We’ve all been there- out of nowhere we get a painful, involuntary contraction of one or more muscles that can occur when we are active or even sleeping.
Muscle cramps are caused by overexertion and lack of stretching, poor circulation, dehydration and lack of certain nutrients. Here is HFR’s list of 5 nutrients to include into you diet to stop muscle spasms and to avoid muscle cramps:
- Water, water, and water: We cannot emphasize the necessity of pure water to the body. We wrote an article about the benefits of water here. When you’re dehydrated the electrolyte-water balance is disturbed, and that stimulates nerves. Tt just takes a loss of two percent of your body’s water to become dehydrated and the average person loses three to four cups per day just through perspiration and urine. So keep rehydrating with water!
- Calcium: This mineral controls the nerve signals that allow a muscle to contract. When there’s a deficit in calcium, there are no controlled nerve signals, and you get a spasm. Calcium-rich foods are: dark leafy greens, canned fish (with bones and in oil), and dairy.
- Magnesium: Helps regulate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a big energy source for muscle contraction, to make muscles relax. Magnesium-rich foods: spinach, nuts and seeds, halibut, lentils, avocados, soy beans, whole grains, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit and dark chocolate.
- Sodium: It helps maintain normal body-fluid balance, nerve impulse generation and muscle contraction. When the electrolyte balance is disturbed, the body will start pulling nutrients from other sources, such as salt-this is why it’s not unusual for an athlete to crave salt after a workout; You can get it naturally by eating certain foods, like celery.
- Potassium: Plays an important role in muscle formation and nerve cells and also regulates the electrolyte balance in your body. Potassium-rich foods: dark, leafy greens, dried apricots, bananas, white beans, yogurt, avocados, baked acorn squash,salmon, white mushrooms and baked potatoes (with skin).
Know any other ways to stop muscle spasms? Let us know!