Beat cramps with a magnesium-rich diet
Picture the scene: you've had a busy day and are just about to sleep into a well-deserved sleep when pain rampages up your leg, jolting you out of your blissful slumber and likely your bed too. Leg cramps are no joke, as anyone who has been rudely awakened by them, and suffered the dull ache aftermath, will tell you.
Magnesium has been linked to leg cramps in the past and now it's suggested that a deficiency in the mineral might be the cause of nocturnal spasms.
Researchers from Israel tested a concoction of magnesium, vitamin B6 and E and found that within a fortnight symptoms had been hugely reduced if not completely cut out. Of the 16 people taking part in the study and given the formula, 82 per cent said their cramping ceased after two weeks. The other 16 people got a placebo.
The findings were published in the Magnesium Research journal, with readings also taken from those involved for two weeks before they were given any treatment.
The supplement used is called RealMagLegs, but it's not the only way you can increase your magnesium levels. The mineral can be found in things like leafy green vegetables, broccoli, whole grains and nuts, but unfortunately many people don't get enough of it. In fact another study found that out of 1,000 30 - 65 year olds, 97 per cent had experienced cramps at some point. Of those, 60 per cent had the problem at night, but only 14 per cent realised there was a link between magnesium and cramps.
Helping with muscle spasms isn't the only benefit of a magnesium-rich diet. It also helps keep stress hormones in check and melatonin, which regulates sleep, is disrupted when your body doesn't have enough magnesium. As well as easing cramps, it can help loosen up tight muscles so your flexibility is increased and it's essential for healthy bones.