Adequate magnesium levels are critical to overall health. Unfortunately, today, 80% of adults are deficient in magnesium. Knowing these staggering rates of deficiency, it’s no wonder that there are a variety of supplements on the market for increasing your magnesium levels.
We’re going to look at the difference between oral magnesium (taken by mouth) and topical magnesium (applied to the skin).
Both oral and topical magnesium can increase your body’s magnesium levels, but rates of absorption and potential side-effects can vary.
Taking Magnesium Orally – Pros
- Convenience – Whether its capsules, powder or liquid, being able to have your supplement when and where ever you want is a bonus.
- Availability – There are a lot of oral magnesium supplement on the market.
- Overall magnesium level increase – Studies have shown that taking an oral magnesium supplement consistently can increase your bodies magnesium levels.
Taking Magnesium Orally – Cons
- Laxative – Magnesium may cause a laxative effect if taken in too high of a dose
- Absorption – Due to the digestive process, absorption may be hindered
Using Magnesium Topically – Pros
- Rapid Absorption – Absorption through the skin is faster and avoids the process of digestion
- No Laxative Effect – As it’s not passing through your digestive system, topical application of magnesium very rarely causes a laxative effect.
- Dosage – Dosages are easier to adjust with topical supplements
Using Magnesium Topically – Cons
- Tingles – Many people experience a tingling or itchy sensation when using magnesium topically
- Oily – Topical magnesium can leave an oil/greasy film that may need to be rinsed off
Which is better?
With several forms of magnesium available, there’s something for everyone! You may even use topical magnesium in combination with oral supplements to provide an extra boost of magnesium.
In fact, oral and topical magnesium both offer great benefits, so it’s hard to say whether one is ultimately better than the other. What this really comes down to is personal preference.
It is important to consider how much magnesium you need, how often you must take the supplement, which option you are more likely to stick with and which one you feel benefits you the most overall.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare professional before taking any magnesium supplements and follow directions appropriately. If you suffer from any side effects, it is best to discontinue supplement use until you consult with your doctor.