I started having very painful muscle cramps in the back of my right leg.
Dear Terry, “I started having very painful muscle cramps in the back of my right leg (it happens in the middle of the night when I'm in bed). The next day my leg muscle is a little sore in that area. Do you know what I can take to get this to stop happening?” — Debbie B., Rochester, MN
Dear Debbie, When it comes to muscle cramps, staying hydrated is important. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (6-8 8 oz. glasses per day) to make sure you’re not dehydrated.
I also recommend adding calcium lactate to your daily regimen to help alleviate the leg cramps you are experiencing. While most people tend to associate calcium with bone health, it also plays a key role in the way our muscles flex and contract. When calcium is released into the muscles, as it is during exercise, it serves as a signal for them to contract and work. After the exercise or physical labor is done, the muscles signal a return to a relaxed state. Calcium goes back to being on “stand by”. However, if you’ve used up your stores of calcium during exercise, your muscles will be unable to respond quickly and effectively - that’s when you get muscle cramps. I recommend taking 80-250 mgs of calcium lactate, along with 8-50 mg of magnesium and 1-6 mg of zinc daily.
You may also want to consider adding vitamin B6 and magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability. I recommend taking 30-60 mg of vitamin B6 and 100-200 mg of magnesium two or three times daily.
When it comes to Vitamin B6, look for its active form – pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). Many people (some estimate up to 30% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements, because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely. The most advantageous form of magnesium to take is magnesium glycinate. This is a very effective form and unlike other forms of magnesium, does not cause a laxative effect.
Terry . . . Naturally