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Leg Cramps: What they are and what causes them

Leg cramps occur due to a quick and painful contraction of the leg muscle, being more common in the calf or belly of the leg.

In most cases, cramps are not serious, being caused due to lack of water in the muscle or due to intense physical exercise, not requiring medical treatment and can be avoided with some home remedies.

Leg Cramps: What they are and what causes them

Main causes of leg cramps

The main causes of leg cramps include:

  • Lack of oxygen in the muscle or excess of lactic acid, which is common during physical activity;
  • Lack of minerals in the body such as magnesium, calcium, or sodium, especially when it occurs at night during sleep;
  • Prolonged use of diuretic medication which promotes the elimination of minerals from the body;
  • Some diseases such as diabetes or liver disease.

The onset of cramps is also common during pregnancy due to the increase in size and weight of the uterus, which causes pressure in the muscles of the abdomen of the pregnant woman.

Home Treatment

Home treatments to prevent cramps are made from juices, which gather the minerals needed to prevent cramps. Below are some of the recommended juices:

1. Apple juice with ginger

Drinking apple juice with ginger and kiwi daily avoids cramps, and to prepare it you need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • about 1 cm of ginger

Preparation Method:

To prepare the juice, beat all the ingredients in the blender and add a little water if you find it necessary. This juice should be taken soon after being prepared, preferably in the morning.

2. Banana juice with oats and Brazilian nuts

The banana juice with oats and Brazilian nuts is rich in magnesium, calcium and potassium, which makes it great for preventing cramps. To prepare you need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Brazilian Nut
  • 3 tablespoons of oats

Preparation Method:

To prepare the juice, beat all the ingredients in the blender and add a little water if you find it necessary. This juice should be taken soon after being prepared, preferably in the morning.

Preventing Cramps

A good natural remedy to prevent cramps is to invest in nourishing foods, and it is recommended to invest in the daily consumption of foods rich in minerals such as coconut water, cereals and bananas. There are several foods you should bet on to effectively prevent cramps, below you will find some suggestions.

In addition, you should also invest in foods rich in thiamin such as brown rice, Brazilian nuts, brewer's yeast, peanuts and oats as they cure cramps and also prevent the onset of muscle pain. 

If cramps are being triggered by physical activity, it is recommended that you slow down your physical activities, and bet on stretching. It is always important to stretch before and after exercising. When you have a cramp you should always try to stretch your leg by massaging the affected area, and if the pain is too intense you can put a hot water bottle to help relax and relieve the pain in the muscle.

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