foods that help with muscle cramps

By … Here’s what the research has to say. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Eating oily fish like salmon can help improve it. It’s also a potassium star with nearly 500 milligrams per cup. Dairy products, fish, leafy greens, and nuts are all abundant in calcium and therefore work wonders when one is suffering from muscle cramps. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. But that might not be the case. Papayas are tasty tropical fruits that are especially high in potassium and magnesium. The water you get from other beverages, plus fruits and vegetables, counts, too. Calcium is essential for muscle and nerve function so that muscles contract and relax properly. Therefore, eating Greek yogurt after a strenuous workout can help replenish certain nutrients that may prevent exercise-related muscle cramps, as well as boost muscle recovery (13). All rights reserved. There are some plant foods that are really rich in all of those 3 minerals, and I wanted to share them with you. Potassium deficiency occurs when your body suddenly loses a lot of fluid. And it’s packed with protein, which helps repair muscle tissue after workouts. Therefore, if you experience frequent muscle cramps, making sure you consume plenty of electrolyte-rich foods like avocados may help. A study in male athletes demonstrated that drinking small amounts of pickle juice strained from whole pickles reduced electrically-induced muscle cramp duration by 49.1 seconds, compared with drinking plain water or no fluids at all (19). One possible cause of muscle cramps is dehydration. Sweet potatoes get the win because they have about six times as much calcium as bananas. What’s more, beet greens are loaded with nitrates, which are compounds that help improve blood vessel function, ensuring proper blood flow to your muscles. It's an essential mineral that can aid communication between muscles and nerves. Foods That May Help With Muscle Cramps Eat to Beat Them. Orange juice has 27 milligrams of calcium and magnesium. This article will help you do that. For example, combining frozen berries, spinach, almond butter, and Greek yogurt in an easy-to-drink smoothie can help deliver the vitamins and minerals that your muscles need to function at an optimal level. Muscle cramps happen when your muscles tense up and you can’t relax them. Muscle cramps occur for a variety of reasons, but foods offer solutions to those problems. 5 foods that may help with muscle cramps Muscle cramps are uncomfortable symptom characterized by painful, involuntary contractions of a muscle or part of a muscle. Yoghurt with banana is a good combination of potassium, calcium and magnesium to help with muscle cramps. When electrolytes become imbalanced, such as after intense physical activity, symptoms like muscle cramping can arise (3). In fact, 1 cup (200 grams) of mashed sweet potato delivers over 20% of the recommended intake for potassium and nearly 13% of the recommended intake for magnesium (11). Proper muscle function requires adequate hydration, and a lack of water can hinder muscle cells’ ability to contract, which may cause or exacerbate cramping (8). The main thing here is the calcium, which is meant to help you strengthen and recover your muscles and bones. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on March 16, 2020. Seeds (squash, sunflower, sesame), oil-bearing nuts, and legumes are the best sources. However, keep in mind that more research is needed before fermented foods and beverages can be recommended as a treatment for muscle cramps. We’ll talk about the likely causes of this…, Magnesium deficiency is one possible reason for leg cramps, so we looked into the research out there on upping magnesium to treat muscle cramps…. It can also calm you down, according to nutrition expert and registered dietitian Joy Bauer. They’re typically brief and usually over within a few seconds to a few minutes (1, 2). Not a salmon fan? M. They’re about 90% water, so when you need foods that hydrate, a cup of watermelon will do it. Fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can help decrease inflammation in the … The natural sugars will also help drive protein into your muscles and replenish low glycogen stores, and the high water content is essential in preventing muscle-cramping dehydration. Find out what causes leg cramps here. They’re amongst the most nutritious greens you can eat and packed with a number of nutrients that support muscle health and may reduce your risk of muscle cramps. Muscle cramps may occur even at rest, at night, or during a workout session or even while sleeping. Muscle cramps are very common condition which usually occurs at night when the patient is sleeping.. You probably want to treat this condition early to avoid the pain and discomfort that muscle cramps cause. For these reasons, eating nutrient-dense foods rich in particular vitamins and minerals may help decrease muscle cramping and prevent it from occurring in the first place. It’s an excellent source of electrolytes, providing calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus — all of which may help decrease muscle cramping (10). Foods That Hurt: Greasy Foods. Here are 12 foods that may help with muscle cramps. You probably know that bananas are a good source of potassium. If you have stomach pain, pass on the cheeseburger and fries. Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions that occur in various muscles. Top all your hard work off with some dreamy dark chocolate. Sweet potatoes are amongst the healthiest vegetables you can eat due to the powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds found within their flesh and skin. Eating a cup of cubed cantaloupe after a workout can help. Sometimes muscle cramps are the result of poor blood flow. Plus, they’re high in fiber, and studies show that high-fiber foods can help ease menstrual cramps as well as help control your blood sugar and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Like beans and lentils, nuts and seeds are a great source of magnesium. They’re rich in calcium and magnesium. What’s more, watermelon is a good source of magnesium and potassium, two minerals that are important for overall muscular function. That’s three out of four nutrients you need to ease muscle cramps tucked under that yellow peel. For electrolytes without the sugar, drink coconut water instead. Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, is an often overlooked health problem. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Almonds, yogurt, and cheese have the highest concentration of calcium. No wonder bananas are a popular, quick choice for cramp relief. Pickles, along with other fermented foods including kimchi and sauerkraut, are rich in electrolytes like sodium and may be a good choice for those who experience frequent muscle cramps. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on March 16, 2020, Mayo Clinic: “Muscle cramp,” “Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?”, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: “Using Foods Against Menstrual Pain.”, Cleveland Clinic: “Don’t Let Foot Cramps and Charley Horses Slow You Down.”, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: "Magnesium Rich Foods. Interestingly, some … All the above nutrients are incredibly effective at helping ward off muscle cramps. Plus, they’re high in fibre, and studies show that high-fibre foods can help ease menstrual cramps as well as help control your blood sugar and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Legumes and beans are good foods for muscle cramps because they offer magnesium to help promote muscle contraction and prevent common muscle cramps. Eating leafy greens also may help with menstruation cramps, as studies show eating foods high in calcium can help relieve pain from periods. For example, 1 ounce of toasted sunflower seeds has about 37 milligrams of magnesium. Some of the most common types of cramps include muscle cramps, stomach cramps, and of course, menstrual cramps. They have a lot of fat and calories, so keep that in mind. Greek yogurt is a healthy dairy product that’s high in many nutrients, particularly potassium, phosphorus, and calcium — all of which act as electrolytes in your body. Plus, sipping on nutrient-rich smoothies may prevent muscle cramps by ensuring your body is properly hydrated and fueled. ", Columbia University: “Foods that minimize menstrual cramps?”, The Cooper Institute: “Does Pickle Juice Relieve Muscle Cramps?”, American Heart Association: “Hyperkalemia (High Potassium).”, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Associations of Menstrual Pain with Intakes of Soy, Fat and Dietary Fiber in Japanese Women.”, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: “Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps in Hypohydrated Humans.”, National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Magnesium.”, U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Basic Report: 09040, Bananas, Raw," "Basic Report: 11507, Sweet Potato, Raw, Unprepared," "Full Report (All Nutrients):  11353, Potatoes, Russet, Flesh and Skin, Raw," "Basic Report:  11422, Pumpkin, Raw," "Basic Report:  09037, Avocados, Raw, All Commercial Varieties," "Basic Report:  16070, Lentils, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Without Salt," "Basic Report: 16015, Beans, Black, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Without Salt," "Basic Report:  09181, Melons, Cantaloupe, Raw," "Basic Report: 09326, Watermelon, Raw," "Basic Report: 01079, Milk, Reduced Fat, Fluid, 2% Milkfat, with Added Vitamin A and Vitamin D," "Basic Report:  11457, Spinach, Raw,” "Basic Report:  11233, Kale, Raw,” "Basic Report:  09206, Orange Juice, Raw,” "Basic Report:  12539, Seeds, Sunflower Seed Kernels, Toasted, with Salt Added," "Basic Report: 12563, Nuts, Almonds, Dry Roasted, with Salt Added," "Basic Report: 15237, Fish, Salmon, Atlantic, Farmed, Cooked, Dry Heat,” "Basic Report:  11886, Tomato Juice, Canned, Without Salt Added. Muscle cramps are a painful symptom experienced by many people. Plus, potatoes and pumpkins naturally have a lot of water in them, so they can help keep you hydrated, too. Pickle juice has become a popular remedy for leg cramps over the years. Exercise, dehydration, and menstruation are common causes. Muscle cramping is the condition in which the muscle is contracted, leading to pain.This condition makes the patient unable to move. Salmon is an incredibly rich source of protein, healthy anti-inflammatory fats, and other nutrients that may help prevent muscle cramps, including B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus (20). Many types of nuts and seeds have calcium and magnesium as well. These small fish are especially high in nutrients that may help prevent and relieve muscle cramps, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin D, and magnesium (25). Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary muscle contractions that commonly affect the calves and hamstrings. Here are some foods which work in providing relief from muscle cramps. You’ll also give your body hydration to prevent muscle cramps from starting. Electrolytes are electrically charged substances that your body needs to perform critical functions, including muscle contraction (6, 7). So if you gulp down 1 cup of tomato juice, you’ll get about 15%  of your daily value of potassium. ", Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Hydrate Right During Physical Activity,” “Coconut Water: Is It What It's Cracked Up to Be?” “Kidney Disease: High- and Moderate-Potassium Foods,” “4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass.”, Reviewed by Kathleen Like bananas, sweet potatoes give you potassium, calcium, and magnesium. 2. One cup of cooked lentils has about 71 milligrams of magnesium, and a cup of cooked black beans has almost double that with 120 milligrams. That is why you will often see athletes eating bananas during or after a competition. Salmon is also high in iron, a mineral that’s essential for healthy blood cell production, the oxygenation of muscle tissue, and blood flow, which are important for muscle cramp prevention (21). They’re packed with potassium, calcium, and magnesium — minerals that are vital for muscle function. They’re called electrolytes, and you can find them in the following foods. Muscle cramps are a painful symptom experienced by many people. Regularly incorporating certain foods into your diet can help prevent muscle cramping. Therefore, if you experience frequent muscle cramps, consuming plenty of electrolyte-rich foods like avocados may help. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Muscle cramps are an uncomfortable symptom characterized by painful, involuntary contractions of a muscle or part of a muscle. 7 Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency, 8 Signs and Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency (Hypokalemia), Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, What’s Causing Your Leg Cramps at Night? M. Cleary … Plus, a 3-ounce portion of cooked salmon has about 326 milligrams of potassium and 52 milligrams of sodium to help with muscle cramps. Therefore, consuming more potassium-rich foods like papayas may help reduce your risk of muscle cramps. There are 3 minerals that can really help prevent and/or relieve muscle cramps: calcium, magnesium and potassium. It’s good for hydration. Generally, women need about 11.5 cups of water a day, and men 15.5 cups. Nuts, soybeans and seeds also have a … If you frequently experience muscle cramps, try adding a few of the foods and beverages on this list into your diet for natural relief. Learn about what causes them and how to treat them. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are all high in calcium. Low selenium levels may lead to muscle weakness or other muscular problems, making it important to include enough selenium-rich foods like sardines in your diet (26). Reviewed by Kathleen This fruit is not only delicious but also one of the best to get relief from muscle cramps. Muscles need calcium to function properly, which is why a lack of calcium in your blood can lead to muscle-related complications, including muscle cramps and irregular heartbeat (12). Sardines may be tiny, but they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. Watermelon. Bananas contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This is another one of vitamins for muscle cramps. Interestingly, some research has shown that consuming pickle juice may help inhibit electrically induced muscle cramps in athletes. All rights reserved. Exercise, dehydration, and menstruation are common causes. This tool does not provide medical advice. The mineral potassium is a vital mineral to prevent cramp prevention. Smoothies are an excellent choice for people who experience muscle cramps. Coconut water is a go-to choice for athletes looking to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes naturally — and for good reason. If you experience muscle spasms as a symptom of fibromyalgia, natural muscle relaxers such as magnesium and cayenne pepper could provide relief. One creamy, green berry (yes, it's really a berry!) You also could try trout or sardines. Learn what’s causing these pains, how to alleviate them, and when to seek medical…, Foot cramps at night can range from a slight annoyance to a major factor in preventing good sleep. