Can Magnesium Glycinate Cause Diarrhea

Can Magnesium Glycinate Cause Diarrhea? Uncovering the Facts

Compared to other magnesium supplements, magnesium glycinate has been shown to have low or no laxative effect, making it the least likely form of magnesium to cause gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea or loose stools.

Nevertheless, like all supplements, taking the appropriate dosage is critical. 

Magnesium helps with blood pressure control and other bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function and blood sugar levels, and supports protein, bone, and DNA production. 

Hence, it is not surprising that most of us rely on taking magnesium supplements to support our overall well-being. 

Several types of magnesium supplements are available, including magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and others. 

And like with any supplement, they may have side effects if taken in high doses.

This post will look at the relationship between magnesium glycinate intake and diarrhea to uncover the facts about magnesium glycinate and its effects on your bowel function. 

Let’s get started!

How does magnesium glycinate impact bowel function?

As we stated in the introduction, magnesium is essential for various bodily functions. One of its lesser-known roles is its influence on the digestive system. 

When magnesium is introduced into the intestines, it helps to increase the volume of water in the intestines, which can help with bowel movements. 

This possible laxative effect occurs through two pathways:

  • Muscle relaxation: Magnesium glycinate can help relax the intestinal walls' muscles, resulting in smoother stool passage through the bowels.
  • Stool softener: Magnesium glycinate acts as an osmotic laxative, drawing water into the intestines. This increase in water content stimulates bowel motility, prompting a bowel movement. Also, the increased water content softens and swells the stool, working with the prompted bowel movement, making poop easier to pass.
  • Can I get diarrhea from taking magnesium glycinate?

    Magnesium di-glycinate or magnesium bis-glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, which means it’s bound to the amino acid glycine. This unique combination has several advantages. 

    The gentle nature of magnesium glycinate sets it apart from other magnesium compounds, such as magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide, which have a reputation for their potential laxative effects. 

    While magnesium citrate, for instance, is a popular choice for alleviating constipation due to its strong osmotic effect, it can sometimes lead to diarrhea.

    Magnesium glycinate, on the other hand, is generally well-tolerated. 

    Nevertheless, it’s important to emphasize that individual responses can vary. The key to avoiding diarrhea when taking magnesium glycinate, or any form of magnesium, is to be mindful of the dosage.

    Following recommended daily doses, as outlined by reputable sources like the National Institute of Health or as advised by your healthcare professional, is advisable to prevent magnesium glycinate side effects.

    Benefits of magnesium glycinate

    Magnesium is one of 7 vital macrominerals that people must consume at least 100 mg daily. 

    Here are some of its benefits:

    Helps reverse magnesium deficiency

    Recent research suggests that a magnesium deficiency might play a role in neurological problems, encompassing conditions like migraines, chronic pain, epilepsy, and even more severe neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and strokes.

    Thankfully, magnesium glycinate, one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, is crucial in treating this deficiency.

    Treating magnesium deficiency is paramount because this mineral is linked to other vital nutrients in the body, including vitamin K, vitamin D, and calcium.

    For instance, magnesium supplements help counterbalance excess calcium, often caused by frequent calcium supplementation. 

    Likewise, high vitamin D levels or a deficiency in vitamin K2 can deplete magnesium stores in the body, further contributing to a deficiency.

    When one becomes deficient in a combination of magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D, the risk for various health problems significantly escalates. 

    This includes issues such as bone loss, heart-related issues, compromised immune function, and more.

    Can improve sleep quality

    Can improve sleep quality

    Magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality and minimize daytime fatigue by promoting muscle relaxation, reducing leg cramps, easing tension and anxiety, and alleviating pain, which often disrupts sleep.

    A 2012 clinical trial found that dietary magnesium supplementation increased sleep time, efficiency, and concentrations of renin and melatonin while decreasing insomnia symptoms and stress levels. 

    Supplementing with magnesium (500 milligrams daily) also led to lower insomnia symptom scores, reduced sleep onset latency, and decreased cortisol concentrations, indicating reduced stress.

    Because it enhances sleep quality and duration, magnesium glycinate can reduce daytime fatigue and improve focus, learning, and memory, as observed in the study, which involves 46 elderly individuals with insomnia.

    Related reading: Can Magnesium Cause Insomnia? (Based on Science).

    May help reduce anxiety and depression

    Magnesium glycinate is recommended for anxiety due to its calming properties. 

    Also, evidence shows that supplementing with magnesium can help reduce symptoms tied to stress and anxiety, such as worsened pain, nervousness, depression, cravings, and more.

    May help treat headaches/migraines

    Magnesium deficiency may contribute to migraine headaches due to increased muscle tension, anxiety, depression, neurotransmitter release, blood pressure, and blood platelet aggregation. 

    Magnesium supplements are effective for acute and preventive headache treatment, with a recommended dosage of 400-500 milligrams daily. 

