The Mental Health Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate

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Minerals are essential to proper nutrition. Magnesium, in particular, can help with the “treatment of migraine, alcoholism, asthma, heart diseases, arrhythmias, renal calcium stones, premenstrual tension syndrome, etc.”

Magnesium can also reduce physiological symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, back pain, and stomach pain. In addition, magnesium benefits mental health by acting as a mood booster, muscle relaxer, stress reducer, and sleep aid.

Magnesium plays a vital role in health maintenance, but receiving the daily value from food is challenging. Magnesium is often extracted from foods that provide magnesium, such as whole wheat bread and water, which can end magnesium deficiency.

The magnesium dietary reference intake for adults is 310–420 mg/d, but most consume below these recommendations. Since most cannot reach the recommended serving of magnesium, it is convenient to use magnesium supplements. 

Magnesium Deficiency

There are many reasons an individual may develop a magnesium deficiency, such as diseases or substances like drugs, alcohol, and caffeine. A magnesium deficiency may occur from a lack of nutrients from foods or consumption of overcooked foods.

There are specific mental disorders and psychological symptoms that are associated with magnesium deficiency, such as the following; 

Related Disorders

Anxiety disorders

Mood disorders

Postpartum depression

Addiction

ADHD

Symptoms

Mood disturbance

Sleep disturbance

Stress

Anxiety

Depression

Irritability

Mental Health Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium contains different compounds that the body breaks down: organic acid-bounded (citrate and malate) and amino acid-bounded (acetyl taurate and glycinate). It is absorbed in the body, mainly in the small intestine. Magnesium glycinate absorbs more quickly in the small intestine than other magnesium compounds.

A research study found magnesium glycinate an effective treatment for major depression. Participants recovered from major depression in less than seven days of taking 125-300 mg of magnesium glycinate.

Additional research determined that 125-300 mg of magnesium glycinate, taken before bedtime, can significantly benefit mood and sleep. 

Although magnesium glycinate absorbs quickly in the body, organic compounds like citrate and malate have higher bioavailabilities (the degree a substance activates throughout the body). Magnesium absorbs in the small intestines, then is sent into the bloodstream to be stored in the bones and eventually excreted from the kidneys. Organic compounds, like citrate and malate, are more efficiently circulated throughout the necessary organs in the body. Magnesium glycinate offers immediate effects, whereas organic compounds offer stronger effects. Quick absorption makes glycinate beneficial for falling asleep and aiding with stress and mood. If the goal of magnesium is to benefit mental health, then glycinate is a good choice.

Magnesium Glycinate Supplements

Certain foods are rich in magnesium and can increase levels, such as leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and legumes, white vegetables like potatoes, and fruits like bananas and avocados. However, these foods offer magnesium but don’t provide the appropriate amount or specific compounds like glycinate. Magnesium glycinate supplement is the best source to receive a definitive value of glycinate. 

Many magnesium supplements exist, so consider the steps below before choosing a magnesium glycinate supplement.

  1. Speak with a health professional before trying magnesium supplements if you feel a need to gain more insight about magnesium glycinate or need to discuss the best type of supplement and dosing.
  2. Check for magnesium deficiency. You may benefit from checking magnesium levels in blood work to ensure that you do not have any magnesium deficiencies and potentially need greater intervention than just a magnesium glycinate supplement. 
  3. Is glycinate the best magnesium compound for you? A helpful step is to decide what you want to gain from using a magnesium supplement that would help with the most and if glycinate offers those benefits. It is also essential to figure out the appropriate number of milligrams to take to receive the results that you are expecting.
  4. Do some research. It is important to research different magnesium supplements and the specific brand you are considering to ensure they are a reliable source. Read some reviews about the product you are purchasing to review previous customers' experiences with the supplement.
  5. Try it out. You may find that you don’t see any improvement in your mental health after trying a new glycinate product. So, it's important to gain insight into whether it works for you by trying out other brands if one doesn't work. It is possible that a different magnesium compound is better for you or one combined with multiple compounds.

A Word From Verywell

Remember, before incorporating a magnesium supplement into your diet, be sure to do your research on the supplement. Consider consulting your physician if you have questions or concerns about magnesium supplements.

Understanding the need for magnesium and what purposes it can serve you is beneficial. It is also helpful to check magnesium levels through blood work that can be requested from a physician. Bottomline is, magnesium glycinate can benefit your mental health, but supplements work differently for people.

To find what’s good for you, it is worth giving this magnesium compound a fair shot and trying out different brands if needed. This compound may not be suitable for you, but then again, it may be just what you’ve been looking to add to your dietary routine.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ates M, Kizildag S, Yuksel O, et al. Dose-dependent absorption profile of different magnesium compounds. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2019;192, 244–251. doi:10.1007/s12011-019-01663-0

  2. Eby GA, Eby KL. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Medical Hypotheses. 2006;362-370. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2006.01.047

  3. Davis S. Reversal of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Sleep Disturbance, and Fatigue With an Elimination Diet, Lifestyle Modification, and Dietary Supplements: A Case Report. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016;15(5):60-66.

  4. Serefko A, Szopa A, Nowak PWG, Radziwoń-Zaleska M, Skalski M, Poleszak E. Magnesium in depression. Pharmological Reports. 2013;547-554. doi:10.1016/S1734-1140(13)71032-6

  5. Yin L, Liu X, Yi L, Wang J, Zhang Y, Feng Y. Structural characterization of calcium glycinate, magnesium glycinate and zinc glycinate. Journal of Innovative Optical Health Sciences. 2016;10(3). doi:10.1142/S1793545816500528

By Tiara Blain
Tiara Blain, MA, is a freelance writer for Verywell Mind. She is a health writer and researcher passionate about the mind-body connection.