What Causes Leg Cramps & Leg Cramp Remedies

We call them Charley horses, muscle cramps or more popularly, leg cramps. 

Whatever you call it, it’s can be a gigantic pain to deal with and usually you have no idea why you’re getting them.

Today I’m going to explore what causes leg cramps and what you can do to treat these muscle cramps.

If you prefer to watch a video on the topic you can find that at the bottom of this post.

What Causes of Leg Cramps

There are numerous things that could be causing your leg cramps. 

The following are the most common causes or factors increasing your risk fo leg cramps.

  • Dehydration

  • Performing new or different exercises that your body is not accustomed to

  • Increasing the amount of exercise or physical activity that you’re doing

  • Taking diuretics

  • If you’re pregnant you’re more likely to get leg cramps

  • They can be consuming less of something, doing an activity too much or irregularly, a state where you are carrying a baby and others.

  • Poor blood circulation

Those are the most common causes of leg cramps.  It’s important to note that dehydration is the most common cause of muscle cramps.

Also, something we have noticed at our studio during training sessions with clients is that muscle cramps can be caused by someone having muscle imbalances that case the wrong muscle to contract at the wrong times.

This will cause muscle cramps during the workout more than afterwards though.

Leg Cramp Remedies

If you’re suffering from muscle cramps, the most important thing is to find a home treatment to relieve your symptoms.

I’m going to share several leg cramp remedies. You’ll need to play around to see which one works best for you.

Leg Cramp Remedy #1

The most important thing is to stay hydrated. 

Make sure you're drinking enough water throughout your day and while you’re working out or performing physical activity. This is especially important when performing exercise or activities in warmer climates.

If you’re doing higher intensity exercise and sweating a lot, putting a small pinch of sea salt into your water can be helpful in replenishing the salt you’re losing during the workout.

leg cramp remedies

Leg Cramp Remedy #2

Avoid increasing how much you’re working out too quickly.

This is a common misconception.  People often think they’re increasing their workouts slowly.  

However, they aren’t looking at changes in workouts in terms of percentages.

For example, if they were running 10 minutes, in their next workout, they'll run 20 minutes. 

They feel it’s only and increase of 10 minutes, so it’s not a big deal.

If you look at the percentage, that's a 100% increase. 

A rule of thumb is to increase how much you're exercising by 10% or less.

Leg Cramp Remedy #3

Making sure you’re warming up and cooling down when you’re exercising.

This will decrease your chances of getting muscle cramps.

Here is an example of a warm up you can perform before your workouts.

Leg Cramp Remedy #4

If you want to decrease your chances of getting muscle cramps or specifically leg cramps make sure you are eating a diet high in magnesium and potassium.

Here are two videos I did talking about which foods are high in magnesium and potassium.

Leg Cramp Wrap Up

Hopefully, at this point you have a clear picture of the most common causes of muscle cramps and have some leg cramp remedies.

Again, I want to stress this, look towards hydration first when dealing with muscle or leg cramps.

Finally, if the pain isn’t going away, or if you have muscle cramps along with muscle weakness or experiencing swelling or redness or even change in the skin then it is best to seek medical attention before it gets serious. 

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