Bone & Muscle

In children, the right nutrients help development. As we age, these same nutrients are important for stopping bone and muscle wastage and preventing a range of diseases. Try our products, articles and tips for bone and muscle health.
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Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment
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Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment

Muscle cramps are powerful, involuntary, painful spasms of a muscle. They occur most commonly in the calf, hamstring or foot. Whilst cramps most often fix themselves after a few moments as the muscle relaxes, many people have regular, recurring cramps. Regular cramping can be a sign of an underlying disease or ongoing nutritional deficiency. Rest assured if you cramp regularly,  your condition may be treated using the below tips.  

What causes muscle cramps?

The definitive cause of the muscle spasms we call 'cramps' are not fully understood. Muscle spasms are usually a sign that the cramping muscle is under excess stress, heat or lacking key nutrients. If you are cramping regularly, there could be a number of contributing factors:
  • poor physical fitness
  • tight muscles or lack of flexibility
  • inadequate diet / nutritional intake
  • genetic factors
  • excessive perspiration / dehydration
  • muscular fatigue or injury
  • shortage of key vitamins and minerals for muscle health (minerals critical for muscle function are calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Other studies suggest that vitamin B, C, D and E shortages may also be indicated )
  • disease or prescription medications
Any or all of the above factors can lead to irregular muscle function, which increases the chance of spasm / cramp.  

How do I avoid muscle cramps?

In looking at the above risk factors, you can reduce your risk of cramping by trying the following tips:
  • Maintain your fitness.
  • Stretch regularly. 5 minutes of gentle stretching on the floor during a TV ad break each evening can be sufficient to drastically improve flexibility. Hold each stretch so that you are straining but not feeling pain, and release after 30 seconds.
  • Ensure you are getting the right minerals to maintain proper muscle function. Eating a varied diet is the best way to get a range of minerals. Cacao is a rich natural source of magnesium.
  • Try a supplement. Getting your RDI of some minerals is tough to do from food alone (adult women, for example, need 1300mg of calcium each day. That's more than 4 glasses of milk). If you think you are struggling to get enough nutrients into your diet to stop cramping, you may benefit from taking a multivitamin that contains magnesium and nutrients to aid muscle relaxation or:
  •  Incorporate a Magnesium powder sourced from wholefoods (more readily absorbed by the body than tablets) OR Cacao Powder (cacao is rich in magnesium and potassium). It is possible to have too much magnesium, yet the side effects at the upper limit of recommended daily magneisum intake have not been shown to produce toxic effects when ingested as naturally occurring magnesium in food (according to nrv.gov.au) as contrasted against magnesium tablets.
  • Try a Calcium Supplement OR Chia Seeds (chia seeds are incredibly rich in calcium, critical for muscles).
  • Ensure you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day, especially before, during and after periods of physical exertion. Drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up in the morning to top up any fluids lost during sleep.
  • Know your exercise boundaries. In hot / humid conditions, take it easy to avoid excessive perspiration.
  • If muscle cramps persist despite trying the above, see your doctor. Genetic factors, diseases such as atherosclerosis or sciatica or some prescription medications may be contributing.
 

Quick, I'm cramping! Help me!

We usually don't spare muscle cramps a second thought until the muscle is already spasming and we are clutching the effected limb in agony. Use the below tips to shorten the severity and duration of cramps.
  • Gently stretch the muscle that is cramping
  • Massaging the muscle (provided doing so is not too painful) can help increase blood flow to the area and relax the muscle.
  • Apply an ice pack to cool  down overheated muscles.
  • Take a rest after the cramp has subsided. A cramp is your muscle crying out for help. Taking a rest will help the muscle relax and can help ensure it doesn't immediately recur.
 
Do I need a calcium supplement?
Articles

Do I need a calcium supplement?

Not everyone can eat enough of certain foods to get their Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of key nutrients. For example, the best food source of calcium are dairy products and - in particular - milk. As such, vegans or people with dairy intolerances might find it tough to get enough calcium from their food. This is one example of when a calcium supplement may be quite beneficial to protect your bones, joints and muscles.

Recommended Daily Intake Of Calcium

The first step in determining if you should consider a calcium supplement is to determine your calcium RDI. The National Health and Medical research Council recommend the following calcium intake for Australians and New Zealanders: Children
Age EAR RDI
All
1-3 yr 360 mg/day 500 mg/day
4-8 yr 520 mg/day 700 mg/day
Girls
9-11 yr 800 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
12-13 yr 1,050 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
14-18 yr 1,050 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
Boys
9-11 yr 800 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
12-13 yr 1,050 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
14-18 yr 1,050 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
  Adults
Age EAR RDI
Men
19-30 yr 840 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
31-50 yr 840 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
51-70 yr 840 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
>70 yr 1,100 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
Women
19-30 yr 840 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
31-50 yr 840 mg/day 1,000 mg/day
51-70 yr 1,100 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
>70 yr 1,100 mg/day 1,300 mg/day
 

How much calcium do I get each day?

