Magnesium Supplements: a Great DIY Recipe

So, we’ve covered magnesium deficiency in my previous post, AND I promised to tell you about a DIY magnesium supplement, that is very bio-available (the body absorbs it easily and quickly).  Many of the tablet forms of magnesium that you’ll find in multivitamins and
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?

Magnesium Supplement Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Herbal and Supplement Recipes
Ingredients
  • 2 liter bottle of chilled soda water
  • ¼ c. of plain (unflavored) Milk of Magnesia
Instructions
  1. Measured the Milk of Magnesia into the lid it came with (4T=1/4 cup).
  2. Slowly pour the MoM into the chilled 2 liter soda bottle.
  3. Cap it, shake it, and return it to the fridge after use.
Notes
Updated Recipe:
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.

 

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  • hfrick47

    This tastes awful !

    • Its_Gwen

      Ha! Yeah…it’s not party punch. I use it with the powdered Emergen C packets, and it’s not bad. Or, you can dilute it down in your daily water ration.

      It may not taste great, but it works great!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferlbogart Jennifer Bogart

    I love my Natural Calm – it lasts a long time :). Tastes yummers. I mix it in with my C-salts (which aren’t so yummers) in my daily water.

    • Destiny Ramsey

      Do you do this in place of the club soda water? Who would need C-salts?

      • Its_Gwen

        Natural Calm is a commercially available form of magnesium. It’s relatively well absorbed, but a lot pricier, and the club soda version is IMO, a better absorbed form than the NC.

    • Its_Gwen

      Natural Calm is a good product, and tasty! It’s just out of my price range for how much mag I need to take each day. I combine a vitamin C packet (Kroger brand) with my mag water for a very similar taste, and I can control how much mag I get. :)

  • Cathy Loft

    Great article. Dr Carolyn Dean has recently come out with a new magnesium supplement that is 100% absorbable called ReMag pico ionic magnesium! It is the fastest working Mag supplement I’ve ever used. You can feel it working in 15 minutes!

    • Its_Gwen

      I’d love for you to try this one and let me know if you think they’re comparable. I can tell a difference quickly with the DIY supplement as well!

  • georgesilver

    I have a SodaStream and i make soda water with distilled water and a little sodium bicarbonate.

    To make magnesium bicarbonate water can i use magnesium oil? If i can would i still need the pinch of sodium bicarbonate?

    How much magnesium oil per litre do i need? Is magnesium oil better than Milk of Magnesia?

    Your advice would be much appreciated.

    • Its_Gwen

      Hi George,
      Magnesium oil is magnesium chloride in water. It’s very bio available already, and can be used in the bath or on the skin to address magnesium deficiency.

      This recipe uses magnesium hydroxide, which is NOT bioavailable or absorbent until it combines with the carbon of the soda water and sodium biCARBONate. :) The mag swaps parteners and becomes magnesium carbonate, which is very absorbent. Your soda stream version of soda water would work perfectly for this, but I’d stick with the Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) to get the right chemical reaction going.

      • georgesilver

        Hi Gwen

        Thanks for the reply. This may interest you and is about Magnesium Oil which I still think is the better choice.

        http://www.health-science-spirit.com/MagOil.htm

        and

        http://www.health-science-spirit.com/magnesiumchloride.html

        My wife is about to try out your Meatloaf recipe. Can’t wait.

        • Its_Gwen

          Hi George! I make my own magnesium oil, and I do have that as a topical option, but the supplement/drink enables me to get a lot more into my system quickly. It’s on par with IV magnesium as far as how quickly and effectively it ups your blood levels of magnesium.

  • SweetPea

    Wondering if you have any idea how long this mixture is good for? I made a batch about three weeks ago and it seemed to relieve all the muscles aches I have, but after taking it for 10 days I hit my “limit”, which was good timing cause I was going on vacation. So I stopped taking it, and forgot about it, and now my aches are back. Wondering if the mixture in my frig is still good or if I should whip up a new batch? thoughts? thank you!

    • Its_Gwen

      It’s essentially a mineral water, so it’s still going to be good to go!

  • AR

    I have been doing some research for a few months now on Mag and stumbled on your blog. I’ve been using a store bought Mag supplement that has 150mg per tablet. It is artificially sweetened which takes away from it’s goodness IMO. So, am thrilled to find a DIY version.Thank you!

  • Lynnsey

    Gwen, awesome article! Do you have a photo of this fancy drink? I’d love to see!

  • Delanie Clarke

    Is Schweppes soda water okay for this. It lists Carbonated Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sulfate as the ingredients. Is buying carbonated water and then adding baking soda a better choice?

    • Its_Gwen

      This should work just fine, but baking soda and plain carbonated water is going to be just as effective.

  • Charles

    The soda water I found has Potassium Bicarbonate. Will that do?

  • markw

    Hi Gwen;
    I buy magnesium cloride flakes/powder and mix with spring water; is there any advantage to mixing it with soda or carbonated water?

    • Its_Gwen

      Mag chloride is a great form to use. I make my own mag oil with it for topical use. If you’re happy with that, there is no reason to convert it to Mag carbonate. They’re both good forms.

      • markw

        Hi again,

        Sorry I wasn’t clear….The mag chloride (water + flakes) is not for topical use, but what I drink. I read it is very bio available in this form and also very cheap to make. What’s yr. opinion? Would the carbonate be a better form?
        Thks. Mark

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  • Angela

    BE FOREWARNED! This is just like adding baking soda to vinegar! It most definitely WILL fizz! ALOT! Would have been nice to know how much so I could have been ready to cap it quickly. Although, it may have blown the cap off.

    • Its_Gwen

      It does fizz. I have started dropping a spoon handle down into the soda water prior to pouring the MOM in, and that seems to tame the fizz a lot. I also do this in the sink now.

      Thank you for mentioning that, Angela.

  • Zeeshan Parvez

    I can’t get milk of mangesia. Can I use Magnesium hydroxide instead?