Does Magnesium Help For Leg Cramps?
When you’re suffering from leg cramps, don’t you just feel like you’re dying? Your legs literally hurt so bad that they become numb and tingle.
But what causes leg cramps? Is there anything you can do to relieve them?
When you exercise, you also may experience leg cramps. They can happen anywhere, anytime, even when you’re not exercising.
Leg cramps can be caused by dehydration, muscle fatigue, poor circulation, and other factors.
Magnesium is often used to treat leg cramps because it helps relax muscles and improve blood flow.
What Kind Of Magnesium Is Best For Leg Cramps?
The best magnesium for leg cramps is magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate is available at health food stores and pharmacies. If you don't want to take supplements, try eating foods high in magnesium, such as spinach, beans, nuts, seeds, and bananas.
Leg cramps can be caused by dehydration, which leads to muscle fatigue and poor blood flow. To avoid this, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eat foods rich in potassium, which helps regulate fluid levels in the body.
Painful cramps are usually temporary and go away on their own after a few minutes. However, if your symptoms last longer than 30 minutes or worsen over time, see your doctor.
How Long Does It Take For Magnesium To Work?
If you want to know how long magnesium takes to work, then you should know that it takes about 30 minutes for magnesium to work. This means that you need to wait at least 30 minutes after taking magnesium before you do anything else.
Persistent leg cramps can cause severe pain and lead to injury. In addition, if you have frequent leg cramps, it could indicate a problem with your kidneys. You should talk to your health care provider if you feel any unusual symptoms.
Healthy people who eat healthy diets get less leg cramping than those who eat unhealthy diets.
Why Does Magnesium Stop Leg Cramps?
The magnesium stops leg cramps by increasing blood flow to the muscles. When the body lacks magnesium, it causes muscle spasms and cramping.
Magnesium is also a treatment for leg cramps because it increases nerve conduction speed. Nerves send signals throughout the body, but they slow down during times of stress. Magnesium helps increase the speed at which nerves transmit messages, which reduces the likelihood of painful cramps.
A magnesium deficient person will probably experience more leg cramps than someone who has adequate amounts of magnesium.
How Does Magnesium Help With Leg Cramps? Can I Have Too Much Magnesium?
Too much magnesium may trigger diarrhea. If you're taking magnesium supplements, follow the recommended dosage.
People who have low magnesium levels in their bloodstream may develop kidney stones. Kidney stones form when too much calcium builds up in the urine. Magnesium helps prevent this buildup.
Kidneys remove excess minerals from the body through the urine. A deficiency in magnesium may cause kidney damage. People who have kidney problems should speak to their doctors about whether they should take magnesium supplements.
Magnesium helps build strong bones. It's important to keep your daily intake of magnesium above 400 mg per day.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , men over 70 and teenage girls are the most likely groups to be magnesium deficient. (healthline.com)
When Is The Best Time To Take Magnesium For Leg Cramps?
Magnesium should be taken at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If you wake up during the night and experience leg cramps, take magnesium immediately.
You should also take magnesium before exercise. Taking magnesium before exercising can reduce muscle soreness following strenuous activity.
It's best to take magnesium in liquid form such as food-based supplements, rather than tablets. Liquid forms of magnesium are absorbed faster into the bloodstream.
What Are Some Other Ways To Prevent Leg Cramps?
There are other ways to prevent leg cramps besides taking magnesium. These include:
- Avoiding caffeine. Caffeine can cause dehydration and fatigue.
- Drinking plenty of water. Water flushes out toxins from the body.
- Eating foods rich in potassium. Potassium helps control high blood pressure, which can contribute to leg cramps.
- Getting regular exercise. Exercise improves circulation, which prevents cramps.
- Using heat pads or heating bricks on hot days. Heat makes the body sweat, which removes extra sodium from the body.
Up to 20% of people who complain of leg cramps have symptoms every day which are severe enough to require medical intervention. (nps.org.au)
Leg Cramps in Older Adults
As people age, their bones become more brittle and less flexible, making them more likely to suffer leg cramps. But there are some simple things elderly people can do to prevent or relieve these painful episodes.
Leg cramps often occur at night because blood flow to the legs decreases during sleep. So if you wake up feeling stiff and sore in the morning, it could be because you had a dreadful night’s rest. Try drinking plenty of water before bedtime to help keep your muscles hydrated. Also, try using a heating pad on your feet before going to bed.
Cramping pain usually occurs in one leg only, but sometimes both legs feel affected. If you notice that your leg cramps are occurring in both legs simultaneously, see your doctor.
If you don't know what causes leg cramps, ask your doctor. There are several possible explanations, including:
- Muscle weakness from poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, or vitamin deficiencies.
