The recipe for Magnesium Water is really very simple. But I think that it’s SO simple that readers sometimes suspect that there must be more: more ingredients, more effort, more unspoken detail.
But it truly is very simple. Let’s therefore expose this recipe in all its naked glory, all private parts exposed and leaving nothing to the imagination.
If there is a challenge in making Magnesium Water, it’s locating a source of milk of magnesia (MOM) that does not contain flavorings (that block the chemical reaction) and does not contain sodium hypochlorite—yes: bleach. For some peculiar reason, manufacturers began adding bleach to their product about 3 years ago, making it a challenge to find brands without it. (Last I checked, CVS, Kroger, and Good Sense had MOM sans bleach.)
You are going to react the magnesium hydroxide of MOM with the carbonic acid of the carbonated seltzer to yield water (H2O) and magnesium bicarbonate (Mg(HCO3)2):
Mg(OH)2 + H2CO3 = H2O + Mg(HCO3)2
We do this because magnesium bicarbonate is, by a long stretch, the most absorbable form of magnesium available. I learned this lesson long ago when I helped manage patients with something called magnesium-losing nephropathies, i.e., a form of kidney dysfunction in which the kidneys fail to reabsorb magnesium from the bloodstream, causing loss of magnesium in the urine. There are a number of potential causes of this dysfunction, such as exposure to the cancer chemotherapy agent cisplatin, but it is uncommon. Loss of urinary magnesium, however, is potentially fatal within just days to weeks. These people had to therefore go to the ER or acute care center every 5-7 days to receive an intravenous dose of magnesium (as magnesium sulfate) at doses much higher than can be delivered orally due to gastrointestinal intolerance (diarrhea). In an effort to free these people from the hassle of frequent infusions, not to mention the danger of missing an infusion, I tried to devise an oral program of magnesium replacement. No tablet or capsule even began to keep blood levels of magnesium in a safe range in the few days required to develop fatal magnesium depletion—until I had them make Magnesium Water. The magnesium bicarbonate of Magnesium Water was the only form of magnesium that keep their blood magnesium levels within a safe range.
This does not mean that, if you take magnesium glycinate, chelate, malate, citrate, or other form, that you cannot restore blood and tissue levels of magnesium. It means that, given the limited gastrointestinal tolerance we have to magnesium, daily dosing to obtain around 500 mg of magnesium per day will restore healthy levels over about 2 years. Magnesium Water to obtain magnesium bicarbonate is therefore the fastest, most absorbable, form of magnesium we have. This can be important if you want to restore tissue levels of magnesium rapidly as in, say, helping to suppress atrial fibrillation or other heart arrhythmias, osteoporosis/osteopenia, muscle cramps, or migraine headaches.
You will need:
2 liters of seltzer (or other carbonated water without sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other unhealthy additives)
3 tablespoons of milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide)
Shake the MOM, then pour out 3 tablespoons (45 ml) into the handy measuring cup that usually comes with the MOM. Pour the MOM slowly into the seltzer water. (You may have to remove a few tablespoons of seltzer to accommodate the volume of MOM.) You will see the fizzy reaction develop, so pour slowly to keep the mixture from bubbling over.
Cap the seltzer securely, then shake for a few seconds until no sediment remains at the bottom. The mixture will be cloudy.
Allow the mixture to sit and it will clarify. I like to use a magic marker to label the Magnesium Water so that nobody drinks it freely by mistake, an error rewarded by several hours of diarrhea.
Magnesium Water does not need to be refrigerated, as there is nothing that spoils in the mixture.
One-half cup, or 4 ounces, of Magnesium Water yields 90 mg of magnesium; one-cup, 8 ounces, yields 180 mg magnesium. Start low, e.g., no more than 4 ounces, then build up to 8 ounces 2-3 times per day to obtain the full benefit. Individual tolerance to all forms of magnesium, Magnesium Water included, varies, so gauge your own tolerance.