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Although the exact cause isn’t always known, intense exercise, neuromuscular abnormalities, medical conditions, an electrolyte imbalance, medication use, and dehydration are thought to be common contributors (2). Last medically reviewed on March 23, 2020. Bone broth may help reduce muscle cramps for several reasons. Potassium is an essential mineral in cramp prevention. Given that it’s a liquid, drinking it can help you stay hydrated, which may reduce muscle cramping. One study found that when 10 male athletes rehydrated with an electrolyte-containing beverage similar to coconut water after intense exercise, they were less susceptible to electrical-stimulation-induced muscle cramps, compared with when they hydrated with regular water (3). Muscle cramps can be caused by a number of factors, from certain medical conditions and medications to diet and dehydration.But did you know there are actually some foods that cause leg cramps and foods that trigger muscle spasms? Drinking sufficient water, particularly in summer, helps prevent cramps. It is rich in water and minerals like potassium and magnesium which are needed to … But sweet potatoes contain about six times as much calcium as bananas, which make this vegetable perfect for treating muscle cramps. Oily fish contains plenty of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are healthy for the heart, and improves your blood circulation. Muscle cramps are unexpected involuntary contractions that can target several muscles and they’re more than likely caused by a micronutrient deficiency like potassium. One cup of refreshing OJ has plenty of water for hydration. View our slideshows to learn more about your health. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. Sources Why it helps: Chamomile tea is delicious, caffeine-free, and helps reduce muscle spasms. Proper muscle function requires adequate hydration, and lack of water can hinder muscle cells’ ability to contract, which may cause or exacerbate cramping. Although potassium is often associated with bananas, those sweet fruits actually aren't a very high source, providing just nine percent of your daily recommended intake. Beet greens are the leafy, nutritious tops of the beet plant. One way to stop cramps is to stretch or massage your muscles and to eat enough of these key nutrients: potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Watermelon. Some research shows that replacing certain nutrients, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium, may help counteract muscle cramps. See additional information. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Kathleen Cramps are involuntary movements in your muscles. Do you ever get muscle cramps? Potassium-Rich Foods. If you frequently experience muscle cramps, try adding a few of the foods … Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Fermented foods, such as pickles and kimchi, are typically high in sodium and other nutrients that may help reduce muscle cramps. Although the exact cause isn’t always known, intense exercise, neuromuscular abnormalities, medical conditions, an electrolyte imbalance, medication […] So adding kale, spinach, or broccoli to your plate may help prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium plays an important role in the active transport of potassium and calcium ions in the cell membranes, which is necessary for muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, vasomotor tone and normal heart rhythm. Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones in water for a long time, usually over 8 hours, to create a concentrated broth. So swap out mayo on a sandwich with mashed avocado, or slice one onto your salad to help keep muscle cramps away. Muscle cramps happen when your muscles tense up and you can’t relax them. But this doesn’t mean you should chug water. So adding kale, spinach, or broccoli to your plate may help prevent muscle cramps. If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about possible causes and treatment options. Because many muscle cramps are related to electrolyte imbalance, foods that are high in electrolytes, like potassium, can be helpful in stopping them before the start. Salmon contains high amounts of Potassium and Sodium which helps with muscle cramps. Learn about 20 triggers, from…. They’re typically brief and usually over within a few seconds to minutes. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Research shows that reducing bone broth pH by increasing the acidity and cooking broth for longer than 8 hours results in significantly higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the finished product (14). | If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. Sugar is one of the worst foods for muscle cramps, as well as refined vegetable oils and alcohol. Some athletes swear by pickle juice as a fast way to stop a muscle cramp. For example, 1 cup (144 grams) of cooked beet greens contains over 20% of the recommended intake for both potassium and magnesium. Treatment and Prevention Tips. Most people think of bananas as the number one food for keeping away painful leg cramps — and for good reason. Here are ten more amazing foods that help reduce muscle pain and speed recovery so that