
  • People who would rather start with a small dose-per-serving supplement.
  • Anyone who wants more than one flavor (lemon) to choose from. 

The dose of magnesium in each serving of Utzy is on the higher end when compared to many magnesium supplement options on the market. Additionally, mixing a powder into a drink does take a little bit more effort than simply taking a pill. If you are someone who doesn’t like pills or prefers taking supplements as part of a drink, then the lemon flavor sported by Utzy’s option may work for you.

[Related: 10 Kinds Of Creatine And What They All Mean]

How We Picked These Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium is essential for our bodies to work properly. Research indicates that it may play a vital role in maintaining a healthy metabolism, assisting in normal muscle function, and aiding in DNA and RNA synthesis (1)(2). Moreover, though more research is needed, low levels of magnesium have been linked to various health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimers (7)(8)(9). Although the studies are far from conclusive, there is budding evidence to support the theory that magnesium may even help combat depression (10).

Though available in a variety of common foods, nearly half of all Americans are not getting enough of this vital mineral in their diets (11). When comparing magnesium supplements, it’s important to know how to distinguish between the following key features. 

Type of Magnesium

There are several types of magnesium supplements available on the market, differentiated by the manner in which magnesium is formulated. Magnesium oxide and citrate are among the most common and generally cost-friendly. These are also often used as active ingredients in laxatives and may have a similar effect in supplement form.

woman sleeping
Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, is typically a bit easier on the stomach. Magnesium l-threonate may have some positive cognitive effects and is often used by folks looking to improve their sleep. Depending on your needs, each type of magnesium has its own advantages. We included a variety of options here, so you can pick the type of magnesium best suited to your lifestyle and goals. 

[Related: 7 Pre-Workout Ingredients You Can Take For A Better Pump]

How Much is Too Much?

As previously mentioned, the FNB has established daily recommended dietary allowances for magnesium at 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women. This accounts for all magnesium, including that which comes from food. However, too much magnesium in your diet can have adverse effects, including nausea or an upset stomach.

We have only included supplements within this healthy range. However, it’s important to consult a medical professional before adding a magnesium supplement into your diet, particularly if that supplement is over 350 milligrams per serving. 

[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]

Pill vs. Powder

For some folks, the convenience of taking a quick pill or two will be the most important consideration in shopping for supplements. The advantage of a powder, however, is that you can more accurately control just how much magnesium you’re adding into your diet as you will be measuring it first hand. The pill versus powder debate doesn’t have as much influence on our list since ultimately it will boil down to personal preference. However, we have included options for both, so you can make that choice for yourself. 

When Should I Take Magnesium?

The most important thing with magnesium is consistency, so you can take it at any time of the day. If it’s more convenient for you to take it in the morning, go for it; if you remember to take it better with dinner, that’s also totally fine, too. The goal with magnesium is to ensure your body is not deficient, so as long as you’re consistent, the timing should not affect your results. (12

How Much Does Magnesium Cost?

Magnesium is a fairly inexpensive supplement. When you compare the cost of the container to the number of servings you’re receiving, the price comes out to about $0.15 to $1.50 per serving. 

The more common forms of magnesium (oxide and citrate) tend to be less expensive. If you’re getting a standalone magnesium supplement, those products tend to be less expensive, as well. When you look at products that have combined other supplements with magnesium (like Performance Lab, who included melatonin in their magnesium sleep supplement), you’ll have to start dishing out a little more cash. The same goes for less common forms of magnesium, like magnesium bisglycinate. 

How Magnesium Can Help Recovery

A magnesium deficiency can lead to sleep problems, as well as a prolonged workout recovery. With the proper amount of magnesium, you can potentially improve sleep, decrease restless leg syndrome, and reduce muscle soreness. 

