What Causes Leg Cramps and What Can You Do?

Muscle spasms like calf cramps can be a painful companion on the path to your fitness goal. Muscle fibers contract unexpectedly and sometimes without warning, causing pain. This can happen during or after exercise (and often at night).

The most commonly affected areas are the calves, feet, and thighs. A muscle cramp can sneak up on anyone – from beginners to professionals.


For a long time it was believed that fluid or mineral imbalances were the main cause of muscle cramps. However, to date there is no evidence on what really causes muscle cramps. What we know is that the cramps are connected to how the motor neurons function.

Still, different factors might be contributing to cramps:

heavy training loadshigh temperaturesageingdiabeteslack of sleepas well as the fluid and mineral imbalances (magnesium, potassium etc.)

Most likely a combination of these will lead to chaotic electrical impulses in the muscles, which then cause a painful cramp.

A lot of people suffer from muscle spasms and are woken up in the middle of the night by the sharp pain of calf cramps. One reason for this may be that the level of magnesium in the body drops while we’re sleeping. If it gets too low, it can result in painful leg…

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