Thump In The Morning

Thump In The Morning

Thump In The Morning

A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. If you’ve ever been awakened in the night or stopped in your tracks by a sudden charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause severe pain. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle.

Long periods of exercise or physical labor, particularly in hot weather, can lead to muscle cramps. Some medications and certain medical conditions also may cause muscle cramps. You usually can treat muscle cramps at home with self-care measures. I found that bananas, Pickle Juice and or mustard works for me. Most muscle cramps develop in the leg muscles, particularly in the calf. Besides the sudden, sharp pain, you might also feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue beneath your skin.

Muscle cramps usually disappear on their own and are rarely serious enough to require medical care. However, see your doctor if your cramps:

  • Cause severe discomfort
  • Are associated with leg swelling, redness or skin changes
  • Are associated with muscle weakness
  • Happen frequently
  • Don’t improve with self-care
  • Aren’t associated with an obvious cause, such as strenuous exercise

Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp. In many cases, however, the cause isn’t known.

Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Inadequate blood supply. Narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs (arteriosclerosis of the extremities) can produce cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while you’re exercising. These cramps usually go away soon after you stop exercising.
  • Nerve compression. Compression of nerves in your spine (lumbar stenosis) also can produce cramp-like pain in your legs. The pain usually worsens the longer you walk. Walking in a slightly flexed position — such as you would use when pushing a shopping cart ahead of you — may improve or delay the onset of your symptoms.
  • Mineral depletion. Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Diuretics — medications often prescribed for high blood pressure — also can deplete these minerals.

Drink plenty of liquids every day. The amount depends on what you eat, your sex, your level of activity, the weather, your health, your age and medications you take. Fluids help your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. During activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water or other fluids after you’re finished. Here are a few home remedies that may help with muscle cramps.

 

  • Bananas

    When thinking about potassium, chances are you conjure images of bananas, and for good reason. Just one medium-sized banana has about 422 milligrams, which is 12 percent of your daily value. The 100-calorie fruit contains several B vitamins, 3 grams of fiber, and dopamine, which is a major mood-enhancing hormone. If you’re aiming to increase your potassium intake, support your emotional wellness, and kick hunger pangs to the curb, grab a banana. Trust me; you’ll thank me later.

  • Tomatoes

    Fresh tomatoes ripe off the vine offer a ton of amazing health benefits. To get more potassium, though, it’s generally best to use concentrated tomato products, such as tomato juice or tomato puree. While fresh tomatoes do contain potassium, the roughly 290 milligrams in a medium-sized fruit can’t compete with the 550 milligrams of potassium in a half cup of tomato paste. 

  • Avocado

    From its skincare and haircare uses to replacing ingredients like butter, eggs, and oil in the kitchen, the avocado has become ubiquitous in recent years. Not only are avocados undeniably delicious, but the creamy, green-fleshed fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is an excellent source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6m, as well as niacin, folate, riboflavin, magnesium and — you guessed it — potassium. How much potassium, you ask? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium-sized avocado contains a cool 690 milligrams of potassium. That’s nearly 15 percent of your daily value of potassium, making this an especially great choice for anyone trying to get more of this vital mineral. 

  • Dried Apricots

    Dried apricots are extremely high in potassium, with more than 1,100 milligrams in a ½ cup serving. This means a single serving of the fruit could provide almost one-quarter of your daily potassium needs. Dried apricots also contain many other important nutrients, such as iron, antioxidants, and fiber. 

  • Pomegranate

    Are you a fan of pomegranates? Well, you’re in luck because this unique fruit is highly nutritious. It contains around 667 milligrams of potassium, as well as folate, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Additionally, its ability to reduce stress levels earned it a spot on the list of top aphrodisiac foods. So, whether you’re looking to boost your potassium intake or simply combat cortisol, pomegranate just might be able to help.

  • Lima Beans

    You probably won’t see lima beans on the menu at the fancy restaurant in town, but don’t overlook this humble legume. A single cup of cooked lima beans has a whopping 955 milligrams of potassium. This means that one serving of these tasty legumes can knock out nearly one-quarter of your daily potassium

  • Beets

    Beets are root veggies with wonderfully bright color and flavor. They’re tasty and versatile, and they contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals — including potassium. One cup of beets contains 518 milligrams of potassium, or 11 percent of the daily value. They also supply nitrate, which may provide health benefits ranging from improved blood vessel function and enhanced exercise performance, to a reduction in high blood pressure.

  • Mustard

    The electrolytes in mustard, specifically sodium and potassium, can prevent leg cramps after exercise.

    However, a study in nine healthy adults found that consuming mustard after a 2-hour bout of exercise did not fully replenish electrolyte losses due to sweating and dehydration.

    Another theory is that the turmeric in mustard may help relax muscles and relieve leg cramps due to the spice’s anti-inflammatory properties. However, no research currently exists to support this theory.

    Recently, researchers have suggested that mustard may help with leg cramps by activating sensors in the back of your throat. Specifically, molecules called isothiocyanates in mustard are thought to cause this activation

  • Sardines

    Packed with vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and 365 milligrams of potassium, sardines are a nutritious and delicious addition to any diet. Apart from their high potassium content, these salty fish are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids — a type of essential fatty acid that may help promote cognitive function and boost overall mood.

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet spuds are rich in potassium and have a much higher nutrient density than their white potato counterpart. One cup boasts 16 percent of your daily value. These delicious root veggies are also high in beta-carotene, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Plus, they’re low in fat, contain protein, and are a great source of complex carbs and fiber. What’s not to love?

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