Magnesium Supplementation: Everything You Need To Know About Dosing Magnesium, Timing Magnesium, Forms Of Magnesium & More!

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magnesium supplementation
Body, Diet & Nutrition, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new, Recovery & Sleep

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Magnesium deficiency is running rampant.

Many experts estimate that 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient. A major contributing factor is the presence of excess calcium in the body mainly coming from the extreme ratio difference in common foods such as: fortified orange juice (27:1), cheese (26:1), yogurt (11:1), dairy (7:1) and the very commonly used antacids (300:1). Other common contributing factors include:

-Processed foods

When should you take magnesium? How do you test your magnesium levels or know if you have a deficiency?

It’s critical to get high enough doses of magnesium to compensate for the fact that our typical diet runs low on this vital mineral. But the fact is, although magnesium is an incredibly important mineral, there are many unanswered questions and confusion around magnesium, so I thought it was high time to have my friend and nutrition researcher Thomas DeLauer back on the show.

I first interviewed Thomas DeLauer in the episode The Ultimate Guide To Quelling Inflammation: Why Your Curcumin May Not Work, Surprising Effects Of Ginger Oil, Vegan Fish Oil Options & Much More!

I then interviewed him again in the episode Does Alcohol Really Make You Fat, Which Alcohol Is Healthiest, Hidden Ingredients In Alcohol & Much More: The Ultimate Alcohol Damage Mitigation Guide.

Thomas is one of the leading experts in the world of chronic inflammation as well as the response of the human body to a low-carb diet. He is noted for his personal transformation from a 280-pound overweight corporate executive to not only being on the cover of health and fitness magazines worldwide but pioneering some of the mainstream awareness of auto-immune diseases and inflammation in general! Thomas has been highlighted in over 20 magazines showcasing his transformation and has been featured worldwide on the cover of Ironman Magazine, Muscle and Performance Magazine, Natural Muscle Magazine, ICON Magazine, Platform Magazine and Ironman Japan. His background is in Sports Psychology, although it is this passion for psychology coupled with a career in healthcare as a physician recruiter and owner of an ancillary lab services company that sparked his love for nutritional science and what makes the body tick.

He is currently working on a project in the 2nd phase of trials with Doctors at UCLA to identify a strain of bacteria that may help modulate inflammation within the body. Residing near Santa Barbara, California, with his wife, three dogs, two horses and 11-month-old son, Thomas promotes a lifestyle of living as close to the earth as possible to obtain the best possible results while still achieving maximum performance in every possible area of life.

What form of magnesium is best, and are different forms better for different needs, like sleep vs. brain vs. digestion?

In this episode, Thomas and I also discuss MagSRT®, a product Thomas is helping to develop, is the only time-release, high-potency magnesium supplement with peer-reviewed clinical trials to back up its efficacy. MagSRT®  was evaluated in the Scottsdale Magnesium Study (SMS), a placebo-controlled, human clinical trial of 91 participants. The study measured Serum Magnesium, Red Blood Cell (RBC) Magnesium, and Magnesium Deficiency symptoms. The results are published in the peer-reviewed Journal of American College of Nutrition (JACN). It is a Sustained Release Technology (SRT) magnesium in a super-absorbable, premium organic form called dimagnesium malate, along with an active form of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) and Vitamin B6 (P5P)

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Is there a way to supplement your magnesium levels without unpleasant side effects such as loose stool and “constarrhea”?…11:20

  • Magnesium is “hydrophilic” meaning it attracts water. 
  • It creates “passive diffusion” where it attracts water into the intestine.
  • There's nothing to regulate how fast the water enters the small or large intestine.
  • The type of magnesium (ex. Epsom salt vs. magnesium citrate) one takes makes a big difference in how fast it will attract water.

-A few of the more popular forms of magnesium, and which one is optimal for the varying functions we might like to use it…13:40

  • Magnesium citrate:
    • high bioavailability;
    • creates a laxative effect.
  • Magnesium chloride:
    • Typically contains only 10-15% magnesium.
    • It's used to chelate other minerals such as iron and other heavy metals.
    • These two factors are why magnesium chloride is recommended for detoxes.
  • Topical magnesium (Epsom salt, etc.):
    • Gets absorbed into the serum, but not red blood cells.
    • Doesn't have the same laxative qualities.
  • Only 1% of magnesium is ever measured, and that's in the serum and blood levels.
    • Elevated magnesium levels in the serum mean it's likely pulling it from blood and plasma, thus decreasing levels there.
    • A high reading in magnesium can actually mean you're low in magnesium if you're only measuring it in the serum.
  • RBC (red blood cell) magnesium: 
    • This is the gold standard for when you want your magnesium tested.
  • Magnesium Glycinate
    • Is often recommended by doctors. 
    • Transferred through the intestinal wall.
    • Very expensive option.
    • Calming on NMDA receptor. (Glutamate is excitatory)
  • Magnesium Malate: 
    • Absorbs very slowly; sustained release.
    • More powerful on the energy cycle.
    • You'll see more of a difference in how you actually feel.
    • Thomas uses it to remain even-keeled.
  • How combining magnesium with malic acid contributes to ATP production.
    • Has to do with how it accompanies potassium.
    • When you have malate, magnesium can do its job better.
    • It aids the magnesium as well as potassium in producing ATP.

