Natural Ways to Reduce Muscle Cramps
Muscle Cramps can be spontaneous, uncomfortable and actually very painful at times, action can be taken at home to reduce the severity of your cramps.
Muscle cramps are incredibly common and are normally completely harmless. Although they can happen at any time, they are most common at night, or when you are resting. A common place to get a muscle cramps is in your legs. Muscle cramps happen when a muscle suddenly shortens and becomes tight. They are painful, and can make it difficult to move, however, they do not normally last that long. Normally from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. It is normal for the muscle to feel tight and a little sore for up to twenty-four hours after the cramp has stopped.
Muscle cramps are normally completely harmless, however, you should make an appointment to see your doctor if, your cramps are disturbing you from sleeping, or if you have numbness or swelling in your legs. You should request an urgent appointment if your cramps, last longer than ten minutes at a time, or if there is a chance that you might have got a tetanus infection from a wound. A large number of muscle cramps could also be a symptom of diabetes, so it is important you get yourself checked out if you suffer on a regular basis.
Whilst the reasons for muscle cramps is unknown, there are certain things that make them more likely to happen, including, ageing, exercise, or putting too much strain on your muscles, pregnancy, although this usually affects people in the later stages, medication that is given to lower cholesterol, or high blood pressure, not drinking enough fluids, and liver disease that is caused by excess alcohol.
The good news is that there are many ways that you can actually help to protect yourself from cramps, and note that there are natural ways to help relieve the pain that is associated with them.
Potassium is a really great preventative of cramps, so it is important to eat food that has high levels of this in them. Bananas are great, as are sweet potatoes, which give you great amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Pumpkins and normal potatoes are great as well, and also have a lot of water in them, which will help to keep you hydrated, another really great way of preventing cramps.
The reason that potassium is so important is because it will help your muscles work in order to keep your heart healthy. Upping this intake will help to reduce the severity and frequency of your muscle cramps.
Beans and lentils:
Just like sweet potatoes, legumes are packed full of magnesium. Just one cup of cooked lentils has 71, milligrams and the same amount of cooked black beans actually has nearly double that amount, with around 120 milligrams or magnesium.
On top of this, they are incredibly high in fibre, and research has suggested that foods that are high in fibre, are really great at helping to relieve menstrual cramps, as well as helping to control your blood sugar, and lowering your cholesterol.
When it comes to relieving muscle cramps, melons are some of the best foods that you could eat. This is because they contain everything that is vital for preventing cramps, including, potassium, magnesium, calcium, small amounts of sodium and plenty of water.
Both sodium and water are vital for helping to keep you hydrated, which as we have mentioned is a great way to prevent muscle cramps. Try eating some cubed cantaloupe after you have done a workout.
Cow’s Milk is a great and natural source of vital electrolytes, such as calcium, potassium and sodium, making it really great at keeping you hydrated.
On top of this, it is absolutely packed full of protein, which will help to repair your muscle tissue after you have completed a workout, which are all great ways of helping to prevent against muscle cramps.
This one is not for the faint heated, however, some athletes will drink pickle juice as an effective way to prevent muscle cramps. This is likely due to both the high water and sodium content.
Research has suggested though that it might go deeper than this, and says that it could prevent cramps, because the pickle juice will actually set off a reaction in your nervous system that will help to prevent and stop cramp in its tracks.
Dark, leafy greens:
Dark and leafy greens are really high in calcium and magnesium, which as we know are great at preventing cramps, particularly menstrual cramps.
Try and add plenty of kale, spinach and broccoli to your plate. Further studies have also shown that eating food that is high in calcium is really effective at relieve the pain that comes with menstrual cramps.
Orange juice is really effective at preventing muscle cramps, and research has shown that it goes further than simply rehydrating you.
Of course, it is full of water, so it will aid hydration, however, it is also packed full of calcium and magnesium, as well as having a massive 500 milligrams of potassium in every cup.
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are a really great source of magnesium. Just one ounce of sunflower seeds that have been toasted has 37 milligrams of magnesium, and one ounce of roasted, salted almonds has even double that.
A lot of nuts and seeds are also a great source of calcium too, which are all great at helping to reduce cramps. Be snack wise though. Nuts are high in fat, so check your portion size.
Whilst there is no direct cause for cramps, sometimes it is because of poor blood flow, so it is important to try and eat food that promotes good circulation. Oily fish, such as salmon are really great at improving this.
Just one three-ounce portion of cooked salmon has 326 milligrams of potassium and 53 milligrams of sodium to help with the cramps. Trout and sardines are also great options if you do not like salmon.
Tomatoes are another fruit that is really high in potassium and water, which will help promote blood flow, reduce the pain of cramps, and help to hydrate you.
Just one cup of tomato juice will give you approximately 15 percent of your daily value of potassium, not to mention helping to keep you hydrated.