The Best Types of Magnesium for Optimal Health: You Might Be Doing It Wrong!

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This week on The Wellness Way podcast, we had the pleasure of having a fascinating discussion with Clive de Carle about the importance of minerals and vitamins and how not taking enough, or not taking the right kind, can drastically affect the benefits you yield from supplementation.

One such mineral that Clive highlighted in particular was magnesium, which he describes in his interview with Philly as ‘the ultimate mineral’. Magnesium is sworn by in the natural health community because of its transformative benefits for things like sleep, hormonal imbalance, body odour, and even dark circles! 

But did you know that there is a chance you could be doing your supplementation wrong, especially if you are not seeing the results you would like? In this article we discuss what Carle had to say about magnesium and why you might be taking the wrong kind, so keep reading to find out! 

Magnesium and Its Benefits 

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a pivotal role in numerous bodily functions, contributing significantly to overall health. It is crucial for muscle and nerve function, helping to regulate muscle contractions and nerve signals. Additionally, magnesium supports a healthy immune system, keeps bones strong, and aids in the production of energy by activating enzymes involved in ATP production.

It also contributes to cardiovascular health by maintaining normal blood pressure and heart rhythm. Adequate magnesium intake can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Furthermore, this vital mineral assists in blood sugar regulation, making it beneficial for those with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition. With its wide array of benefits, ensuring sufficient magnesium intake is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being.

Chinese Medicine and Magnesium 

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), magnesium plays a significant role due to its various health-promoting properties. TCM emphasises balance and harmony within the body, and magnesium is valued for its ability to support this balance, particularly in the realm of calming the mind and soothing the nervous system. 

It is often used to address conditions related to stress, anxiety, and insomnia, reflecting its role in promoting relaxation and mental clarity. Magnesium-rich herbs and foods are incorporated into dietary recommendations and herbal formulas to strengthen the body’s energy (Qi), support muscle and nerve function, and improve cardiovascular health. 

Additionally, TCM practitioners recognize magnesium’s importance in regulating bowel movements and maintaining digestive health, aligning with the holistic approach of TCM that considers the interconnectedness of bodily systems. Overall, magnesium is considered a versatile and vital element in Chinese medicine, contributing to both physical and mental well-being.

Are We All Magnesium Deficient? 

Clive had a lot to say in regards to why so many people are lacking magnesium. “Very few people…If you ignore the fact it’s no longer in the plants and in the soil and so on, stress burns up magnesium,” explains Clive. 

“So when we’re stressed, we burn through our reserves of magnesium because it is the ultimate calming mineral. It is the mineral that keeps us calm mentally, physically. 

So because we’re all stressed way more than we should be living in the natural world, everybody’s low on magnesium pretty much without exception.”

And he’s not wrong about the soil. Over the last several decades, the mineral and vitamin content of soil has seen a significant decline, leading to concerns about the nutritional quality of the crops grown in it. 

According to a report by the Scientific American in 2011, the levels of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron in vegetables have decreased by up to 40% since the 1950s. Soil depletion, caused by intensive agricultural practices, overuse of chemical fertilisers, and erosion, has stripped the soil of vital nutrients. This 2024 study also refers to the decline in the nutritional quality of foods as ‘alarming’. 

Another study undertaken for a global healthcare company through a company called BioStress in collaboration with UCL and the University of Bath found that 85.4% of people believe stress negatively affects their health and 61.5% rate their stress above average. 

The Types of Magnesium You Should Be Taking (And Shouldn’t Be)

You might be surprised to know that if you’re taking magnesium and not seeing the right results, you may be taking the wrong amount and/or the wrong kind. “The major ingredient is magnesium bisglycinate, which is pretty much the most bioavailable,” Clive states. “The body loves it. So then there’s a small amount of citrate.

The problem with people who are just taking citrate alone is before they get a meaningful amount of magnesium, the citrate will put them in the bathroom with diarrhoea. So I put a bit of citrate in because a lot of people are constipated. So a little bit is useful.

Then I put in a bit of magnesium taurinate, which has a number of problems, but I put that one in for the vegans because vegans, it could be 10 years, they can run out of B12. They can also run out of taurine and taurus the bull. You only get taurine either from fermented veg or meat products.

