Magnesium Citrate Uses, Benefits and More

Magnesium citrate is a mineral that can be found in many foods. It has been used for centuries to treat digestive issues, but it is also being studied for its potential health benefits. It is a supplement that is used to help with a variety of health issues. It can be taken as a dietary supplement or as a medication for various medical conditions.

Magnesium is the body’s fourth most prevalent mineral, and it’s primarily stored in our bones. However, because our systems cannot produce magnesium, we must get it via our meals or supplements. Magnesium supplements come in several forms, including magnesium citrate, which is one of them.

Purpose of Magnesium Citrate

The most important reason to take a magnesium supplement is to maintain sufficient mineral levels to avoid insufficiency. Unfortunately, according to some studies, almost two-thirds of the population in the Western world does not consume the necessary daily magnesium intake.

Magnesium insufficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficits among adults, owing to poor soil quality, absorption problems, and a lack of fruits and vegetables in people’s diets. Magnesium citrate may help protect against deficient symptoms including tiredness, muscular pains, and difficulty sleeping, and it’s also frequently prescribed by physicians to relieve constipation. That’s not all, however. Continue reading to find out more about magnesium citrate.

What Is It?

Magnesium citrate is a magnesium supplement available over-the-counter and is produced from a mixture of salt and citric acid. Magnesium citrate is often referred to as a “saline laxative” because of its propensity to increase water and fluids in the small intestine, which helps to alleviate constipation and cleanse the intestines. Magnesium citrate pills are used for more than only treating occasional constipation; they’re also used for nutritional assistance.

What is the function?

Magnesium is a versatile mineral that plays a role in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. Bones, muscles, and non-muscular soft tissue contain almost all of the magnesium present in the human body. Magnesium citrate and other forms of magnesium are mainly used to maintain healthy levels since magnesium shortage may cause a range of symptoms and diseases. Sleep disturbances, headaches, tiredness, and muscular pains or spasms are among them.

The following are some of the advantages and applications of magnesium citrate:

  • Magnesium citrate is occasionally given before surgery or certain bowel procedures like a colonoscopy to clean feces from the intestines.
  • Constipation, gas, and bloating relief
  • assisting in the regulation of muscle and nerve functions
  • Increasing energy levels and avoiding tiredness
  • Bone and dental health are aided.
  • Maintaining appropriate blood pressure, cardiac rhythms, and blood glucose levels
  • assisting in the maintenance of a positive attitude and calmness
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system


Citrate of Magnesia or the trade name Citroma is two more names for magnesium citrate.

Depending on the kind of magnesium supplement you take, the rate of absorption and bioavailability varies. According to studies, kinds that dissolve in liquid are better absorbed in the stomach than less soluble types. According to some studies, magnesium citrate, chelate, and chloride supplements are better absorbed than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate supplements.

Here’s a quick rundown of the many magnesium citrate supplements available:

  • Magnesium citrate powder is a common type of magnesium that is solved in water or another liquid and used as a dietary supplement. First, water is mixed with the powder—the two bond together, forming “ionic magnesium citrate,” absorbed in the gastrointestinal system.
  • Magnesium citrate liquid – This is the most used form for its laxative properties. The magnesium content of a liquid magnesium citrate product is typically about 290 mg per 1 fl oz (30 mL) dose. In addition, potassium, lemon oil, polyethylene glycol, salt, and sugar/sucrose are some of the other substances that may be added to improve the flavor and effects. Because liquid laxatives are generally used as saline laxatives, they are typically given two to three hours before or after other medications.
  • Magnesium citrate capsules – Magnesium citrate capsules are a simple method to consume the mineral. They’re typically eaten with at least a glass of water, much like powder forms.

Chelate, Chloride Oil, and Others vs. Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is only one of several magnesium supplements available. Here’s how various magnesium forms compare:

  • Magnesium Chelate is a kind of magnesium easily absorbed by the body and is naturally present in foods like fruits and vegetables. This kind is frequently used to replenish magnesium levels and avoid shortage since it is linked to several amino acids (proteins).
  • Magnesium Chloride Oil is a magnesium oil that may be used on the skin. It’s also provided to individuals with digestive problems that prevent them from getting enough magnesium from their diet. In addition, athletes occasionally use magnesium oil to boost energy and endurance, relieve muscular discomfort, and heal wounds or skin irritation. It may also help with skin conditions, including dermatitis, eczema, and acne.
  • Magnesium Oxide is a common laxative and acid reflux treatment. Because it is not as effectively absorbed as other forms, it may be given at larger dosages. This kind is also known as hydroxide, the active component in the milk of magnesia, which is used to treat heartburn.
  • Magnesium Sulfate, often known as Epsom salt, is magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. This kind is often used in baths since it penetrates the skin and relieves aching muscles while also encouraging relaxation.
  • Magnesium Glycinate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium. This magnesium supplement is suggested for anybody with an actual magnesium deficit and is less likely to produce laxative effects than other magnesium supplements.
  • Because it may permeate the mitochondrial membrane, magnesium threonate has a high absorbability/bioavailability. This kind isn’t as common as the others, but it may become more common if more study is done.
  • Orotic acid is present in magnesium orotate. Magnesium orotate is good for your heart.

