16 Foods That Help Triathletes with Muscle Cramps

Involuntary muscle contractions that cause discomfort and pain, typically lasting a few seconds to a few minutes.

The causes of cramping during exercise are not always known, but it is thought that intense exercise, neuromuscular abnormalities, medical conditions, an electrolyte imbalance, medication use, and dehydration are common contributors.

According to some research, consuming more of certain nutrients, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium, may help to relieve muscle cramps. Additionally, deficiencies in nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, and certain B vitamins may make muscle cramps more likely.

Here are the top foods that help muscle cramps:

1. Avocado

Free Photo | AvocadoThis delicious, versatile fruit is here to stay. It is rich in nutrients, including potassium and magnesium, which act as electrolytes and are essential for important bodily functions like muscle contraction.

Avocados are a type of fruit that is known for being creamy and delicious, as well as being packed full of nutrients that could potentially help to prevent muscle cramps from occurring.

The minerals potassium and magnesium are particularly rich in electrolytes, which are electrically charged substances that play a role in muscle health. Electrolytes are necessary for the body to perform critical functions, such as muscle contraction.

When your electrolytes get out of whack, you can start to experience symptoms like muscle cramping.

If you have muscle cramps often, eating foods like avocados that are rich in electrolytes could help.

Working out hard can cause your electrolytes to get out of balance, which can lead to muscle cramps. Eating foods that are high in electrolytes can help keep your body in balance and prevent or ease cramps.

When you eat avocado toast after working out, you’re not only doing your muscles a favour but also your taste buds!

2. Coconut water

clear drinking glass with water

Coconut water is not only super hydrating, but it is also a great source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorus which are all electrolytes that help to prevent muscle cramps.

Coconut water has many benefits for athletes, including rehydration and replenishing electrolytes.

Water is rich in electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which can help prevent muscle cramps.

When athletes rehydrated with an electrolyte-containing beverage similar to coconut water after intense exercise, they were less susceptible to electrical-stimulation-induced muscle cramps, compared with when they hydrated with regular water.

A small study in 2019 found that when 10 male athletes drank an electrolyte-rich drink after intense physical activity, they were less likely to experience electrical stimulation-induced muscle cramps than when they drank plain water.

The findings of this research suggest that coconut water and other electrolyte-rich drinks could potentially be effective in reducing muscle cramps when used for post-workout hydration. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Coconut water is 94% water and fairly low in calories. It seems to be a good source of B vitamins and potassium. Coconut water contains electrolytes, various plant hormones, enzymes, and amino acids. Some substances in coconut water could theoretically have antioxidant benefits in the body. Coconut water is made from the clear liquid inside green coconuts.  About 95 % of coconut water is just water.

3. Watermelon

243,100+ Watermelon Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free ...

Drinking enough water is important for making sure your muscles work correctly and preventing cramps. Not drinking enough water can make it harder for your muscles to contract, which can make cramps worse.

One cause of muscle cramps is dehydration. Proper muscle function requires adequate hydration, and a lack of water can prevent muscle cells from contracting, which may cause or worsen cramping.

Watermelon is a fruit that is mostly water. It is a good choice for a hydrating snack.

If you want to make your daily water intake more exciting, try snacking on a slice of watermelon. It’s a great source of magnesium and potassium, and it’s almost 92 per cent water!

4. Sweet potatoes

47,000+ Sweet Potato Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free ...

Sweet potatoes are a healthy vegetable option, full of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.

Sweet potatoes are very healthy because they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other good things.

Bananas are full of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are all essential for muscle function.

A single cup of mashed sweet potato provides a significant amount of potassium and magnesium, two nutrients that are essential for many bodily functions.

Mashed sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. One cup (200 grams) of mashed sweet potatoes can provide almost 13 per cent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium and more than 20 per cent of your daily recommended intake of potassium.

5. Greek yoghurt

Free photo fruit salad in a bowl on the wooden floor.

Calcium is essential not only for bone health but also for muscle function. According to research from 2013, a lack of calcium in your blood can cause muscle cramping and other muscle-related complications like an irregular heartbeat.

This dairy product is rich in several nutrients, most notably potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. These electrolytes are essential to keeping your body functioning properly.

Muscles need calcium to work right, so not having enough calcium in your blood can cause problems with your muscles, like cramps and an irregular heartbeat.

Greek yoghurt is a great source of calcium and it also includes potassium and phosphorus. It can help prevent muscle cramps and aid in muscle recovery.

Greek yoghurt contains a lot of protein, which is necessary for the growth and repair of muscles.

6. Salmon

Free photo baked salmon garnished with asparagus and tomatoes with herbs

Salmon contains many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which prevent muscle cramps.

Salmon is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for healthy blood cells, oxygenating muscle tissue, and preventing blood flow problems that can cause cramps.

Moreover, salmon is rich in vitamin D which is crucial for normal muscle function. Low levels of vitamin D may cause muscle-related problems like pain, spasms, and weakness.

A 3.5-ounce serving of wild-caught salmon provides between 8 and 55 micrograms of vitamin D.

It has been suggested by research that muscle cramps can be kept at bay by iron which aids in the production of healthy blood cells, muscle tissue oxygenation and blood flow.

One 2019 study found that not getting enough vitamin D can negatively affect your muscles and lead to muscle pain, weakness, or spasms.

