Threonate vs Glycinate: Which Magnesium is Right for You?

Threonate vs Glycinate: Which Magnesium is Right for You?

Magnesium, the fourth most prevalent mineral in the human body, is required for approximately 300 metabolic activities. This wonder mineral truly is our inner champion, controlling blood pressure and muscular function as well as fostering good sleep and memory. However, in today’s fast-paced world, magnesium insufficiency is common, affecting up to 50% of individuals. 

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential element that participates in over 300 metabolic activities in the body. It helps to regulate blood pressure, muscle and neuron function, energy generation, and bone health.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Unfortunately, our hectic lifestyles and processed dietary habits decrease our magnesium supplies. Keep an eye out for the following indicators that your body may be wanting this powerful mineral:

Muscle cramps and spasms

Because magnesium governs muscle contractions, a lack of it can cause painful cramps and twitches.

Fatigue and lack of energy

Because magnesium is required for energy generation, a shortage of it might leave you feeling depleted and sluggish.

Sleep disturbances

Magnesium supports relaxation and sleep quality, therefore a lack might result in insomnia, restless sleep, and waking up tired.

Headaches and migraines

Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, therefore a lack of it can exacerbate headaches and migraines.

Anxiety and depression

Magnesium interacts with neurotransmitters that govern mood, therefore a lack of it can lead to anxiety and despair.

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium has several health advantages, including:

  • Muscle function has improved.
  • Increased energy output
  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Help with bone health
  • Anxiety and stress reduction

Magnesium Threonate vs Glycinate

Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium L-threonate, also known as magnesium threonate, has gained prominence due to its potential advantages, notably its ability to pass the blood-brain barrier. Here’s a rundown of its primary features:

Chemical composition: It is the magnesium salt of L-threonate, which is a form of sugar acid. When compared to other magnesium forms, this combination provides distinct features.

Bioavailability: According to research, it has a greater bioavailability than other formulations, which means your body absorbs and utilizes it more efficiently.

Penetration of the blood-brain barrier: Unlike other magnesium forms, magnesium threonate appears to be able to enter the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to have a direct influence on brain function.

Magnesium threonate is a potentially useful type of magnesium for those who want to improve their cognitive performance, sleep quality, and overall brain health. However, before taking it, see your doctor, especially if you have any underlying health concerns or use drugs.

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium Glycinate is a kind of magnesium supplement that contains magnesium linked to the amino acid glycine. This chelated form of magnesium is known for having higher absorption and bioavailability than other magnesium compounds.

Friendly Fusion: When magnesium is combined with glycine, it produces a gentle form less prone to induce stomach discomfort than other magnesium kinds. This makes it perfect for people with sensitive stomachs.

Bioavailability Boost: While magnesium glycinate may not reach the brain as quickly as magnesium threonate, it does have strong absorption, allowing your body to use its advantages fully.

Muscle Function: Magnesium is essential for muscle function. Magnesium glycinate can assist in relieving muscular cramps and spasms after exercise or daily activity, providing comfort and relaxation.

Relaxation: Glycine has relaxing effects that act in tandem with magnesium to promote relaxation and battle stress. This can help you sleep better and feel calmer and more balanced.

Insulin Sensitivity: Some research suggests that glycine may improve insulin sensitivity, making Magnesium Glycinate possibly advantageous for people worried about their metabolic health.

Gentle on the Stomach: Magnesium Glycinate’s glycine component has a relaxing impact on the stomach, making it a favored choice for persons who may experience gastrointestinal discomfort with other magnesium forms.

Who Can Benefit from Magnesium Supplements?

If you have any deficient symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor about magnesium supplements. Based on your unique health problems and medications, they may analyze your requirements and prescribe the best form and dose. 

Adults may benefit from an average of 300-420mg of elemental magnesium each day, although this might vary based on individual circumstances.

Here’s a breakdown of who might benefit most from each form:

Magnesium Threonate (MgT):

  • People who want to increase their cognitive function, memory, and attention.
  • People who have sleep problems, specifically those who have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Those who are concerned about cognitive decline or neurological illnesses as they age.

Magnesium Glycinate:

  • Individuals suffering from muscular cramps and spasms.
  • People who are anxious, stressed, or have difficulties relaxing.
  • Those who have difficulty sleeping due to rushing thoughts or anxiousness.
  • Individuals with sensitive stomachs who experience stomach distress while taking alternative types of magnesium.

Tips for Taking Magnesium Supplements

  • Dosage: Begin with a smaller dose and gradually increase as needed, as directed by your doctor.
  • Form: Experiment with several forms to find which one works best for you.
  • Timing: Magnesium should be taken in the evening for sleep advantages or in the morning for energy and mood support.
  • Food: Magnesium is more easily absorbed on an empty stomach, but if you have stomach distress, take it with meals.
  • Combining supplements: Certain drugs and supplements can interact with magnesium. Before combining magnesium with other drugs, consult your doctor.


Finally, the best magnesium for you is determined by your specific demands and goals. Take into account your unique health issues, intended advantages, and any reactions. 

Consult your doctor for specific advice and select the form that best suits you. Remember that magnesium is a valuable ally in your pursuit of maximum health and well-being.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on What Are the Best Natural Remedies for Liver Damage?

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being