What Supplements to Take for Stiff Calf Muscles

Stiff muscles can be a common complaint among many people, from couch potatoes to elite athletes. Calf muscles can get stiff for several reasons, including sitting too long, prolonged or intense exercise sessions, a lack of stretching or even a nutritional deficiency. Some supplements may help to alleviate the aches and pains associated with stiff calves. Consult a health-care professional prior to adding supplements to your diet.


According to Nutros.com, magnesium is often used to relieve tight muscles, prevent cramping and assist with proper nerve and muscle functioning. The micronutrient is needed for several key body processes, including muscle contractions. A deficiency may lead to a disruption in muscle contraction as well as a disruption in the associated nerve impulses. Athletes, or anybody prone to tight calves, may find relief with magnesium supplements that aim to relax skeletal muscles throughout the body. Nutros.com advises that the daily magnesium intake for a healthy adult will range between 250 and 500 mg, with upwards of 1,000 mg daily for intensely training athletes.


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Calcium works with magnesium for the proper functioning of muscle contractions and nerve impulses. While magnesium relaxes muscles, calcium stimulates contraction. Calcium may help relieve stiff muscles in some people by stimulating the muscles to contract. Most people will need to experiment with supplements to determine whether more calcium or magnesium is correct for them, while others typically use a combination thereof. Nutros.com explains that magnesium should be taken with calcium in a ratio of 1:2 to decrease the risk of overcalcification -- too much calcium intake. If you take 500 mg of magnesium, for example, supplement with 1,000 mg of calcium for appropriate mineral balance.


B vitamins aid your body's process of getting energy from the food you eat. Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is needed for proper heart, brain and nerve functioning. MDGuidelines states that a deficiency in vitamin B1 can lead to symptoms such as a loss of muscle mass and muscle cramping. A physical examination may reveal stiff muscles and, in particular, tender calf muscles. Adequate intake for the average healthy person over the age of 14 is approximately 1.0 to 1.1 mg/day, according to MedlinePlus.


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Always consult a physician or other medical professional prior to adding supplements to your diet. There may be adverse health effects associated with taking too much of a vitamin or supplement depending on your individual health status. While supplements may help stiff calf muscles, in general a healthy diet combined with a consistent exercise program is key to a well-functioning body. Physical activity can help move waste products such as lactic acid, which causes stiffness and achiness, out of the body; furthermore, stretching warm muscles will decrease the risk of stiff and tight muscles.