Diet for Muscle Cramps

Role 0f Minerals in Relieving Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps occur when you have a deficiency in minerals. Research suggests calcium and magnesium are important to maintain normal electrical potentials and coordinate muscle contraction-relaxation responses in the muscles. Along with these, minerals like sodium, potassium and foods rich in carbohydrate are important to relieve muscle cramps.

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What are Muscle Cramps?

Muscle cramps occur due to sudden or involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, and every person experiences the excruciating and debilitating pain of a muscle cramp at least once in their life. Muscle cramps are most likely to occur as result of over-exertion, calcium deficiency or very cold weather. However, the good news is that muscle cramps can be avoided. Your muscles require more minerals when they’re being used, typically during physical exercise. Calcium in the muscles helps trigger the contraction of muscle fibres, whereas magnesium helps it to relax. Both these minerals work synergistically to bring coordinated contraction- relaxation responses in the muscles. Other minerals like potassium, sodium and foods rich in carbohydrate are also considered important for preventing and ameliorating muscle cramps.

We are providing the necessary food recommendations for Muscle cramps that can help.


Recommended Foods:

  • Include calcium rich foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, fish with bones such as sardines, almonds and figs.
  • Include Magnesium rich foods like wholegrain unrefined (not white) breads and cereals, brown rice, all nuts and seeds (especially sesame seeds), beans, peas, lentils (especially chick peas), all green leafy vegetables and bananas.
  • Increase intake of potassium with foods like spinach, lettuce, broccoli, bananas, oranges, apricots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melon, berries, citrus fruit, milk, meat, fish, avocados, winter squash and tomatoes.
  • Include more ginger and turmeric in your food as these inhibit the pro-inflammatory lipo-oxygenase or cyclo-oxygenase pathways.
  • Include foods containing sodium such as cereals, breads, cheese, tuna, sauces, pickles, salted tortilla chips or any other salty foods.
  • High-carbohydrate foods such as breads, cereals, rice, corn, pasta, potatoes, beans, peas, lentil, and starchy fruits and vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, etc.


Foods for Moderate Consumption:

  • Restrict intake of animal products like meat and chicken.


Foods to Avoid:

  • Avoid processed and canned foods with high calories
  • Avoid oily foods
  • Avoid alcohol


Home Remedies:

Muscle cramps are often relieved when clove is applied as a poultice on the affected area.

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