7. Bone broth

Free photo lentil soup with mixed ingredients and herbs in a white bowl with a spoon.

If you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, you can buy bone broth premade. Bone broth is a concentrated broth made by simmering animal bones in water for 8+ hours.

To make bone broth, simmer animal bones in water for a long time, usually over 8 hours. Add apple cider vinegar, herbs, and spices to enhance the nutritional value and flavour.

Additionally, bone broth contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which can also help with muscle cramping Bone broth can help reduce muscle cramps because it is a liquid and contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Bone broth contains magnesium, calcium, and sodium which may help to prevent cramping.

To make bone broth, cook it for a long time and add an acidic component, like apple cider vinegar, to the recipe.

Adding acidity to bone broth and cooking it for more than 8 hours results in higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium, according to research.

Because it is a liquid, it hydrates your muscles and helps prevent cramps with calcium, sodium, and magnesium.

8. Pickle juice

Free photo still life of a tasty summer smoothie

Many athletes believe that pickle juice can help banish muscle cramps.

It’s not entirely clear why pickle juice may help to ease cramping, but it could be something to do with the high level of electrolytes it contains.

A 2010 study found that men who drank pickle juice while experiencing muscle cramps had a 49.1-second reduction in cramp duration as compared to when they drank plain water.

Although there is some evidence to suggest that pickle juice may help to relieve muscle cramps, the overall science is still quite limited and unclear. More research is needed to determine just how effective it is.

Pickle juice is actually a briny and vinegar-rich liquid that has salt and other minerals in it and is considered a rehydrating fluid. It is also a rich source of electrolytes and antioxidants and experts suggest that adding it to your daily diet is a healthy practice.

9. Fermented foods

Free photo cabbage kimchi, tomatoes marinated, sauerkraut sour glass jars over rustic kitchen table.

Pickle juices counterparts which are fermented foods may also help lower the risk of muscle cramps. Foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut which are fermented contain high amounts of electrolytes like sodium, so they could help ease or reduce cramps.

The study found that drinking pickle juice helped to reduce the duration of muscle cramps by 49.1 seconds.

Foods that are rich in electrolytes, such as pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut, may be a good choice for people who experience frequent muscle cramps.

Although fermented foods and drinks have the potential to relieve muscle cramps, more research is necessary to confirm their efficacy.

More research is needed to find out how much-fermented foods can help with muscle cramps.

10. Papaya

Free photo fresh papaya fruit

A delicious way to get magnesium and potassium for healthy muscle function is to eat papaya.

Papayas are long, thin fruits that grow in tropical areas. They are a good source of potassium and magnesium and contain about 15% and 19% of the recommended intakes for these nutrients respectively.

The study found that women who experienced muscle cramps consumed less dietary potassium than those who did not experience this symptom.

Papayas contain lots of potassium, which means they might help reduce the risk of muscle cramps. However, we need more research to be sure.

A study in 2017 of 230 postmenopausal women found that those who consumed more potassium experienced less muscle cramping. These results suggest that adding more potassium-rich foods to your diet could possibly lower your risk of muscle cramps. However, more research is needed.

11. Beets

Free photo beet salad vinaigrette in a wooden bowl

There’s more to beets than meets the eye.

Beet greens are rich in nutrients that are good for muscle health and can help reduce muscle cramps. These nutrients include potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

Beets contain nitrates which help improve blood vessel function and blood flow to muscles, which may help lower the risk of muscle cramps.

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12. Sardines

Sandwich with sardines

Sardines are a small but mighty food that is high in nutrients that can help relieve cramps, such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

According to this text, small fish are packed with nutrients that can help with muscle cramps. Some of these nutrients include calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin D, and magnesium.

Sardines are rich in selenium, which is an essential mineral for muscle function. If you don’t have enough selenium in your diet, you may experience muscle weakness or other muscular problems.

Sardines are rich in selenium, which helps muscle function. A lack of selenium can cause muscle weakness, so be sure to include selenium-rich foods in your diet.

13. Bananas

Free photo a front view cream colored bottle plastic shampoo can with black cap isolated along with bananas on the yellow-iced-blue background cosmetics beauty hair

When you get a muscle cramp, try eating a banana.

If you eat bananas, your potassium levels will stay high, and you will be less likely to experience muscle cramps.

This comedic yellow fruit is also high in complex carbs, which may help give your insulin enough of a boost to drive protein into your muscles, stimulating muscle growth and repair.

14. Spinach

Free photo a plate of spinach with tomato sauce on it

When in doubt, leafy greens are to the rescue!

The nutrients in spinach make it effective in reducing cramps. These nutrients include potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate.

It contains a high amount of calcium, which is beneficial for optimal muscle function.

If you don’t like eating spinach, blending it into a smoothie with other cramp-fighting ingredients is a great way to get the benefits of spinach without having to eat it.

15. Lentils

Free photo different lentils in a mini white spice bowls on a black stone table. side view.

Lentils are a good source of magnesium, which can help with muscle cramps. 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 71 milligrams of magnesium.

Lentils provide a lot of fibre, which can help regulate blood sugar and keep your “bad” cholesterol levels low.

16. Smoothies

Photo fruit and berry healthy fresh smothie in plastic cups on bright background. colorful diet concept



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