Hip Stretch
Nicholas Piccillo/Shutterstock

When it comes to athletic recovery, magnesium can block calcium uptake, which may help the muscles relax after intense workouts, thereby decreasing soreness. When it comes to sleep, magnesium can help activate neurotransmitters that tell the body to relax when it’s time for bed — which is also why magnesium can help those with RLS. (13) (14)

What To Consider Before Buying

It’s most important to consult a medical professional before adding a magnesium supplement to your diet. After that, you’ll want to consider digestion, dosage, and purity before deciding which supplement you want to purchase. 

Digestive Issues

Certain forms of magnesium can have laxative-like qualities. Magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate are the two most likely culprits. Depending on your diet and stomach sensitivity, take that into account before you decide what type of magnesium to buy.

Dosage

The recommended daily dose from supplements alone is lower than some of the magnesium servings you’ll come across. The RDI for magnesium is 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women — including magnesium you get from food. If you’re just starting on your magnesium supplement journey, you may want to start low and see how your body reacts before upping your dosage. 

Purity

As with any supplement, it’s important to consider what you’re actually putting into your body. Read the labels to see if any additional ingredients or additives have been added. If possible, check for third party tests for purity. The higher concentrated magnesium supplements will usually only have magnesium itself and some preservatives and flavorings (assuming it’s flavored). Of course, the more thoroughly a product is third-party tested for purity, the better.

Final Word

Magnesium has various potential health benefits — it can help aid in sleep, fight off leg cramps, and even relieve constipation. Since there are many forms of magnesium on the market and many products that contain magnesium as well as additional supplements, it’s important that you consult with a physician before deciding if a magnesium supplement is right for you.

You’ll also want to figure out the proper dosage for your body before diving into your hunt. Luckily, we’ve helped spell out the answers to a lot of questions and already found some of the best products for you to consider — feel free to use this list as a tool in your search.

FAQs

What are the different kinds of magnesium?

The basics are magnesium oxide, citrate, glycinate, gluconate, aspartate, threonate, and orotate. Each of these types of magnesiums can have different effects on the body, so it’s important to consult with a physician to see which one could be right for you before choosing.

Can magnesium help me sleep?

Yes, magnesium can help signal to the nervous system that it’s time to relax, which is why many people who are deficient in magnesium have a hard time winding down at the end of the day.

Should I take calcium with my magnesium?

You don’t have to, but sometimes they are a great pair. Since calcium has a mild constipative effect, it can help cancel out magnesium’s potential laxative effect.

References

  1. Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015;7(9):8199-8226.
  2. ‌Zhang Y, Xun P, Wang R, Mao L, He K. Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance? Nutrients. 2017;9(9):946. 
  3. Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium. Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/. Published 2017. 
  4. Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu L-J, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010;65(2):165-177. 
  5. Liu G, Weinger JG, Lu Z-L, Xue F, Sadeghpour S. Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01, a Synapse Density Enhancer, for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD. 2016;49(4):971-990. 
  6. Li W, Yu J, Liu Y, et al. Elevation of brain magnesium prevents synaptic loss and reverses cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Molecular brain. 2014;7:65. ‌
  7. Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutrition reviews. 2012;70(3):153-164. 
  8. Houston M. The role of magnesium in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn). 2011;13(11):843-847. 
  9. Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M. The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of human hypertension. 2009;23(4):245-251. 
  10. Serefko A, Szopa A, Poleszak E. Magnesium and depression. Magnesium research. 2016;29(3):112-119. 
  11. Consumer Reports. Magnesium is essential to your health, but many people don’t get enough of it. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/magnesium-is-essential-to-your-health-but-many-people-dont-get-enough-of-it/2017/06/09/77bc35b4-2515-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html. Published June 9, 2017. 
  12. Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica, 2017, 4179326. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4179326
  13. Reno AM, Green M, Killen LG, OʼNeal EK, Pritchett K, Hanson Z. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Muscle Soreness and Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2020 Oct 1. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003827. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33009349.
  14. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. PMID: 23853635; PMCID: PMC3703169.