-More forms of magnesium…26:53

  • Magnesium oxide:
    • Non-chelated; you'll take it throughout the day.
    • Used more for acid reflux treatment.
    • Very low bio-availability and very specific uses.
  • Magnesium Oratate:
    • Same category as magnesium taurate.
    • Helps with delivery to the cell membrane.
    • Good for the DNA and RNA cycle.
    • Used in calming situations such as meditation.
    • Cardiac benefits.
  • Magnesium sulfate:
    • Easy to overdose.
    • Epsom salt baths:
      • Hard to determine if it's absorbed via the skin or through the breath.

-How much magnesium actually gets absorbed with the lotions and sprays available on the market…38:40

  • The form of magnesium changes when it enters your body.
  • Flawed marketing; not enough research to determine its efficacy one way or the other.
  • Magnesium carbonate…
    • Used as an alternative to a calcium form of chalk you find at the gym.

-Magnesium threonate…42:00

  • Powerful effect on the blood-brain barrier.
  • Has been used in the treatment of PTSD.

-The supplement Ben uses to induce weird and amazing dreams…45:30

-Is there a way to elongate the time in which magnesium is absorbed in order to reduce the laxative and other unpleasant effects?…47:36

  • Take into account what other minerals it's working with.
  • Couple it with the right vitamins and minerals.
  • P5P = Vitamin B6. 
    • Magnesium has over 300 enzymatic reactions.
    • B6 helps with ~30 of those reactions, including the manufacturing of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
    • Is involved in the absorption of magnesium.
  • Hard to convert folic acid into folate.
  • Vitamin B9, along with magnesium is a co-factor with Vitamin B6; allows you to better absorb the magnesium.
  • Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 are the trifecta for working with magnesium.

-The relationship between magnesium and ceruloplasmin and iron.59:30

  • Iron oxidizes, whether in your body or out. Too much of it will occupy oxygens that could be doing other good things.
  • We have an abundance of iron, but it's “bound iron.”
  • We need the unbound iron; it allows other minerals to do their job.
  • We need other minerals to counteract the overabundance of bound iron.
  • Magnesium allows iron to enter into the unbound state and help red blood cell function.
  • Ceruloplasmin helps with the utilization of iron; taking the iron in your body and turning it into a true storage form.

-What tests Thomas recommends to analyze these things…1:06:00

-The study Thomas published on the effects of magnesium…1:08:10

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

-Click here to buy MagSRT and use Greenfield10 for $10 off

The Ancient Minerals magnesium bath flakes Ben uses

The Ancient Minerals magnesium lotion Ben uses

-The longevity panel Ben performs that has an RBC magnesium evaluation – for men and for women

The Facebook video in which Ben demonstrates how he uses an infrared light in a magnesium chloride bath

BioCBD topical CBD lotion

Mugwort essential oil from Essential Oil Wizardry

The Root Cause protocol by Morley Robbins

The Magnesium Miracle book by Dr. Carolyn Dean

Episode Sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Thomas or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

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37 thoughts on “Magnesium Supplementation: Everything You Need To Know About Dosing Magnesium, Timing Magnesium, Forms Of Magnesium & More!

  1. Katie says:

    Do you think it’s safe to take 500 mg magnesium citrate daily? Could it be too habit forming for constipation? Thanks!

  2. Michelle says:

    I listened to this podcast and thank you it was extremely informational! I have been looking for a new magnesium supplement that is easily absorbed. I looked into the jigsaw brand and unfortunately it has corn in it and I am allergic to corn. Does anybody know of another really good brand but I can check out?

    1. Check out BioOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough, which contains all 7 different forms of magnesium (use code GREENFIELD10 to save 10%):… Topicals would be another good option for you:…

      1. Michelle says:

        Wow thank you!! I’ll check it out :-)

      2. Michelle says:

        I confirmed with the company, they are corn free….in case anyone else wants to know😊 thanks again for the recommendation and getting back to me so quickly, very appreciated!!!

  3. Mary says:

    Ben and Thomas –

    THANK YOU – I’m a massive fan of both of your work and have followed you both for years.

