Magnesium Bisglycinate vs. Magnesium Glycinate: Are These Forms of Magnesium the Same?

Magnesium has become a popular supplement for its robust health benefits. Two common forms of magnesium supplement that often cause confusion among consumers are magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium glycinate. They sound similar, so we will explore the differences, if any, between these two forms of magnesium.

Forms of Magnesium

Magnesium supplements are available in various forms in the market, each with its own unique benefits and effects. Some common types of magnesium supplements include:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium glycinate 
  • Magnesium threonate 
  • Magnesium malate 
  • Magnesium lactate

Forms such as magnesium citrate and oxide are considered less bioavailable and known for its laxative effects. Due to the laxative effect, these two forms are commonly used to relieve occasional constipation and may cause some digestive discomfort.

Magnesium glycinate is a highly absorbable type of magnesium that is less likely to cause a laxative effect, making it a popular choice for those with sensitive stomachs. Magnesium malate is also known to have increased absorption and solubility compared to other forms. Overall, the right form of magnesium supplement depends on individual preferences and health needs. 

Is There a Difference Between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Bisglycinate?

adult pouring a magnesium pill into his palm

Magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium glycinate are the same and the terms can be used interchangeably. It can also be referred to as magnesium diglycinate. Both refer to a chelated magnesium where one magnesium ion is bound to the amino acid glycine, making it more easily absorbed by the body. The higher absorption rate makes it suitable for sensitive digestive systems or those who struggle with other forms of magnesium. Bisglycinate is also less likely to cause a laxative effect, unlike other magnesium forms, making it a popular choice for those looking to increase their magnesium intake without the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort. 

Some supplement manufacturers may use either of these terms, but are ultimately describing the same type of magnesium. Both forms are often used as supplements to help with magnesium deficiencies and promote overall health. Ultimately, when seeking magnesium glycinate supplements, it is important to purchase the ingredient from a brand with high quality standards. 

Benefits of Magnesium Bisglycinate

Magnesium serves a vital role in the activation of more than 300 enzymes, playing an indispensable part in DNA and RNA synthesis, cellular repair processes, and the preservation of cellular antioxidant status. Its significance extends to crucial functions in bone and muscle operations, where it contributes to the activation of vitamin D. This activation, in turn, regulates the homeostasis of calcium and phosphate, exerting influence over the growth and maintenance of bones. Additionally, magnesium is crucial for energy production and protein synthesis. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle cramps, high blood pressure, and even heart issues. Ensuring adequate intake of magnesium is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Magnesium bisglycinate is a magnesium that is combined with the amino acid glycine. This combination is believed to enhance the bioavailability of magnesium in the body, allowing for better absorption. Studies have shown that magnesium bisglycinate has higher bioavailability compared to other forms of magnesium, making it an ideal choice for those with deficiencies or digestive issues. The improved bioavailability of magnesium bisglycinate can lead to better overall health and wellness.


Taking magnesium bisglycinate can have significant benefits for improving sleep quality. This form is highly absorbable, allowing for better utilization by the body. Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can help calm the nervous system and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Overall, incorporating magnesium bisglycinate into a bedtime routine can be a natural and effective way to support healthy sleep patterns and improve overall quality of rest.

Muscles and Nerves

Magnesium bisglycinate plays a crucial role in muscle function and nerve transmission, making it an essential mineral for overall health. Adequate levels of magnesium can help reduce muscle cramps, spasms, and tension. Additionally, magnesium bisglycinate can support nerve health by assisting in the regulation of neurotransmitters and the functioning of the nervous system. This powerful mineral can also aid in the prevention of migraines and headaches. Overall, incorporating magnesium bisglycinate into your daily routine can lead to improved muscle and nerve function, as well as greater overall well-being. 

Why is Magnesium Glycinate Considered the Best Type of Magnesium?

magnesium pills

In discussions surrounding magnesium, magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate is often highlighted as the optimal choice. The primary factor contributing to this preference is its notable bioavailability, synonymous with effective absorption.

Unlike many other magnesium formulations, which exhibit poor absorption rates—such as magnesium oxide with a meager absorption rate — magnesium bisglycinate excels due to its unique structure. By being bonded to two glycine molecules, it attracts less water and boasts a significantly higher absorption. The presence of glycine further aids absorption by reducing the pH in the small intestine, thereby preventing magnesium deficiency.

Another aspect that elevates magnesium bisglycinate's superiority is the inherent value of glycine itself. As a non-essential amino acid and neurotransmitter, glycine offers diverse health benefits. These range from promoting relaxation, supporting mood and memory, to enhancing sleep and more.

Potential Side Effects of Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with little risk of toxicity. However, some potential side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any magnesium supplements, especially for individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medication that may interact with magnesium.

Conclusion: Magnesium Glycinate vs. Bisglycinate

Magnesium glycinate and bisglycinate are the same type of magnesium, and the terms can be used interchangeably. Both forms are chelated with the amino acid glycine, which allows for better absorption and bioavailability in the body compared to other forms of magnesium. However, it is important to note that individual responses to these forms of magnesium may vary, and it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional should you have any questions or concerns about adding the supplement into your routine. Ultimately, the different terms are simply naming convention and is a well-absorbed magnesium supplement that one can incorporate into a daily routine to support overall health and wellbeing.