Magnesium aspartate vs citrate

by | Oct 11, 2023

In the world of dietary supplements, magnesium is a true unsung hero. It plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, from muscle contraction to nerve transmission and bone health. Two popular forms of magnesium supplements, magnesium aspartate vs citrate, have garnered attention for their potential health benefits. But what sets them apart? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the specifics of magnesium aspartate vs. citrate, helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

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Magnesium is an essential mineral that participates in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It’s no wonder that maintaining adequate magnesium levels is crucial for overall health. One way to do this is through dietary supplements, and two popular forms are magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate. Understanding the differences between these two can help you choose the most suitable option for your health goals.

What Is Magnesium Aspartate?

Magnesium Aspartate Overview

Magnesium aspartate is a form of magnesium that is bound to aspartic acid, an amino acid naturally found in our bodies. This combination is believed to enhance magnesium absorption due to the presence of aspartic acid, which may improve the mineral’s bioavailability.

Absorption and Bioavailability of Magnesium Aspartate

One of the key advantages of magnesium aspartate is its excellent absorption rate. The presence of aspartic acid may facilitate the transport of magnesium across the intestinal wall, increasing its bioavailability. This means that your body can absorb and utilize a higher percentage of the magnesium present in the supplement.

Benefits and Uses of Magnesium Aspartate

Magnesium aspartate is often touted for its potential benefits in improving athletic performance, as it may support muscle function and energy production. Some individuals also use it to help alleviate symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as muscle cramps or fatigue.

What Is Magnesium Citrate?

Magnesium Citrate Overview

Magnesium citrate, on the other hand, is a combination of magnesium and citric acid. It is widely recognized for its effectiveness as a laxative, often used to relieve constipation. Due to its laxative properties, magnesium citrate is available in liquid form, which acts relatively quickly to promote bowel movements.

Absorption and Bioavailability of Magnesium Citrate

Compared to magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate may have slightly lower bioavailability. However, it is still well-absorbed by the body, making it a suitable choice for those seeking magnesium supplementation.

Benefits and Uses of Magnesium Citrate

As mentioned earlier, the primary use of magnesium citrate is as a laxative. It’s commonly recommended by healthcare professionals to relieve occasional constipation or as part of a bowel preparation for certain medical procedures. Additionally, some people turn to magnesium citrate to support overall digestive health.

Absorption and Bioavailability

Magnesium Aspartate vs. Citrate: The Battle of Absorption

When it comes to magnesium aspartate vs. citrate, absorption is a critical factor to consider. Magnesium aspartate is often praised for its exceptional absorption rate, mainly attributed to the presence of aspartic acid. This amino acid is thought to enhance the uptake of magnesium through the intestinal wall, ensuring that more of the mineral is available for your body to use.

On the other hand, magnesium citrate is also absorbed efficiently, although it may not match the absorption prowess of magnesium aspartate. Nevertheless, both forms are effective at delivering magnesium to your system, with slight variations in bioavailability.

Benefits and Uses

Harnessing the Power of Magnesium: Benefits and Uses

Understanding the benefits and uses of magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate is vital in determining which one aligns with your health goals.

Magnesium Aspartate Benefits and Uses

  1. Muscle Function: Magnesium aspartate is often favored by athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to its potential to support muscle function. It may aid in muscle contraction and relaxation, reducing the risk of cramps and muscle soreness.
  2. Energy Production: This form of magnesium is involved in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s primary energy currency. As a result, magnesium aspartate could contribute to increased energy levels.
  3. Potential for Magnesium Deficiency: Individuals who experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, such as muscle cramps, fatigue, or irregular heartbeat, may benefit from magnesium aspartate supplementation.

Magnesium Citrate Benefits and Uses

  1. Laxative Properties: The standout feature of magnesium citrate is its role as a potent laxative. It’s commonly recommended by healthcare professionals for relieving constipation.
  2. Digestive Health: Some people turn to magnesium citrate for its potential to support overall digestive health. It may help alleviate occasional digestive discomfort.
  3. Bowel Preparation: In medical settings, magnesium citrate is often used as part of a bowel preparation regimen before certain diagnostic procedures or surgeries.

Dosage and Safety

Sizing Up the Dosage: How Much Is Safe?

The appropriate dosage of magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as age, sex, and individual health needs. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to determine the right dosage for you.

Magnesium Aspartate Dosage

The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults varies but typically falls within the range of 300 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day. When taking magnesium aspartate supplements, follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or your healthcare provider.

