A leg cramp is a sudden involuntary reaction of the one or more muscles. Excessive exercise or physical labor workout mostly in the hot weather conditions may lead to muscle cramps.

What are the causes of leg cramps?

Overuse of muscles may cause muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period may cause cramps. But in most of the cases, the cause is usually unknown.

Most of the cramps are harmless but some conditions may relate to it:

Nerve compression in the spine may produce cramp-like pain in the legs. Pain gets worse the longer you walk.
Inadequate blood supply to the legs due to the compression of arteries my leads to the cramp-like pain in the legs and feet.
Inadequate consumption of calcium, potassium and magnesium can contribute to leg cramps.

What are the Symptoms of leg cramps?

Mostly the muscle cramps may develop in the legs particularly in the calf. There will be a sharp pain or there will be a sensation of a hard lump of muscle tissue under the skin.

What are the risk factors for leg cramps?

Some of the factors that may increase the risk of muscle cramps are:


Older people lose their muscle mass due to this their muscles get over stressed.

Medical conditions:

A person might be at a higher risk of leg cramps if he or she has thyroid, liver or nerve-related condition.

Yes, leg cramps and magnesium are related.

If any individual is suffering from leg cramps then their body needs more mineral content.

Magnesium deficiency is known as hypomagnesemia and is often a health problem. Its deficiency causes may vary which ranges from inadequate dietary intake to magnesium loss from the body.
Many health-related conditions that are associated with magnesium deficiency are

hunger bone syndrome, poor absorption, diabetes, celiac disease, and chronic diarrhea.

Leg cramps are the main sign of magnesium deficiency. In the worst cases, it may cause seizures or convulsions. Most of the researchers have stated that these are caused due to the greater flow of calcium into the cells of the nerves.

Some important tips for improving the absorption of magnesium in the body are:

- Certain nutrients may affect the absorption of magnesium. So there are some tips which improve magnesium absorption:

- Avoid those supplements that contain a high dose of zinc.

- Avoid the intake of calcium-rich foods two hours before or after eating magnesium-rich foods.

- Eat raw vegetables instead of cook.

- Quit smoking and alcohol consumption.

Foods that should be taken:

Foods that contain a high level of magnesium are:
1. Peanut butter
2. Potato
3. Rice
4. Spinach
5. Black beans
6. Yogurt
7. Fortifies cereals
8. Nuts like cashews, peanuts, and almonds

Other Foods that contain a high level of magnesium are:

4.Kidney beans
5.Apple and banana
6.Fish like halibut and salmon
8.Chicken breast

When the level of magnesium is low, the body starts absorbing magnesium from the small intestine whereas the extra amount of magnesium is excreted by the kidneys.

Top magnesium-rich foods that you should eat:

Pumpkin seeds:

Pumpkin seeds are the richest source of magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and monosaturated fatty acids. These are also the good source of vitamin B, C, E, and K. These seeds also contain antioxidants that fight against harmful free radicals which damages the body.


Almonds contain a very high amount of magnesium and also rich in vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and proteins. These also contain phosphorus, iron, potassium, and copper. Regular intake of almonds provides benefit to heart health, strengthen the bones and fights against constipation.

Black beans:

Black beans are also called turtle beans. These are also the richest source of magnesium. It contains 60 mg of magnesium which meets the 15 percent of daily requirement.


Oatmeal is also a great source of magnesium. It is also rich in vitamin B, manganese, iron, selenium and contains powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients.


This is the most popular fruit that contains high magnesium and is best known for high potassium content. This can lower down the blood pressure naturally. A medium-sized banana contains 32 mg of magnesium which meets the 8 % of the daily requirement.


Most of the dark leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium. Spinach is also the richest source of calcium that can be easily absorbed by the body. This vegetable also contains Vitamin A, C, K, manganese, and iron.


Tofu contains high protein content which is made by curdling the fresh soy milk. It also contains magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and vitamin B1. Tofu boosts the immune system, reduces the risk of stomach cancer and protects us from heart diseases.

Author's Bio: 

DR. Vikram Chauhan, MD - AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit our website: http://www.planetayurveda.com