Health Advantages

1. Can Aid in the Treatment of Constipation and the Clearing of the Intestines

Is it true that magnesium citrate makes you poop?

Yes, depending on the kind and dose, it generally causes a bowel movement between 30 minutes to eight hours. Lower dosages are suggested for everyday usage to aid regularity and other good dietary and lifestyle practices. When used for medical purposes, such as a colonoscopy, higher dosages are only administered once or for a few days. If you take a high dosage, you should have a bowel movement within three hours.

Due to its chemical composition, magnesium citrate draws water into the intestines. Because magnesium and citric acid contain oppositely charged atoms, an osmotic action occurs in the digestive system when you eat them together. As a result, water enters the intestines and is absorbed by the stools, implying that water enters the intestines and is absorbed by the stools. This lubricates the GI system and softens feces, making bowel movements easier to pass.

2. Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms Can Be Prevented

Magnesium citrate is an excellent method to boost magnesium levels, particularly since it has a greater bioavailability than other magnesium supplements. However, magnesium shortage must be avoided since it is required for hundreds of physiological processes and the prevention of common symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, pains, spasms, migraines, and blood pressure fluctuations.

3. Muscle and Nerve Functions Can Be Supported

Magnesium citrate may offer advantages such as promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality since magnesium is an electrolyte that is especially essential for muscles and nerve cells. As well as assisting with stress alleviation Magnesium may also help with muscular spasms, aches, and pains by allowing tensed muscles to relax.

Other forms of magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate, magnesium sulfate, or magnesium chloride oil, are more popular for these benefits.

4. May aid in the prevention of kidney stones

High calcium levels in the urine may cause kidney stones. It’s believed that kidney stones are caused by excessive urine calcium is up to 80% of instances. Calcium and magnesium work together to maintain a healthy equilibrium, and magnesium may reduce calcium buildup, thus promoting kidney health. While magnesium citrate is effective in preventing renal problems, magnesium oxide maybe even more effective. (Dosages of about 400 mg per day are often suggested.)

5. It’s good for your heart, lungs, and bones

Magnesium is necessary for bone density, proper heart rhythm, lung function, and blood glucose control. Therefore, maintaining appropriate levels is critical for maintaining normal blood pressure and cardiac rhythms and preventing hypertension and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). This is why a magnesium shortage may cause metabolic and circulatory abnormalities, increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and others.

Magnesium is also required for adequate vitamin D absorption, which has been linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis/weak bones, a more vulnerable immune system, and a variety of diseases. In addition, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K may aid in bone metabolism and density maintenance.

Dosage Instructions and How to Use

Your magnesium dose is determined by a variety of variables, including your medical condition, age, any symptoms you’re having, and how sensitive you are to this medication. Because each product works a little differently, it’s critical to carefully read the instructions on the label of the product you’re using.

The following are some general dose recommendations for magnesium citrate:

  • Adults should take between 200 and 400 mg of magnesium citrate per day orally in a single daily dosage or split doses with a full glass of water if using magnesium citrate as a dietary supplement.
  • The usual magnesium citrate dosage for constipation treatment or bowel evacuation is 195–300 mL liquid magnesium in a single daily dose or split doses with a full glass of water or two to four tablets before sleep.
  • Adult males should adhere to a daily intake of 400 to 420 mg, while adult women should stick to a daily limit of 310 to 320 mg. However, when working with a health care practitioner, a patient may take larger dosages, up to 900 mg per day.
  • Unless your doctor instructs you differently, the usual liquid dose prescription is 290 mg/5ml daily.
  • The usual dosage prescription for tablet form is 100 mg per day, splitting into two to three doses.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing need 320 to 350 mg per day.
  • Depending on their age, children should take anything from 60 to 195 mg per day (see your doctor first).

