What potassium, calcium, and magnesium have to do with it.
Muscle cramps are often caused by dehydration. When your fluid levels drop, you could find yourself prone to spasms or cramps. Many suffer from night cramps and something referred to restless leg syndrome. Proven science has shown replenishing and rehydrating your electrolytes can be one of the best ways to combat muscles cramps, and part of Gatorade’s story in the sports world.
Yet muscle cramps don’t just revolve around athletes, they are everyday occurrences in many people. Low potassium is a sign of muscle weakness, and could cause cramping, while too much potassium could also do the same. Potassium is one of the key electrolytes involved in muscle function. Your body’s smooth muscle, skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle all need potassium to work. Electrolytes get their name because they have an electrical charge, so they change the charge of your nerve cells when they move into or out of them. When a nerve cell reaches a certain charge, it “fires” and sends a chemical message to your muscle, causing it to contract. If you have too much potassium in your blood, nerve cells can become “irritable” and send confused messages to your muscles, causing them to cramp.¹
Many medications can be the root of cramping problems as well. Diuretic medications often cause the loss of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are all sources of cramping. When you deplete the body of fluid and sodium, it becomes prone to cramping. Even some medications used to lower cholesterol or lower blood pressure can lead to cramps.²
Diet and proper exercise are important in the battle against everyday cramping.
What foods can you eat to help with muscle cramps?
-Boost your potassium with bananas, baked potatoes with skin, or tomato sauce.
-Boost your magnesium with cooked spinach, black beans, raw broccoli, and pumpkin seeds.
-Boost your calcium with milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Perhaps eating a banana a day is not such a bad idea.
¹ Source: Livestrong.com
² Source: WebMD.com
*This article is not meant to be medical advice.