Do you experience muscle or menstrual cramps? Unfortunately, for many, they believe this is a normal part of life that we all just have to deal with. The good news is that muscle cramping is typically a sign of an imbalance in the body that can be remedied with proper supplementation and/or diet.
Calcium and magnesium are both associated with muscle function and the tendency of the muscles to cramp. Muscles contract when the calcium outside the muscle cells travels into the cells, which in turn causes the shortening or contraction of that muscle. With the stimulation of magnesium, the calcium is then released and the muscle relaxes. It has been shown that if the calcium in the extracellular fluid is low, the muscle will spasm/cramp as a result. When either calcium or magnesium supply is low, or when the two minerals are not in the correct proportion, cramps can occur.
To avoid cramping, it’s important to ensure that your diet contains an adequate amount of both calcium and magnesium and that they are present in the proper proportions. Diets high in whole fat dairy products, homemade bone broths and leafy green vegetables will provide proper amounts of the necessary nutrients. If your diet is less than perfect, you can always supplement as well. There are many oral supplements available, and you can learn more information about which supplements may be right for you by visiting your local health food store, supplement shop or even online. For leg cramps, I also like magnesium lotion, applied directly to the legs. I find this particularly effective in relieving leg cramping, even in children experiencing “growing pains.”