We've all been there. Halfway through a run, still 3 miles from home and there it is - the dreaded leg cramp. Time for the infamous 'hobble' home. Cutting gym sessions short, and downright painful, cramp is something we could all do without. The good news is, there are steps we can take to prevent or reduce cramp during exercise - including adequate hydration and picking the right foods. Here are 6 hand-picked foods to keep your electrolyte balance in check during your next training session!
6 great foods to keep cramp at bay
High in potassium. When we exercise, we sweat, which means our potassium levels can drop at a faster rate. Top up those levels with a banana before, during or after your workout.
Dark chocolate, or raw cacao
High in magnesium and potassium. A healthy amount of magnesium in our diets is important for myriad reasons, one of which is keeping cramp at bay. We have also seen success with magnesium sprays, applied directly to the muscle.
High in calcium. Regular cramping, especially when not exercising can be a sign of calcium deficiency. Leafy greens, in particular kale and pak choi are fantastic plant-based sources of calcium.
High in zinc, an important mineral to keep your electrolyte balance in check and reduce chances of cramp.
Full of healthy fats, and a great source of potassium and magnesium. Eat guac' to run back!
A small amount of sodium in your diet is actually incredibly important for a healthy mineral balance. Although most of us get perfectly adequate sodium from our daily diets, it is still one to be aware of. Instead of reaching for the table salt, try a splash of soy sauce in any Asian-inspired dish. Delicious, and a great way to add a small amount of sodium to a meal. Of course, moderation is key. Try to find a quality soy sauce with only 4 ingredients (water, soybeans, wheat and salt). If there's a word in the ingredients you don't know, chances are it's not doing you any good!
By Luke Tonks
Luke is one of the Nourish Bud co-founders, and a ‘foodie’ through and through. Loves cooking but mainly because it means he gets to eat straight after. Created Nourish Bud to share the delights of quality plant-based food with everyone.