Here are some pointers on how to take magnesium citrate:

  • First, start with a modest dosage of magnesium citrate powder, such as half a teaspoon daily or 200 milligrams or less, and gradually increase to the total or recommended quantity as directed on the product label.
  • Because this medication works by drawing water into the intestines, it should be taken with a full glass of water (at least eight ounces).
  • Magnesium may be taken with or without meals in most cases. However, your doctor may advise you to take magnesium citrate on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal, depending on why you’re taking it.
  • Magnesium is a mineral that may be consumed at any time of day. However, please choose a time of day to take magnesium and stick to it since regular usage of a modest dose may provide the most outstanding results.
  • Many individuals dislike the taste of magnesium citrate, so cool the combination beforehand or combine it with a bit of quantity of juice if you want to enhance the flavor. Magnesium citrate should not be frozen. This may have an impact on how it functions.
  • Some magnesium citrate solutions operate by dissolving in water first, which works best with warm water but also with cold water (effects will take slightly longer to kick in).
  • Remember to obtain magnesium naturally by eating a nutrient-dense diet rich in anti-inflammatory plant foods.

How long does magnesium citrate take to take effect?

If you’re taking magnesium citrate for constipation or a gastrointestinal operation, it should work within six to eight hours, and in some cases, as quickly as 30 minutes. If you take a little dosage every day, such as before night, it may start working within 30 minutes, but you won’t have a bowel movement until the following day. The time it takes to take effect is determined by how much you take and how sensitive you are.

Is it safe to consume magnesium citrate regularly?

Yes, as long as you take a low to moderate dosage rather than a large one that produces frequent loose stools.

Drinking lots of water and fluids and eating a diet high in fiber and magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, beans, avocado, and bananas are ideal for maintaining healthy digestion and regular bowel function. Staying “regular” and decreasing dependence on laxatives requires exercising, sleeping sufficiently, controlling stress, and avoiding too much coffee and alcohol.

Do you find that magnesium citrate isn’t working for you?

You may need to raise your dosage or divide it into two portions. Consider taking a different type of magnesium or seeking medical counsel if you’re searching for additional advantages over constipation treatment.

Interactions, Side Effects, and Risks

when taken in large amounts, magnesium citrate has a laxative effect in some individuals, although it is generally regarded safe for most people.

However, magnesium citrate side effects are possible, mainly if you take a high dosage over a long period. The following are possible magnesium citrate adverse effects:

  • Symptoms of dehydration/excessive loss of bodily fluids
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen, gas, and nausea
  • Decreased weight
  • Weakness
  • Serious adverse effects such as slowed/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood problems, chronic diarrhea, severe/persistent stomach/abdominal discomfort, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, reduced urine, and allergic reactions have been reported on rare occasions.

Magnesium citrate shouldn’t be used too often since it may lead to “dependency” on the supplement and a loss of regular bowel function. In addition, after some time, those who misuse laxatives, such as magnesium citrate, may not be able to have regular bowel movements without taking the medication.

You shouldn’t use magnesium citrate or other laxatives if you’re on antibiotics, particularly tetracycline/quinolones. If you must take both, space them out by at least two hours. If you have renal illness, GI problems that last more than two weeks, regular stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, or if you’ve been advised to follow a low-magnesium or low-potassium diet, see your doctor before beginning to use magnesium citrate.

It is advised that you see your doctor before taking magnesium supplements during pregnancy or providing magnesium to your kid, even though both are generally safe and helpful.

Last Thoughts

  • Magnesium citrate is a magnesium supplement produced from a mixture of salt and citric acid that may be purchased over-the-counter. Because it efficiently relieves constipation and clears the intestines, it is frequently referred to as a “saline laxative.” This is accomplished by pulling water and fluids into the intestines, lubricating stools.
  • Other magnesium citrate advantages include supporting bone, nerve, muscle, and heart health, increasing magnesium levels, and preventing deficiency.
  • You may have adverse effects such as diarrhea or loose stools if you take a hefty dose of magnesium citrate. In addition, dehydration, weakness, stomach aches, and weight loss are other magnesium citrate adverse effects.
  • Because each product (powder, liquid, and tablets) operates a little differently, always follow magnesium citrate dose guidelines carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to take magnesium citrate every day?

A: Magnesium is a mineral that helps to regulate your body’s nervous system. It is not known to cause any side effects, but it may interact with other medications you are taking.

What are the benefits of magnesium citrate?

A: Magnesium citrate is a supplement that can be taken to help support bone health. It also has other benefits such as helping with blood pressure, cholesterol levels and improving mood.

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