Which Nutrients Help Treat Restless Leg Syndrome?

Can the right nutrients calm your jumpy legs and help you get a good night's sleep? Nutrition Diva describes 4 ways to help relieve your RLS symptoms.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #259

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) might sound like a goofy made-up disorder, but for 1 in 10 people in the U.S., it's maddeningly real. It's a neurological condition characterized by an unpleasant sensation and/or an overwhelming urge to move your legs. It's usually most noticeable when you are trying to fall asleep and can actually keep you from getting a good night's rest. 


As our own House Call Doctor explains, the causes are poorly understood - and various.  RLS sometimes accompanies other neurological diseases. It can also be exacerbated by certain prescription medications or nutrient deficiencies. It also simply runs in some families, with no obvious cause. (If you do struggle with RLS, take heart in the knowledge that it also sometimes disappears as mysteriously as it starts!). 

Stretching before bed can sometimes reduce the symptoms and Get-Fit Guy has some great stretching routines that target the legs and calf muscles. If your RLS is really interfering with your sleep and ability to function, your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that will help.  

But what about nutrition? Are there foods or supplements that can help with RLS?

Can Nutrition Help Relieve RLS?

If you go to your local vitamin store and ask the sales clerk for advice, he or she is likely to send you out with an armload of supplements - magnesium, horse chestnut, folic acid, or any other herb or vitamin that's even vaguely associated with legs, muscles, or nerves. That's why we don't ask vitamin store sales clerks for nutrition advice.  We ask the Nutrition Diva

See also: Reliable Sources of Nutritional Information


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.