Painful muscle cramps can be prevented with some habits and ensuring the essential nutrients to keep muscles in good condition.
Muscle cramps can recur in the calves of the legs or toes and are common at night. In addition to being very painful at the time, they interrupt sleep and can leave muscles sore for hours or days.
WHY MUSCLE CRAMPS OCCUR
One of the most common causes of cramps is a deficit of certain nutrients or water, that is, dehydration, especially after muscle overexertion. They can also be due to the lack of oxygen arrival due to circulatory problems.
The most common when suffering muscle cramps is that there is an imbalance between several minerals, mainly sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Other deficits that cause muscle cramps are those of vitamins such as B1, B3 and C, which nourish the muscle. Group B vitamins participate in the metabolism of nutrients, and the antioxidant vitamin C promotes calcium balance.
HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT THEM
Respecting warm-up times, stretching afterward, and staying well hydrated is essential if you exercise. There is also, of course, a lot that we can do through food.
- Drink enough water: Water is an essential component of muscles and you have to keep them hydrated, whether you exercise or not. There are also some herbal teas that can help you.
- More potassium: Potassium helps maintain fluid balance inside and outside cells, as well as being essential for muscle contraction. If you exercise, your potassium needs increase, because a large amount is eliminated through sweat. You must include foods rich in potassium in your diet every day : banana, spinach, tomato, apricot.
- Magnesium is key: Magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation, so its deficit often causes symptoms such as cramps. In general, a diet rich in plant foods provides enough magnesium. They are very good sources of magnesium pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts, beets, spinach and tomato, lentils and chickpeas and avocado.
- Calcium, another essential: Calcium works as an electrolyte and participates in the reception of nerve signals between neurons, as in muscles. It is essential both for your contraction and for your relaxation. Cabbages, green leaves, white beans, almonds are rich in magnesium.
- Use unrefined salt. Cook with unrefined salt to add sodium.
- Ensure vitamins B1 and B3: To get enough of vitamins B1 and B3 you need legumes, whole grains, nuts and to a lesser extent broccoli, carrots, asparagus and leafy vegetables.
- Do not lack vitamin C: Finally, citrus fruits, cabbage, red pepper, pineapple and tomato are rich in vitamin C. Take them raw or very lightly cooked, as vitamin C is destroyed by heat.
STRETCHING AND BREATHING IS ALSO IMPORTANT
Even if you take care of your diet, it is essential to practice deep breathing exercises to oxygenate the tissues well and, above all, to do muscle stretching. It is not about doing it only when you suffer the cramp, but at least once a day, as a preventive measure.