Apple Cider Vinegar: A Natural Cure for Leg Cramps?
If you suffer from leg cramps frequently, it can be challenging to find a solution that is safe and free of side effects.
Fortunately, there are some natural remedies that you can try, and apple cider vinegar is one of these safe treatments.
Here are some of the reasons that you may want to use the vinegar to relieve leg pain.
What Does the Research Say?
There is a growing amount of research that suggests that apple cider vinegar can cure a variety of ailments, including diabetes. So, if your leg cramps are due to glucose imbalance, apple cider vinegar could be helpful.
According to The Alternative Daily, it’s also a good idea to have a little of the vinegar before you go to sleep at night to prevent leg cramps.
Since your body is in a relaxed state and you’re not actively moving your legs, it can be easier for muscle cramps to form.
As an added benefit, apple cider vinegar can also keep you from overindulging in your favorite foods if you’re a nighttime snacker.
This promotes weight loss, which can keep your limbs from becoming strained from excess weight.
Studies have also shown that apple cider vinegar can help to treat all types of muscle cramps, not just the ones that occur in the legs.
This is why some women use the vinegar as a natural tonic for treating menstrual discomfort since apple cider vinegar relaxes the uterus to relieve pain.
If you’re getting cramps in your legs often, this could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency, specifically a lack of potassium in the body.
This mineral is very important when it comes to circulation and the health of the muscles. Apple cider vinegar is high in potassium, so it helps to alleviate cramps and keeps new ones from forming.
Further Proof that Apple Cider Vinegar Works
The Mayo Clinic suggests that there are several reasons for leg cramps. Some people get cramps after intense exercise, and some individuals experience cramps as a result of dehydration along with a deficiency in potassium, calcium or magnesium. When the nerves of the legs are compressed while walking, running or exercising, this can result in cramping.
It is also important to note that some people are simply more at risk for getting leg cramps than others. As we age, we lose muscle mass, which means that the calves are more likely to experience strain and cramping.
Women who are pregnant may also experience leg cramps due to additional pressure on the lower extremities, and people who have nerve pain, liver issues or diabetes could have leg cramps because of circulation issues.
There are medications to treat leg cramps, including Neupro, Requip, and Mirapex. However, these medicines could have harmful side effects for some individuals.
According to eMedicine Health and RxList, Neupro can cause nausea, weight gain and redness or irritation of the skin, Requip can cause vomiting, more intense cramping and anxiety in some individuals, and Mirapex causes some people to have blurred vision and swollen hands and feet.
Apple cider vinegar could be a safer alternative treatment for these individuals and is also a nutritious supplement that can promote overall well-being.
The vinegar can be taken straight, or diluted with water and honey can be effective in getting rid of leg cramps, particularly the ones that occur at night during sleep.
Soaking a cloth in apple cider vinegar and warming up the cloth before placing it on the legs for about 20 minutes before going to bed provides a topical compress that will also loosen the muscles and relieve pain.
Additional Food Remedies
If you find that you’re getting leg cramps very often, especially during the night, there’s a good chance that you don’t have enough electrolytes.
In addition to taking apple cider vinegar regularly to ensure that you have adequate potassium and other essential minerals like calcium and magnesium, it may also be beneficial to consume other foods throughout the day as well.
Foods like dried fruit, avocados, bananas and apples are naturally high in potassium and can keep the muscles in the body from becoming too tense.
It may also be helpful to consume foods like kefir or yogurt, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms to get adequate circulation and improve the way that blood is circulated through the body.
When it comes to seasoning food, regular table salt should be avoided. It’s best for people with leg cramps to use high-quality sea salt and to drink lots of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
If you want to get even more magnesium and calcium in your diet, you can include raw chocolate in your smoothies or add it to your homemade trail mix.
Other snacks that are high in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, and nuts; these can help to treat leg cramps as well. Leafy green vegetables like collard greens and kale are also ideal for supplying the body with electrolytes that allow you to move freely.
The Health Eating Site also asserts that fish like salmon can also help with reducing the inflammation that leads to cramps.
If you eat lots of salads or raw vegetables, prepare a simple dressing made from olive oil, lemon or lime juice and a dash of apple cider vinegar to get the benefits of the vinegar without having to deal with the extremely pungent taste.
Adding a dash of vinegar to your smoothies in the morning can also help you to get the nutrients you need from the vinegar if you don’t care for the taste.
This helpful video can help you use apple cider vinegar in a practical way.
Soaking your feet in vinegar combined with an essential oil like lavender or chamomile can help to detox the body and will promote circulation in the lower part of your body so you can get a good night’s sleep.
This allows you to sleep comfortably at night so you won’t wake up with a painful leg cramp. You’ll also find that your feet and legs are less swollen since the vinegar helps your body to release excess fluid that could be leading to pain and discomfort.