How to Make Magnesium Bicarbonate Water

It is nearly impossible to get enough magnesium in your diet from foods alone unless you eat lots of sea vegetables (seaweed). Between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s, the USDA tracked the decline of magnesium by about one third , probably due to industrial farming practices which deplete topsoil. If it isn’t in the soil, it isn’t in the food. If you took the entire food supply grown in the US, assumed no waste and no food fed to animals, and divided it by the population, there would still not be enough to nourish us. And magnesium is essential to almost all cellular functions. Without magnesium we get spasms, sore muscles and joints, fuzzy thinking and insulin resistance.

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. This is 12 times better than the absorption rate for magnesium oxide. So drinking 1 liter of magnesium/bicarbonate water per day would correspond to taking five 500 mg magnesium oxide tablets daily.

It can be challenging to get liquid forms of magnesium into the body, and the liquid forms are much better adopted. You can make one form of liquid magnesium by adding 4 1/2 parts apple cider vinegar to one part milk of magnesia. This might be the best form for people with blood sugar issues because 2-4 TBSP of vinegar before meals helps reduce blood sugar spikes, so you get a double benefit. However not everyone will drink vinegar, even in water.

This homemade magnesium/bicarbonate water, in its composition, is very close to brands like Noah’s California Spring Water or Unique Water. The recipe is based on the reaction of magnesium hydroxide (in milk of magnesia) with plain carbonated water according to the formula Mg(OH)2 + 2CO2 —> Mg(HCO3)2, thanks to our friends at Wallerwater.

Plain Milk of Magnesia (MoM) should be used in the recipe. The “active” ingredient should only be magnesium hydroxide [Mg (OH)2], 400 mg per teaspoon (5 ml), and the “inactive” ingredient should only be purified water. 41.7% by weight of magnesium hydroxide is magnesium (Mg), so 5 ml of MoM has 167 mg of Mg, and 1 tablespoon has 500 mg of Mg (1 tablespoon = 15 ml).

To prepare the water follow these steps:

1. Chill a 1-liter bottle of unflavored seltzer, which is fully carbonated water. The seltzer should only contain water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Club soda is carbonated water with a small amount of added sodium and is also suitable.

2. Shake the bottle of Milk of Magnesia well, then measure out 3 tablespoons (45 ml) and have it ready. The plastic measuring cup that comes with the MoM is accurate and ideal for the purpose.

3. Remove the bottle of unflavored seltzer from the refrigerator without agitating it. Open it slowly and carefully to minimize the loss of CO2. As soon as the initial fizzing settles down, slowly add the pre-measured MoM. Promptly replace the cap on the water bottle and shake it vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy.

After ½ hour or so the liquid will have cleared, and any un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide will have settled to the bottom of the bottle. Again shake the bottle vigorously for 30 seconds or so, making the liquid cloudy again. When the liquid again clears all of the magnesium hydroxide in the MoM should have reacted with all of the CO2 to become dissolved (ionized) magnesium and bicarbonate.

If a small amount of un-dissolved magnesium hydroxide still remains in the bottom of the bottle as a sediment it may be ignored.

This 1 liter of concentrated magnesium bicarbonate water will have approximately 1500 mg of magnesium and approximately 7500 mg of bicarbonate. It should be kept in the refrigerator. You may note that the sides of the bottle “cave in” when the liquid clears. This is a sign that the reaction is complete.

To make 4 liters of magnesium bicarbonate drinking water with approximately 125 mg of magnesium and approximately 625 mg of bicarbonate per liter and a pH of approximately 8+ measure and transfer 1/3 liter of the concentrate (333 ml) into a 4-liter container. Fill the container with 3 2/3 liters of plain or purified water, as desired.

Magnesium dissolved in water (ionized) is considerably more bioavailable than is magnesium in pill form. While this is not as concentrated as colloidal magnesium, it is considerably easier on the tastebuds. So while I suggest loading with colloidal magnesium, this is good for maintenance.

See also:

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48 thoughts on “How to Make Magnesium Bicarbonate Water”

  1. Hi Karen Vaughan,
    Thanks for doing the chemistry for me dear lady. I am so eager to try this method of making it myself. I have been on Sodium Bicarbonate for a few weeks but am concerned about creating a hypernatremia so knowing the amazing benefits of the mineral magnesium, I am sure this is a more powerful solution for creating more energy and maintaining my good health that the Lord God blessed me with.
    Your chemistry is perfect and logical, I will let you know how it worked out over a few months.
    God bless you,
    Lisa Blake

  2. my daughter in law has a clot in her leg, would this magnesium water help to dissolve the clot. How much should she drink?
    Thank you in anticipation

  3. Here is a shocker. I have been using Magnesium since 1974 when my mum had to be rushed to hospital, unconscious—turned out she had a potassium deficiency and was to take more bananas and potatoes. She was rushed to hospital two more times that year.
    Finally, I found out about the electrolytes and discovered that Magnesium is the great regulator. If deficient in Magnesium, the other electrolytes would be unbalanced.
    This week my sister and her husband made an appointment with their MD. They arrived to find out he had retired, and a new doctor was taking his patiences. No forewarning!
    My sister asked about taking magnesium supplements. The new, young doctor, said he didn’t know much about magnesium and that she should talk to her pharmacist; they knew all about that stuff.
    So the dumbing down of any education to natural health support by foods and supplements is complete.
    I find this stunning. Thanks to my mum’s near death experiences, I have been committed to learning about and practicing good health using unprocessed, natural foods.
    I still cannot get over the fact that a young doctor of today knows so little about the great controller of the electrolytes.
    Namaste and care,

  4. How much Hydrogen do you get with this Mg bicarbonate? And would you get any with the ACV formula? THanks!

  5. should I drink magnesium water all day instead of regular water? Or how much should I drank?
    Thank you Martha Revels

      1. I am confused. At the beginning of the article you state drink 1 liter a day. Then in the comments you reply to another person’s question with instructions to drink no more then that a 1/4 cup a day in divided doses. How much of this daily is safe to consume? Or rather, what is the “dose’?

