It’s the mineral many of us could do with having more of. From bath salts to oils and flakes, these are the top-ups actually worth buying

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Magnesium - it’s involved in everything from bone health to heart health, energy metabolism to mood. However, magnesium deficiency  is rife among the population because it isn’t easily absorbable by the body and because levels can be depleted by factors such as stress (and who isn’t stressed these days).

Upping your intake of foods such as spinach, wholegrain bread, almonds, cashews, brown rice and avocado can help up your levels, in addition to taking a supplement.

When it comes to choosing a supplement though, it’s worth bearing in mind the type of magnesium compound that it contains. While all are great for promoting sleep, relaxing muscles and reducing stress, some are a little better than others when it comes to aiding specific concerns.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most effective types.

Magnesium chloride

Great for muscle soreness and joint aches. It’s also an effective skin soother, ideal for helping address concerns such as dermatitis , eczema  and psoriasis . This is why you’ll often find it in body oils, creams and bath salts.

Magnesium theorate

This is where magnesium has been bonded with threonic acid, a metabolite of vitamin C . “It has been found to be taken up by the nervous system in greater quantities than other magnesium compounds,” says Shabir Daya, pharmacist and co-founder of Victoria Health. This, therefore, makes it an especially effective stress-reliever and aid for those who suffer from migraines .

Magnesium citrate

If you’re feeling a little constipated or backed up, this can help. “It helps to cleanse the gut since it displays mild laxative properties,” says Shabir.

Magnesium sulphate

Otherwise known as Epsom salts, this compound is effective at tackling muscle soreness and tightness. A great post-workout option if you’re feeling a little tender.

The best magnesium supplements

For muscle tension - BetterYou Magnesium Oil Spray, £8.24 for 100ml

If oral magnesium supplements can make you feel a little queasy, this topical option containing magnesium chloride provides the perfect alternative. In fact, applying it straight to the skin could lead to a better rate of absorption, as it reaches the bloodstream more directly by bypassing the digestive system. Applied post-shower in the evenings, it will also help you sleep like a baby.

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For constipation - Viridian Magnesium Citrate, £15.05 or 150g

This powder magnesium supplement recommended by Shabir, can be stirred into water or juice - making it a much more palatable option to capsules. It also helps to reduce fatigue.

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For joint pain and skin concerns - BetterYou Magnesium Flakes, £9.95 for 1kg

If you’re looking for something to supercharge your evening soak, these flakes are for you. Containing magnesium chloride, they soothe both body and skin. “As it passes through the layers of the skin cells, [and into the bloodstream] it helps to relax the nerves and hence alleviates pain,” explains Shabir.

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For relief of menopausal symptoms - Healthspan Opti-Magnesium, £5.99 for 30 tablets

If you’re experiencing menopausal insomnia , low mood or constipation, this supplement can help. The capsules contain magnesium citrate, as well as vitamin D3  to aid calcium absorption (and therefore strengthen bones) and inulin, a prebiotic, to boost your gut health too.

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For migraines - Life Extension Neuro-Mag, £33 for 90 capsules

This supplement’s magnesium L-threonate content makes it more absorbable into the nervous system. As well as migraine sufferers, Shabir recommends it for tackling sleep disturbances and the symptoms of stress.

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For post-workout soreness - Westlab Revive Epsom Bath Salts, £2.99 for 500g

Containing magnesium sulphate, these fatigue-fighting bath salts are an essential in anyone’s fitness regimen. They leave legs feeling lighter and muscles less achy.

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Read more: Why you need magnesium in midlife more than ever

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