magensium glycinate vs magnesium l threonate

Magnesium Glycinate vs. Magnesium L-Threonate: What’s the Difference?

Magnesium: it’s that essential mineral we all know we need, but do we really know why? It’s involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in our body, ranging from muscle and nerve function to blood sugar regulation. Yet, not all forms of magnesium are created equal. In the bustling marketplace of wellness supplements, two stand out—Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate. With bold claims thrown around by both sides, let’s dive into a nuanced, scientifically-backed discussion on these two forms of magnesium to figure out which might be the best fit for you.

What Is Magnesium Glycinate?

Magnesium Glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that combines magnesium with glycine, an amino acid. Known for its high bioavailability, it is primarily used to correct magnesium deficiencies and is often recommended for those dealing with symptoms like muscle cramps, insomnia, and anxiety.


  • High Bioavailability: Easily absorbed by the body.
  • Gentle on Stomach: Less likely to cause gastrointestinal issues compared to other forms.
  • Mood Enhancement: Glycine has been observed to support mood regulation.


  • Limited Cognitive Benefits: Not specifically designed to cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Cost: Generally more expensive than basic magnesium supplements like magnesium oxide.

What Is Magnesium L-Threonate?

This form of magnesium is unique because it’s chelated with L-Threonic acid, allowing it to more effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. This characteristic has led to claims that Magnesium L-Threonate is especially beneficial for cognitive functions.


  • Cognitive Boost: Shown to improve learning and memory in animal studies [1].
  • Neuroprotective: May protect against neurodegenerative diseases [2].
  • Effective Absorption: Crosses the blood-brain barrier more efficiently.


  • Pricey: Typically more expensive than other forms.
  • Limited Research: Though promising, it’s less studied for its long-term impact on general health.

The Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate

When it comes to magnesium supplements, both Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate offer a unique set of benefits that cater to different health goals. Let’s dive into what makes each of them special.

Magnesium Glycinate

Muscle Health

Magnesium Glycinate is often praised for its ability to relieve muscle cramps and spasms. Magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle contraction and relaxation, and this form is absorbed effectively enough to make a difference [3].

Mental Calmness

Glycine, the amino acid bound to magnesium in this compound, has a calming effect on the brain. Many users report an improvement in mood and even a reduction in symptoms of mild anxiety [4].

Sleep Quality

The calming effects of Magnesium Glycinate extend to improving sleep quality. Research shows that it can help you fall asleep faster and experience a deeper level of sleep [5].

Gastrointestinal Tolerance

Compared to other forms of magnesium, Glycinate is much easier on the stomach, making it an ideal option for those with sensitive digestive systems.

Magnesium L-Threonate

Cognitive Health

Magnesium L-Threonate is hailed for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier effectively. This property is believed to result in an enhancement of memory, learning, and overall cognitive function [1].


Emerging research suggests that this form of magnesium may have neuroprotective benefits, potentially guarding against diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline [7].

Mood Enhancement

While not as well-studied as Magnesium Glycinate in this aspect, initial research points to the potential of Magnesium L-Threonate in mood regulation and even mild anxiety reduction [8].

Absorption Efficiency

Its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier also means that it is highly efficient in terms of absorption, making it a good choice for those specifically targeting brain health.

So, whether you’re looking to improve your sleep, manage muscle health, or give your brain a bit of a boost, the choice between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate may just boil down to your specific health goals. Each form has its unique strengths and weaknesses, but both bring something valuable to the table in the realm of holistic health.

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Magnesium L-Threonate and Sleep

While Magnesium Glycinate often steals the limelight when it comes to improving sleep quality, Magnesium L-Threonate has been making waves in sleep research as well. This specific form of magnesium is interesting because it can cross the blood-brain barrier, which gives it unique capabilities in affecting brain function, including sleep.

How Does It Affect Sleep?

Magnesium L-Threonate may have the potential to improve the quality of sleep by influencing neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain. While most research has focused on its cognitive benefits, some studies suggest that this form of magnesium can have a positive impact on sleep quality by acting on the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleep [1].

Comparing with Other Forms

Unlike Magnesium Glycinate, which is more directly linked to improvements in sleep through its combination with the calming amino acid glycine, Magnesium L-Threonate’s role in sleep seems to be more indirect, rooted in its overall effect on brain health and function.

