Magnesium tablets & Co. – the advantages and disadvantages of the pharmaceutical forms

from Mag. Margit Weichselbraun
on 29.04.2024

High-quality magnesium capsules or magnesium tablets are a welcome help in offering our bodies more magnesium. But what should you know about these two pharmaceutical forms? And what do you need to know? Let us throw some light on the matter.

The effect of magnesium tablets and capsules

As with tablets, high-quality magnesium capsules are a welcome aid for adding more magnesium to the body. In our organism, the essential mineral not only contributes to normal muscle function, it also supports the function of our nerves and mind. In addition, magnesium contributes to the electrolyte balance, supports normal energy metabolism and contributes to the reduction in tiredness and fatigue.

Magnesium tablets, powder or capsules?

If you would like to purchase a magnesium preparation, you can choose between different methods of administration. While the market is creative in the form of magnesium administration, the classic tablets, powders and capsules are still among the most common variants.

Magnesium tablets

Magnesium tablets are convenient to swallow and easy to transport. Usually more durable than powder variants, magnesium in tablet form can also be easily protected from light and air. However, the disadvantage to this method of administration is that magnesium tablets generally not only supply magnesium, but also technical excipients and other additives that are required during production in fully automatic production, as well as binding agents that determine stability and thus ensure cohesion in tablet form. In addition, other excipients are often used in the production of tablets, e.g. so-called disintegrants, which ensure that the tablets decompose in the gastrointestinal tract.

Magnesium capsules

Magnesium capsules are tasteless, easy to swallow and easy to transport. In addition, they can be easily protected from light and air – well sealed in the container. Magnesium capsules have the great advantage that their manufacturing process generally makes it easy to dispense with additives (keyword: “Pure Substance Principle”). For this reason, many micronutrient experts recommend using high-quality capsule products – and not just for magnesium. Nevertheless, magnesium capsules should not be taken on trust and a critical look at the label is certainly worthwhile.

Magnesium powder

People who are uncomfortable swallowing capsules or prefer flavoured preparations can use magnesium in powder form. The following applies: What tastes good – and what doesn’t – is subjective. Accordingly, the product developers do not always meet everyone's taste with their magnesium powders. In addition, powders can also be used with artificial flavours and sweeteners as well as with other additives to improve the taste. People who want to purchase a magnesium powder should therefore be sure to check the ingredients list before they buy and apply the “fewer is more” principle when choosing.

Magnesium in liquid form / droplet form:

There are also good and bad liquid magnesium preparations, which is why the composition of the product should be given special attention. Products that proclaim their naturalness (e.g. no dyes, no sugar, no synthetic flavors) are optimal.

So which magnesium is the best?

Magnesium citrate tablets vs. capsules

Magnesium citrate is a particularly popular magnesium compound among micronutrient experts, because its solubility makes it easily absorbable even when there is little stomach acid. While, as already mentioned above, magnesium citrate tablets often contain undesirable additives in addition to the desired mineral (needed for tablet production), BIOGENA magnesium citrate capsules provide nothing other than pure magnesium citrate, which is presented in a plant-based capsule shell, making them the perfect choice for all fans of this magnesium compound.

BIOGENA’s product development has been pushing the envelope for years when it comes to magnesium. The magnesium experts know that there is never a “perfect magnesium compound” for everyone. In contrast, in the development of outstanding magnesium preparations, expert combinations count that make use of the characteristic properties of the different magnesium compounds.

Learn more

Magnesium supplements side effects

Whether magnesium tablets, powder or capsules: if you consume too much magnesium at once, this short-term excess can lead to digestive problems (e.g. flatulence, soft stool, diarrhoea). For this reason, higher amounts of magnesium should be divided into smaller doses and taken throughout the day.

Diarrhoea caused by magnesium tablets

As already mentioned, magnesium tablets at higher doses can lead to diarrhoea. This effect is caused by a magnesium excess in the digestive tract and is the same for everyone – the limit of the tolerable dose is individual, but is usually approx. 300 mg magnesium as a single dose. 

To achieve better tolerability, the desired magnesium dosage can be easily distributed throughout the day. However, it may be necessary to divide the magnesium tablet. Magnesium capsules or Magnesium powders are often more user-friendly, since moderately dosed capsules can be taken easily throughout the day and powders are simply dosed individually. 

In addition to the dosage, the magnesium compound also influences tolerability. Magnesium bisglycinate is considered to be particularly tolerable, which experience shows carries only a low risk of digestive problems.

Taking magnesium tablets and capsules

How much can you take per day?

When dosing magnesium supplements, it is best to follow the recommendations of the respective manufacturer. People who feel that they need different dosages of magnesium due to their life situation should consult their doctor.

High-dose magnesium tablets or capsules

Some users achieve the desired dosage with just one magnesium tablet. However, high-dose magnesium tablets are not tolerated by everyone. Many users react to a rapid “magnesium boost” with gastrointestinal symptoms. Moderately dosed capsules offer the advantage that the desired dose can be achieved gently without upsetting the gastrointestinal tract by taking several capsules distributed throughout the day.

When to take magnesium tablets or capsules

Magnesium supplements can be taken at any time of day. However, it may be beneficial both for the magnesium intake and for tolerability to distribute the recommended dose throughout the day rather than taking it all at once.

Magnesium tablets or capsules during pregnancy?

Magnesium can be taken throughout the whole of pregnancy. However, in order to optimally support the growing child, the dosage should be adapted to the individual requirements of the expectant mother together with the gynaecologist and high-quality magnesium preparations (e.g. magnesium capsules) should be used in their pure form.

Conclusion: Magnesium tablets or capsules are proven forms of topping up your magnesium reserves. However, most supplements in tablet form also contain undesirable additives in addition to the magnesium. Consumers who care about the purity of their nutritional supplements should therefore use magnesium capsules or powders that have been produced according to the so-called pure substance principle.

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