Eat to Beat Leg Cramps

Updated: Apr. 06, 2020

Power through your next walk with foods that ease soreness and fuel a speedy recovery for muscle cramps.

Foods That Heal
The key: Eat foods that contain potassium, a mineral that helps your body break down carbohydrates and build muscle. A daily serving of a high-potassium food—a handful of dried fruits; a glass of tomato juice, citrus juice, or milk; a slice of melon, an orange, or a banana—can help banish leg cramps and prevent their recurrence. Drink a lot of water too: It maintains circulation and helps flush cramp-causing waste products from your muscles.

Foods That Harm
Caffeine, usually found in coffee, tea, and soda, can contribute to cramps by constricting your blood vessels and decreasing circulation in muscles. Switch to decaf, herbal tea, or water.

Quick fix: Curl and uncurl your toes rapidly a dozen times to relieve leg cramping.

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Photograph by William Brinson

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest