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.

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?

4.3 from 4 reviews
Magnesium Supplement Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Cuisine: Herbal and Supplement Recipes
  • 2 liter bottle of chilled soda water
  • ¼ c. of plain (unflavored) Milk of Magnesia
  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.
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.

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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    • Its_Gwen says

      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!

        • Gwen says

          You’re shooting for a chemical reaction between the magnesium in the MOM and the carbon in the soda water, so you really don’t want to add additional ingredients that could interfere with that. If you want more flavor to your finished mag water, just to add a flavoring (vitamin C packet, drink squirt, etc.) that you like just before drinking it. :)

      • Its_Gwen says

        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 says

      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. :)

  1. Cathy Loft says

    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 says

      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!

    • Cynthia says

      I’m curious what you feel working? I mostly take magnesium to keep things moving. I’ve been wanting to make Gwen’s recipe, but not sure what to look for as far as results.

      • Gwen says

        Cynthia, I need to do a post on the forms of magnesium. Magnesium is always bonded to another mineral or element. Depending on what it’s bonded to, it can be an absorbent form (where the body can break the bond and use the magnesium), or a non-absorbent form. The non-absorbent forms like mag oxide are useful for moving the bowels, but they are not useful for addressing magnesium deficiency or raising cellular levels.

        Magnesium carbonate, the form in this recipe, is very useful for raising blood magnesium levels. It’s an absorbent form. The only time it will affect bowel function is if your body is topped out and doesn’t need any more magnesium, OR if your digestive system is compromised to the point where it really can’t break the bonds and absorb it. In which case you’d want to look at enhancing your digestion and using a spray version of “magnesium oil” to help get your levels back up. :)

  2. georgesilver says

    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 says

      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.

  3. SweetPea says

    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!

  4. AR says

    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!

  5. Delanie Clarke says

    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?

      • Blessed Mama says

        I am completely new to this magnesium thing… The only MOM I could find at my local store has 3 ingredients… magnesium, water, and sodium hypochlorite. Is that ok?

        I did find plain soda water – “carbonated water”

        I have several different issues going on, and the more I research, the more I find, “needs magnesium for body to use.” So, I’m assuming magnesium deficiency is a big player in my issues! I have a very limited budget, so I need as much inexpensive DIY choices as possible!

        So… Is MOM with sodium hypochlorite ok?

        • says

          Sodium hypochlorite is a bleaching agent. I don’t know why they’re adding it to Milk of Magnesia, and it’s just been started recently. Our local Kroger brand doesn’t contain it. I’d avoid it if possible.

          • Blessed Mama says

            Think it would be ok to use until I CAN find one without? I really need to up my magnesium levels & can’t afford the pricey brand names right now. :/

  6. markw says

    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 says

      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 says

        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

  7. Angela says

    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 says

      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.

  8. Matt says

    I want to produce magnesium bicarbonate from magnesium oxide adding it in the first step to water for getting magnesium hydroxide out of it.And than follow next steps you have described.
    But I am not quite sure if there is no problem with this additional step and with the fact that the magnesium oxide is “only” 70-75% chemically pure.
    Could anybody help me with that issue and also tell me what amounts I should use in every single step?

  9. Josie says

    My naturopath has me make ionic magnesium by adding 1T MOM to 3T white wine vinegar. You give it a good shake and within a few minutes the liquid is totally clear. It loses the vinegar taste, but is still pretty nasty. I sometimes add it to my water bottle, but usually just shoot it to get it over with. Ick, but effective.

  10. Moni says

    I remember my mom used to give us a mix of soda water and milk many years ago.I am 71. Does this have the same effect. It was said that it helped flush the kidneys. What do you think.? Thanks .

    • Its_Gwen says

      That’s a new one to me. I would think it would just alter the ph of the milk, but I don’t think it would be a sub for the Milk of Magnesia (which is just a brand name for a solution of magnesium hydroxide in water). So it’s not a true milk.

  11. Bree says

    Hi there!
    What a small world! I just made the same concoction of MoM and Carbonated water, and I do Trim Healthy Mama too! But after reading comments I was wondering if my seltzer water ( only ingredient- Carbonated water) is good enough, or do I need to add baking soda? Thanks for the great post! Answers appreciated!!

  12. Jennifer Tester says

    I may have missed it but am wondering what the dosage is for this? How much do you drink at one time and how often during the day do you drink this?

    • Gwen says

      I don’t give dosage amounts in the post, because it’s something where you want to work your way to your tolerance. I knew that I had a medical condition that was causing my body to burn through magnesium, so I started with one 8 oz glass in the morning and ended up needing one at night as well. So it really depends on how profound your symptoms are.

  13. says

    Excellent! Thank you! and honestly its not bad at all, can’t wait to see how it does on my (doctor cant tell me whats going on) finger! Great write-up, father told me about baking soda and magnesium and I found your recipe.

  14. Holly says

    Hi Gwen –

    I’m hoping this will help my little ones! But would like your opinion. Is this recommend in smaller doses for kids? My 3yr old has very hard tough BM and has practically since birth. My 4 1/2yr old has trouble sleeping. I’ve had success with both issues since taking a pill supplement and would like to try your DIY version for me, kids and hubby. Any suggestions or tips are greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

  15. Karen says

    I made the mag. water and took 4 oz. today. I will see how I do tomorrow in the bathroom after using the mag. mixture. Usually mag. “moves” things along for me. It does taste good with a little stevia added.

