I’ve been getting a lot of “charley horses” lately.
Q. Dear Terry, “I’ve been getting a lot of “charley horses” lately. Sometimes the cramps are so painful I can’t walk for a short period of time. The cramps have been affecting my quality of sleep as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated!” — Stefan K., Renton, WA
A. Dear Stefan, While leg cramps can arise from a variety of reasons, I believe certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies may play a role.
I think that vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium would be great additions to your daily regimen. When looking for a vitamin B6 formula, I strongly recommend choosing one that features vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phospate (P-5-P) in combination with magnesium glycinate. P-5-P is the biologically active form of vitamin B6. 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.
In addition to optimizing vitamin B6 metabolism, the magnesium in the glycinate form delivers a good dose of magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability. Generally, if people are deficient in one mineral, like magnesium, they are often deficient in others. I also think that zinc can be very useful for muscle aches and cramps. I prefer zinc in the zinc gluconate form.
I would take vitamin B6 (as P-5-P), magnesium (as magnesium glycinate), and zinc (as zinc gluconate) three times daily.
Additionally, there is a special form of calcium that could be useful. Calcium lactate helps relax leg muscles, so you can get a proper night’s sleep. I would take calcium lactate two to three times per day and around 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
Terry . . . Naturally