What Helps With Muscle Cramps
Adopting a new way of eating along with a new physical fitness routine may have you experiencing painful muscle cramps. Often, people assume that adding salt back into their diet helps with muscle cramps.
While increasing sodium helps with muscle cramps related to sodium depletion, it’s important to keep in mind that sodium depletion is rarely the main underlying cause of muscle cramps. Increasing your sodium intake will also hurt your weight loss and health efforts.
What Else Causes Muscle Cramps?
There are actually several suspected reasons that you might experience muscle cramps:
- Over-use of a muscle
- Inadequate blood supply to muscles caused by narrowing arteries during exercise
- Mineral depletion – potassium, calcium, magnesium (and sometimes sodium).
Other Increased Risk Factors include
- Diabetes, nerve, liver, or thyroid disorders (some medications can cause an increase in muscle cramping)
While there are several theories presented for the cause behind muscle cramping, it’s important to know that currently, we don’t know exactly why they happen, but we do know a few remedies that helps with muscle cramps:
Epsom Salt Bath – Helps with muscle tension and restores magnesium levels through the skin.
Supplements – Taking a multivitamin can help with nutritional gaps, while a ZMA or ZMA-5 can help with magnesium and zinc levels.
Potassium – Some Challenger-approved ideas include: half a banana before morning workout (33mg magnesium), Spaghetti squash (450mg per half a cup) plus tomato puree (1/4 cup 660mg potassium), fish like tuna or halibut (3oz is .5g, plus 170mg of magnesium), yogurt (calcium and potassium 580mg 8oz yogurt), sweet potato (700 mg), half a medium avocado (500mg), half of a typical salmon filet (800mg potassium and 53mg magnesium), broccoli (half cup 200mg potassium and 51mg magnesium) medium plain potato (size of fist 800mg), spinach (400mg per half a cup).