    Beneficial for blood pressure (Hypertension)

    When combined with calcium, magnesium supports blood pressure, prevents hypertension, and reduces cardiovascular disease risk. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can normalize irregular heartbeats.

    Can help decrease PMS symptoms

    Magnesium glycinate can help relieve PMS symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, cramps, and headaches. Studies show it can reduce the release of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation, cramps, and pain.

    In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, the combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium, taken over two menstrual cycles, was most effective in alleviating PMS symptoms

    Women who saw the greatest improvements took 250mg of magnesium and 40mg of vitamin B6 daily from day one of their menstrual cycles to the next.

    Other benefits of magnesium glycinate may include:

    • Reduced leg cramps during pregnancy
    • Fewer muscle spasms and cramps among athletes
    • Improved athletic performance and recovery from workouts
    • Improved quality of life, flexibility, and functionality among people with chronic pain
    • Help control blood sugar among those with diabetes/insulin resistance
    • Improved bone health among those susceptible to bone fractures

    You may also like: Can Magnesium Cause Fatigue? Debunking Myths & Facts.

    Sources of magnesium glycinate

    Typically, your finest source of magnesium is the food you eat. Pumpkin seeds, for example, have a high magnesium content—about 152 milligrams (mg) per ounce.6

    Other good dietary sources of magnesium are:

    • Nuts and seeds, including almonds, peanuts, and cashews
    • Beans and legumes like black beans and lima beans
    • Whole grains like whole wheat bread, wheat bran, and oatmeal 
    • Fortified breakfast cereals and other fortified foods
    • Dark chocolate
    • Yogurt, milk, and other dairy products
    • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens

    Specifically, magnesium glycinate is available in various forms, including liquid and capsules. 

    Magnesium glycinate is typically sold in capsules containing 120 or 125 milligrams, implying that most people will need to take many daily doses to achieve their requirements (usually between 250 and 420 mg for adults).

    If a person has low magnesium levels or is magnesium deficient, a doctor may recommend increasing their dietary magnesium intake or taking magnesium glycinate supplements. The supplements may be available from local pharmacies and health food stores.

    Premium 4x Magnesium Complex

    At, our supercharged magnesium supplements can help improve your nutrient level. It contains Magnesium glycinate, Taurine, Malate, and Orotate. Start with one capsule per day to assess tolerance. Take it with a meal to prevent digestive disturbances.

    Do magnesium glycinate supplements have any side effects?

    Magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, can cause adverse effects like nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea if taken in large or frequent doses.

    However, as per a 2013 study, magnesium glycinate is less likely to cause diarrhea compared to other magnesium supplements.

    Magnesium toxicity, which occurs in large doses, can cause irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, breathing difficulties, hypotension, and cardiac arrest. 

    Additionally, magnesium supplements can interact or interfere with certain medications, such as bisphosphonates and antibiotics. 

    It’s crucial you consult your doctor regarding the appropriate magnesium dosage and potential interactions with your current medications.

    Read also: Which form of magnesium should you take?

    How much magnesium glycinate should I take?

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlighted the recommended daily magnesium intake, which varies by age:

    • Adult females: 310-360 mg daily (higher for pregnant or breastfeeding women).
    • Adult males: 400-420 mg daily.
    • Children: Intake increases with age, ranging from 30 mg for newborns to up to 240 mg for older children.

    The maximum dose, also known as the tolerable upper intake level for magnesium, is 2 grams or 2000 milligrams. At no time should you take more than four tablets or capsules in one day.

    Magnesium can be taken in pill, liquid, or powder form, as directed by your doctor.

    Who cannot use magnesium glycinate?

    While magnesium glycinate is generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated, certain groups of individuals should exercise caution or avoid using this supplement:

    Individuals with kidney disease 

    If you have kidney disease or impaired kidney function, you should not use magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, without consulting your healthcare provider. 

    The kidneys are responsible for clearing excess magnesium from the body, and in cases of kidney dysfunction, magnesium can accumulate to toxic levels.

    Individuals allergic to magnesium

    You should not use magnesium supplements if you are allergic to magnesium or any of the ingredients in magnesium glycinate supplements. 

    Always read the product label for a list of ingredients and consult with your healthcare provider if you have concerns about allergies.

    People on certain types of medication

    Magnesium glycinate, may interact with certain medications, potentially reducing their effectiveness or causing adverse effects. 

    If you are taking medications, particularly diuretics and antibiotics. Consult your healthcare provider before adding magnesium glycinate to your regimen.

    People with high magnesium levels

    If you already have high magnesium levels, avoid taking magnesium glycinate supplements. 

    High magnesium levels, or hypermagnesemia, can lead to various health issues, including heart rhythm problems and respiratory distress.

    Pregnant and breastfeeding women 

    Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should consult their healthcare providers before taking magnesium glycinate or other supplements.

    The nutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation are unique, and healthcare guidance is essential.

