After a rigorous workout, even the most avid athletes can experience some muscle cramps. Intense workouts may burn a lot of calories, but they can also cause muscle strain from overuse. Muscle cramping can range from mild to severe contractions that put you out of commission for a prolonged period of time. 


However, the way you work out and the types of food that you consume may help to ease, if not eliminate, your muscle cramping. 


1. Watermelon


Dehydration can cause muscle cramps even in healthy, active people. Intense exercise routines kick your body into overdrive, which causes an imbalance of water and electrolytes. In order for your muscles to work properly, you need to stay hydrated as much as possible.


Watermelon is a low-fat fruit that is approximately 92% water. Watermelon is also rich in both magnesium and potassium, both of which are key nutrients that are needed for muscle health and to replenish lost electrolytes. 


2. Salmon


Salmon is not only good for heart health, but also for muscle recovery. Rich in protein, adding salmon to your diet may reduce the frequency of muscle cramps, even after intense exercise. 


Here is a list of the other vitamins and minerals salmon contains:


  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Selenium
  • Antioxidants


It’s also important to know that although good for you, salmon should be eaten in moderation. Like other types of fatty fish, salmon contains mercury, so you need to be mindful of the quantity you consume weekly.


3. Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates that help your body build muscle and replace glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise. They’re also rich in vitamin A and potassium, which can aid in muscle recovery. Roasted, baked or broiled, sweet potatoes should be on your post-workout grocery list. 


4. Smoothies


If you dislike raw vegetables, you can blend them into delicious smoothies. Smoothie drinks made up of various fruits and leafy green vegetables provide your body with the nutrients it needs to recover quickly and ward off muscle cramps. You should also swap out sugary juices and use coconut water and milk, oat milk or even almond milk for a creamier texture. 


Muscle cramps are usually the result of overuse or an underlying condition. Eating the proper foods, before and after exercise, can help replenish your body and lower your risk of developing muscle cramps.