How to Get Rid of Muscle Cramps with Minerals

Two Methods:Ingesting Minerals to Relieve CrampsSoaking in a Mineral Bath

Muscle cramps occur when one or more of your muscles contracts involuntarily and does not relax.[1] There are numerous causes of muscle cramps, including strenuous activity and dehydration.[2] Many muscle cramps are in direct response to your body's potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium deficiencies, as these minerals help regulate the activity in your nerves and muscles.[3] Learning how to use minerals to relieve your muscle cramps can help you feel better and get back to your usual activities.

Method 1
Ingesting Minerals to Relieve Cramps

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    Add sodium to your diet. Sodium plays an important role in preventing or treating muscle cramps.[4] That's because sodium helps regulate the body's muscle contraction and relaxation.[5]
    • While sodium is an important part of your diet, too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure.[6]
    • Medical professionals typically recommend keeping your daily sodium intake under 2,300 mg each day, or 1,500 mg for individuals over age 50. Individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney problems should also lower their daily sodium intake.[7]
    • Common dietary sources of sodium include all vegetables and dairy products, as well as meat and shellfish.[8]
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    Get more magnesium. Magnesium is one of many minerals that your body needs to ensure proper muscle function.[9] The studies conducted on muscle cramps and magnesium are somewhat inconclusive, although one study did find a significant improvement in pregnant women experiencing muscle cramps.[10]
    • Dietary sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans/legumes, and cereal grains.[11]
    • A diet that is too high in fat may reduce your body's ability to absorb magnesium.[12]
    • Over-the-counter magnesium supplements are available at most pharmacies and drug stores.
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    Increase your potassium intake. Low potassium, also called hypokalemia, can affect your muscles' ability to function properly.[13] Increasing your potassium intake may help alleviate muscle cramps naturally.[14]
    • Some dietary sources of potassium include squash, potatoes, spinach, lentils/beans, bananas, and cantaloupe.[15]
    • Over-the-counter potassium supplements are available at most pharmacies.[16]
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    Ingest more calcium. Calcium is required for proper muscle function.[17] Finding ways to increase your calcium levels may help relieve muscle cramps.[18]
    • Vitamin D is required to properly absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from foods like salmon and egg yokes, or through exposure to the sun.[19]
    • Dietary sources of calcium include dark leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale, as well as milk, soy milk, and some fortified fruit juices.[20]
    • Calcium supplements are also available at most pharmacies; however, some studies suggest that calcium supplements may cause kidney stones and other health risks that outweigh the potential benefits.[21] Talk to your doctor before taking this or any other supplement.

Method 2
Soaking in a Mineral Bath

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    Draw a warm bath. Studies have shown that soaking a cramped muscle can help improve blood flow and relax the muscle out of its tense, cramped state.[22] Be sure that the water is not too hot, to prevent burns and discomfort.
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    Add epsom salt. Epsom salt, which is made of magnesium sulfate, is a popular soaking solution for sore or cramped muscles.[23] Add approximately one to two cups of epsom salt per gallon of water in the bathtub.[24]
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    Soak in the mineral bath. It's okay to completely submerge your body in the epsom salt bath if you want to. At the very least, though, you should completely submerge the part of your body experiencing muscle cramps. Soak for at least 12 minutes to experience the relaxing effects of a mineral bath.[25]
    • Talk to your doctor about how long and how often it is safe to soak in an epsom salt bath.[26]
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    Make an epsom salt compress. If you do not want to soak in the bath, you can also prepare a compress using the same measurements as you would for a bath. Simply soak a clean towel in the epsom salt bath and apply directly to the cramped muscle.[27]


  • Cramps are often caused by dehydration. If you get cramps frequently, drink more water.
  • If you get cramps during exercise, drink at least 2 cups of water before each workout. Continue to hydrate throughout your workout.
  • If you sweat a lot, consider a sports drink that can replenish your electrolyte balance.
  • When you have finished exercising make sure you warm down by going for a jog and doing stretches. If you get cramps rest and stretch them out
  • If you get a little relief but not total control from eating more bananas, prunes, etc., talk to your physician or pharmacist. Supplements in tablet form can be purchased inexpensively at Wal-Mart or your favorite drugstore or pharmacy. Your pharmacist can recommend a dosage for you, and you can try adding supplements one by one until you find a combination that works well.


  • If your leg cramps are severe and chronic, see your doctor. If you believe you are a sufferer of "restless leg syndrome," ask your doctor about new medications developed just for this painful and debilitating condition.
  • Muscle cramps are usually temporary and don't cause permanent damage. But contact a doctor if the cramp or spasm lasts for more than a day, or if it continues to bother you despite trying these steps.
  • Some cholesterol medications (like Lipitor or Simvastatin) have a serious side effect called rhabdomyolysis. This means that the medication is actually breaking down the muscle and can cause serious damage if it isn't caught. If you are experiencing muscle cramps for no apparent reason and you are taking a "statin" medication for your cholesterol, talk to your doctor immediately.[28]

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Article Info

Categories: Cramps