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 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.

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4 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

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  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

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