10 Best Supplements for Cramps: Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to combating cramps, a number of supplements have been studied for their beneficial effects. The best cramps supplements are those that are scientifically backed, effective, safe for consumption, and cost-efficient. This article presents a meticulous evaluation of these supplements, providing a succinct breakdown of their features, effects, benefits, potential side effects, and cost, to guide readers in making an informed decision.

For the sake of brevity, the top five in this list are Electrolytes, Magnesium, Potassium, Creatine and Zinc. These supplements not only mitigate cramps but also contribute to overall health and wellbeing.

  1. Electrolytes
  2. Magnesium
  3. Potassium
  4. Creatine
  5. Zinc

1. Electrolytes

Electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and calcium, play a pivotal role in maintaining hydration levels and nerve function, which are crucial in cramp prevention. They facilitate muscle contraction and relaxation, thus alleviating cramp intensity and duration.

The salient benefits of electrolytes include better muscle function, enhanced hydration, and improved nerve signaling. However, an overconsumption might result in electrolyte imbalance leading to lethargy, irregular heartbeat, or seizures. A daily dosage of electrolyte-rich sports drinks or supplement tablets would be sufficient for an average adult.

Brands such as LMNT, Nuun, DripDrop, and Liquid I.V offer electrolyte tablets or powders at an average price of $20 per container. While there aren’t specific precautions associated with electrolyte supplements, it is essential to maintain a balance and not exceed the recommended daily dosage.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a macro-mineral known for its ability to relax muscles and prevent cramps. It functions as a natural calcium blocker, enabling muscles to relax after contraction, thereby preventing cramp onset.

Magnesium supplements improve muscle health, regulate nerve function, and boost exercise performance. However, caution must be exercised to avoid potential side effects such as diarrhea and stomach cramping, especially when consumed in large quantities.

For the best magnesium supplements, go with renowned brands like Thorne, Nature’s Bounty, NOW Foods, and Doctor’s Best as they offer Magnesium supplements in varying forms, with prices ranging from $15 to $25 per bottle. Pregnant women and individuals with kidney disease should consult their healthcare provider before consuming magnesium supplements.

3. Potassium

Potassium is another crucial electrolyte supplement effective for cramp management. It plays a fundamental role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, making it essential for cramp prevention.

Apart from cramp relief, potassium supplements can regulate fluid balance and control the electrical activity of the heart. They should be taken with care due to the risk of hyperkalemia (excessive potassium), which can lead to heart problems. The intake should align with the recommended dietary allowance for adults: 4700 mg per day.

Brands like NOW Foods, Nature Made, and Pure Encapsulations provide the best potassium supplements. The cost can range from $10 to $20 per bottle. Those with kidney disease or heart conditions should consult with a physician before taking potassium supplements.

4. Creatine

Creatine, a substance found naturally in muscle cells, helps produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. As such, it aids in reducing muscle cramps and muscle soreness following exercise.

Aside from decreasing muscle cramps, creatine can also improve strength and lean muscle mass. However, potential side effects include weight gain, anxiety, breathing difficulty, diarrhea, and fatigue. It should be consumed as per the manufacturer’s guidelines or under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

Top brands offering the best creatine supplements include Thorne, Transparent Labs, Optimum Nutrition, MuscleTech, and BulkSupplements. These can range in price from $15 to $30. Individuals with kidney disease, diabetes, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from using creatine supplements.

This list continues with Zinc, Sodium Bicarbonate, Calcium, Taurine, and the unusual yet effective combination of Pickle juice and Mustard. Each supplement carries its unique benefits and potential side effects, and their consumption should always be in accordance with individual health requirements and professional medical advice.

5. Zinc

Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is known for its role in promoting immune response and metabolic health. For athletes or individuals with rigorous physical activities, zinc can help mitigate muscle cramps.

Zinc supplements boost immune health, aid protein synthesis, and support muscle recovery. However, excessive consumption can lead to nausea, vomiting, or more severe metal toxicity. It’s usually recommended to take 15-30mg of zinc per day, depending on dietary intake.

Well-regarded brands like Nature’s Bounty, NOW Foods, and Garden of Life offer the best zinc supplements within a price range of $5 to $20. People with kidney diseases and pregnant women should seek medical advice before starting a zinc supplement regimen.

6. Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium Bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, has been used in athletic circles for its ability to buffer lactic acid and potentially prevent muscle cramps. It assists in maintaining the body’s pH levels, thus improving exercise performance.

Apart from reducing muscle cramps, Sodium Bicarbonate can enhance endurance and strength. The common side effects of overconsumption include bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. It’s usually taken in small amounts diluted in water, preferably under professional guidance.

