Cucumber water is often used to relieve cramps. You can find out here to what extent the effect of the home remedy has been scientifically proven and what you should pay attention to when taking it.
Cramps are painful muscle contractions that often occur unexpectedly and can plague us at the most inopportune moments. There are numerous home remedies and methods to relieve cramps and one of them is using cucumber water. But what is really behind this method? Can cucumber water actually help with cramps?
Cucumber water for cramps: electrolyte balancing?
To understand the effectiveness of cucumber water in relieving cramps, it is important to first consider the causes of muscle cramps. According to the Cooper Institute, recent scientific evidence suggests that the cause of muscle spasms likely lies in the nervous system.
Alpha motor neurons, nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord, play an important role. These nerves tell muscles when to contract. When muscles become tired, alpha motor neurons send increased signals to the muscles. This causes them to contract tensely and cause cramps.
The fact that cucumber water could help with a cramp was initially explained by the high electrolyte content of the liquid. However, according to Healthline, this theory has now been refuted: Drinking cucumber water has no significant effect on electrolyte levels. This is mainly because it takes a long time for the body to actually absorb the electrolytes from a drink.
However, there is now evidence that cucumber water can relieve cramps after a short time. However, this is due to a different mechanism of action.
How cucumber water actually works for a cramp
The fact that cucumber water can relieve a cramp in just a short time is probably simply due to its intense taste. This is proven by a study from 2010. According to the researchers, cucumber juice works just 35 seconds after ingestion. The juice probably stimulates a reflex in the back of the throat. This reflex has been shown to reduce the activity of alpha motor neurons, resulting in muscle relaxation.
The mechanism of action is probably mainly due to the vinegar content in the cucumber water. However, the exact functionality still needs to be further researched in order to draw concrete conclusions.
However, if the theory is correct, you don’t necessarily have to drink cucumber water. According to Healthline, simply eating the pickles or consuming other fermented products like sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, or kombucha would also suffice.
By the way, you shouldn’t consume more than 60 to 80 milliliters of cucumber water every three to four days. People with high blood pressure should consume significantly less due to the high salt content. The high acid content in cucumber water can also cause problems with certain digestive problems. In this case, seek medical advice first.
Read more on Techzle\.com:
- Cramp in the thigh: causes and effective remedies for it
- Leg cramps: causes and tips for relief
- Drinking cucumber water: why it is so healthy