By Dr Ayesha Qureshi
Muscle cramps can be caused by a number of factors: dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, post-workout muscle exhaustion, nerve compression, poor circulation, muscle overuse, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, to name but a few.
Muscle cramps can be painful, causing muscle stiffness and affecting daily life activities. They occur when there is a sudden and involuntary contraction of a muscle.
Muscle cramps are a very common symptom I see among my patients every day, and they are often easily treatable!
Here are some recommendations that can help relieve muscle cramping:
-Drink plenty of water and replenish with electrolytes. Coconut water is hydrating and rich in electrolytes too. Below is a recipe for my favourite homemade electrolyte drink. 🥥
-Massage can help increase circulation to the muscles and help relieve muscle cramping.
-Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte so it can prevent muscle cramping that occurs due to electrolyte imbalances. For potassium-rich foods, choose from winter squash, melon, bananas, sweet potatoes and beans, to name but a few.
– Magnesium-rich foods can also relieve muscle spasms. Magnesium is a mineral which helps regulate muscle contractions. If your body is low on magnesium, then it can sometimes cause muscles to contract more, causing spasms. Magnesium-rich foods include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and salmon.
– Supplementation and acupuncture can also be very helpful for those that experience muscle cramping and spasms often. Acupuncture can help bring blood flow to the area and relieve tight muscles. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor to see what’s right for you.
Preferred electrolyte drink:
– 1 cup of coconut water, a pinch of Himalayan salt, and a drop of honey. Optional: lime.