    • says

      MOM= Milk of Magnesia. It’s very inexpensive and easy to find here. :) You want a kind that’s only magnesium hydroxide and water. (No flavors or other ingredients)

    • says

      Sure! I often just pick up carbonated water and add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to make my own soda water. :) It’ll fizz a little when you add it, so I like to stir it into the MOM first and add it all at once.

  16. kbh says

    Hi! I made this the other day, and forgot to put the soda bottle back in the fridge. Now there’s little white particles at the bottom. Is this just temperature related? Also, I’m pregnant, and usually enjoy taking Natural Calm to keep things moving. Am I correct in understanding that your homemade version won’t help with that? Thanks!

    • says

      The floaties are just little bits that didn’t convert, but that’s totally normal. You’ll have to see if you respond the same way with this as you do with natural calm. Also, talk with your MW or doctor about supplementing with magnesium late in the pregnancy, as it can and will calm down smooth muscles (uterine muscles) and can relax them too much. My MW had me taper off in the last month.

  17. says

    Hi! Thanks so much for the DIY magnesium bicarbonate recipe. Just what I was looking for.
    Another thing I heard about magnesium is that it is very well absorbed through the skin, and people soak themselves in a bath in which Epsom salts are dissolved. I don’t have a bath tub, so can’t do this, but I can surely drink the water!

  18. suresh says

    I have been searching for this for quite some time, useful sensible DIY. In the mean while I have been using Mg mineral oil & it has been useful for my muscle aches

  19. Mary S says

    I made this with 1 liter of club soda and 3 T. of MOM. I am a bit concerned because it was mentioned that it doesn’t taste all that great, but I don’t taste a thing. In fact, it is the crispest glass of pure water I have ever had! Also, there is no carbonation left as was also mentioned. Did I do something wrong?

    • says

      Nope! The lack of carbonation means you did it right. :) As far as the taste, it probably depends on the taste buds, and the water and MOM quality going into it.

  20. jill says

    Gwen, i’d like to use pure, lab grade Magnesium hydroxide micronised powder in place of the MOM. Its cheaper and most likely a cleaner supplement that the vats of mag hydroxide Bayer buys from China! Also a lot of MOM products contain sodium hydrochlorite, aka BLEACH in it. Can i replace the 1200mg mag hydroxide in the MOM with just plain, pure magnesium hydroxide and purified water to reasch the 45ml total fluid?

    • says

      Hi Jill,
      My guess would be yes that you can replace it, since the MOM I use is just water and mag hydroxide. However, I’m not sure as to how easily magnesium hydrates or bonds with water…I know that mag chloride does so easily but some compounds are hydrophobic. I’d love to hear how this turns out for you!

      I’m aware that many brands are starting to add bleach now, and have mentioned that in my posts I think. I can still find some local store brands that are clean. If they all end up adding the sodium hypochlorite, I may also start buying the powder. :)

    • says

      I check the ingredients and pick one with bicarb (usually sodium bicarb). If I can’t find that one, I just go with carbonated water and add a pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarb!) :)

  21. LJ says

    Can anyone who understands this more than I, please lend us a hand.

    From research on this blog and others, I learned you can make Magnesium Bicarbonate by introducing Magnesium Hydroxide to carbonated water, where it reacts with the CO2 and the end result is Bicarbonate. Given the articles you can find that Potassium Bicarbonate is also as important and healthy, questions arise.

    Take from this theory I did research if the same thing is possible with Potassium Hydroxide. From a few places, including wikipedia, I learned that indeed it is possible to add Potassium Hydroxide to carbonated water, when it reacts with CO2 we have the Bicarbonate end product in Potassium form.

    Now the information on this was scarce, and I found no posts by individuals who do this. Can anyone confirm or deny if Potassium Hydroxide works the same as Magnesium Hydroxide? If it does, are there any reasons to not do it? Perhaps the process or not mixing properly, is very dangerous? Maybe the reaction creates other things too?

    Any information you can provide would be very helpful for me and anyone interested. The reason I’m interested is because it would be cheaper and I already have high grade Potassium Hydroxide I use for soap making.

    If this is a totally viable option, I would first figure out exactly the amount needed for both Potassium and Magnesium Hydroxide (separately) to fully react with a 1 liter of soda. Then do a 50/50 mix in one bottle or react them individually and just mix both into the final drinking water.

    Thank all

    • says

      LJ, I’m not a chemist, so I can’t really give you any useful feedback on this. I do think the more you add to the solution, the more variability in the outcome? I also prefer to get my potassium in foods if possible. Potassium and magnesium can both be added to garden soil for healthy crops, along with other trace minerals.

      • LJ says

        Thank You Gwen, unfortunately neither am I and I dont feel like “experimenting” without confirmation others are doing it. So how do you add Potassium Bicarbonate to your water, if at all? I heard both are healthy and was thinking of creating a mix like it would be in nature.

  22. kendall reilly says

    Hey thanks so much for the recipe. I was wondering, in Australia we don’t actually have milk of magnesium so are we able to use powdered magnesium instead? Is there anything that can replace MOM? cheers :)

    • says

      Not that I know of for this, since you need a specific chemical reaction and type of magnesium. (You may be interested to look into the history of why Borax and Milk of Magnesia are no longer for sale in Australia…kind of fascinating.)