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Magnesium for muscle tension—how it works and how to choose the right type of supplement

Magnesium for leg cramps plays a crucial part in relaxing muscles and helping them to function normally. If your body is magnesium-deficient, this can cause spasms, tightness and tension in your muscles and joints.

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    Muscle spasms

    Spasms are painful muscle contractions, and one of magnesium’s functions within the body is to prevent them.

    Ensuring you take magnesium supplements for leg cramps helps by encouraging the body to absorb calcium. Calcium is another abundant mineral essential for good health. It also prevents muscles and soft tissues from calcifying (hardening due to excess calcium).

    Inside the body, calcium and magnesium are in competition. They do this by binding with the same proteins within your muscles. A build-up of calcium causes muscles to over-contract, leading to spasms or twitches.

    Magnesium for leg cramps regulates those contractions and allows the muscles to relax. This is why some health professionals advise increasing intake to alleviate and prevent cramps.

    Muscle cramps, particularly leg cramps, are often considered symptoms of magnesium deficiency. This is where the body lacks the magnesium it needs to stop the contractions. Other cramps are side effects of certain medications or linked to specific health conditions.

    Although lots of people suffer with nocturnal leg cramps when sleeping, supplementing magnesium for leg cramps has had positive results. It has worked particularly well in treating pregnant women and the elderly.


    If your muscles cramp or twitch after you’ve been exercising or standing for a long period of time, this might be a sign that you're deficient in magnesium. Supplementing magnesium for leg cramps could be a good place to start. As magnesium dosages vary depending on health and lifestyle, always check the packaging first. Ensuring you receive the correct dosage will make the magnesium supplement more effective.

    Muscle strains

    A muscle strains when it over stretches or tears. This kind of injury is quite common, and most frequently happens to:

    • Neck muscles
    • Back muscles
    • The hamstring

    Straining a muscle can cause it to tighten and/or spasm as well as feel very sore. Supplementing transdermal magnesium for leg cramps, such as bath flakes or a magnesium oil spray, can help limit any tension by helping the muscle to contract and relax.

    Why is magnesium good for the muscles?

    Magnesium for leg cramps is absolutely necessary to help proper muscle function. Magnesium works with other essential minerals in your body to keep the muscles loose and flexible.

    When you exercise or do some kind of physical activity, magnesium relaxes your muscles and controls their contractions. It also helps lessen the build-up of lactic acid, which can cause muscular tension. This then enables your muscles to get the oxygen they need. Magnesium sport performance supplements can help this process by relaxing your muscles.

    An important role in your body’s energy production is ensuring you take enough magnesium for leg cramps. Much of your energy comes from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that converts energy from food sources into fuel. This fuel is then used for other bodily processes. This process contributes to proper muscle function.

    Your body produces growth factors with the help of magnesium for leg cramps. These are proteins that facilitate muscle growth and strength over the long term.

    Not having enough magnesium in your body puts you more at risk of suffering muscle:

    • Spasms (especially in the legs or feet)
    • Tightness
    • Aches
    • Weakness
    • Fatigue

    Your magnesium for tension intake depends on two things:

    • Your diet (dietary magnesium)
    • Any supplements you take

    With supplements, it’s important to understand that there are several different forms of magnesium for leg cramps. Each one has a different purpose or effect on your body. Some forms, such as oral sprays, are easier for your body to absorb than others, a characteristic known as “bioavailability”.

    Magnesium chloride

    Probably the most common type of magnesium for leg cramps, magnesium chloride is extracted from natural sources in rock or saltwater. All BetterYou’s magnesium products use a highly pure kind of magnesium chloride taken from the Earth’s crust.

    It’s used in both:

    • Oral magnesium supplements—those you take by mouth, such as pills and tablets

    Transdermal magnesium supplements—those you absorb through the skin, such as oils, bath flakes, lotions and sprays (also known as topical magnesium).

    How it helps muscle tension

    Magnesium chloride is known to be effective at treating muscle spasms. It:

    • Helps relieve muscle tension, tightness and stiffness
    • Aids working muscle tissue, allowing for quicker muscle recovery after strenuous exercise
    • Enables calcium absorption in bones

    Other benefits of magnesium for tension

    • Said to have the best bioavailability—in other words, the body can absorb it better than any other forms of magnesium
    • Encourages restful sleep, and magnesium helps improve sleep quality
    • Aids digestion
    • Repairs and replenishes skin

    Magnesium sulphate

    Better known as Epsom salts, magnesium sulphate contains magnesium, sulphur and oxygen. Like magnesium chloride, it can be taken transdermally (through the skin) or orally. Most people take Epsom salts by dissolving them in a hot bath or foot soak. As they have a lower concentration of magnesium than magnesium chloride, they have a lower bioavailability too.

    How it helps muscle tension

    Magnesium sulphate has analgesic properties that help to soothe sore muscles such as leg cramps.

    Other benefits of magnesium sulphate for leg cramps

    • Draws toxins out of the pores
    • Laxative effects help relieve constipation (when taken as tablets)

    Magnesium malate

    Magnesium malate is made by combining magnesium with malic acid. This acid is found in fruits such as oranges. Together they make a magnesium salt that has a higher level of bioavailability than other forms such as magnesium oxide and magnesium sulphate.

    How it helps muscle tension

    Magnesium malate relieves muscle tension by relaxing tense areas. It is for this reason it is so effective as being a magnesium that helps leg cramps.

    Other benefits of magnesium malate

    • Supports hundreds of enzyme processes inside the body
    • Helps the cells in your body produce and use energy

    The body has so much muscle tissue, tension is extremely common and can occur in nearly every area. Mostly it comes as a result of straining the muscle during physical activity, or injuring the muscle doing strenuous work or exercise.

    Neck tension in particular is usually the result of a strain through exercise, heavy lifting or sitting, standing or sleeping in an awkward position. Back tension is also very common and can occur in joints and bones as well as the muscles and soft tissue. It might come as a mild but constant ache or a sudden, sharp soreness.

    However, there are also certain medical conditions that cause muscle tension, such as leg cramps. These include:

    • Fibromyalgia
    • Flu, or other similar infections
    • Thyroid problems
    • Being potassium-deficient

    Can magnesium relieve menstrual spasms?

    Having a magnesium deficiency can have a major effect on how your body feels during your menstrual cycle. A lack of magnesium in your body means your muscles are more prone to contracting and inflammation. This is the cause of the very severe spasms that you might feel when menstruating. As magnesium acts as a relaxant, it also helps relieve the headaches and mood symptoms that can accompany monthly menstruation.

    About BetterYou

    BetterYou is an innovative natural health company specialising in oral spray technology and magnesium absorption. Since founding in 2006, we have worked with a number of leading institutes to help understand the science of absorption. They include the Universities of Sheffield and Cardiff University, as well as St Mark’s Hospital London.
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