    You may also like: Best Supplements for Breastfeeding Mothers.

    Does magnesium glycinate interact with other drugs?

    As with any dietary supplement, it’s important to be aware of their potential interactions with other medications you may be taking. 

    Drug interactions can affect medication effectiveness or increase your risk for serious side effects. For example, if you are taking a tetracycline-type medicine (such as demeclocycline, doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline), wait for at least 2 to 3 hours before taking your magnesium supplement as it can interfere with absorption.

    Likewise, if you are taking a bisphosphonate (such as alendronate), a thyroid medication (such as levothyroxine), or a quinolone-type antibiotic (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin), consult your doctor or pharmacist about how long you should wait between doses and how to find a dosing schedule that works with all of your medications.

    Which vitamins should I take with magnesium glycinate?

    Vitamins and minerals often work synergistically in the body, and magnesium glycinate is no exception. Pairing magnesium glycinate with specific vitamins can enhance its benefits and overall effectiveness. 

    Some key vitamins that work together with magnesium glycinate supplement include:

    Vitamin B6 

    The enzymes in B6 are found naturally in food and help the body conduct various processes, including breaking down proteins to support the immune system.

    When combined with magnesium, these two help support mental health. In fact, research also suggests that when you consume magnesium and Vitamin B6 together, it performs better than magnesium alone when it comes to stress relief.

    If you need some B Vitamins to help improve your hair, skin, nails, mood, energy, and neurological function, check out our organic Vitamin B complex containing all 8 B Vitamins.

    All 8 B Vitamins Dietary Supplement

    Vitamin D

    Magnesium helps activate vitamin D and transport it in your body. Both vitamin D and magnesium promote immunological function on their own, which suggests that when taken together, they can aid your body even more.

    Need some vitamin D supplement to improve your mood, heart and bones, and Immunity? Check out our Organic Vitamin D3 supplement.

    How do I take magnesium glycinate supplements?

    Generally, it is recommended to take magnesium supplements with food or right before bedtime. This is so because taking magnesium on an empty stomach can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.

    When taking your dose, use a full glass of water unless directed otherwise. 

    Swallow extended-release capsules and delayed-release/enteric coated tablets or capsules whole, without crushing or chewing, to prevent potential side effects.

    If taking tablets, chew them thoroughly before swallowing. For liquid products, use a medication measuring device, not a household spoon, for accurate dosing. Shake the bottle well for suspensions.

    Take this medication regularly at the same time each day, following the recommended dosage. 

    Do not increase the dose or frequency without consulting the package instructions or your doctor, as excess magnesium can lead to serious side effects.

    Can magnesium citrate and glycinate be taken together? 

    You can take magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate together. However, ensure you do not take a high dose of both types, which can lead to side effects. 

    You should consult with your doctor before commencing any new supplement routine, especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions.

    Can I take magnesium glycinate every day?

    Most people acquire enough magnesium through their diet, so they may not need to take magnesium glycinate supplements daily.

    However, if an underlying health problem creates low magnesium levels, a doctor might recommend magnesium glycinate supplements to restore magnesium levels. 

    Your healthcare provider will tell you how long you should take them.

    Should magnesium glycinate be taken in the morning or evening?

    No consensus exists on whether magnesium glycinate should be taken in the morning or evening. However, doctors typically recommend taking it right before going to bed.

    How long until magnesium glycinate starts working?

    The amount of time it takes for magnesium glycinate to work varies from person to person. Some people may feel the effects within a few days, while others may not notice any difference for several weeks. If you don’t see any improvement after a few weeks and are still Mg deficient, speak with your doctor.

    Takeaway: Meet your daily magnesium requirement with no diarrhea worries!

    Loose, watery, frequent stool or diarrhea affects most people occasionally. It can be caused by a virus or from consuming contaminated food.

    In some cases, when taken in high doses, magnesium can cause diarrhea, too, especially when you take magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide supplements. 

    However, certain magnesium supplements like magnesium glycinate have been found to provide benefits with minimal laxative effect. 

    As stated in this post, some studies show no form of gastrointestinal upset in subjects, including diarrhea, after taking the supplement. 

    While magnesium is available in different types of food, older adults are prone to being deficient; hence, taking supplements is essential to help you meet your daily requirements. 

    Why Not Natural provides clean, natural, and effective dietary supplements; our supplements are preservatives or fillers free, GMO-free, diabetic-friendly, and free of all common allergens.

    Our magnesium supplement, supercharged with four magnesium forms- glycinate, taurate, malate, and orotate provides all the magnesium you need for overall health without the fear of diarrhea. 

    Ready to experience the gentle benefits of magnesium glycinate for yourself? Order the 100% natural 4-in-1 magnesium complex supplement today!

    Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to learn which supplements to take, how to combine them for maximum benefit, and other health tips to boost your energy and vitality. Plus, discover natural strategies to reduce hormonal imbalances, stress, and anxiety. Click here to get started!

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