Health Benefits of Using Magnesium for Cramps

Updated on November 26th, 2019
magnesium for cramps

Approximately 60% of adults and up to 7% of children suffer from troublesome leg cramps. This can lead to a lot of pain, which in turn affects the ability to sleep usually.

Residual pain can occur due to cramps inside the affected muscles as well. About 20% of people afflicted with leg cramps go through severe symptoms daily, which necessitates medical intervention.

The safety and efficacy of magnesium for cramps is proven for conditions such as pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, severe asthma, arrhythmia, and migraine. Magnesium deficiency might lead to leg cramps; however, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that magnesium supplements offer benefits apart from leg-cramps related to pregnancy.

Interesting Facts

  • Lower levels of magnesium are found in processed foods.
  • Magnesium levels can be reduced with smoking and consumption of alcohol.
  • Absorption of magnesium is significantly reduced if you have low levels of vitamin D.
  • Antacids & statins are standard drugs that diminish magnesium absorption.
  • Your body will absorb around 30% less magnesium from food as you grow older.

A study was carried out in 1999 among 42 participants using magnesium sulfate, and it was ascertained that its effect was just like a placebo in limiting the severity, frequency, or duration of cramps.

Trusted Source conducted a study in 2017 among 94 adults, which evaluated whether one should use a placebo capsule or magnesium oxide capsules to reduce night cramps. The clinical trial stated that a placebo and magnesium oxide supplements serve the same purpose in reducing cramps.

Why Should We Use Magnesium for Cramps?

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The term ‘cramp’ refers to different kinds of pain. Other causes to be considered are nocturnal myoclonus, restless legs syndrome(1), and neuropathic conditions, among others.

Allied contributing factors include motor neuron disease and peripheral vascular disease. Cramps can also be caused by drugs such as angiotensin II-receptor antagonists, calcium-channel blockers, and diuretics.

When a patient`s medical history is assessed, it must include a review of medical conditions and medications. Routine blood tests are never suggested to diagnose muscle cramps. There is no established link with electrolyte abnormalities either.

Magnesium is among the most abundant minerals present in the body and plays an integral part in regulating bodily functions.

It is involved in 300 or more biochemical processes in your body and also includes nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Magnesium for cramps is commonly used; however, there is a lack of evidence to substantiate its effectiveness.

[ Read: Suffering from Cramps? Here are Remedies ]

Best Magnesium for Cramps

There is a possibility of Hypermagneaemia if magnesium supplements are taken by people afflicted with kidney disease.

Magnesium interacts with tetracycline antibiotics(2) and bisphosphonates and should be preferably consumed 2 hours before or after these drugs. It is better to opt for oral magnesium supplements as the body tolerates them.

If magnesium supplements are linked with potassium, there is a possibility of contracting hyperkalemia. This is more so for people who take ACE inhibitors or other medications that can lead to potassium retention.

Magnesium supplements are accessible in several forms such as magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, and magnesium citrate. Trusted Source published a study in 2015 on the medical uses of magnesium. It concluded that magnesium citrate is the best magnesium for cramps as the body quickly assimilates it.

[ Read: Supplements That Eases Leg Cramps Effectively ]

Magnesium-Rich Foods

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The body assimilates around 30 to 40% of magnesium from your diet. The magnesium intake in your diet should be approximately half of your calcium intake. To ensure that the bodily levels are in sync with the suggested daily intake of magnesium, try to include these magnesium-rich foods in your daily diet.

  • peanuts (63 mg)
  • almonds (80 mg)
  • soy milk (61 mg)
  • spinach (78 mg)
  • shredded wheat cereal (61 mg)
  • cashews (74 mg)
  • green vegetables
  • beans
  • legumes
  • shellfish
  • cereals
  • unprocessed grains

Magnesium for Cramps Dose

The quantity of magnesium assimilated in your body depends on factors such as a person`s age and sex. The recommended amount of magnesium is 310–320 mg per day for women and around 400–420 milligrams daily for men.

Pregnant women must take 350–360 mg of magnesium a day. Remember that some medications have the possibility of interacting with magnesium. Kindly consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking magnesium supplements.


1. What Is the Ideal Time to Take Magnesium for Cramps?

A:  Magnesium supplements should ideally be consumed in the evening.  During this time, calcium combines with magnesium to relax your muscles. If you have late dinner enzymes are ideally taken during that time. This promotes digestion before bedtime and ensures a peaceful sleep.

2. How Should I Use Magnesium Oil for Cramps?

A: The latest trend to lessen muscle cramps is the use of magnesium sprays applied topically and magnesium oil. This fragrance-free oil is prepared by mixing magnesium chloride flakes with water. Applying a few drops of the oil on the muscle before sleeping at night induces restful slumber.

3. Which Is the Ideal Magnesium for Cramps?

Magnesium supplements such as citrate, aspartate, magnesium glycinate, or malate can be taken in divided doses daily. It is also beneficial to take vitamin B-complex supplements thrice daily.

Magnesium is a mineral found in the body and should be included in your daily diet as well. Lack of magnesium can lead to muscle weakness, irritability, and irregular heartbeats.

The most effective magnesium for cramps is magnesium citrate. Magnesium supplements are inexpensive and safe to consume. If you are deficient in magnesium, try to increase the magnesium levels for optimum results.

Try to avoid administering quinine to reduce cramps as there is a possibility of severe and fatal thrombocytopenia as an outcome.

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