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How to Help Muscle Cramps

Updated on September 30, 2010

Muscle Cramps

 

If you ever had muscle cramps then you surely know that it's nothing you would even wish on your worst enemy. They are painful and uncontrollable spasms or tightening in a muscle that can last from a minute to an hour and sometimes even days. The muscle may become very hard and may twitch. Cramps most often occur in the calf, thigh or foot.

Who is most prone to get muscle cramps? The ones that occur at night are mostly seen in older adults. If you over exercise, do not drink enough water, are nutrient deficient or take certain medications then you can get cramps more often. And if you are a woman then the risk for muscle cramps goes up (wow, no breaks ladies.)

Muscle Cramps on the playing field
Muscle Cramps on the playing field

The Symptoms

A tight or hard feeling in a muscle

Sudden pain in leg

Weakening and fatigue in muscle

Extreme soreness

Natural Remedies to Ease the Pain

Rather than ingest Vitamin E, eat foods that are good sources like wheat germ, vegetable oils and sunflower seeds.

Dehydration is a high cause of muscle cramps so always try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily for an adult especially when very active.

Instead of taking Potassium tablets eat foods like beans, dates, nuts, whole grains, bananas, raisins, spinach and canned tomato products.

Ease the severity of cramps by getting ample calcium with low-fat dairy products, legumes and canned sardines.

Magnesium like calcium is important for good muscle health. Magnesium helps control how muscles bend, flex and relax. The foods that are high in magnesium are nuts, dark leafy greens and also whole grains.

If you are an older adult Vitamin C can help stop soreness in the muscles. What it actually does is help strengthens and repair the muscles by beefing up the immune system. Foods that will help are citrus fruits, sweet peppers, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Ouch!!!
Ouch!!!

Repair Muscles with Protein

Leucine is a protein building block or amino acid which repairs used and damaged muscles. Whether you are exercising at the gym, on the golf course or playing a couple of sets of tennis, after you're done try a dose of leucine by snacking on lean turkey lunch meat or a low fat dairy cheese stick. Follow this with a drink high in carbohydrates, like a sports drink or fruit juice.

Note: Don't forget some simple stretching exercises to cool those muscles down too!!

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    • profile image

      vaygoogoo 7 years ago

      babasida okuzdu

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      gwennies pen...first of all I love your screen name. I do thank you for stopping by and I'm glad this Hub can be of some use to you.

    • profile image

      gwennies pen 7 years ago

      Very insightful, laringo! I am prone to leg cramps at times and they usually do hit me at night. Thanks for the hub!

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Thank you Johnny for re-affirming the connection between eating foods rich in potassium and avoiding or helping leg cramps

    • profile image

      johnny yuma1 8 years ago

      My wife screams in pain from leg cramps. I jump and get a large water and banana for her if we have bananas in the house at the time. She swears by them. Great post mi lady!

      Johnny Yuma

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      I gave you a thumbs up and bookmarked your hub. A usefuil information for me as I occasionally have muscle cramps. Especially after an hour of swimming, I get muscle cramps. After a long walk I get cramps. I'll think of you and your hub when I get cramps and recover from it immediately.

      franciaonline

    • CheryleJ profile image

      CheryleJ 8 years ago from NEW JERSEY

      Great information to know? I suffer with pains in legs & ankles. Thanks for sharing this.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Good tips! Didn't know magnesium helps control how muscles bend.