- Lack of calcium in the diet. Calcium is needed for normal nerve transmission along nerves leading to muscles.
- A low level of magnesium in the blood. This condition can happen when someone has not been getting adequate amounts of magnesium in his/her diet.
- An electrolyte imbalance caused by excessive sweating or diarrhea.
- A metabolic disorder, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, or liver disease.
- In rare cases, leg cramps may be because of a problem with the heart, kidneys, or brain.
Leg cramps can be prevented by eating a well-balanced diet; getting regular exercise; avoiding alcohol; and maintaining good health habits.
Why Is It Important to Drink Water?
Drinking water is important because it keeps our bodies hydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, and muscle weakness. If we don’t drink enough water, our skin will become dry and flaky, our urine might turn yellowish, and our eyes might feel irritated.
Water also helps us maintain a healthy weight by making us feel full. We need about 2 liters of water per day, but most people in the U.S. consume only half that amount. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. When we eat foods high in fat and sugar, our bodies retain fluid more easily, so we keep more water than usual.
How much water should you drink? The CDC recommends getting at least eight glasses of water each day. If you’re exercising regularly, your body will work hard, which means it needs even more water. You can replace fluids lost during exercise with sports drinks like Gatorade; just make sure they don’t contain added sugars.
Stretching to Prevent Leg Cramping
If you are looking to prevent leg cramps while running or walking, try these stretches. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place one hand on each thigh. Bend forward at the hips so that you can feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating with the other leg.
A great way to improve your flexibility is through yoga. Yoga teaches you how to control your breathing, which helps relax your muscles. You will also learn how to use your breath as a tool to help you stretch further than ever before.
If you have never tried yoga before, start with just 10 minutes per day. Once you see the results of your hard work, then increase your time by 5-10 minutes every week until you reach 20-30 minutes.
A deep tissue massage can relieve stress and promote healing after injury.
Massage therapy involves using gentle strokes to stimulate areas of the body that have been stressed or injured. A massage therapist uses her hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, knuckles, palms, thumbs, and toes to apply pressure to different parts of the body.
Treatments for Leg Cramps - Deep Tissue Massages
A deep tissue massage is done below the surface of the skin and focuses on relieving tension from muscles and connective tissues. This type of massage is more effective when used immediately following an injury.
The benefits of massage include improved circulation, increased range of motion, decreased pain levels, better sleep quality, and reduced anxiety. Massage therapists often recommend their services to patients recovering from surgery or injuries.
Physical therapists can also perform deep tissue massages. They use similar techniques but typically focus on treating specific problems, such as lower back pain or neck stiffness.
Is Ice or Heat a Better Treatment for Muscle Cramps?
When treating muscle cramps, it is better to use heat therapy rather than ice. This is because ice causes blood vessels to constrict, which reduces circulation to the muscles. By contrast, heat therapy increases blood flow to the affected area.
The best way to treat a muscle cramp is by stretching the cramped muscle as soon as possible. Stretching helps relax the muscle and remove any tension that may cause the cramp. It also provides relief from pain.
Muscle contractions can cause cramps if the muscles aren’t warmed up first. A warm bath or shower is a good way to do this. Afterward, apply heat using either hot or cold packs.
Another option is to take a hot compress. To create a hot compress, fill a bowl with boiling water and place a towel over your head. Wrap another towel around your neck and hold it tight against your back. Let the steam escape slowly through your nose and mouth.
Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to find a hot compress. Instead, use a heating pad. Position it on top of the painful spot and leave it there for 15-20 minutes.
If you suffer from chronic muscle cramps, seek medical attention about taking medication. Some medications can help reduce the frequency of cramps without adverse events.
Will Magnesium Make Me Constipated?
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to constipation. If you consume less than 400 mg per day, it's likely you're deficient. The best way to prevent constipation is to eat plenty of fiber (roughly 25 grams per day) and drink enough water.
The absorption of magnesium depends on how much calcium is consumed at the same time. People who are not getting enough calcium should avoid eating dairy products. Calcium supplements taken with meals will increase the amount absorbed.
Constipation occurs when the colon doesn't empty properly. When the stool isn’t moving out quickly, it forms a hard ball that blocks the passage. Other symptoms include abdominal bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
Does magnesium help for leg cramps? Yes, it does. Magnesium is an important nutrient that can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing some diseases. Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and energy metabolism, so it can help relieve muscle cramps.
What else can I learn about does magnesium help for muscle cramps? Contact our nutritionist Cosmic Mike for a free 15-minute consultation. He has over twenty years' experience in the health industry and can answer all your questions.