Brands such as Pure Organic Ingredients, Prescribed for Life, and Arm & Hammer offer Sodium Bicarbonate, typically priced from $10 to $25 per pound. It’s essential to start with smaller doses to assess tolerance.

7. Calcium

Calcium plays a vital role in muscle contraction and bone health, making it a crucial supplement for those experiencing cramps regularly. It helps in signal transmission from the brain to the muscle, facilitating muscle movement.

Apart from cramp reduction, calcium supplements contribute to strong bones and teeth. Overconsumption, however, might lead to kidney stones or constipation. A daily intake of 1000mg to 1300mg is generally recommended for adults.

Nature’s Bounty, Kirkland Signature, and Viactiv offer calcium supplements that range from $10 to $20 per bottle. Those with heart disease or kidney stones should seek medical advice before starting calcium supplementation.

8. Taurine

Taurine, an amino acid important in several metabolic processes, is known to assist with muscle function and electrolyte balance. It could help to minimize muscle cramping in some individuals.

Taurine supplements can support muscle function, boost exercise performance, and aid in nerve health. Excessive consumption can lead to nausea, dizziness, or headache. The dosage varies, but a daily intake of 500–2,000 mg is generally safe for most individuals.

Thorne, NOW Foods, BulkSupplements, and Nutricost are among the top brands providing the best Taurine supplements, typically priced from $10 to $25. It’s prudent to start with a low dose and monitor for any adverse reactions.

9. Pickle Juice and Mustard

Pickle juice and mustard are traditional remedies for muscle cramps due to their high vinegar content. The acetic acid in vinegar is thought to trigger the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates muscle contractions.

Consuming these can lead to improved muscle health and cramp reduction. The possible side effects of overconsumption are heartburn and bloating. Usage varies greatly among individuals, but starting with small amounts and observing for any side effects is a safe approach.

While these aren’t typical supplement brands, pickle juice and mustard can be found in most grocery stores. Always opt for versions without added sugars or preservatives.

What are Cramps Supplements?

Cramps supplements are dietary supplements designed to help prevent or alleviate muscle cramps. They contain ingredients that contribute to muscle health, including electrolytes for hydration and nerve function, minerals that facilitate muscle contractions and relaxations, and amino acids that aid in muscle recovery and function.

What are Cramps Supplements 1
What are Cramps Supplements?

What is the Function of Cramps Supplements?

Cramps supplements serve to maintain optimal nutrient levels associated with muscle health. By replenishing these vital nutrients, they help promote proper muscle function, prevent involuntary muscle contractions (cramps), and aid in quicker recovery post-exercise.

How to Choose the Best Cramps Supplements?

When selecting the best cramps supplement, consider factors like individual health requirements, the supplement’s effectiveness as per scientific studies, potential side effects, dosage guidelines, and cost-effectiveness. It’s also wise to seek professional medical advice before starting any supplement regimen, especially for those with pre-existing conditions or those taking other medications.

When should I take Cramps Supplements?

Cramps supplements can be taken as preventive measures before strenuous activities, or as part of a regular dietary regimen to maintain optimal nutrient levels associated with muscle health. The frequency depends on the specific supplement and the individual’s health needs. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s dosage instructions or consult a healthcare provider.

Who can Take Cramps Supplements?

Cramps supplements can be taken by adults experiencing muscle cramps or those looking to improve muscle health and performance. However, individuals with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, or those on medication should consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplementation.

Where can I Purchase Cramps Supplements?

Cramps supplements can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies, health food stores, or online. A prescription is generally not required unless the supplement contains substances regulated by certain health authorities. For the best supplements available, Thorne Health should be your first stop.

How Long Do Cramps Supplements Take to Work?

The time it takes for a cramps supplement to work can vary widely depending on the specific supplement and the individual’s physiology. Generally, regular consumption over a period of a few weeks is needed to see noticeable effects.

Are Cramps Supplements Effective?

Yes, cramps supplements can be effective. Numerous studies have shown that maintaining optimal levels of specific nutrients can help prevent muscle cramps and promote overall muscle health. However, individual responses may vary, and these supplements should be part of a holistic approach that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Are Cramps Supplements Effective
Are Cramps Supplements Effective?

What vitamins are you lacking if you get cramps?

If you’re experiencing muscle cramps, you may be lacking essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients play a key role in muscle contractions and nerve functions, and deficiencies can lead to cramping.

What is the best supplement to stop muscle cramps?

Magnesium is often considered the best supplement to help stop muscle cramps. It helps relax muscles after contraction and can alleviate muscle cramps when taken regularly. However, effectiveness can vary among individuals, and it’s recommended to consider a comprehensive approach that includes adequate hydration and a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.