Understanding Ionic - A Look into What Makes MAG365 Unique

Understanding Ionic - A Look into What Makes MAG365 Unique

A Look into What Makes MAG365 Unique

MAG365, ITL Health’s flagship product

MAG365 is made up of two ingredients: Magnesium Carbonate and Citric Acid. These ingredients, when combined with warm water, convert into ionic magnesium citrate. The addition of hot water causes the carbonate in the magnesium carbonate to disperse which causes a “fizz.” The magnesium ion is then forced to bind to the citric acid, creating ionic magnesium citrate.

Ionic is a word that is not only easily misunderstood but can be hard to understand due to its multi-faceted nature. Read below to learn more about what ionic means.

MAG365 vs other magnesium citrate powders

If one mixes up MAG365 in a glass of water and allows it to finish fizzing, you will see the MAG365 formulation appears translucent like water and looks as if nothing were added.

However, if one then mixes another brand of magnesium citate powder in a glass of water, there will be a clear and obvious difference. There will be no “fizz” or activation process and the competing magnesium citrate powder will have settled on the bottom of the glass, often leaving the liquid murky and unblended.

Why is it that? Because MAG365 is in an ionic solution. There is a difference in the science between how MAG365 magnesium citrate behaves and how other magnesium citrate powders behave, and understanding the difference is where words like “ionic” and “salt” come into play. These words are common in the industry and are used in the way that “organic” is the industry standard for pesticide-free food.

Defining Ionic

In chemistry, there are two main types of bonds; covalent and ionic. A covalent bond is formed between two non-metallic atoms, which is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms and other covalent bonds.1 An ionic bond is formed from an attraction between a positively and negatively charged ion, and is almost always formed between a metal and a non-metal.

By this elemental definition, all magnesium citrate is technically coupled together by an ionic bond,2

and one might assume that all magnesium citrate is “ionic.” That definition is correct if referring exclusively to the difference between covalent and ionic bonds.

Defining Organic

In chemistry, an organic compound is any chemical compound that contains carbon. By this definition, oil and gasoline are organic compounds. 3

Equally, if someone were to say, "all foods are organic," they would be technically correct because all foods contain carbon compounds.

Defining Salt

According to the principles of chemistry, a salt is “a solid chemical compound consisting of an assembly of cations and anions.” Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge).4 There are positive and negative ions; cations are positive and anions are negative. Table salt it is a solid chemical compound consisting of Sodium cations (+) and Chlorine anions (-).

Magnesium citrate is also a salt, a solid chemical compound consisting of Magnesium cations (++) and Citrate anions (--). Both examples have “ionic” bonds because they have a metal (Sodium, Magnesium) and a non-metal (Chlorine, and Citrate).6 More specifically, magnesium citrate is a magnesium preparation in salt form with citric acid in a 3:2 ratio (three magnesium atoms per two citrate molecules).

MAG365 is a magnesium citrate with a 1:1 ratio, i.e. one Mg++ to one C7H6O7++. Most magnesium citrate salts have a 3:2 ratio, which is much less absorbable.

MAG365 is ionic because the molecules dissociate when the chemical reaction occurs.

MAG365 (unflavoured) is comprised of two ingredients; Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) and Citric Acid (C6H8O7). When you add it to water you get the chemical reaction MgCO3 + C6H8O7 --> C6H6MgO7 + H2O (water) + CO2 (Fizz).

In other words, you get a dissociated magnesium and citrate molecule, a water molecule and a carbon dioxide molecule.

Defining Dissociation

The definition of dissociation in chemistry is “a general process in which molecules (or ionic compounds such as salts) separate or split into smaller particles such as atoms, ions, or radicals, usually in a reversible manner.”5

This dissociation into smaller parts such as ions is referred to as “ionic,” and it is what makes MAG365 highly bioavailable to the body. Technically we should say that MAG365 is a dissociated magnesium citrate; however, we feel that ionic magnesium citrate is easier understood by the public.

Whether loose or in a capsule, consuming powdered magnesium citrate – which is in a salt form – requires your stomach acid to “ionise” or activate the magnesium citrate salt into magnesium and citrate ions. This is also known as digesting and is what your stomach does to absorb all minerals.

Because magnesium citrate is a salt, it doesn’t ionise easily in the body for many of us, which translates to poorer absorption rates. MAG365, on the other hand, is pre-digested in the mug as it is already in an ionic form.

If you leave MAG365 alone for long enough, the magnesium citrate salt will precipitate out and you will observe a white powder at the bottom of the liquid. At this point, the product is no longer dissociated (ionic) and is akin the aforementioned powders you find in jars or capsules.

Unique to MAG365

While this makes the process seem straight forward, there are many factors to consider. For example, there are variations in magnesium carbonate and citric acid, and using the correct kind in the correct ratio is part of what makes our proprietary process so unique. Others have tried to emulate MAG365 with little or no success and have ended up with their powder hardening in the jar, having an improper pH balance, or having issues getting it to fizz or taste right without a lot of sweetener and additives. MAG365 is pure with no fillers or common allergens.

Food for Thought

Another form of absorbable magnesium is topical magnesium chloride, which relies on the pH of your skin (~4.9) to dissociate (“ionise”) the magnesium chloride to let it pass through the skin in its ionic form.

ITL Health also manufactures PrizMAG, which is a chelated mineral in a vegan pullulan capsule. One magnesium molecule is held by two glycine amino acids. The word chelation comes from a Greek word meaning “claw,” and one could say it is like two “claws” are holding the magnesium in place.

Our gastrointestinal tract readily absorbs amino acids and will just as easily allow the transport of a magnesium that is attached to these two amino acids. This is why PrizMAG works well even though it is not in an ionic form.

PrizMAG is set apart in the industry as, it is the only pure magnesium bisglycinate that is free from excipients, stearates and magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is a cheaper and smaller molecule that makes a product appear to have a higher magnesium content, but it is almost completely unabsorbed by the body. Beware of buffered magnesium bisglycinate as it means it’s mixed with magnesium oxide. Not all brands disclose that their magnesium is buffered.

PrizMAG is a comprised of pure magnesium bisglycinate and we can only fit 80mg of elemental magnesium into a single 00 capsule. Anyone claiming more should be investigated for buffered magnesium or larger capsule sizes. Bisgylcinate and glycinate are used interchangeably.



  1. https://www.diffen.com/difference/Covalent_Bonds_vs_Ionic_Bonds
  2. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-chemistry/chapter/the-covalent-bond/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(chemistry)
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(chemistry)  
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_citrate
  7. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Magnesium-citrate-dibasic