Can Vitamins Help with Muscle Cramps

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Nobody enjoys muscle cramps. This is why we are glad to report that vitamins can be helpful in treating muscle cramps. 

Muscle cramps are typically caused by dehydration, the overworking of muscles, strain or staying in one position for way too long. 

There are also medical conditions that can be responsible for muscle cramps. General Practitioner, Dr. Gavin Young stated in a 2015 study that muscle cramps tend to affect the calf muscles during the night-time. 

This article will take a closer look at muscle cramps and the vitamins for muscle cramps


What Are Muscle Cramps?

A muscle cramp can be defined as a sharp contraction of a muscle pain that was not initiated consciously by you. 

These can be very painful. They sometimes wake people up at night. There are instances where you might simply be taking a walk and then out of nowhere, your muscle or muscles contract involuntarily. 

If you have ever had an experience with muscle cramps, you know very well that this is not a pleasant experience.

Muscle cramps can last for a few seconds or for as long as minutes. Another name for a muscle cramp is “charley horse”. Muscle cramps tend to occur in the leg. 

They also popularly occur in your thigh. Muscle cramps can also be experienced in your abdominal walls, arms, hands and pretty much anywhere in your body that certain muscles are found. (1) (2) (3)

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

There are a number of things that can result in muscle cramps.


Intense Exercise

One of the main reasons people experience muscle cramps is exercise. this happens when exercise becomes very intense. 

It can also result from the depletion of electrolytes, a change in neuromuscular control or dehydration during a workout session.


A Shortage of Blood Supply

The arteries that deliver blood to your legs need to be unhindered to operate properly. 

However, sometimes they can become narrow while you are working out causing a shortage of blood supply to your legs. 

This ultimate causes cramp-like pain in the legs. You will find that the pain goes away when you stop exercising.


Compression of Spinal Nerves

The compression of nerves in the spine can also cause muscle cramps in your legs. As you walk and move around in the day, you might find that the pain worsens. 

In order to minimize the pain of this compression of the spinal nerves, you will need to walk in a position that is similar to the one you would take while pushing a shopping cart in front of you. 

By doing this, you will be able to minimize the negative symptoms of the compressed nerves.


Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency

You might be wondering what minerals or what vitamin deficiencies cause muscle cramps? deficiencies in potassium, calcium or magnesium can cause you to experience muscle cramps. 

It is also possible that diuretics can lead to a depletion in these minerals. Diuretics refer to drugs prescribed remedy high blood pressure.

If you are deficient in certain vitamins, you will also experience muscle cramps. these vitamins include thiamine (also referred to as B1), pantothenic acid (also referred to as B5), and pyridoxine (also referred to as B6).

Vitamin D has been questioned on whether it is a vitamin for muscles cramps. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that vitamin D does not produce effects on muscle cramps. 

during the study, more than half of the participants experience muscle cramps. however, their cramps were not relieved by a Vitamin D repletion. 

This brings into question whether or not there is any foundation to the recommendation that Vitamin D is a vitamin for muscle cramps.

Another study was done by Ameneh Mansouri, Mojgan Mirghafourvand, Sakineh Mohammad Alizadeh Charandabi and Moslem Najafi also suggest that vitamin D has no effect on leg cramps. 

The study was done over a 6-week period. The researchers found and reported that none of the patients experienced benefits from vitamin D.

Nevertheless, it has been verified that vitamin deficiency is a popular cause of muscle pains in human beings. if you are experiencing unjustifiable muscle cramps, it could be a result of a vitamin deficiency.

Other causes of muscle cramps include:

  • Injury to particular parts of the body can result in muscle cramps.
  • Pregnancy is a cause of muscle cramps because the act of childbearing often results in the depletion of certain critical minerals. This is particularly abundant in the final months of pregnancy.
  • Cold water and significantly cold temperatures can also be the culprit behind the muscle cramps that you are experiencing.
  • A myriad of health conditions such as issues with blood flow, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  • A lack of fluids in the body can also cause muscle cramps.
  • Some prescribed medications such as antipsychotics can cause cramps in your muscles. Such things as birth control and steroids can also result in muscle cramps.
 
 

Vitamins for Muscle Cramps

A lack of vitamins can lead to a number of issues including muscle cramps. this can lead to the natural question – “will a multivitamin help with muscle cramps?” The answer to this question is yes. 

There are vitamins for muscles cramps and minerals for muscle cramps. These vitamins and minerals are found in the standard multivitamin that you will pick up at the store or that you might buy online. Ensure that the multivitamin includes:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium

When trying to determine what supplements help prevent muscle cramps, ensure that the supplement that you are considering includes each of the above vitamins and minerals. 