    Not to stir the pot, as I inherently trust Thomas’ expert opinion on this (and have just purchased a large amount of Jigsaw’s MagSRT!)…but I just saw Siim Land’s newsletter featuring Wade Lightheart’s product, “Mag Breakthrough”, which comprises the 7 major forms of magnesium in one supplement (“Magnesium Citrate, Bisglycinate, Malate, Chelate, L-Threonate, Taurate and Orotate”).

    Hmm. Now I’m wondering – seems like this is maybe the best option, given the ‘broad spectrum’ nature of Mag Breakthrough?

    Would really appreciate your expert opinions. Thank you!!


    1. Magnesium Breakthrough is another mag supplement I've used and recommend. You can save 10% on a bottle of it with my code, GREENFIELD……

  4. Elliott P says:

    Hey Ben,

    Do you recommend using “MagSRT” or is there a alternative supplement stack I can use prior to bed time?

  5. Raj says:


    Can you expand a little on how you consume mugwort as an essential oil?



  6. John says:

    Trying to find out more about manganese, do you have anything I can read about it? Thanks in advance.

  7. Autumn says:

    Did you say stack creatine with magnesium malate or malic acid?

  8. MAR says:

    How about Mg in…. food?? Are man-made supplements the only way?

  9. Matt Wilson says:

    Really appreciated the breakdown. What I would have loved to hear:
    1) Whats the best form to combat non native EMF exposure. Dr. Mercola recommends tons of mag. I take his theonate (pricey!)
    2) more about circadian rhythm of mag. I take 2/3 of it on an empty stomach in the morning and then 1/3 before bed to sleep.

  10. Gary Klausner says:

    Hi Ben, Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t hear either of you mention Magnesium Asparate. I started taking K-mag Asparate from Source Naturals a couple years ago when I was getting bad muscle cramps. It combines Potasium with Mag-Asparate. It’s worked really well. Is there any reason why it didn’t come up in the discussion?



  11. Todd says:

    Could someone take Magnesium Malate (300 – 500mg) in the morning and Magnesium Glycinate (400mg) before bed, to get the benefits of both forms of magnesium?

  12. Dango says:


    I have taken Mag Malate, and Neuro-mag, and both seem to over stimulate my body. I feel sort of jacked up like from caffeine and sleep real crappy the day I take the mag. I doesn’t matter what time I take the supplement either. I have tried all different times.
    I have searched this on the net and found many people reporting the same issue, but never get or find a cause as to why this may be happening. Perhaps Thomas can provide some thoughts on this??


  13. Denis says:

    Hi, very interesting,

    His emphasis that Magnesium Glycinate is expensive had me wondering what he was talking about. I take a lot of Magnesium. 1 Kilo of Magnesium Glycinate is $28. I Kilo of Magnesium Di-Malate is a little over $50. The fact that he ended up with a combination product that was studied with controls is great. I might try it.

    To a comment up above regarding making Magnesium Bicarbonate, I have also used it. Those interested might search for “Waller water” A link to a document on Afibbers .org might show up where you can access a pdf file. Best to find a preservative free Milk of Magnesia.

  14. Andy B says:

    I tend to suffer from moth ulcers from time to time. I’ve noticed that when I supplement with Magnesium, they come back more frequently. I’ve tried Citrate and Glycinate. Anyone have any experience with that problem or any suggestions ?

  15. Tbone Malone says:

    Why isn’t Thomas’ name in the title of the podcast? It’s only mentioned way way down I. The description of the episode. I didn’t even realize Thomas was the guest until listening. Put your guests st the beginning of the titles of the episode- good for more listens, and give your guests some shine!

    1. Thanks for the feedback!

  16. Ann Wilson says:

    Oh Dear,
    The ‘Bond’ company you spoke of is shut down. Any substitutes out there? Another pod cast maybe??
    Thanks, I am all about magnesium. Great Podcast. Avid listener while I work at the hospital.
    Funny how I got totally off track with a mention of this BOND product that you and your wife like.

  17. SlyNate says:

    Hey Ben,

    I looked for the Bond cannabis lube you mentioned and it appears they got shut down due to a trademark issue. Can you please provide a similar alternative?



  18. Clem says:

    Hi Ben, thanks for the great work. Would we get the same benefits of adding B6 and B9 to Magnesium by adding TMG?

  19. jim david says:

    The one I hear the most about is the liquid Re-Mag which is formulated by the author you referenced: Dr. Carolyn Dean. It claims to be the most bio-available of all forms out there. What do you think of this supplement vs. the pill form. Re-mag, claims to not cause “disaster pants” & touts to be the most absorbable. Also I have heard good things about Jigsaw that you also mentioned, but Morley Robbins who is a big advocate for Magnesium Man also claims that Vitamin D (he refers to it as “hormone D”) hurts the absorption rate of Magnesium.

