Muscle cramps can be painful. They can be very localized and small to very large depending on the muscle and the area of the muscle.
Muscle cramps, are usually, although not always, caused by a magnesium deficiency. Calcium helps to constrict muscles and magnesium helps to relax muscles.
Considering the vast majority of north Americans are magnesium deficient, it is no wonder that so many have experienced muscle cramps.
There are a variety of different types of magnesium and the body uses most of them.
- Magnesium Citrate : One of the most common types of Magnesium. It is a chelated form of magnesium, an organic salt and highly bioavailable — easy to absorb because it is held together with citric acid. Used to improve digestion.
- Magnesium Chloride: another magnesium salt but contains chlorine, again easily absorbed and often used in tablets. Used to resolve skin issues.
- Magnesium Glycinate: aka bisglycinate, also chelated. Combined elemental magnesium and an amino acid. Easily absorbed with better gut tolerance. Used to improve sleep.
- Magnesium Lactate: combined with lactic acid (which is produced naturally by muscles and blood cells). Usually used to fortify foods.
- Magnesium Malate: contains a malic acid, is chelated, good bioavailability.
- Magnesium Oxide: salt that has oxygen ions. Often found in multivitamins as it is less expensive, but may cause some gut issues for some. Used to resolve heartburn.
- Magnesium Sulfate: aka Epson salt. Has oxygen and sulfur in it to create the sulfate. Used to relax muscles and ease stress in a bath. Used as topical treatment, in magnesium oils and body lotions. Used to relieve muscle aches and cramps.
Additional types of Magnesium exist as well, including:
- Magnesium Taurate,
- Magnesium L-Threonate,
- Magnesium Orotate,
- Magnesium Phosphate,
- Magnesium Carbonate,
- Magnesium Aspartate.
So to relieve muscle cramps you might want to take magnesium sulfate. On the other hand, if your muscles are low in magnesium, you are probably low in a variety of magnesiums, and may want to take a poly magnesium supplement.
The flip side of that coin is to eat foods high in magnesium like:
- (Real) chocolate – 80% or better
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
On the next hand, you need to be careful about foods that are high in both magnesium and potassium — like bananas.
When we learn to eat healthy, by George, those health problems disappear!!!