supplements don’t really get absorbed very effectively…especially if the supplement has calcium in it.
It’s SO easy to make a very effective Magnesium Bicarbonate supplement with simple ingredients found at the grocery store. And it’s a form of magnesium that already has lots of fans, and some clinical trial results that are very impressive! Let’s take a quick look at this news story on Magnesium Bicarbonate water, and then I’ll share the recipe and info on how to make your own.
MAKE YOUR OWN HIGHLY ABSORBENT MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENT:
I’m totally excited about this! Let’s hear another personal experience from my friend, Heather:
I have had WONDERFUL results with mixing my own magnesium supplement. I take Milk of Magnesia (unflavored) and Soda water (water, sodium bicarbonate). I do a mix of 2 TBLSP of MOM to 1 liter soda water.
Milk Of Magnesia is magnesium hydroxide, which is not very absorptive into the tissues and cells. Mixing it with the soda water causes a chemical reaction that converts the magnesium hydroxide into magnesium bicarbonate, which is absorbed readily by the body.
My Naturopath is king of making his own supplements and says they have tested the results of raising serum levels of magnesium with different supplements and the only thing that raised magnesium levels faster than this mix was IV magnesium given in the hospital.”
So are you ready to make some?
- 2 liter bottle of chilled soda water
- ¼ c. of plain (unflavored) Milk of Magnesia
- Measured the Milk of Magnesia into the lid it came with (4T=1/4 cup).
- Slowly pour the MoM into the chilled 2 liter soda bottle.
- Cap it, shake it, and return it to the fridge after use.
If you can’t find “Soda Water” that is suitable, then you may buy just plain carbonated water.
Add ½ t. of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the measured out Milk of Magnesia, and stir in. It may fizz a little. Pour this mixture into the plain carbonated water.
Estimated Magnesium Content per Serving:
125 mg of magnesium per 4 oz. serving
Homemade Magnesium Bicarbonate Cost:
with .99 (2 liter) club soda and $1.99 plain MOM (2T per liter, or ¼ c. per 2 liter bottle), the cost is $.08 per 4 oz. serving. Or $.64/liter
Ways to Take Your Homemade Magnesium Supplement:
Flavored: We add it to juice around here all the time. It can alter the color somewhat so be warned. –Heather
In your daily water: I have a 2L bottle and about ⅓ of it is the concentrate, at this point that seems to be what I need. –Beppy Jo
We just drink it straight from the bottle. –Judi
Other ideas for flavor: We add a bit of liquid sweetleaf stevia flavoring to it, add lemon juice, or a packet of Emergen C (it gets REALLY fizzy!) –Gwen
I told you it was easy!
An Alternative Magnesium Bicarbonate Recipe
Judi and Heather both pointed me to this article, from a newsletter
which is put out to the Arterial Fibrillation community that explains a
lot more about this homemade magnesium supplement, with an alternate recipe with higher magnesium concentration. Be sure to check out his source citations if you want to see clinical trial results and other highly valuable and nerd-worthy info.
How does this compare to another magnesium supplement as far as absorption?
According to the Afibb newsletter that I posted above, “Magnesium dissolved in water (ionized) is considerably more bioavailable than is magnesium in solid tablets or capsules. About 50% of the magnesium contained in magnesium/bicarbonate water is absorbed [sources cited on his newsletter]. This is 12 times better than the absorption rate for magnesium oxide. So drinking 1 liter of magnesium/bicarbonate water [approx. 4 cups] per day would correspond to taking five 500 mg magnesium oxide tablets daily.”
How does it taste, and am I mixing this right?
It will have a very slight mineral/Gatorade type aftertaste, and will still have a bit of fizz. The soda water may bubble over while mixing. Judi suggests chilling your soda water first, and then adding the milk of magnesia in a little at a time, or very quickly, and capping it. Heather adds little bits at a time, letting it settle between pours. I dumped a little bit of the soda water out, and then added the milk of magnesia to the bottle.
How much should I take and how do I gauge when I’ve gotten enough?
This is what is difficult about magnesium. It’s not easy to test cellular levels. Your physician can test the blood levels, but that doesn’t really give you the full picture. There are other tests available, but I’m comfortable (after reading several articles by doctors on this topic) just basing our need on symptom clusters, and gauging our response based on bowel tolerance. What that means is, when your body has enough, you’ll notice that you’ll start to have a “cleansing” reaction from your bowels. When this happens, Heather shares:
“This is the way I judge how much magnesium I need: When things start to loosen up back off big time. Skip a day and then take just a little to see how you are doing with it.”
So that’s what we’re going to do. Heather started out taking 4-6 oz., 3 times per day, and is now down to 2T per week, to maintain her levels of magnesium.
I believe, based on symptoms, that we’re relatively deficient here. So I have mixed up the conservative 2T/liter blend, and I’m dosing my husband and I twice a day with 4 oz. glasses. I plan to start my younger daughter, who has signs of deficiency, with 2-4 T per day, just mixed in with her water bottle. Once we hit saturation point, I’ll back way off and just move to a once or twice a week maintenance dose.
Other things to be aware of:
- Calcium is going to interfere with how much magnesium you absorb; your body “uses” some of the magnesium for your body to metabolize calcium. So, if you’re JUST looking at boosting magnesium, don’t combine this with a meal, snack, supplement, or drink that contains calcium.
- While this form of magnesium is alkaline, it isn’t supposed to neutralize stomach acid. But any drink taken with a meal will dilute your stomach acid, just on the principal of adding more volume to the stomach juices. So those with digestion issues may get better results (and higher absorption) taking this on an empty stomach.
- If you have heartburn, or other stomach acid issues (which can mean not enough acidity), then you may want to consider supplementing with some HcL, or using Yellow Dock tincture or digestive bitters to increase your body’s ability to absorb minerals and fat soluble vitamins.
OTHER MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENT OPTIONS:
I have experience with a few other forms of magnesium that may be worth mentioning.
Supplement Tablets: I took a separate Cal/Mag/Zinc supplement with my last pregnancy that was a blend of Magnesium Oxide, Calcium, Zinc, and vitamin D3. It was honestly just the cheapie grocery store brand, but it was my best pregnancy ever, with absolutely no middle of the night leg cramping! I liked how it worked, but if I had known this recipe at the time, I would probably have used it instead.
Natural Calm is a powdered supplement of magnesium citrate, which is very popular. It’s mixed into water, and effervesces a bit like Emergen C or Alka Seltzer. It comes in several flavors. Many people who use it swear by it, and love it for helping them get good rest at night.
NOW foods makes magnesium citrate (sans the flavoring and such that Natural Calm contains) in a bulk/powdered form, which can be found here:
My Mom uses this (it’s less expensive that the Natural Calm) and just puts it in her morning smoothie, or stirs it into a small glass of juice before bed. It’s fizzy and sour, so it’s great stirred into citrus juice.
Magnesium Oil: I’ve read some great personal testimonies about using magnesium as a trans-dermal supplement, often called “magnesium oil”. You can read about another bloggers experience with magnesium oil, and how to make your own very cheaply with a magnesium oil recipe.
Have you supplemented with magnesium before? I want to hear how it went, and what you used.