Why Does Mustard Stop Muscle Cramps?

Learn how yellow mustard can help relieve nighttime leg cramps by stimulating nerves and providing magnesium for counteracting calcium.

Why Does Mustard Stop Muscle Cramps?

The body needs acetic acid to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for leg muscle contractions. This is why yellow mustard is known to be effective in relieving leg cramps. It is the only type of mustard that has been documented to provide relief from nighttime leg cramps. We suspect that hot peppers, pickle juice, or yellow mustard may also work by stimulating the same nerves.People who have visited our website have reported rapid relief from cramps with remedies that cannot be explained by the slow absorption of sodium in the case of pickle juice or turmeric in the case of yellow mustard.

So why does this work? One of the reasons why this strange remedy is suggested to be useful is because the condiment contains acetic acid (in vinegar), which causes the body to produce more acetylcholine. When our muscles tighten, calcium is released in the muscles. Magnesium counteracts the effects of calcium, reducing muscle cramps. Magnesium has also been found to reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, restore normal sleep patterns in women who have difficulty with menopausal symptoms, reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and prevent heart attacks in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Unlike bananas, the nutrients in mustard don't reach the blood quickly enough to change blood electrolytes and alleviate muscle cramps associated with exercise. In fact, scientists recently observed that when subjects ate 30 packs of mustard after intense exercise in the heat, their blood sodium and potassium levels did not change an hour after ingestion. It's better to simply enjoy it in your hot dog than to rely on it to stop muscle cramps.We've all heard the myths about the cause, treatment, and prevention of muscle cramps that occur during or after exercise (called exercise-associated muscle cramps, or EAMC). For decades, doctors and sports trainers assumed that muscle cramps originated in muscles and were caused by dehydration or imbalances in electrolytes such as sodium, potassium or magnesium.However, recent research has shown that muscle cramps are actually caused by over-excitement of nerves in your muscles.

This means that when your muscles become too excited and start to contract too much, a signal is sent to your body that prevents the nerves in your muscles from becoming too excited and causing muscle cramps (6, 7).This is where mustard comes into play. The acetic acid found in mustard helps your body produce more acetylcholine which helps reduce nerve over-excitement and thus reduces muscle cramps. Additionally, mustard is a good source of magnesium which helps counteract the effects of calcium released when muscles tighten.So while eating mustard won't change your blood electrolytes quickly enough to alleviate muscle cramps associated with exercise, it can help reduce nerve over-excitement and provide relief from nighttime leg cramps.