What the Experts Say

For a nuanced take on how Magnesium L-Threonate could make you sleepy. The blog suggests that while it may not be the most potent form of magnesium for sleep, its unique impact on brain health can’t be discounted when considering its overall benefits for sleep.

Can Kids Take Magnesium L-Threonate?

When it comes to children and supplements, it’s always a subject that warrants extra caution. You might be wondering if Magnesium L-Threonate, renowned for its cognitive and potential sleep benefits, is suitable for kids. Generally, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice, especially for children.

Mixing Magnesium: Glycinate and L-Threonate Together?

It’s not uncommon to wonder if you can double up on the benefits by taking Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate together. Each has its own unique advantages, so combining them might seem like a win-win situation. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential for magnesium overload.

If you’re considering blending these supplements, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice on dosages and potential interactions.

Magnesium L-Threonate and ADHD: A Potential Game-Changer?

ADHD is a condition that can have a significant impact on focus, impulse control, and other aspects of cognitive function. You may be surprised to know that Magnesium L-Threonate has shown promise in potentially alleviating some ADHD symptoms. Because of its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, this form of magnesium could offer distinct advantages in cognitive function and attention regulation.

For a more detailed perspective on why Magnesium L-Threonate might just be the best form of magnesium for ADHD, this blog offers a thorough analysis. The blog dives into scientific reasoning and studies that point to this form of magnesium as a potential supplement for managing ADHD symptoms.

7 best magnesium l-threonate supplement brands

Choosing the Best Magnesium Brands

When diving into the world of magnesium supplements, it’s not just the type you need to consider but also the brand. Not all magnesium supplements are created equal, and the purity, potency, and bioavailability can vary significantly from one brand to the next.

Things to Consider

  1. Quality Assurance: Look for brands that are third-party tested to ensure that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle.
  2. Bioavailability: Certain brands offer formulations that enhance the body’s ability to absorb magnesium, making the supplement more effective.
  3. Customer Reviews: Real-world experiences can give you invaluable insights into how effective a brand’s supplement is.
  4. Additional Ingredients: Be wary of fillers and artificial additives that some brands may include.

For those particularly interested in Magnesium L-Threonate, this guide to the 7 best magnesium l-threonate brands is a must-read. It offers a comprehensive look into the top brands on the market, considering factors like quality, price, and customer reviews.

By investing a little time into choosing the right brand, you’re investing in your health. So make sure to do your homework and pick the brand that aligns best with your wellness goals.

The Real Talk: Which Should You Choose?

For General Health and Well-Being

Choosing a magnesium supplement can feel like navigating a maze, especially with so many types and brands out there. But as we’ve explored, the choice between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate is essentially a question of your individual health goals.

Magnesium Glycinate excels in areas like muscle health, mental calmness, and sleep quality. Its high bioavailability and gastrointestinal tolerance make it a reliable all-rounder for those seeking a general wellness boost.

On the other hand, Magnesium L-Threonate stands out for its cognitive benefits, particularly memory and learning enhancement. It has also shown potential in improving sleep quality and mood, and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier makes it uniquely suited for those focusing on brain health.

But what about kids, you ask? While supplements can offer benefits, they should always be considered carefully, especially for children. Professional guidance is key, whether it’s Magnesium L-Threonate or any other supplement.

And if you’ve been toying with the idea of doubling up on these two forms, remember that while they can potentially complement each other, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider to avoid magnesium overload.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of brand selection. Your choice can impact not just your wallet but also the efficacy of the supplement. So do your due diligence and consult reliable guides to make an informed decision.

Whether it’s improved sleep, better cognitive function, or muscle relief you’re after, both Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate have something to offer. So assess your needs, do your research, and take that informed step toward holistic wellness.


  1. Neuropharmacology of Magnesium L-Threonate
  2. Magnesium L-Threonate Prevents and Restores Memory Deficits
  3. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy
  4. Effects of Glycine on Mental Health
  5. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress
  6. Neuropharmacology of Magnesium L-Threonate
  7. Magnesium L-Threonate Prevents and Restores Memory Deficits
  8. Magnesium, Stress and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
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