If we match the average Australian's diet to the Australian Government figures above, most Australians are not getting enough calcium from food alone. Below is a list of common foods that have very high calcium content. By looking at how much of each of these foods you eat each day, you should be able to estimate roughly how much calcium you are eating each day. The ABC also has a simple calculator to tell you how much calcium you are eating each day if you are struggling with the maths. If your intake is lower than the recommended daily intake (RDI) outlined above, you may benefit from a calcium supplement.
Food Serving Size Calcium (mg)
Milk 200ml 236
Skim Milk 200ml 244
Soy Milk 200ml 300
Chia Seeds 50g 315
Sardines 90g can 323
Almonds 10 nuts 30mg
Baked Beans 1 cup 30mg
Broccoli, steamed 1 cup 60mg
Prawns 100g 190mg
  If you are eating less than the recommended daily intake, eating more of the above foods or taking a calcium supplement may offer significant benefits. Looking for a calcium supplement? Check out our range of Bone and Muscle Supplements. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on making sure you are getting enough nutrients in your life, visit www.health365.com.au.
4 Tips To Help Avoid Osteoporosis
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4 Tips To Help Avoid Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is common in Australia, especially among middle-aged to ..
OSTEO-K Vitamin K2
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OSTEO-K Vitamin K2

We all know that Calcium is important for building strong bones, but did you know that Calcium builds strong bones with the help of other key nutrients? OSTEO-K Vitamin K2 contains high strength clinically studied Vitamin K2 to help ensure more calcium binds to your bones. It is of particular benefit for: - Osteoporosis - Bone mineral density support - Bone Health and Strength
Introducing Osteo-K
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Introducing Osteo-K

Clinically trialled doses of Vitamin K2, Vitamin D & Calcium for strong bones
Why We Need Magnesium
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Why We Need Magnesium

The Importance of Magnesium For Health

Magnesium is abundantly available in a range of foods, as well as in supplement form. It is critical for maintaining a huge range of biochemical reactions in the body. It is particularly important for:
  • protein synthesis
  • proper muscle function, relaxation and contraction
  • nerve health
  • cardiovascular health
  • maintaining bone health
  • energy production
  • the list could go on and on.

How Much Magnesium Do I Need?

The Australian Government National health & Medical Research Council recommends the following RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for magnesium: Male Adults: 330-350mg a day Female Adults: 255-265mg a day

Magnesium Deficiency

Measuring the exact level of magnesium in each person's body is difficult. This is because much of the magnesium that exists in your body is in your bones or cells, not in your blood. This difficulty in measuring magnesium levels can make magnesium inadequacy difficult to diagnose via usual tests. However, common signs of a magnesium deficiency include:
  • fatigue
  • agitation / restlessness
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • tingling in joints and extremities
  • muscle cramping and spasms
  • poor nail / hair health
Studies also suggest sufficient magnesium intake is linked to cardiovascular health, maintaining brain function, helping with migraines and lack of magnesium may contribute to symptoms of low mood.

Best Magnesium Sources

Magnesium is abundantly available in a number of foods. Some of these foods include:
  • Super Cacao is completely organic and rich in magnesium. Try including it in some of our delicious Cacao recipes.
  • WholeFood Magnesium Powder features natural magnesium and is in an easily absorbed powder form. Most magnesium tablets contain synthetic magnesium compounds created in factories. Tablets are not as easily absorbed.
  • dark leafy greens (eg/ raw spinach)
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains like brown rice
------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on which electrolytes we need to maintain health, visit www.health365.com.au.    
5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3

We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.  

1. Omega-3 may help sleep

Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of 'DHA' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels also can lead to poor sleep in children.  Giving a DHA  supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.  

2. Omega-3 may support male fertility

A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship  between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.  

3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains

From the University of Maryland's overview of omega-3 research: "A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against age related cognitive decline."  

4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only nutrients for supporting strong bones. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.  

5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain

Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
Restless Leg Syndrome
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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is very common and is a major cause of ..
CoQ10 150mg One-A-Day
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CoQ10 150mg One-A-Day

Nature’s Way CoQ10 150mg is a high potency one-a-day antioxidant that helps support:
  • Heart & Cardiovascular Health
  • Healthy Cholesterol*
  • Increased Energy Production
  • Increased Physical Performance
Try Nature’s Way One-A-Day CoQ10 today. *May assist in the maintenance of cholesterol levels within the normal range in healthy individuals.