If you are planning to use tonic water for leg cramps, then you may want to read this article that describes the benefits and side effects of the same.
The main ingredient in tonic water is quinine. Quinine is the same medicine that is used in the treament of malaria.
To get relief from leg cramps, quinine was used till the time it was banned by FDA. Later, certain over the counter pills, which had quinine sulfate in them, such as legatrin, began to be taken for relief from leg cramps. These too were banned by FDA in the year 2006. Since then, tonic water has been used widely because it contains quinine as one of the ingredients. However, is it really effective in relieving leg cramps? Let’s try to ascertain.
Use of Tonic Water to Relieve Leg Cramps
As mentioned above, over the counter quinine products were banned by the FDA and thus, taken off the market. These products were earlier used to relieve leg cramps. But now, after they are no longer available, a good option to take quinine is to drink tonic water, which has some quinine in it. In fact, it is much better than taking quinine as it provides the same benefits but its side effects are much lesser. For the simple reason that the quinine content in tonic water is within the acceptable limits and thus, does not pose any kind of health hazard, especially if taken in moderation.
Researches in the medical field have shown that due to the direct quinine usage, various health problems, such as disturbances in the heart rhythm, hypersensitivity and very low blood platelet count can occur. Regular quinine usage also produces a number of side effects such as:
- Problems in vision
- Constant sounds in the ear
When a person, instead of taking quinine, takes tonic water for muscle cramps relief, these negative side effects are not experienced.
One drawback of taking tonic water for relieving leg cramps is that the quinine content in it is very less. Estimates say that in an eight ounce glass of water, only twenty mg quinine is there. So to really say that with such a low quinine content, tonic water will be effective for foot cramps, won’t be right. Secondly, if taken in excess, it can cause the same side effects as quinine, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Note: A good way to take tonic water is to mix it with grape juice and then consume. Grape seed extracts are well-known for their pain relieving properties, so when tonic water is combined with grape juice, it will reduce the pain and other symptoms associated with leg cramps.
Other Methods to Relieve Leg Cramps
Besides taking tonic water, there are a number of other things that a person can do to avoid these cramps. Here is a list of a few of them:
It is very important to stay hydrated so drink lots of water, juices and other fluids everyday.
Exercise and stretch your legs so that the muscle fibers get relaxed and the cramping does not occur.
Include such foods in your diet which provide your body with ample amounts of potassium, magnesium and calcium. Sea food, bananas, cheese, peaches, apricots and cod liver are a must in the diet.
Take a hot water bath everyday and massage the legs with vegetable oil. This will improve blood circulation in the legs and relieve you of cramping.
By following these simple home remedies and drinking tonic water in appropriate quantity, anyone can get rid of muscle cramping. So go ahead, try out these methods and say bye bye to those unwanted, painful and discomforting leg cramps forever!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.