  20. Eva says:

    I couldn’t get the name of essential oil Ben mentioned for amazing dreams and the company that sells that.

    1. Sara says:

      Mugwort essential oil from Essential Oil Wizardry
      listed under resources

  21. Matthew Hafner says:


    I’m confused about what types of magnesium we would naturally consume in food and water. What is magnesium attached to in food like almonds and spinach and are they able to utilize it from these products to make supplements?

    Is bicarbonate the form that is found in mineral water like San Pellegrino? I know that you can increase the yield by adding a few drops of MoM and that they sell it in Australia as a longevity tonic because some guy figured out that cows live twice as long when they drink it (true story, well according to the guy)

    Thanks for the help!


    1. Daniel says:

      I take magnesium bicarbonate daily. If you mix Milk of Magnesia with carbonated water it reacts and forms magnesium bicarbonate concentrate, thought to be highly absorbable. Add some of this concentrate to your water and drink throughout the day. Less pills to take! There are recipes and tutorials online if you search “magnesium bicarbonate “ if you want to learn how to make it. Also, it’s very economical.

  22. Josh, RN says:

    So many inaccuracies in this interview. Love your stuff, Ben, but as popular as this guy is, he is very clearly not a practitioner or scientist. His understanding of biochemistry and physiology is very, very elementary and often blatantly incorrect. So many problems. One small thing: Mag Oxide is a very poor form of magnesium, not at all bioavailable and is only dosed frequently because of that. That mag glycinate is “cost prohibitive” is silly as it’s not much more than any other form. Couldn’t even listen to the second half because of this guy’s bro science.

    1. Rachael says:

      Agreed with the oxide (4% absorbable) and glycinate ($12.63 120caps) forms of magnesium. I’ve also learned that magnesium citrate is an excellent form of magnesium to take- and with regards to the “explosive diarrhea” Read the following quoted from the research backed ATP Science Project:
      (Check out the ATP Project podcast episode 155)

      “Many of our healthy foods contain oxalates, such as beets, spinach, almonds, sweet potatoes and many more. And some people also have a gut microbiome that generates excessive oxalic acid from healthy foods. Magnesium binds to these oxalates in our intestines to make magnesium oxalate crystals. This inhibits Magnesium bioavailability. But this is a good thing as this is one of the important functions of magnesium as a build-up of oxalates in your body can create signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as twitching, cramping, restlessness, irritability, muscle and joint pain, insomnia and cramping. In many cases where people believe they are correcting this signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, they are actually correcting the symptoms of oxalate overload by stripping oxalates from their system.
      Some people find if they take magnesium on an empty stomach they can’t tolerate the dose so they take it with meals and it no longer causes loose stools, this is because it is binding to the oxalates in our foods and not drawing in the water to create the loose stools.
      If you have issues with excessive oxalates take magnesium before and with meals to bind to it and strip it out.
      If you want to load your system with magnesium and get it out of your gut and into your body take it away from foods rich in oxalates include Spinach, Bran flakes, Rhubarb, Beets, Potato, Nuts and nut butters.
      Similar scenario with phytates from cereals and grains. They also bind and inhibit magnesium absorption and combining magnesium with phytates will reduce the symptoms of overdose but also result in reduced magnesium bioavailability.”

  23. Kelly says:

    Off topic but in the podcast you mentioned that your boys take lions mayne. What brand and dose is good for kids and teens?

  24. Arnold Knutsen says:

    I bought” Muscle else advanced” a supplement, due to muscle tension in my head,neck,shoulders,and back and it has magnesium in it ,yet It actually caused the muscle tension to increase,so does it work in one day or should I try to keep taking it?

  25. Ellen Halverson says:

    Was really glad you talked about the Mg L threonate. Mg is very helpful for migraine headaches. Studies have shown that is as effective as pharmaceuticals. I already take several types of mg the L htreonate the biglycinate and will try the new kind the show guest promotes. Less frequent less intense headaches. What is interesting is that docs still mostly prescribe mg oxide which can cause the GI issues.

  26. Sega says:

    What would be the recommended dosage for magnesium malate for use in the way that Thomas described usage to ‘remain even-keeled’ or to have a sustained sense of calm?

    Thank you!

  27. Thomas says:

    That’s interesting. I wonder if magnesium with nutritional yeast (b-vitamins) and bone meal (calcium) would be great at night to help with getting to sleep, sleep quality and overall nutrient status. Will actually try that next week.

    Strength and Love,

  28. lianne says:

    Hi, Ben,

    Have you ever had Dr Edward Group of the Global healing center on your podcast he does magnesium oxy powder and has a liver cleanse protocol

    Kind regards,

    Lianne G

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