Home   Health Tips   Health Concerns    Site Index    Search    Glossary   Contact Us

Visit our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and Answers

Leg Cramps (Charley Horse) 
or Muscle Cramps in General

Just tell me what to take

Leg Cramps

You know the kind. They wake you up and are excruciatingly painful.

Defining this cramp is easy. It is nothing more than a short involuntary contraction of a muscle. One of your muscles decides to flex and stays that way, without your
permission. It is when the muscles in certain parts of your body like the arms and legs stiffen. 

What causes leg cramps and what to do about it?

It is a little more difficult to say what causes this exactly.

There are four main causes of this and they are medication side effects, too much calcium, and too little magnesium and potassium.

Low levels of certain minerals known as electrolytes - magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium - have long been linked to leg cramps. Certain drugs, such as diuretics (water pills) for the heart and your high blood pressure, have been cited as the culprit. If the kidneys aren't working properly, it can also lead to this problem.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E seems to be one of those therapies that help people. Toxins, including renegade molecules known as free radicals which damage healthy molecules by stealing electrons to balance themselves, are left behind to irritate the muscles. Just as Vitamin E soaks up free radicals linked to heart disease, etc., it can also attack those causing leg cramps. (Get more info on Free Radicals and Antioxidants). In many trials, the use of Vitamin 400 IU daily, handled these cramps. 


Electrolytes - magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium - are some of the most important and most well-known nutrients in the fight against cramping.  But, did you know that you are most likely to run out of magnesium before any other electrolyte?  Most people do not eat enough foods containing magnesium (such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, figs, and pumpkin seeds).

Also, certain medications flush magnesium out of your system. Medications used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure is an example of this type of medication. 

Magnesium is needed by the cells to allow potassium and calcium to move in and out when needed for the muscle to do its job. Without adequate levels of any of these nutrients, the muscle becomes irritable. Both potassium and calcium are needed and the body usually has enough of these two electrolytes, but if the body doesn't have magnesium, it can't use the other two. 

Magnesium is a powerful relaxant for the muscles and this mineral is the preferred treatment for stopping premature labor contractions and a dangerous condition called preeclampsia which causes extreme swelling and high blood pressure in pregnant women.  However, please note that pregnant women, under a medical doctor's care, should not take any supplement without first discussing it with him/he due to different reactions with drugs.  

Also, if you have kidney problems, taking magnesium supplements may make you accumulate the mineral too quickly, which could be toxic. If you have kidney or heart problems, you should check with your doctor first, a nutritionist would be best. 

Some people who take magnesium supplements can get relief from leg cramps right away, but a long-standing deficiency can take weeks to overcome with supplements. 


Calcium itself may not have much benefit for leg cramps, but calcium helps the magnesium absorption. Taking skim milk with magnesium tablets will help.

Here is an educatioinal vidoe on Muscle Cramps and what causes them.



Dr. Berg’s Electrolytes has the most potassium of any electrolyte power mix and includes calcium and magnesium as well.

Dr. Berg’s Electrolyte Powder is the perfect combination of electrically conducting minerals and trace minerals. Electrolytes when dissolved in water create charged elements ready to hydrate the body cells and energize the body. These active minerals assist in nerve conduction as well as muscle contraction and relaxation.

You can learn more about this supplement at Dr. Berg's Electrolytes. This page includes 4 educational videos about electrolytes and their need for your health.

Electrolytes: Rehydrate & Rejuvenate! As well as Energize & Recharge Your Cells!

Learn more at Dr. Berg's Electrolytes

Are you on a Keto Diet? Are You Taking Minerals and still getting Leg Cramps?


If you would like to receive the MCVitamins.com Weekly Newsletter,  Please Sign up by clicking here:  Newsletter Signup

We take privacy and security seriously, read about it here

Search this Website

Home    Health Tips   Health Concerns    Site Index   Glossary

MCVitamins is an affiliate of Dr Berg Nutritionals

© 2000-2019  MCVitamins.com
.  All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this website in full or in part is prohibited without the express written permission of MCVitamins.com

We have used our best judgment in compiling this information. The Food and Drug Administration may not have evaluated the information presented. Any reference to a specific product is for your information only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease