Muscle cramps are fairly common among athletes, with a prevalence of 40–95%. In fact, one study has shown that triathletes have a 67% likelihood of developing exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) under certain training conditions.
But what’s the cause of this common issue? According to experimental evidence, athletes who lose large amounts of salt are likely to experience muscle contraction or cramps. As an avid runner, cyclist or weekend warrior, you tend to push your body to the limit every now and then, requiring proper hydration and electrolyte balance.
Having provided high-quality sports drink formulas over the years, the HIGH5 team has sorted through the fizz and buzz to try to find the best electrolyte drinks for leg cramps. In this guide, we review the top 15 options to fuel your fitness and help reduce the risk of leg cramps!
The Best Electrolyte Drinks for Leg Cramps: Our Top 5 Picks
As a runner, nothing derails your training like painful leg cramps, otherwise known as charley horse — the piercing ache seizes your calves and hamstring muscle group, stopping you in your tracks. The good news is you can reduce the likelihood of these muscle-cramping catastrophes by staying properly hydrated. While plain water can do the trick, you need specially formulated drinks rich in electrolyte products to obtain more effective results.
Here are our top picks of the best electrolyte drinks from HIGH5 that could help reduce the risk of dehydration and leg cramps:
Stay refreshed and hydrated with HIGH5 Zero, a sugar-free electrolyte drink designed to replenish vital minerals and support optimal performance while reducing the risk of leg cramps.
- Zero sugar and zero calories, making it a guilt-free hydration option.
- Contains key electrolytes like sodium and magnesium to replenish what water alone can’t provide.
- Offers a variety of delicious flavours to choose from.
HIGH5 Zero is a fantastic choice for those looking to stay hydrated without consuming added sugars or unnecessary calories. With its unique blend of electrolytes, including sodium, chloride, and magnesium, it helps replenish vital minerals lost through sweating, essentially reducing your chance of having exercise-induced cramps.
The zero-calorie formula ensures guilt-free hydration, making it suitable for various lifestyles and fitness goals. Whether you’re engaging in intense physical activity or simply need a refreshing drink throughout the day, HIGH5 Zero offers a range of delicious flavours to choose from. By choosing HIGH5 Zero, you’re making a smart choice to reduce the likelihood of cramps and enhance your overall performance.
Stay hydrated and minimise the risk of cramps during exercise with HIGH5 Isotonic Hydration, a scientifically formulated drink mix designed to optimise performance.
- Contains a unique blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates to support hydration and fueling during physical activity.
- Scientifically formulated to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Features a fast-release multi-carbohydrate blend for sustained energy.
- Offers a refreshing taste and the right combination of nutrients for optimal performance.
HIGH5 Isotonic Hydration is a trusted sports nutrition drink that has been scientifically formulated to keep you energised and hydrated during exercise. With its unique blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates, it provides the essential nutrients needed to replenish what is lost through sweat, thereby fueling your performance and keeping the risk of cramps at a minimum.
The fast-release multi-carbohydrate blend ensures a sustained source of energy, helping you maintain endurance and stamina while reducing the risk of having dehydration symptoms. Whether you’re an athlete or simply someone who enjoys staying active, HIGH5 Isotonic Hydration offers a refreshing and effective way to support your hydration needs and optimise your performance.
Energise your workouts with the right caffeine formula, but without the sugar — a refreshing sports drink designed to enhance hydration and reduce the likelihood of cramps.
- Sugar-free electrolyte product for those who want some caffeine boost.
- Contains key electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium, to help maintain hydration and muscle function.
- Offers a light and refreshing taste, making it enjoyable to drink during exercise.
HIGH5 Zero Caffeine Hit is an excellent choice for individuals who want to stay hydrated during workouts but with an extra caffeine boost and zero added sugar. With its carefully balanced blend of electrolytes and vitamin C, this sports drink not only supports hydration to reduce the risk of cramps but also helps maintain energy metabolism.
The light and refreshing taste make it an enjoyable option to consume during exercise. Whether you’re engaging in intense workouts or need a pick-me-up, HIGH5 Zero Caffeine Hit provides a reliable and refreshing solution to optimise your performance while reducing the risk of cramps.
Fuel your workouts and avoid cramps with HIGH5 Energy Drink With Protein, a delicious and convenient sports drink packed with essential nutrients.
- Contains a blend of carbohydrates and protein to provide energy and support muscle recovery.
- Provides key electrolytes to maintain hydration and replace what is lost through sweat.
- Offers a convenient and easy-to-mix formula, ideal for use during and after exercise.
- Features a great taste that makes it palatable to drink during workouts.
HIGH5 Energy Drink With Protein is one of the best sports drinks for leg cramps. By combining carbohydrates, protein, and key electrolytes, this sports drink provides a comprehensive solution to fuel your performance and support muscle maintenance.
The convenient and easy-to-mix formula makes it ideal for use during and after exercise, ensuring that you can quickly replenish your body with essential nutrients. Just scoop 47 g of the powder and mix it with 500 mL of water, and you’re good to go. With its great taste, HIGH5 Energy Drink With Protein offers a delicious way to stay energised and aid in your recovery, making it a reliable choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Stay refreshed and support your immune system with ZERO Protect — a delicious, sugar-free, and zero-calorie electrolyte drink.
- Sugar-free and zero calories for guilt-free hydration.
- Packed with key nutrients, including sodium and potassium, to replenish your body.
- Available in two refreshing flavours: Orange & Echinacea and Turmeric & Ginger.
- Suitable for vegetarians and designed for a wide range of sporting activities or everyday hydration.