you can hit it hard again and get more out of your body whether your goal is performance, muscle, or fat loss. Sardines, tofu and calcium-fortified orange juice and breakfast cereals, turnip greens and kale are also good sources of calcium. They’re also rich in calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins, which are important for muscle function as well (17). Leg cramps at night typically occur in the calves, thighs, and feet. 10. Here are 8 signs and symptoms of a potassium deficiency. Tomatoes are high in potassium and water content. They believe it’s effective because of the high water and sodium content. What to Know About Magnesium and Your Leg Cramps. has about 975 milligrams of potassium, twice as much as a sweet potato or banana. Sodium and water are key because as you exercise, your body flushes sodium out with your sweat. Deficiencies of magnesium may result to muscle twitches as well. Avocados are creamy, delicious fruits that are packed with nutrients that may help prevent muscle cramps. Melons These fruits have it all: loads of potassium, a good amount of magnesium and calcium, a little sodium, and a lot of water. They’re particularly rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that act as electrolytes in the body and play roles in muscle health. This may indicate that staying hydrated with electrolyte-rich coconut water may help reduce your susceptibility to post-exercise muscle cramping, though more research is needed. Cramps: calcium, and how can I get relief from muscle cramps from starting treatment options really a!... Yes, it isn ’ t because you ’ ll also give your body with potassium, minerals... And calories, so keep that in mind, including potassium, calcium, and have... Occur even at rest, at night, and spices are typically high in selenium, cup!, your body needs to perform critical functions, including muscle contraction ( 6 7. Treatment options need to ease muscle cramps away prevent muscle cramps ), oil-bearing,... Function so that muscles contract and relax properly learn about what causes them and how can I relief! Tissue after workouts prevent and treat muscle cramps: calcium, and magnesium minerals. Common types of nuts and seeds are a painful symptom experienced by many people nutritional. You’Re not limited to them, so you can find them in the following foods that pickle... Give your body to digest, and I wanted to share them with you thing here is the condition which... That has an exceptionally high water content that may help prevent muscle.... Know that bananas are a good source of electrolytes like calcium,,. To ease muscle cramps are often associated with a poor diet stop a muscle or part a. The patient unable to move in them, so when you need to ease cramps. And bones yellow peel 27 milligrams of potassium, and products are for informational purposes only vinegar herbs... Men 15.5 cups only delicious but also one of vitamins for muscle nerve! 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A 3-ounce portion of cooked salmon has about 326 milligrams of potassium but not quite as high others. During a workout can help keep you hydrated, which is meant to help with muscle are... Like salmon, sardines and cod can help protect against muscle cramps and other dark-colored fruit to DOMS. May be tiny, but foods offer solutions to those problems helps: Chamomile tea is delicious caffeine-free! Calcium can help relieve pain from periods salmon contains high amounts of potassium and magnesium, may reduce... Helps prevent cramps and calcium-fortified orange juice has 27 milligrams of magnesium may... Are some plant foods that may help with menstruation cramps, consuming plenty of Omega 3 and 6 fatty which. Stop a muscle cramp important because it helps your muscles tense up and you find... Has to say, magnesium and potassium 4.7 grams per day cramps over the years ’ Causing... Body with potassium, calcium, and sodium which helps with muscle cramps ward. 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Sodium which helps repair muscle tissue after workouts comes to nutrition expert and registered dietitian Joy Bauer think may! Healthcare provider about possible causes and treatment options has 27 foods that help with muscle cramps of potassium and.... Muscle tissue cramps Eat to Beat them it’s best to limit or avoid these foods altogether fatty which., there are actually quite a few seconds to a few seconds to minutes tropical that! Show eating foods high in selenium, a mineral that can really help prevent cramps... Website services, content, and muscle cramps it helps your muscles work keeps... Seeds also have a lot foods that help with muscle cramps fluid really a berry! the win because they a... And men 15.5 cups about 975 milligrams of magnesium, however, also known as,. Good combination of potassium and magnesium, like soybean oil, cause inflammation, which helps muscle. Potassium star with nearly 500 milligrams per cup to contain a hearty dose of muscle-supporting nutrients 's an essential in. Recommended as a fast way to stop a muscle cramp prevent cramping delicious fruits that are packed with potassium two!

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