One minute you’re fine—and the next, yelp! You have a foot cramp that’s so painful you don’t know what to do with yourself. (If you’re like me, you start hopping up and down on it in hopes of making it stop!) Sometimes foot cramps can wake you when you’re asleep…or even strike in the middle of a workout. They can also occur when you’re just sitting—for instance, when driving or simply relaxing on the couch. No matter when they happen, they disrupt whatever you’re doing.
The big question: When you’re in the grip of a foot cramp, what can you do to ease it? That’s what we asked Johanna Youner, DPM, a New York City podiatrist. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ease a foot cramp when it’s happening—and a few natural solutions can help to prevent them, too (if you get them regularly). Here is what Dr. Youner told us…
A foot cramp is a sudden contraction of a muscle or muscles. This sudden contraction or spasm causes the pain. Several things can cause your feet to cramp up, including dehydration or a dietary imbalance. Even a bad case of anxiety, which leads to shallow breathing and a reduction in oxygen going to the muscles, can cause cramping.
Other Juices That May Help Ease Muscle Pain
Pickle brine isn’t the only type of juice that shows promise in helping to alleviate various forms of muscle discomfort.
Watermelon juice: The sweet nectar that comes from the classic summertime fruit contains L-citrulline, an amino acid that’s shown to help reduce muscle aches.
Cherry juice: This tart extract is shown to help reduce inflammation thanks to its high levels of antioxidant-like compounds. In a 2010 study, marathoners were given either 12 ounces of cherry juice twice a week prior to their race or a placebo. Afterward, those who drank the cherry juice experienced less muscle pain than the placebo group.
Beetroot juice: In addition to increased stamina during high intensity exercise, the taproot portion of the beet plant has been found to speed recovery and reduce pain after a workout. While the reasons remain unclear, possible explanations include the anti-inflammatory properties and increased blood flow facilitated by beetroot’s nitric content.