Did you know that leg cramps become far more likely in the summer nights than during other seasons? Scientists aren't sure why – it may have to do with changes in diet, heat or exercise levels during the summer. If you've been struggling with this problem, consider making these small changes to your routine that can make a big difference!
Focus on Good Nutrition
Diet and leg cramps have an interesting relationship. There aren't any foods that are known to cause leg cramps, but cramps, in general, are often connected with low levels of potassium and magnesium. These are very important elements that our bodies need to properly control muscle movement and send nerve signals. Many people receive enough potassium and magnesium through their daily diets, especially if they eat fortified cereals. Potassium is relatively easy to come by thanks to bananas and smoothies. If you fear you may be missing out on magnesium, try adding supplements, nuts and quinoa to your diet.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration creates problems throughout the human body. If muscles cannot get enough water, they develop several problems, including low energy levels and an inhibited ability to remove natural cell waste. Ultimately, dehydration is often responsible for cramps. One of the best preventative measures you can take is to simply drink a couple glasses of water before bed. Sure, you may have to get up in the middle of the night for a quick trip to the bathroom, but you won't have to worry about painful cramps.
Suppose your leg cramps have already started, what do you do now? Instead of trying to fall back to sleep (although it may be tempting), get up and walk around. Movement is good for cramps — it helps your muscles move into a healthier state more quickly. Use your time walking around to try out some of our other remedies, like drinking some water. See if you can get your cramps to subside with a little bit of activity. Ultimately, it will do you more good than lying in bed feeling miserable.
Change Your Posture
This advice is good at all times of the day and night. If you are consistently getting leg cramps and nothing else has changed, you may be struggling with poor posture or circulation during the day. Remember to regularly get up from your chair if you have an office job, and sit properly at all times. At night, experiment with different sleeping postures to see if they can help you out. Placing a pillow between the knees is helpful for many people and may affect your cramps as well!
Soak It Up
If you feel a leg cramp coming on before bed, think about a quick bath to soak your leg and relax the muscle. You can even add some Epson salts for an added boost of therapeutic accuracy. This can help stop those cramps before they even become a problem!
If you have more specific questions about nutrition and how it can affect your daily life, visit ProLine Sports Nutrition. We can walk you through some basics of nutrition and help you find the right supplements for your goals.