Mixing Magnesium Citrate Powder In Gatorade

The pharmacist discusses whether or not magnesium citrate powder can be mixed in Gatorade as an alternative to commercial solution products.

Mixing Magnesium Citrate Powder In Gatorade
May 11, 2018

Dmm asked

My 86yo mom was prescribed OTC magnesium citrate liquid by her GI doc for severe constipation. The issue is I can only find the liquid version with artificial sweeteners and my mom is allergic. May I safely substitute powdered magnesium citrate and mix it in something like Gatorade at the same mg concentration?


GatoradeYou are correct that most commercial magnesium citrate solutions have some sort of artificial sweetener included to increase palatability. The most commonly used artificial sweeteners in these products is saccharin sodium. Pure magnesium citrate powder has a relatively high solubility and should be easy to mix in most solutions.

However, some reports have stated that it can be difficult to completely mix with water alone. It therefore should ideally be mixed in acidic solutions such as citrus juice or soda for complete dissolution of the powder. Often times the addition of a small amount of an acidic compound (e.g. lemon juice) to your beverage of choice can help increase solubility.

Gatorade drinks generally have a low pH, or high acidity and therefore magnesium citrate powder should be fairly easy to dissolve in it. However, it is going to be important to get your dosage right if you are mixing it yourself.

Most over the counter magnesium citrate solutions come in a concentration of 1.745 grams/1 fluid ounce. This translates to 1,745 mg/1 fluid ounce. This can be difficulty to accurately measure if you do not have the correct weighting/measuring instruments.

Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding whether or not they recommend mixing the product yourself or if they have any alternative recommendations for you.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is classified as a saline laxative, and works due to its 'hyperosmotic' effect, drawing water into the intestines and increasing GI tract motility. It also stimulates the release of cholecystokinin. While magnesium citrate can be used as a supplemental form of magnesium, it is more commonly used for the treatment of constipation and for bowel preps for colonoscopies.

Magnesium citrate begins to work quickly in terms of producing a bowel movement, within a few hours after taking by mouth. However, it should be used with caution in the elderly in those on a low-sodium diet (due to the loss of electrolytes) and in those with kidney function problems.

Lastly, it is often recommended to chill magnesium citrate to improve the taste and make it easier to both swallow and tolerate.

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