So I put in magnesium taurinates. It’s good for the eyes as well as everything else. And then I put in magnesium malate, which is magnesium combined with malic acid.

And there’s malic acid in mother’s milk. But it seems to be a sort of magic formula. There are loads of great magnesiums out there, but I just seem to have hit really, really lucky.” 

Things get really interesting when it comes to just how much magnesium you should take a day. You’d assume that taking one or two magnesium tablets a day would do the trick. But Clive argues this actually isn’t correct: 

“The thing is that most people assume that you should take one [magnesium tablets] a day or two a day,” Clive explains, “but the reality is, because most people are so low on magnesium that they’re really running on empty, that to start with, they may want to take two twice a day, three times a day, four times a day, five times a day, six a day.” 

Now of course this depends upon the number of milligrams you’re taking. 

For balance, the Mayo Clinic recommends that adult and teenage males take 270 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day. For adult and teenage females it’s 280 to 300 mg per day. For Pregnant females it’s 320 mg per day. For Breast-feeding females, it’s 340 to 355 mg per day. 

But Clive goes on to argue, “…The body is self-regulating. If you take them one at a time or two at a time, personally I can take six at a time, my guts are tough, but start with one, see how you go. Some people, if they’re normal weight, normal height, they find that if they take 12 for a few days, suddenly they’re no longer suicidal. 

Suddenly they’re sleeping through the night. Suddenly loads of their aches and pains have gone away. Suddenly their constipation has ended. Suddenly their heart arrhythmia, their heart’s been beating out of rhythm for no reason. Racing suddenly stops. Restless legs stop. Headache stops. Migraine stops. Epilepsy stops. Heart attacks stop.

 I mean, you can imagine that if you could relax every cell of your body, the pain, whatever it is, should relax alongside it.”

This is certainly food for thought! Reactions ranged in response to the release of this episode on The Wellness Way podcast in relation to Clive’s approach to taking magnesium.

On the viral TikTok clip with over 106k views, one commenter wrote: ‘I take 2 1500 mg magnesium glycinate every night 30 mins before bed. I have the best sleep ever now.’ 

Another commenter wrote: ‘Please don’t take 12 of any tablets a day! and a recent Japanese study revealed ur body only absorbs only 5 tabs of anything a day!’.

It’s unclear which study the commenter is referring to exactly when attempting to find it, but mixed reviews then! 

But there is a particular type of magnesium that is better to take than say magnesium oxide, for example, which Clive refers to as the ‘cheap’ type. 

“If you want proper magnesium, you want to blend, ideally,” says Clive. “ I mean, if yours says just magnesium bisglycinate, that would be good. The blend is better, but magnesium bisglycinate will work, whereas magnesium oxide probably won’t.”

a July 2019 study in Nutrients tested the bioavailability of 15 different forms of magnesium and found that magnesium oxide had the lowest solubility and, therefore, bioavailability—despite having a high amount of elemental (or total) magnesium. This means if you’re magnesium-deficient, it may not be the best form to take, as it doesn’t absorb as well in the bloodstream.

But what about magnesium bisglycinate/glycinate?

Magnesium Glycinate: Superior Absorption 

Magnesium glycinate is often considered the best form of magnesium supplement due to its high bioavailability and minimal gastrointestinal side effects. 

Recent studies indicate that magnesium glycinate, which is magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine, is more easily absorbed by the body compared to other forms such as magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate.

 A 2020 review in the journal Nutrients highlights that magnesium glycinate’s enhanced absorption rates make it particularly effective in correcting magnesium deficiencies with fewer side effects like diarrhoea, which are commonly associated with other magnesium supplements. 

Additionally, research shows that magnesium glycinate has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it beneficial for those with anxiety or sleep disorders. This form of magnesium also supports muscle function and cardiovascular health, making it a well-rounded option for overall wellness.


So there you have it. If you’re currently taking magnesium, it’s probably best to check that 1) you are taking enough and 2) you are taking the right type! 

You can watch the full episode with Clive on Spotify here, where he discusses his own health journey and drops loads more truth bombs on how society keeps us sick. 

You can also check out his website for information and products at

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.