You can prevent or alleviate muscle cramps in your legs by making simple lifestyle changes. Drinking plenty of water is essential, since cramps are often caused by dehydration. A healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can also help to decrease the frequency of leg cramps.
If you do get leg cramps frequently, especially nocturnal leg cramps it could be due to an electrolyte imbalance. Certain vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium, impact muscle function.
A significant amount of research has found that increasing your magnesium intake can help limit the frequency of night time leg cramps, especially for pregnant women. Health experts recommend getting at least 300 milligrams of magnesium each day. Foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts, lentils, quinoa, raw chocolate (raw cacao, the #1 source of magnesium), nuts and pumpkin seeds, molasses, spinach, baked potatoes, bananas.
Low potassium levels can cause leg cramps, because potassium works with sodium to control the fluid balance in your body, and they have to be in the right proportions in order to work effectively. If you have a high sodium diet, try cutting back on the sodium a bit, use only high-quality salt such as Himalayan Sea Salt, and at the same time eat more of the foods that are high in potassium.
Boost potassium levels by eating more apples, bananas, dried fruits, avocado, mushrooms, yogurt, kefir, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked potatoes and cantaloupe.
Apple cider vinegar is high in potassium and this drink recipe below should help quickly if your leg cramps are caused by low potassium:
2 Tsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp. Pure Raw Honey
8oz. Warm Water
Mix everything together, stir well and drink.
Boosting your intake of calcium along with the above mentioned magnesium together, can also help alleviate leg cramps. One super-food that’s incredibly high in both of these minerals, raw chocolate known as cacao, but you should also eat more vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like broccoli and kale & nuts like almonds all of which are high in both calcium and magnesium.
Other calcium-rich food sources include: green beans, turnip greens. Additional magnesium-rich foods include:
Plan ahead for self-care if your leg cramps primarily appear to be the result of strenuous exercise. Drink plenty of fluids and eat a well-balanced meal before heading out for a long run. Many athletes suggest eating a potassium-rich banana once you reach the finish line.
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