Magnesium Glycinate vs Magnesium Citrate?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Magnesium glycinate v Magnesium citrate? Magnesium glycinate is formed from magnesium and the amino acid glycine. This amino acid glycine shows up in a lot of protein rich foods such as fish, meat, dairy legumes, etc. There are animal studies that have shown that glycine can help improve sleep and inflammatory conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that is bound by citric acid. Magnesium citrate is common to be found in the magnesium supplement formulations which can be purchased at most drug stores. Magnesium citrate is easily absorbed by the body, and it helps to raise magnesium levels if they are low. And it has a natural laxative effect which can be used to treat constipation.

Magnesium glycinate vs Magnesium citrate? Photo credit: iStock-Professor25

There are some studies that have shown that magnesium glycinate can help reduce some mild mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, etc.

There was a small study in 14 male participants that shows that magnesium citrate can be easily absorbed out of any magnesium in the digestive tract. It has a natural laxative effect, so it is used to treat constipation. If you have low magnesium levels it is common to take this orally to help raise those levels.

The Bottom Line is magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are similar but different. Magnesium glycinate has an amino acid in it called glycine whereas magnesium citrate is bound by citric acid and can easily be absorbed by the body.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement  products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can get a discount below at this link. ?utm_source=blog 


  1. NIH- National Library Of Medicine
  2. Werner T, Kolisek M, Vormann J, Pilchova I, Grendar M, Struharnanska E, Cibulka M. Assessment of bioavailability of Mg from Mg citrate and Mg oxide by measuring urinary excretion in Mg-saturated subjects. Magnes Res. 2019 Aug 1;32(3):63-71. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2019.0457. PMID: 32162607.
  3. Kirkland AE, Sarlo GL, Holton KF. The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders. Nutrients. 2018 Jun 6;10(6):730. doi: 10.3390/nu10060730. PMID: 29882776; PMCID: PMC6024559.
  4. Razak MA, Begum PS, Viswanath B, Rajagopal S. Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:1716701. doi: 10.1155/2017/1716701. Epub 2017 Mar 1. Erratum in: Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 Feb 23;2022:9857645. PMID: 28337245; PMCID: PMC5350494.
  5. Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, Karakawa S, Tsuneyoshi Y, Kawasaki N, Takeda T, Bannai M, Nishino S. The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1405-16. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326. Epub 2014 Dec 23. PMID: 25533534; PMCID: PMC4397399.
  6. Yablon LA, Mauskop A. Magnesium in headache. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. Available from:

More great content you may like

More great content you may like

Before you finish your last lap...

Don’t miss any of our great newsletters.