Magnesium Citrate Dosage

For constipation relief, magnesium citrate is usually taken as a single dose of 240 milliliters (mL) of the liquid solution. However, the dosage may vary depending on the severity of the condition and individual factors. It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations when using magnesium citrate as a laxative.

Side Effects

Navigating Potential Side Effects

Both magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate are generally considered safe when taken at recommended dosages. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects, which can include:

  1. Gastrointestinal Discomfort: In some cases, magnesium supplements can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps. These effects are more common with magnesium citrate, given its laxative properties.
  2. Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions to magnesium supplements can occur. Symptoms may include itching, rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction.
  3. Interactions with Medications: Magnesium supplements may interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, diuretics, or medications for heart conditions. It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider of all the supplements and medications you’re taking to avoid potential interactions.

Interactions with Other Substances

Magnesium and Its Interactions with Other Substances

Magnesium supplements can interact with various substances, potentially affecting their absorption or efficacy. Here are some noteworthy interactions to be aware of:

  1. Calcium: High doses of calcium supplements can hinder magnesium absorption, so it’s advisable to space out the intake of calcium and magnesium supplements if you’re taking both.
  2. Iron: Iron supplements can reduce the absorption of magnesium, so it’s best to take them at different times of the day.
  3. Zinc: Excessive zinc intake may interfere with magnesium absorption, so it’s essential to maintain a balanced intake of both minerals.
  4. Certain Medications: As mentioned earlier, some medications can interact with magnesium supplements. It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider if you’re taking any prescription drugs to avoid potential complications.

Magnesium Aspartate vs. Citrate: Which Is Better?

Choosing the Right Form of Magnesium for You

The choice between magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate ultimately depends on your specific health needs and preferences. Let’s recap the key differences between the two:

Magnesium Aspartate:

  1. Offers excellent absorption due to aspartic acid.
  2. May benefit athletes and those seeking muscle support.
  3. Potential for increased energy levels.
  4. Suitable for individuals with magnesium deficiency symptoms.

Magnesium Citrate:

  1. Acts as a potent laxative, effective for constipation relief.
  2. Supports overall digestive health.
  3. Commonly used in medical bowel preparations.
  4. May have slightly lower bioavailability compared to aspartate.

When deciding between these two forms, consider consulting a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. They can help you determine which one aligns with your health goals and provide dosage recommendations tailored to your needs.


In the magnesium showdown of aspartate vs. citrate, both forms offer distinct advantages, making them valuable tools in your pursuit of better health. Magnesium aspartate, with its superior absorption and potential for enhancing muscle function and energy levels, suits active individuals and those combating magnesium deficiency. On the other hand, magnesium citrate shines as a dependable laxative and digestive health supporter. Your choice between the two should align with your unique health needs and professional guidance. Whichever path you take, remember that magnesium, in any form, plays an essential role in your overall well-being, so ensure you meet your daily requirements for this remarkable mineral.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between Magnesium Aspartate and Magnesium Citrate?

The primary difference lies in their composition and intended use. Magnesium aspartate is bound to aspartic acid and is known for its excellent absorption and potential benefits for muscle function and energy production. In contrast, magnesium citrate is a combination of magnesium and citric acid, primarily used as a laxative to relieve constipation.

How Do I Determine the Right Dosage for Magnesium Aspartate or Magnesium Citrate?

The appropriate dosage varies based on individual factors, such as age, sex, and health needs. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. They can provide personalized recommendations and help you determine the correct dosage.

Can I Take Magnesium Aspartate and Magnesium Citrate Together?

It’s possible to take both forms of magnesium, but it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure you’re not exceeding safe dosage levels. Additionally, consider the potential interactions with other supplements or medications you may be taking.

Are There Any Natural Food Sources of Magnesium?

Yes, several foods are rich in magnesium, including leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help you meet your daily magnesium requirements naturally.

Can I Use Magnesium Supplements to Relieve Muscle Cramps?

Magnesium supplements, including magnesium aspartate, may help alleviate muscle cramps in some individuals, especially if the cramps are associated with magnesium deficiency. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and personalized recommendations.

What’s Next

Exploring Further Resources

Now that you have a solid understanding of magnesium aspartate vs. citrate, you might want to delve deeper into related topics. Here are some additional resources from Mindphony’s blog that can provide valuable insights:

  1. “Magnesium Glycinate vs. Citrate: Which Is Right for You?”
  2. “How Long Does It Take for Magnesium to Work for Anxiety?”

These articles cover different aspects of magnesium supplementation and its potential benefits. They can serve as valuable supplements to your knowledge and help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

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