Nutrition

Magnesium For Leg Cramps: What You Can Eat n Drink 

magnesium for leg cramps

Do you know about 60% of adults have leg cramps from time to time? (1

The most common reason behind this is poor hydration.

Hydration is so important because water contains essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium that control various bodily functions – including muscle contraction.

A lack of these electrolytes leads to problems like leg cramps. 

In this article, we will understand the symptoms caused by a lack of magnesium like leg cramps, and how drinks and foods high in magnesium may help you out.

13 Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms You Must Know

Low levels of magnesium don’t only cause leg cramps, they cause multiple symptoms that may further lead to serious issues like diabetes and heart disease. Some of these symptoms include: (2)

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Fatigue
  3. Constipation
  4. Risk of arrhythmias
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Miscarriage or premature labor in pregnant women
  7. Increased cholesterol and blood triglycerides
  8. Hypertension
  9. Morning headaches like migraine
  10. Poor memory
  11. Sleep disorders
  12. Muscle cramps
  13. Generalized seizures

If you have been feeling a few of these symptoms lately, you may have hypomagnesemia. The condition is when you have less than 0.75 mmol/L of serum magnesium concentration in your blood.

Make sure to get your magnesium levels tested as soon as possible. 

Note that a lack of magnesium in the body also means your body has an electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance can have more problems in store for you, like dehydration symptoms. So, it’s important to replenish your magnesium stores.

You can do that by consuming foods and drinks rich in magnesium. These will also help if the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are troubling you too much and you need some instant relief. 

Even if you don’t have a magnesium deficiency, these foods and drinks will help you prevent it in the future.

Foods High In Magnesium

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 310 to 320 mg for adult females and 200 to 420 mg for adult males. (3)

An intake below that for a long period of time may result in you getting some of those symptoms we just talked about. 

You should understand the best time to take magnesium and how to take it. 

  • Leafy Greens

When you need magnesium for leg cramps or other hypomagnesemia symptoms, leafy greens are an easy fix. 

All you need to do is cook your favorite dark leafy vegetables for meals, and you will have enough magnesium to restore your body. 

One cup of kale is beneficial when your symptoms are not serious as it has 23.4 mg of magnesium. (4)

For severe symptoms, try one cup of spinach, which has 156.6 mg of magnesium. (5)

  • Peanut Butter

One tablespoon of peanut butter has about 27 mg of magnesium. It is also high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, which will not only save you from low magnesium symptoms but keep your fluid balance in check. (6)

Additionally, peanut butter is keto diet friendly, which makes it great for anyone in ketosis. 

Bananas are famous for being a potassium-rich food. It is also high in magnesium, considering a regular-sized banana has about 32 mg of magnesium. (7)

Being rich in electrolytes and nutrition, this snack can be eaten as a pre-workout or post-workout meal, especially if your workout isn’t too intense.

  • Nuts and Seeds

Every ounce of almonds has 77 mg of magnesium, along with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin, and fiber that keep your health upright. A similar amount of cashews contain 82 mg of magnesium. (8,9)

Flax seeds have 110 mg of this essential electrolyte in one ounce, and pumpkin seeds are equally good. (10,11)

Additionally, nuts and seeds have omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them great keto-friendly foods.

  • Avocados

Highly nourishing and fulfilling, avocados make a fantastic ingredient for a keto-based lunch. 

They have healthy fatty acids, numerous vitamins including A, C, E, K, and B6, and a generous quantity of potassium and phosphorus. 

If that’s not enough, every cup of avocados has 43.5 mg of magnesium which makes about 11% of the daily value. (12)

  • Dark Chocolate

Good news for chocolate lovers out there. Every 100g of dark chocolate contains about 252.2 mg of magnesium. Alongside, it contains iron, selenium, and zinc, as well, that help improve your immunity, and make you strong enough to avoid the above symptoms. (13)

Drinks High In Magnesium

Coconut water has 4.7 mg of magnesium, along with potassium, sodium, and vitamin C. It is also rich in fiber which makes it great for digestion.

Thus, it’s safe to say that constipation – a symptom of low magnesium in the body – can be easily avoided with regular consumption of coconut water.

  • Cocoa Drinks

Whether you like chocolate milk hot or cold, you are in for a magnesium treat. Chocolate milk uses at least one tablespoon of cocoa powder, which has about 27 mg of magnesium. (14)

Cocoa drinks are a great way to prevent health problems while blessing your taste buds on the way.

  • Coffee

According to Harvard Medical School, a cup of coffee has 7 mg of magnesium. (15

If you are only slightly low in magnesium, this can help you balance your electrolytes

However, too much coffee can be dehydrating, and thus, may lead to electrolyte imbalance, causing a magnesium deficiency over time. So make sure you don’t drink more than 5 cups of coffee a day.

Electrolyte water has varying levels of magnesium depending on how it’s made. Not only magnesium – it’s designed to have all essential electrolytes in enough quantity. 

This water is especially useful after tiring workouts or a day of working under the harsh sun to replenish all electrolytes you lost through sweat. It is also great for those suffering from keto flu. 

The Takeaway

You need to consume food and drinks rich in magnesium for leg cramps or other symptoms of low magnesium. 

Foods like bananas, avocados, dark chocolates, nuts, seeds, tofu, fatty fish, cooked beans, and leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium and thus, a great addition to your diet.

You have beverage options too. For instance, coconut water, electrolyte drinks, coffee, and cocoa drinks work well.

However, in case, you have too many of the symptoms we specified above, or have them of severe intensity, it’s best to consult a doctor and get proper medical treatment. 

Have a question? Drop it in the comments below!

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