You must have cursed yourself numerous times for not stretching or exercising enough when lady cramp visits you. A sudden involuntary contraction in one or more muscles usually develops in the leg muscles- particularly affecting the calves and hamstring. It can occur at any given time of the day, such as while running or while you’re sleeping.
These cramps are usually harmless and last for about a few minutes but sometimes can also last for a more extended period as well. It is caused mostly due to overuse of muscles, dehydration, or due to side effects of drugs for certain medications for Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, high blood pressure.
Old-Age, Pregnancy, Dehydration, Excessive Exercises, Alcohol Abuse, are some common major risk factors for the occurrence of muscle cramps.
It would be surprising to know that muscle cramps not only occur due to lack of exercise but also due to one’s food habits. Lack of Mineral or Vitamins in one’s diet can also cause leg cramps.
Why Do We Need Vitamins?
Our body needs Vitamins to grow and develop normally. There are 13 essential vitamins required by our body. Our vitamin needs can be fulfilled by our daily diet containing enough variety and nutritional value. Supplement intake for meeting vitamin needs is another best option.
Foods rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins and, calcium helps to fend off the excruciating muscle pains in the body. They optimize gut health to guarantee proper absorption of the essential nutrients involved in muscle function. Food items such as dark green leafy vegetables, dairy, canned fish with edible bones, whole grains (brown rice, cereal), raw cocoa, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and natural yogurt, can be a great savior.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Cramps Naturally]
Benefits Of Vitamins For Leg Cramps
Specific vitamins and minerals impact muscle function. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium are all electrolytes essential for our body to function correctly, maintain fluid balance, and ensure proper muscle functions. Deficiency of these electrolytes in the body can cause these cramps.
[Also Read: How Apple Cider Vinegar Soothes Leg Cramps]
How To Include These Vitamins In Our Daily Diet?
Although muscle cramps are a common phenomenon, our best bet to prevent it from occurring is by exercising carefully and eating correctly.
Here are some ways to include vitamin and minerals to your daily diet:-
Sweet potatoes or regular potatoes are rich in potassium and have got a high level of Vitamin A(1). This makes it an excellent choice for inclusion in your daily diet.
You can enjoy it mashed, baked, roasted, or you can even add it to your favorite salad. Try avoiding fried ones as it makes the food lose its nutritional value.
[Also Read: Home Remedies To Treat Restless Leg]
2. Fruits and Juices
Fruits are always considered as healthiest part of a diet. Including fruits like banana, avocado, watermelon, melon, orange juice, and tomato juice can increase the nutritional values in the diet to a high level. They are a rich source of potassium, calcium, and vitamin D/C/E/B and help circulate electrolytes throughout the body. Try avoiding canned fruits or processed juices since they contain preservatives and lack the required minerals.
Now you got more than one reason to enjoy your favorite guacamole or smoothies.
3. Beans, Milk, and Nuts
Beans contain a lot of potassium and are rich in nutrients. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, and nuts are best for magnesium and sodium.
Kidney beans, black beans are highly rich in potassium and magnesium, which are essential for muscles.
You can make bean chili, soup, dips, curry to add in your diet. Have plain milk or processed milk such as tofu, cheese or yogurt. You make a milkshake and add nuts to your milk!
4. Water, Water, and More Water
Dehydration can sometimes be the cause of muscle cramps(2). Making sure to stay adequately hydrated can contribute to keeping cramps at bay. It will not only help with cramps but also work as an excellent detox for skin and body flushing out the harmful fluids.
Some Supplements Recommended for Leg Cramps Relief
Vitamin B complex for leg cramps— a supplement containing:
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 (pyridoxine)
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folic acid)
- B12 (methylcobalamin)
Things to Keep in Mind While Taking the Supplements
- Before taking any of these supplements, one should keep in mind how it would react with any other drugs they’ve been taking. Often a prior consultation with a physician would help.
- Supplements should be taken as per the instructions on the label and only after a physician’s recommendation.
[Read: Supplements for Leg Cramps]
Side Effects of Vitamin Supplements
- Vitamin B-12 can cause the following side effects:
- High blood pressure immediately after injecting vitamin B-12
- Cold symptoms
- The conventional medication may have a quick reaction to the problem but may cause long term side effects. It is always better to treat our bodies with natural ways rather than depending on pills and injections. Why should you make your body process heavy medications or even rely on medicines for functioning when healthy and simple changes in daily life can bring in so much comfort?
1. What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Leg Cramps?
Several Vitamin deficiency such as thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6) play a role in causing leg cramps.
2. What Vitamins Are Good For Leg Cramps?
In the cramps, don’t heal naturally or takes longer than usual; doses of vitamin B-complex supplement regularly should help. Do consult your physician before intake of any supplement or drug.