Foods That Help Fight Muscle Cramps.
Muscle cramps happen when your muscles tense up and you can’t relax them. Exercise & dehydration are common causes.
One way to ease cramping muscles is to stretch & massage them, however you can also help prevent cramping by getting enough of the key nutrients - potassium, sodium, calcium & magnesium - in your diet.
So where do you find potassium, sodium, calcium & magnesium?
Here are some common foods that contain these cramp busting nutrients. They are easy to find at your local market and you can add them to your diet every day.
Bananas – They are commonly known as a great source of potassium, but they also contain magnesium & calcium, which are 3 of the 4 nutrients know to ease muscle cramps.
Sweet Potatoes – like bananas, they contain potassium, magnesium & calcium, however they contain about 6 times the amount of calcium as a banana. Regular potatoes & pumpkin are also good sources of potassium.
Avocado – Seriously, what can’t they do? An Avo has twice as much potassium as a banana or sweet potato, so how about using it a little more often, say in the place of butter, margarine or mayo on a sandwich.
Beans & Lentils – Both are packed with magnesium & also contain lots of fiber which has been shown to help ease menstrual cramps.
Rock Melons– These are the total package. They contain loads of potassium, a good amount of magnesium & calcium, a little sodium and a lot of water. The loss of sodium & water through sweat may lead to dehydration, which may cause muscle cramps to occur. Watermelon is also a great option as it is about 90% water.
Dark Leafy Greens – They are rich in calcium and magnesium, so add some broccoli, spinach or kale to your salad to help prevent muscle cramps.
Nuts & Seeds – Here is another good reason to grab a handful of trail mix as a snack - nuts & seeds are high in magnesium.
Tomatoes & Tomato Juice – Tomatoes are high in potassium and water, so try a cup of tomato juice to boost your daily potassium intake & add to your level of hydration.
Water – Generally women need about 11-12 cups (between 2750–3000 mls) of water per day. This includes that water you get from fruit, veg and other beverages, not just from drinking water exclusively.
If you are looking for a great alternative to a sports electrolyte drink when you are working out, try coconut water. It’s a great for hydration and has much less sugar than their artificial counterparts! However remember, you only really need an electrolyte drink if you are doing high-intensity exercise for an hour or more.
So there you have it! If you add these cramp busters to your daily diet, perhaps you won’t need to reach for the magnesium supplements as often. Give it a try!