Can energy drinks also be considered a diuretic and cause leg cramps?

Yes, the caffeine present in many of the commercially marketed energy drinks can induce dieresis in an individual and cause leg cramps.  Most energy drinks contain some legal stimulants such as caffeine and/or sugar that give its consumers a short-term energy boost. The caffeine, however, has a diuretic effect on the individual and causes the kidneys to remove extra fluids from the body causing dehydration.

Drinking such energy drinks while working-out can be particularly unsafe as the combined effect of sweating and dieresis can cause severe dehydration in an individual. Dehydration can predispose a person towards leg cramps. With insufficient fluids in the system there is electrolyte imbalance in the body that causes muscle cramps.These leg cramps are usually characterized by muscle tightness or painful muscle contraction that is involuntary.

Here are a few tips that will help prevent or provide relief from leg cramps.
  • Make sure you drink 7 to 8 glasses of water during the day. You need to understand that that the muscles of your body are dependent on water for their proper functioning.
  • Stay away from or reduce your intake of dehydrating beverages such as energy drinks, colas, tea, and coffee that have caffeine in them.
  • Stretching your calves regularly can help relax your muscles and prevent leg cramps.   
  • If the pain is self-limiting and mild, a topical analgesic may be used. You could ask your pharmacist or physician to recommend specific products.
  • A warm bath or a hot shower followed by applying an ice pack to the cramped leg might provide relief from leg cramps.
  • If your leg cramps are a recurring problem, make sure you connect with your health care provider. He/she may recommend a blood test to ensure that your electrolyte levels are normal.  
  • Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will ensure that your body gets all the necessary nutrients.

answered by G R

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