Leg cramps can be a fact of life for those who lift weights, but no one wants them. Unfortunately, vitamins can play a key role in whether or not you get leg cramps. A lack of vitamins or too many of a certain group of vitamins can cause leg cramps.
The benefits of vitamins are well documented. The downsides or repercussions some people experience with vitamins and supplements, however, are rarely talked about.
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What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are natural substances that contain carbon, which is vital for your body.
There are many different types of vitamins, but the purpose of each one is to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimum health and performance.
They can be found in a variety of sources, including food and sunlight.
Every different vitamin has a diverse mission for your body. Your body makes some vitamins, but not a sufficient amount to keep you going.
Some vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin D, accumulate in your fat cells for a period of time. Others are considered to be water-soluble so that whatever your body does not use quickly exits the body through waste; vitamin C or ascorbic acid falls into this category, which is why you need a steady supply.
With a healthy diet, you can usually get all the vitamins you need from your food intake. For those who are not receiving enough vitamins, which can be common for people on any kind of restricted diet, a good multivitamin might be helpful and can be found at most stores.
Almost every bodily function requires vitamins, from eyesight to creating new blood cells. Some diseases can be prevented and even cured with vitamins.
To date, there are over a dozen distinctive vitamins. Not having the correct amount of any vitamin can result in both minor and serious health issues. In addition, getting too much of a good thing can be detrimental, causing ailments such as stomach and heart problems.
Why Are Vitamins Helpful?
Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits, aids in cellular repair. Vitamin D, located in fatty fish and liver, is beneficial for bone health. There is also a group of B vitamins which come mainly from vegetables, and they are most useful for stamina and circulation.
You should not use vitamins as a substitute for food. Vitamins work by helping your body absorb, synthesize, and use the nutrients and minerals within the foods you eat. For maximum advantage, you should take vitamins as an addition to well-balanced meals.
There are several reasons why you might need vitamin supplements to bridge the gap between food intake and recommended daily doses of vitamins; these include pregnancy or breastfeeding, if you are particularly active, or if you are more than 60 years old.
Because of the methods used to process foods today, some health experts believe you will not get as many vitamins from foods now as people did in years past. Instead of getting food fresh from the nearest farm, we now buy food that has traveled across the country, been sprayed with chemicals for preservation, and placed in the supermarket for an unknown period of time.
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What Exactly Are Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps are actually a spasm in your muscles which often occurs while weightlifting, exercising, or even lying in bed. If you have ever experienced leg cramps, then you know how incredibly agonizing they can be.
Multiple factors can trigger leg cramps. Overexertion and insufficient water in the muscles can produce leg cramps. Also, if you are older or have been inactive for a length of time, you may experience leg cramps.
This issue can sometimes be avoided by warming up your muscles before and after a workout. A rub down or other reflexology techniques can help alleviate leg cramps in progress.
Can Vitamins Cause Leg Cramps?
A lack of certain vitamins and minerals in your body can result in leg cramps. Poor blood circulation can be the basis for leg cramps. Vitamins E, A, and some B vitamins help your body by widening blood vessels and act as blood thinners, which can prevent leg cramps.
If you take too many vitamins in a single form or in a group, this can also cause cramping, but they would not be confined solely to your legs. This is referred to as vitamin or mineral toxicity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I have to take supplements?
Unless your doctor has instructed you to take certain supplements, you do not have to take them.
Are supplements safe?
Whether or not dietary supplements are safe to take depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the safety of supplements here.
What supplements do I need to take?
No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.
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