Magnesium is one of the most sought-after supplements to help combat muscle soreness. Magnesium deficiency is a major problem in the US population, with 2-in-3 Americans being deficient in magnesium, according to a study from 2017. The mineral is one of the most important for proper bodily function. In fact, magnesium is involved in 300+ of the body’s functions, including contraction. Many people suffer from muscle cramps, especially leg cramps. So can magnesium help with muscle cramps in the legs? Keep reading to discover how you could be using magnesium for muscle cramps pain relief and what dose of magnesium for muscle cramps may help!
What Causes Muscle Cramps?
Muscle cramping can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Magnesium deficiency. A deficiency in magnesium may be responsible for some muscle cramping.
- Overuse. Muscle overuse can cause both soreness and cramping.
- Dehydration. Lack of water can stop nutrients and minerals from reaching your muscles and cause cramping.
- Strain. In some cases, muscle strain can lead to muscle contracting and cramping.
Underlying medical conditions may increase your risks of muscle cramping or be responsible for the cramping occurring in the first place. Three main medical conditions associated with cramping are:
- Nerve compression
- Mineral depletion
- Inadequate blood supply
If you experience cramping during exercise, the condition is likely caused by the inadequate blood supply to your extremities. The legs, for example, may have a lack of blood flow because the arteries narrow and less blood flows into the leg.
You should experience relief shortly after exercising as the blood flow is able to return to the extremities.
Magnesium for muscle soreness is common, but the dosage may be slightly different than someone taking magnesium for muscle cramps. Since cramps often occur due to overuse and soreness is related to the muscle fibers breaking down, dosage may vary.
Dose Of Magnesium For Muscle Cramps
Magnesium is crucial for many body functions, but you need to take the right amount to truly benefit from this supplement. There seems to be a disconnect amongst studies that recommend different amounts of magnesium for cramping muscles.
One study on people that suffered from frequent muscle cramps noted that over a six-week period, they had fewer cramps than the placebo group. In this study, the participants took 300 mg of magnesium daily.
Magnesium for Leg Cramps
Leg cramps can be some of the most painful, especially for women who are pregnant and already experiencing significant changes in their bodies. Studies have been performed on pregnant women who suffer from frequent leg cramps to answer the question does magnesium help cramps in the legs?
The study was similar to the initial study mentioned in that the women seemed to respond best when taking 300 mg of magnesium daily.
Over the course of the study, the participants reported less:
- Cramping frequency
- Intense cramps
If used in a cream or spray, magnesium is a great option because of its rapid absorption into the skin.
While these studies seem to indicate that 300 mg of magnesium is a good option, some women use up to 360 mg per day. Men can use slightly higher amounts of magnesium, with daily consumption of 400 mg or more required to alleviate leg cramps for some men.
Natural Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium can be found in many of the natural foods that people eat. For overall optimal health, eating foods high in this mineral is recommended. You should remember that the body can only absorb so much magnesium at one time.
If a certain food has 100 mg of magnesium, your body may only absorb 30 to 40 mg of the mineral.
Food Containing Magnesium
- Soy milk
- Pumpkin seed
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
Pumpkin seed kernels have, by far, the highest magnesium per serving at over 160 mg, while almonds have about 80 mg of magnesium per serving.
If these foods are not a regular part of your diet or you don’t consume enough of these foods daily, a supplement can help. When taking a supplement orally, studies show that magnesium citrate has the best absorption rate.
Magnesium is a great option for trying to alleviate muscle cramps. While you can eat foods that contain high levels of magnesium (such as almonds and peanuts) or take an oral supplement, a lot of cramp sufferers prefer to use it topically with creams like Recovery.
Direct application on the cramped area provides targeted relief. When magnesium is applied directly to the muscle, magnesium chloride provides a better absorption rate than other forms of this mineral.
Magnesium and Calcium Intake
Magnesium is just one of the minerals that your body needs to operate optimally. Calcium intake should also be high and is important for bone health. You should consume at least 50% of the amount of magnesium you consume in calcium.
For example, if you consume 600 mg of calcium, you should consume a minimum of 300 mg of magnesium.
Factors That May Impact Magnesium Intake and Absorption
Multiple factors may have an impact on magnesium intake and absorption in your body. You may need to adjust the amount of magnesium you consume based on the following factors:
- Age. As you age, your body will start to absorb less magnesium than when you were younger. The elderly have to worry about depletion of magnesium, according to one study, which found magnesium absorption may be reduced by as much as 30% in seniors.
- Vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D is a major concern, too. Studies show that sufficient levels of this key vitamin can increase the absorption rate of magnesium and calcium by as much as 300%.
- Smoking and alcohol. Do you smoke or drink alcohol? If so, you may be reducing the amount of magnesium that your body absorbs, too.
- Foods. Diet plays a major role in how much magnesium you consume, but it’s not just the foods that you eat that are a factor. Processed foods will often contain lower levels of magnesium compared to their non-processed counterparts.
Ready to try magnesium for your muscle cramps? Grab yourself some Recovery Cream! Recovery combines magnesium with MSM, DMSO, and powerful essential oils like frankincense, chamomile, and peppermint, which can all help alleviate pain from muscle cramps, while also promoting sleep and relaxation, all in one easy to use cream.
So you can quickly kick the cramps and relax your mind and muscles, which means you no longer have to spend your days fighting painful cramps, and your nights tossing and turning. Get back to living happy and healthy!