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Magnesium for Leg Cramps

Do you have frequent leg cramps? Well, it might be time to check on your magnesium intake. You can take Magnesium for Leg Cramps – one of the many health benefits of magnesium.

muscle cramp in leg magnesium

Magnesium for Leg Cramps

Leg cramps happen when muscles strain involuntarily (muscle tension) they last for a few seconds to minutes. They can be quite painful from the tension and lump formed. Most times you will experience a leg cramp at night when you sound asleep. 

Leg cramps usually target the calf of your foot or your thigh. You may notice a large lump from the strained muscle. Leg cramps are not harmful, but the pain caused can make you very uncomfortable and unable to walk till it cools down.

So what causes these leg cramps? One of the reasons for your frequent leg cramps is mineral depletion. Reduced intake of magnesium might cause leg cramps. Magnesium is an essential mineral to the body and comes in fourth in its abundance in the body.

Magnesium is a requirement in monitoring blood pressure, insulin metabolism, nerve transmission, and muscular contraction. Having a lack of balance in magnesium might cause frequent leg cramps.

What Form of Magnesium is Best for Leg Cramps?

Magnesium comes in several forms. Some are easily absorbed into the body while others are not. We get to discuss the best types of magnesium for leg cramps, and they include:

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is a familiar supplement that can be found online or at local stores. This magnesium salt is inclusive of chlorine. It is well absorbed in the digestive tract making it an all-purpose supplement. You can use it to increase your magnesium levels in your body which is necessary to reduce leg cramps.

You can take this type of magnesium salt as a supplement or topically on the skin. However, more research is required to prove this.

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate can also be called Epsom salt. It contains magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. This form of magnesium is common among athletes and sports enthusiasts. It’s known to soothe sore muscles and leg cramps.

You can put a few spoons to your bath water to give you that relaxing feeling and ease tension in your muscles.

Magnesium Malate

Research conducted showed that magnesium malate is one of the supplements that are easily absorbed in the body. Therefore, making it great if you want to increase the levels of magnesium in your body. 

Magnesium malate contains malic acid, and you can find it in wine and food. It has a less laxative effect making it perfect for people who want to increase levels of magnesium.

Magnesium malate is used in the treatment of fibromyalgia that is characterized by fatigue and muscle tension. It’s also excellent for people who suffer from muscle cramps.

Magnesium Lactate

Magnesium lactate is another form of magnesium that is easily absorbed by the body and is more gentle to the digestive tract. People who need to take large doses of magnesium to increase their RDA (Required Dietary Allowance) levels are advised to take it.

Increased levels of magnesium in the body will help reduce getting a leg muscle attack.

How Much Magnesium Should You Take for Leg Cramp?

Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as dark leafy greens, dairy, and nuts. It’s an important nutrient for overall body functions. However, supplementing it may be required to increase the levels as we may not get the recommended allowance levels from the diet.

To reduce leg cramps the RDA (Required Daily Allowance) for men is 400mg for adult men and 310mg for an adult female. The level of magnesium levels depends on age and gender.

The 3 Best Home Remedies for Leg Cramps

If taking medication or supplements is not your thing, there are other remedies to ease leg cramps. Your doctor may suggest home remedies that might work for you. But if you get leg cramps often, it’s best to seek your doctor’s advice. 

The home remedies include:

  • Stretching

When you get a leg cramp, it means there is tension in your muscle. You can ease the tension by stretching out your leg and massaging the muscle slowly till it eases up. For a cramped calf muscle, put your weight on the cramped leg and bend the knee slightly forward. If you can’t stand, sit on the floor and stretch your leg outward.

  • Heat Pad

Another home remedy is by applying a heating pad on the cramped leg. It will help to ease the tension and relieve your muscles. You can increase the heat of the heat pad or cloth if there is no improvement on your leg.

Secondly, you can try soaking yourself in a warm bath. It will relieve tension and help to calm you down.

  • Get hydrated

Hydration is necessary for preventing muscle cramps. Although it might take longer to reduce the pain, you can sip your water that contains electrolytes. This will eventually help reduce the leg cramp or prevent another attack.

Magnesium is effective in treating leg cramps. Low magnesium levels on the body strain the muscles and lead to leg cramps. However, more research is needed to verify how they assist in treating leg cramps. If you have a persistent leg cramp, it’s advisable to visit your doctor for a check-up.

References

Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients7(9), 8199–8226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388

Gröber, U., Werner, T., Vormann, J., & Kisters, K. (2017). Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium?. Nutrients9(8), 813. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080813-topical

Uysal, N., Kizildag, S., Yuce, Z., Guvendi, G., Kandis, S., Koc, B., Karakilic, A., Camsari, U. M., & Ates, M. (2019). Timeline (Bioavailability) of Magnesium Compounds in Hours: Which Magnesium Compound Works Best?. Biological trace element research187(1), 128–136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-018-1351-9

Robinson, C. M., & Karet Frankl, F. E. (2017). Magnesium lactate in the treatment of Gitelman syndrome: patient-reported outcomes. Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association – European Renal Association32(3), 508–512. https://doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfw019

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