      2. It depends on whether you are drinking the concentrate or the water. You can drink a liter of the water. IF you get diarrhea, the dose is too high for you and cut it back. If you sip on it all day or break it into smaller amounts you will have little problem with diarrhea. Magnesium can safely be taken to bowel tolerance. You can add a squirt of colloidal minerals if you are concerned about overall balance or your diet is not high in minerals.

  6. Thanks – great recipe!

    Two questions:
    – can I drink from the “magnesium bicarbonate drinking water” (not from the concentrate) the whole day (instead of regular filtered water)?

    – Do you think it will affect the PH value of the stomach acids? ( too high PH in stomach could lead to severe digestion problems and lack of vitamins and minerals …)

    Thanks and bless,


  7. Hello,

    I like to drink gerolsteiner. I was wondering if adding a small amount of Milk of Magnesia to this carbonated mineral water will also produce magnesium bicarbonate. Thanks for the help!

  8. Is there a way or does anyone know how to make milk of magnesia.
    I ask because the loving EU has actually BANNED the stuff simply because of a little too much sulphate. See story here…

  9. Hello
    The post surgery of prostrate 1month now and antibiotics are done .Would the intake of BMW help replenish my positive gut flora.IE. good bacteria. Hope this sounds correct.

  10. Though I have now made the concoction how much should be consumed a day and how often ?is:amount each time and the length ?
    Thank You

  11. Karen, I found out about the home version magnesium water from Dr William Davis in his Wheat Belly Detox books. It works great. However, l am allergic to sulfur. That is how I found this site. I realized that I was breaking out in an itching rash each time I increased my magnesium doses to control constipation while recupping from my latest colonscopy. I went online to find out how much sulfur is in magnnesium. Thank you. I will time my two 4 oz. doses further apart each day and skip a dose when the diet is higher than usual in fiber.
    Why doesn’t medical education teach more nutrition to our doctors? Venita

    1. It’s a shame that they don’t study it. Look for a doctor that studies Functional Medicine as they do get training in nutrition. While there is no sulfur in magnesium- they are different elements- magnesium sulfide might be a problem. Or magnesium might somehow affect the metabolism of sulfur. I suspect they are different issues though.

  12. Hi Karen
    I am a fellow acupuncturist in Uk, and was interested in this magnesium drink. I am not clear how much from this mag bicarbonate water you recomend to drink daily. Also, is there any guidelines on when not to take this (ie kidney stones). Also curious where does the recipy originates and if you need to take brakes from consuming bit from time to time

  13. It’s very hard to find Milk of Magnesia without that bleach in it. Have you ever made Magnesium Water using MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE.

  14. Hi , I just today made my first MagBicarb, BUT afterward read that the Phillips brand MoM has added ingredient of SODIUM HYpoCHLORIDE. I do not understand if this ” inactive ingredient” interferes with maiking the MagBicarb ??? Can anyone document this either way, or recommend a source for pure MoM if there is interference?

  15. Is it OK to use carbonated water (Seltzer or club soda) instead of plain water to make the drinkable mix? I find using plain spring water to be quite bland compared to using club soda. I’ve actually been used to drinking Mivela MG Water, which contains 343 mg of magnesium per liter, but I can’t find it being sold anywhere any more, not even online. Everyone is sold out and seem not to be getting more. Mivela MG water is a sparkling water. But the Magnesium water I’ve made using this recipe with the Magnesium bicarbonate concentrate but using club soda instead of plain spring water makes it almost as good as MG water!

  16. Karen,
    Thank you for this information. I made up a batch of magnesium bicarbonate. Can this be mixed with carbonated water that’s in a glass bottle? I’d prefer to avoid plastic.


  17. I would really appreciate if you would answer this for me, for I could not find an answer on the Internet. I am very suspicious of using Phillips milk of magnesia and conventional club soda. Dr. Sircus, Who seems to be the expert on magnesium bicarbonate, says the magnesium form has to be magnesium chloride. That makes me question the efficacy of MOM. I really want to find out how to make magnesium bicarbonate out of magnesium chloride and sodium bicarbonate, but have not been able to find a recipe. I buy Trace Minerals Research “40,000 volts” product, which has natural magnesium in it and natural chloride in it, and I shake it up with sodium bicarbonate from Bob’s red Mill. Bob’s red Mill does not have aluminum in it. However, I have not been able to figure out if my concoction is efficacious. Do you know? Do you have any better ideas? My intuition says don’t take a commercial form of magnesium like Phillips, and don’t drink a commercial form of carbonated soda. And Dr Sircus is adamant that you have to use mag chloride. Thank you for any input, ideas and suggestions.

    1. While I use magnesium chloride for many things, there is no single effective form and individuals vary in their responsiveness to different forms of magnesium. I prefer seltzer to conventional club soda as it contains fewer chemicals. I don’t know the answer to your recipe question but you might consult a chemistry board. Your concoction’s efficacy is best judged by whether or not magnesium deficiency symptoms abate. People often get sufficient magnesium in bioavailable form from a 1:4 stinging nettles leaf to water overnight infusion or from an organic cooked kale-heavy diet. I like to use magahol topically- 1 part magnesium chloride to 4 parts 80 proof vodka.

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