Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions often experienced by athletes and people who regularly engage in strenuous exercise.
This uncontrolled contraction occurs in one muscle or part of a muscle causing sharp pain that lasts from a few seconds to minutes.
What causes muscle cramps?
Some of the major triggers of muscle pain are:
- Muscles overuse
- Excessive sweating, especially post-workout
- Muscle injury
- Imbalance in the body’s minerals or electrolytes
- Inflammation of the stomach
- Deficiencies of certain micronutrients
- Use of certain drugs like steroids and diuretics
- Health problems such as thyroid and kidney disease
- Staying in a single position for a long period of time
One way to beat muscle cramping is to consume nutrient-dense foods rich in key nutrients such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
They’re referred to as electrolytes, and you can find them in the following foods.
8 amazing foods to cure muscle cramps
To relieve muscle soreness, it’s critical to consume enough water. This is the key to avoiding dehydration and keeping the body’s fluid balance in check.
Athletes commonly use a range of strategies to treat muscle discomfort and swelling, including stretching and massaging the muscles, applying cold packs, and taking medication.
Additionally, certain meals can aid in the relief of muscle discomfort. Some examples of such foods are:
Watermelon is one of the best foods to get rid of muscle aches. This delicious fruit is a good source of calcium, magnesium and is high in water content which aids in maintaining fluid-electrolyte balance in the body, thereby preventing and alleviating muscle cramps.
Since it’s a melon, it’s also loaded with potassium. In addition, watermelon naturally contains the amino acid citrulline, which is said to improve blood circulation.
A study found that athletes who drank 500 ml per day of watermelon juice had reduced muscle pain and recovered faster.
Avocados are a powerhouse of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium that play an important role in reducing muscle pain and relieving muscle contraction.
Eating avocados every day will help in the proper functioning of the muscles and improve overall health.
This delicious drink is loaded with potassium and is also a rich source of calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus, all of which can help reduce muscle cramps.
Due to the presence of amino acids such as alanine, arginine, and cysteine, coconut water reduces stress on the muscles and supports muscle regeneration.
A study found that since it was rich in electrolytes, it was effective in keeping athletes hydrated, alleviating muscle cramps, and improving exercise performance.
Fitness enthusiasts use bananas as a time-tested remedy for muscle aches.
It is often consumed by people before exercise due to its energy-rich properties.
Additionally, it contains three vital nutrients – calcium, potassium, and magnesium – out of the four nutrients required to maintain electrolyte balance and ease muscle cramps.
Like bananas, sweet potatoes are also a good source of all three nutrients, potassium, calcium, and magnesium — minerals that are vital for the proper functioning of the muscles.
Plus this vegetable has several anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help prevent inflammation.
Milk and curd
Dairy products such as milk, curd and other forms of dairy are good sources of calcium.
They also contain other electrolytes, such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus — all of which can be helpful in resolving muscle-related problems such as muscle cramps.
Due to the presence of whey and casein proteins, dairy products are considered to be a complete source of protein, which helps repair muscle tissue after workouts.
They also provide the nine essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and regeneration.
Dark green leafy veggies
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, lettuce, and mustard greens are packed with good-for-you nutrients.
Eating leafy greens can do wonders for your muscle function. They are rich in calcium and magnesium which can help prevent and reduce muscle cramps.
Fatty fishes such as salmon and sardines contain significant amounts of essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, magnesium, and sodium that may help prevent and relieve muscle cramps.
Studies have shown that fish oil is high in the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect that offers several benefits for bodybuilders, such as reduced muscle and joint pain.
Muscle cramps are indeed a painful symptom experienced by many people. Fortunately, they can be prevented and treated by consuming nutrient-dense foods high in specific vitamins and minerals.
If you experience frequent muscle cramps, consider including a few of the foods and beverages from this list into your daily diet — mix and match what you prefer.
However, make sure you mix these meals with a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes all of the other vital elements your body need. If your symptoms don’t improve, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss probable reasons and treatment alternatives.
As a necessary add-on, make a habit of taking preventive health checkups as they can help you in getting a complete insight into your health.
This will also help you with taking measures to promote your overall well-being.