I used to be a competitive swimmer and woke up with frequent rotten leg and toe cramps that resulted in lots of tossing and turning late into the evening. My mom and coaches used to tell me to eat more bananas.
It’s true, Banana’s are full of potassium but how does potassium relieve cramps? Muscle cramps are actually most often caused by dehydration which depletes the required level of potassium in the body. Usually the source of dehydration is intense physical activity or drinking too much alcohol (come on, who hasn’t woken up with a hard-core Charlie Horse after a night out on the town?).
Potassium is key in maintaining water balance within the cell, stabilizing blood pressure, keeps the heart pumping, aides in nerve transmission, and enables certain enzyme activity.
It’s good for you and both men and women should be consuming at least 4700 mg’s a day. See below for a list of some fruits and vegetables high in potassium (amount in mg’s is listed in brackets). Keep your legs happy and try eating a banana after an all night bender to relieve your next morning hangover.
One papaya (781).
One cup of prune juice (707).
One cup of cubed cantaloupe (494) or diced honeydew melon (461).
One small banana (467).
One-third cup of raisins (363).
One medium mango (323) or kiwi (252).
One small orange (237) or one-half cup of orange juice (236).
One medium pear (208)
One cup of tomato juice (535) or chopped or sliced tomato (400).
One baked sweet potato, with skin (508).
One-half of a medium avocado (450).
One-half of a medium potato, with skin (422).
One cup of fresh or cooked asparagus (288).
One-half cup of cooked pumpkin (282).
One-half cup of cooked mushrooms (277).
One-half cup of fresh Brussels sprouts (247).