Is Powdered Magnesium Better Than Tablets? – Not Necessarily

Magnesium is an incredible micronutrient that can help your body produce higher levels of energy, get better quality rest, and can also positively impact your cardiovascular system. When searching for the right magnesium supplement, the two most common forms are powders and tablets. Their differences are subtle but can matter based on your goals. So is powdered magnesium better than tablets? Let’s find out.

Magnesium Powder vs. Pills – Which is Better?

If you’ve decided to add a magnesium supplement to your wellness routine, you may be surprised at the variety of methods for taking it. It can be found in both powdered and pill forms. 

The choice between the two formats, for the most part, comes down to personal preference. Some prefer to mix a powder with hot or cold water to enjoy as a fruity beverage before bed, and it’s also a great option for those that struggle to take pills. Others may find the ease and simplicity of a tablet to be the easiest to integrate into their routine.

Does the Body Absorb Magnesium Powder or Pills Better?

With the different forms of magnesium available, you may be wondering if one is better absorbed by the body than the other. Depending on if your magnesium tablet or capsule has a thick coating, it could be absorbed by your stomach acid less efficiently than a powder that is absorbed in water.

There is also some merit to the notion that a powder mixed with liquid will begin to break down more quickly than a tablet, but the difference in bioavailability is so minuscule it would not make a big enough difference to be noticeable by the average consumer.

In general, magnesium also breaks down and is absorbed by the body quite slowly, over several hours, which makes the minute differences moot. 

What are the Benefits of Taking Magnesium Supplements?

Magnesium supplements boast a myriad of benefits including:

  • Better quality sleep – Magnesium is linked to deeper rest and can also help the body to fall asleep faster
  • Elevated energy – Magnesium helps your body to produce and utilize ATP, which will give better and more even levels of energy throughout the day
  • Improved cardiovascular system – Magnesium works synergistically with many other building blocks, like calcium, to help the muscles in your heart work more efficiently
  • Fighting fatigue – If you struggle with daytime drowsiness or brain fog, a magnesium deficiency could be a cause. Between better rest and improved bodily systems, it helps your body to stay alert and function at higher levels. [1]

How Much Magnesium Should I Take?

Magnesium dosages will vary based on factors like size, sex, activity levels, and goals.

For the average healthy adult male, expect 400-420 milligrams to be an appropriate daily dosage. For females, the recommended daily dosage is 310-320mg, with an increase to around 350mg during pregnancy.

Magnesium is a safe supplement to experiment with taking higher doses, and up to 500mg daily is considered perfectly safe for healthy adults. At the upper range, you may get mild side effects, most noticeably upset stomach. As always, be mindful with supplementation. Start with the lowest recommended dosage for you, and increase only if or when you feel the need.

Do I Need to Take a Magnesium Supplement?

It’s no secret that magnesium is a crucial micronutrient and is involved in a myriad of bodily functions. [2] Having healthy magnesium levels helps your body to function better overall. Despite its importance, that doesn’t mean a magnesium supplement is necessary for everyone. 

Magnesium is prevalent in many foods, particularly those that are favorites among athletes. It’s highly likely that many athletes are naturally meeting their body’s daily magnesium requirements through whole foods alone.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach
  • Beans and other legumes like peas, lentils, and soy
  • Low-fat milk and yogurts
  • Wheat germ
  • Oat bran


In general, making sure you are getting adequate magnesium intake in your diet is incredibly important. If you are looking at the efficacy of absorption, there is truly a very minimal difference between getting it straight from food sources, from powders, or tablets. No matter your choice, though, there are plenty of options for you to choose from to find the perfect fit for your routine.

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