Today’s Solutions: June 30, 2022

Muscle cramps can be highly annoying, not to mention painful, especially if they hit you mid-workout. Bananas are a well-known cramp-crushing food, but did you know there are other snacks that can help prevent cramps? Here are 15 to try to prevent muscle cramps. 

  1. Avocado. This healthy fat food is packed with potassium and magnesium which act as electrolytes to promote healthy muscle contraction and avoid cramps. 
  2. Coconut water. In addition to being highly hydrating, coconut water is also high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus which all promote healthy electrolyte balance. When comparing athletes which drank regular water and coconut water after workouts, a small 2019 study found that coconut water could be effective for reducing cramp severity. 
  3. Watermelon. Hydration is a big part of avoiding cramps and at 92 percent water, watermelon is a great choice for post-workout snacking. 
  4. Sweet potatoes. Just one cup of mashed sweet potatoes offers more than 20 percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium and 13 percent of your daily intake of magnesium. 
  5. Greek yogurt. Calcium isn’t just for bone health, it’s also important for muscle health and Greek yogurt is an excellent source of this key nutrient as well as muscle-repairing protein. 
  6. Salmon. This fish is rich in protein and anti-inflammatory fats, but it’s also high in iron, which helps promote healthy blood cell production, muscle tissue oxygenation, and blood flow to prevent cramps. 
  7. Bone broth. This broth is great for hydration, but it’s also high in calcium, sodium, and magnesium which all aid in preventing cramps. 
  8. Pickle juice. This one may sound a bit odd, but pickle juice is high in electrolytes and many professional athletes, including members of the Dallas Cowboys, swear by it. 
  9. Fermented foods. A cousin of pickles, fermented foods contain high levels of electrolytes like sodium which helps reduce cramping. If pickle juice isn’t your style, try some kimchi instead. 
  10. Papaya. Not always the easiest to find, but if you have access to tropical fruit, one papaya contains 23 percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium and 22 percent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium.
  11. Beets. The root part of beets contains nitrates which help blood vessels function and the green leaves are full of other cramp-busting nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
  12. Sardines. These small fish are high in selenium, which promotes healthy muscle function, as well as other key nutrients like iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and vitamin D. 
  13. Spinach. This leafy green is full of all kinds of nutrients including potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate. It makes an easy addition to a pre-workout smoothie to prevent cramps before exercising. 
  14. Lentils. 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 71 milligrams of magnesium and they’re also high in fiber and other nutrients to keep your whole body healthy. 
  15. Bananas. We couldn’t leave this classic off the list. Bananas are high in potassium of course, but also offer complex carbs that help muscles repair and recover.
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