Does Magnesium Work on Leg Cramps?

It’s possible that your body requires additional magnesium if you frequently have leg cramps. According to a 2017 study, up to two-thirds of Americans may not get enough Magnesium. 

Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body and is crucial for controlling how your body works. More than 300 metabolic processes in your body depend on it, including nerve transmission and muscle contraction. 

Leg cramp relief by magnesium is common. However, there is little to no proof of its efficacy. Here, we’ll examine what research says about leg cramps and what you may do to treat them. 

Natural Magnesium 

It’s interesting to note that Magnesium is seventh among the ten most plentiful elements on Earth. Minerals like brucite, magnesite, dolomite, and carnallite contain the element naturally. Additionally, magnesium chloride and natural silicates include it. Seawater, brine, and salt wells also contain it. 

Do you want to try Magnesium? 

It appears to be helpful for certain individuals. And using it is risk-free. 

Increasing your magnesium levels may have other advantageous impacts if you have a magnesium deficiency. 

Magnesium levels must be appropriate for performance, especially for athletes. Magnesium has been discovered to be helpful in treating persons with ailments like: 

  • Asthma  
  • osteoporosis 
  • migraine attacks 
  • diabetes  
  • depression  
  • heart disease 
Magnesium dosage guidelines 

Age and gender both affect how much magnesium you require. Men over the age of 70 and teenage girls are the categories most likely to be deficient in magnesium, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)Trusted Source. 

  • Men should consume 400–420 mg of magnesium per day. 
  • For women, 310–320 mg per day 
  • pregnant ladies need 350–360 mg per day. 

Magnesium can interact with some medications. Before using Magnesium supplements, speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re currently taking any drugs. 

Recommended magnesium sources. 

Consuming magnesium-rich meals can help ensure that your levels are within the recommended daily allowance. A third to forty percent of the magnesium you get through your diet is absorbed by your body. 

Top of the list for serving size Magnesium content 

A reliable source is: 

  • spinach (78 mg)  
  • almonds (80 mg) 
  • cashews (74 mg) 
  • Soy milk (61 mg) 
  •  peanuts (63 mg)  
  • wheat cereal, shredded (61 mg) 

Try taking magnesium pills as well. These come in a variety of forms, including magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium oxide. Magnesium citrate should be taken since it is easier for the body to absorb, according to a study on the medical uses of magnesium from 2015Trusted Source. 

Additionally, it’s advised that you consume Magnesium in proportion to magnesium in your food accounts for roughly 50 to 70 percent of your calcium intake. 

For instance, if you consume 500–700 mg of Magnesium, you should consume 1,000 mg of calcium. Or, to put it more succinctly: Consume a range of meals, including those high in calcium and magnesium. 

Read: Best Magnesium for Leg Cramps

Quick information on magnesium shortage 

  • As you become older, your body might absorb up to 30% less Magnesium from diet. 
  • Alcohol and smoking both lower magnesium levels. 
  • Magnesium levels are decreased in processed diets. 
  • Many popular medications, including antacids and statins, decrease the absorption of Magnesium. 
  • Low vitamin D levels hinder Magnesium absorption. 

Does magnesium relieve cramps in the legs? 

Leg cramps are frequently treated with Magnesium, especially in Europe and Latin America. However, practically all of the numerous clinical trials on the use of magnesium as a cramp treatment showed it to be unsuccessful. 

Here are a few of the specific research findings:2017 research 

Magnesium oxide capsules were compared to a placebo capsule to see which was more effective at easing night cramps, according to Trusted Source of 94 adults. According to the results of the randomized clinical trial, magnesium oxide supplements are ineffective at easing cramps when compared to a placebo. 

Magnesium therapy doesn’t seem to be useful for the general population, according to a 2013 evaluation of seven randomized trials of magnesium for leg cramps. According to the review, it might have a slight benefit for expectant mothers. 

According to an American Academy of Neurology evaluation from 2010, 

A 58-person research conducted in 2002 utilizing magnesium citrate demonstrated no appreciable reduction in the frequency of cramping. 

Magnesium sulphate was not any more effective than a placebo in lowering the incidence, severity, or duration of cramps among 42 study participants, according to a 1999 study. 

Additional things to think about 

It is still possible to safely consume supplements. According to the studies on magnesium, dietary supplements containing the mineral are both affordable and safe. 

Another factor could be low in you. The complicated interrelationship between Magnesium and other essential minerals is one potential explanation for the magnesium trials’ lack of success in treating cramps. The causes of muscle cramping, for instance, include calcium and potassium. Magnesium wouldn’t be of any use if a deficiency in one of these other nutrients was the root of the muscle cramping. 

Certain people can benefit from Magnesium. Despite the fact that the vast majority of studies to far have not found a connection between utilizing magnesium and lessening leg cramps, some study participants have reported that magnesium is more beneficial than a placebo. 

Additional preventative and treatment advice 

There are other options you might try if increasing your magnesium intake does not relieve your cramps. A 2016 analysis of studies found that stretching can be most useful. 


If you have a leg cramp right now, you can do the following three stretches: 

  • Reach down and pull your toes up toward your head to relieve a cramping calf muscle. 

  • Try lunging forward while stretching out the tight leg behind you with the leg that isn’t constricting. 

  • Spend a few seconds on your toes. 

Stretching before bed has been shown to lessen both the frequency and intensity of leg cramps at night. 

In a 2012 research of 80 persons over the age of 55, it was discovered that those who stretched their hamstrings and calves before bed experienced fewer and less uncomfortable leg cramps as they slept. 

Walking around can generally relax your leg muscles and relieve leg cramps. 


Rub the sore, tight muscle area gently. 

Heat or ice 

For 15 to 20 minutes at a time, apply an ice pack or a heating pad on the cramp. (Wrap the ice in a towel or piece of cloth to prevent it from touching the skin directly.) 

Take a hot shower or bath. 


Water consumption could ease a cramp. It’s critical to maintain hydration for prevention. 

Think about abstaining from drinking. According to a 2018 study, drinking alcohol was significantly linked to nighttime leg cramps. The authors point out that additional research would be required to prove causation. 


To ease the pain caused by muscle spasms, use over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Pain-relieving lotions applied topically, like Bio freeze or Bengay, may be beneficial. 

A non-prescription muscle relaxant is another option. 

The lesson 

Although adding more Magnesium to your diet or taking a supplement may help some people with leg cramps, there isn’t any solid research to back up this claim. 

If you wish to try a supplement, Magnesium citrate might be the most beneficial one to use. 

Increasing your intake of Magnesium may have additional advantages if you are weak in it. There are further leg cramps treatments that are accessible as well.    

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