Have you ever that shooting pain in your leg in the middle of the night that woke you up? Those are technically called leg cramps or muscle cramps which last from a few seconds to few minutes but are extremely painful and discomforting.
According to research, it was revealed that leg cramps can be caused due to a plethora of reasons such as intense physical activity, dehydration, imbalance in the electrolytes, etc. Not only that, deficiencies in magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B can escalate those leg cramps. Apart from the deficiencies of the vitamins, certain foods trigger leg cramps if you consume them excessively.
What foods trigger leg cramps?
Leg cramps are generally common among people of the age group 20-40 years. They are characterized by the hard lumps that result in pain. Apart from experiencing them at midnight, leg cramps can also occur in the daytime when one is indulging in intense physical activity such as running or swimming.
Here is the list of the foods that you need to avoid consuming excessively as they can trigger leg muscle cramps:
1. Foods with high sugar content:
Foods that are high in sugar are one of the most dangerous foods as they cannot only trigger leg cramps but they can also cause irreversible harm to your body which can result in health problems such as diabetes.
Foods high in sugar can weaken your immune system and cause inflammation in your stomach. Therefore, these are the worst foods to be taken if you are already experiencing leg cramps.
2. Dairy products:
Pasteurized milk products are one of the foods that trigger leg cramps as they are gluten sensitive due to the number of grains and chemicals that are fed to cows and buffaloes which contain gluten.
Such products contain certain types of hormones and protein called casein which can aggravate the situation of leg cramps. Therefore, it is advisable to stay away from such milk products while you are having leg cramps.
Apart from accelerating the pain of leg cramps, alcohol is dangerous for your body as it spikes the number of toxins in your body and often causes inflammation in your digestive tract. It leads to the formation of yeast in your digestive system which can lead to some serious problems.
4. Refined vegetable oil:
Although refined vegetable oils such as soy, canola, corn oils are considered to be healthy for your body and heart, they are believed to have triggered leg cramps. Not only leg cramps, but these vegetable oils have also caused other symptoms such as pain and discomfort in the body of the individuals who have consumed it.
Refined or not, grains are believed to be one of the worst foods that trigger leg cramps. One of the major reasons why grains are considered to be so is because grains are not that easy to digest which often results in inflammation in the digestive tract. When there is no digestion process, it can lead to slow absorption of vitamins and other minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
This can create vitamin and mineral deficiency which can cause leg cramps. Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming grains in large amounts as it can worsen your leg cramps.
These are some of the foods that trigger leg cramps. Therefore, make sure that you avoid consuming them in large amounts. However, if these are the foods that cause leg cramps, then which foods can help you with them?
4 Best foods that can help when you have food cramps
As mentioned earlier, one of the major reasons for leg cramps to occur is dehydration. When your muscles are dehydrated, they are unable to carry out the required bodily functions such as contraction and mobility, which leads to cramping. This problem of dehydration is extremely prevalent in summers.
Therefore, to deal with this, one needs to consume watermelon, as it contains 92 % water, probably higher than any other fruit. In addition to this, watermelon also contains magnesium and potassium which can enhance the mobility and flexibility of muscles.
2. Coconut water:
Coconut water is one of the best sources that help to maintain the balance of the electrolytes in your body. Not only that, but coconut water helps in keeping your body hydrated throughout the day.
Coconut water is one of the rich sources of calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which can help you to reduce the problem of muscle cramping. More often than not, people suffer from extreme leg cramps after they are finished with intense physical exercises. This problem is often asserted by the athletes.
Coconut water helps to reduce your post-exercise muscle cramping and helps you stay hydrated.
Avocados are extremely rich in potassium and magnesium which enhance your muscle health and also help in restoring the balance of electrolytes in your body. More often than not, electrolytes, due to their electrically charged behavior, are needed by your muscles to carry out bodily functions.
An imbalance in the electrolytes of your body is often observed when you are doing any intense physical activity. This explains why you often experience leg cramping after your exercise. Therefore, when you are done with your exercise, make sure that you consume electrolyte-rich foods such as avocados which help in maintaining the balance of electrolytes in your body.
Smoothies are a perfect example for people who are experiencing leg cramps regularly as they not only keep the body hydrated but also help in keeping the right balance of electrolytes in your body. They also contain the required nutrients for your muscles to function properly.
One of the best examples of a smoothie is to combine berries, spinach, almond butter, and yogurt. This combination is hydrating and it also contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to keep your body healthy and muscles functioning.
Now, these are some of the top 4 foods that can help you reduce the problem of leg muscle cramps and ensure a healthy lifestyle. Remember to avoid grains, refined vegetable oils, dairy products, alcoho,l and foods with high sugar content as these are the foods that trigger leg cramps.
However, if you are experiencing leg cramps for more than a few minutes, it is recommended to consult a doctor as it can be a result of an underlying condition.