You could also choose to take the nutrients in separate supplements. However, ensure that you consult with a nutritionist, dietitian, or medical doctor to ensure that you establish the right doses and routine with your desired supplements.

Taking multivitamins and supplements can help to tackle muscle cramps. however, if you tend to experience frequent and severe muscle cramps, it may be wise to consult a medical doctor. 

According to Medical News Today, medical doctors do not often prescribe medication to tackle routine muscle cramps in legs, depending on the severity of the case, they may prescribe the following: (4)

  • Carisoprodol
  • Diltiazem
  • Gabapentin
  • Orphenadrine
  • Verapamil
  • Vitamin B-12 Complex
 
 

Foods for Muscle Cramps

It is important that you secure your body’s nutrient needs with food. The use of multivitamins, while helpful in dealing with muscle cramps, should not be seen as a replacement for balanced daily nutrition.

Eating the right foods while exercising or while facing cramps induced by vitamin or mineral deficiency is likely to bring relief to your issue. 

Research has confirmed that foods rich in potassium, sodium, and magnesium can certainly help with dealing with muscle cramps in the human body.

Medical News Today suggests that to tackle muscle cramps, you need to ensure that you eat food rich in magnesium in particular. Here are some foods that are rich in magnesium:

  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Soymilk
  • Black beans
  • Edamame
  • Baked Potatoes (with the skin on)
  • Brown Rice (Cooked)
  • Yogurt (Light, Low Fat)


Other Ways to Prevent or Treat Muscle Cramps

We have established that there are certain vitamins for cramps and minerals that are useful in preventing or treating the presence of cramps in the body. 

Outside of vitamins and minerals, there are things that can be done to prevent or treat cramps. let us take a look at some of these methods.

To prevent muscle cramps:

  • Before participating in sporting activities or physical exercise, ensure that you stretch well and warm-up. This can prevent the straining of muscles and minimize the possibility of injuries.
  • Avoid getting involved in physical exercise just after having a meal.
  • Reduce your intake of caffeine. Things that you could consider removing from your diet include coffee and chocolate.
  • Ensure that you are properly hydrated daily. This is especially important if you often exercise or engage in intense physical activity. participating in these activities causes the body to lose water at a faster pace. As established in this article, dehydration is one of the main causes of muscle cramps.
  • Drink more liquids and eat more meals that include the vitamins for cramps and the other critical minerals for preventing and dealing with muscle cramps.
  • Do not neglect your regular doctor visits. By being faithful to your routine visits to the doctor, you can prevent the development of medical conditions that can later result in intense muscle cramps. Consult your doctor about other ways that you can prevent or treat muscle cramps in your body.


If you are experiencing cramps, there are some things that can be done to treat it. You can do one of the things listed below.


  • You can experience relief by having a hot bath. The heat will help to get your blood circulating. The heat also helps treat sores and cause tight muscles that are involuntarily contracted to relax.
  • The use of a heating pad can also be helpful in treating muscle cramps. Again, a heating pad is a part of heat therapy. Heat can be helpful in relaxing muscles and relieving muscle cramps.
  • Taking a cold bath can also be helpful in tackling muscle cramps. The cold temperature helps to slow inflammation and swelling. It also helps by numbing the tissues and slowing the nerve impulses in the area where you are experiencing the cramp.
  • Applying ice to the cramped area can also be a helpful treatment for muscle cramps.
  • Stretching is also very effective in bringing relief to a part of the body that is being plagued by muscle cramps. there are different stretches that can be done to bring the appropriate relief. It would be appropriate to reemphasize the need to stretch and warm-up before engaging in physical activities.
  • It is important to note that if you are experiencing extraordinary muscle cramps that it is wise to seek professional assistance. This is especially applicable to individuals who are elderly and individuals who have underlying medical conditions.


Conclusion

Muscle cramps can truly throw you off. By ensuring that you have the right minerals and vitamins in your daily diet, you could prevent muscle cramps. 

if you are in a situation when you have frequent muscle cramps, you should seriously consider taking multivitamins and other supplements to reduce the intensity of your cramp or remove it altogether.

As you know, prevention is always more useful than curing issues after the fact. Therefore, we are encouraging you to take the measures mentioned in this article to prevent having cramps. 

preventative measures such as stretching before participating in exercise or other physical activities, ensuring that your body is properly hydrated on a daily basis and eating the right foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals that help to protect muscles among.

Given that the length, frequency, and intensity of muscle cramps are caused by a number of different factors, it is important to track the source of your cramps. 

if you have been engaging in physical activities and are experiencing muscle pains, this is simply related to the intensity of your work out and measures should be implemented to deal with that. 

However, if you are experiencing muscle cramps without any traceable root, it is recommended that you see a medical practitioner. A doctor will be able to thoroughly assess your issue and then recommend a treatment plan that is suitable for you.

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