HIGH5 ZERO Protect is the perfect electrolyte drink for anyone seeking how to rehydrate fast to minimise leg cramp risk while supporting their immune system. With its sugar-free and zero-calorie formula, this refreshing drink allows you to stay hydrated without compromising your health goals.
The addition of key electrolytes supports optimal hydration levels, while vitamin C, vitamin D3, and folic acid help to maintain a robust immune system, making it one of the best electrolyte drinks to support all-round health and fitness. Whether you’re engaging in intense exercise or simply going about your day, ZERO Protect is the perfect companion to keep you refreshed and protected.
The 10 Best Drinks to Prevent Muscle Cramps
In addition to the above 5 formulas from HIGH5, we did further research to uncover other great leg-cramp drinks on the market.
Select from any of the following electrolyte formulas to reduce the risk of muscle cramps and regain lost body fluids:
Experience the power of hydration with Buoy Hydration Drops — an unflavored electrolyte and mineral supplement designed to transform any drink into a refreshing and hydrating beverage.
- Sugar-free hydration that mixes well with almost anything.
- Provides unflavored electrolytes and 87 trace minerals in their most bioavailable form.
- Great for reducing the likelihood of cramps and increasing productivity.
Buoy Hydration Drops is a convenient and effective solution for enhancing hydration levels as a means to reduce cramp risk. With its unflavored formula, Buoy Drops can be easily added to any beverage, providing you with essential electrolytes, antioxidants, B vitamins, and 87 deep ocean trace minerals in their most bioavailable form. With just one squeeze of the bottle, you can transform your favourite drinks into a hydrating solution.
Stay hydrated and reduce muscle cramps with Magnak Endurance Mix, a low-sugar electrolyte blend designed for optimal absorption.
- Contains electrolytes, including magnesium, to support hydration and minimise the risk of muscle cramps.
- Low in sugar and calories, allowing for faster absorption of water and electrolytes into the blood.
- A balanced blend of performance-enhancing ingredients to combat muscle fatigue.
Magnak Endurance Mix is a scientifically formulated blend of electrolytes, including magnesium, which helps keep you hydrated and reduces the risk of muscle cramps. Similarly to HIGH5 Zero (which has no sugar and calories), Magnak Endurance Mix is low in sugar and calories, promoting faster absorption of water and electrolytes into the blood. The formula comes in convenient stick packs; simply empty one stick pack into 475 mL of water, and you’re good to go!
Transparent Labs Hydrate rapidly replenishes electrolytes and hydrates your body, enhancing performance and recovery.
- Clean ingredients for hydration and electrolyte replenishment.
- Supports optimal muscle function, improves endurance, and reduces the risk of leg cramps.
Transparent Labs Hydrate provides a cost-effective, clean, and efficient solution for hydration and electrolyte replenishment. Whether you’re an active individual needing a hydration boost to minimise cramp risk or someone looking to maintain hydration throughout the day, this product delivers. As a bonus, the clean ingredients ensure you’re fueling your body with quality substances, not cheap sugars or artificial additives.
Experience the high-quality workout fuel — XWERKS Motion, your go-to option for minimising muscle cramp likelihood and enhancing performance!
- High-quality intra-workout and post-workout BCAA supplement.
- Contains a synergistic blend of cluster dextrin carbohydrates, BCAAs, and electrolytes.
- Designed to fuel workouts and reduce the risk of muscle cramps.
XWERKS Motion is a high-quality intra-workout and post-workout BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) supplement that stands out as one of the best drinks to prevent muscle cramps. It contains a synergistic mix of cluster dextrin carbohydrates, 3 g of BCAAs, and electrolytes. This blend is designed to provide sustained energy, promote muscle recovery, and offer important electrolyte benefits, essentially providing the right support during workouts and reducing the likelihood of muscle cramps.
Quench your thirst and recharge your body with essential electrolytes for minimising the risk of leg cramps with Gatorade!
- Renowned for its hydration capabilities, essential for reducing the risk of leg cramps.
- Comes in a variety of flavours — Orange, Tropical Burst, and Cool Blue.
- Contains essential electrolytes to aid in recovery.
Is Gatorade good for leg cramps? Absolutely!
Gatorade is a well-known beverage that athletes and fitness enthusiasts have favoured for years. Its unique formulation provides essential electrolytes that aid in quick recovery. Plus, its hydrating properties mean it’s incredibly effective in minimising leg cramp risk.
Gatorade is great because of its variety of flavours, ensuring there’s a taste to suit everyone. It’s also versatile, with some variations offering an energy boost with added caffeine, making it an excellent choice for those needing an extra push during workouts.
Hydrate 2x faster than water to reduce leg cramp risk with Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier!
- Uses Cellular Transport Technology (CTT)™ to hydrate faster than water.
- Comes in convenient on-the-go packets.
- Available in a variety of flavours with a generally enjoyable taste.
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier is a unique hydration solution that stands out due to its Cellular Transport Technology (CTT)™, which allows for 2x faster hydration than water. The product is available in a variety of flavours, and the taste has been generally well-received by consumers. Additionally, it’s non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, catering to various dietary needs. Lastly, this formula contains zero sugar, making it one of the best electrolyte drinks for leg cramps for those conscious of their calorie intake.
7. Nuun Sport
Revitalise your workout and reduce the likelihood of leg cramps with the clean, refreshing hydration of Nuun Sport!
- Offers a clean, low-calorie hydration solution.
- Easy-to-use dissolvable tablets; just add to water.
- Available in a variety of flavours.
- Vegan and gluten-free.
Nuun Sports stands out for its low-calorie formula aimed at keeping athletes and fitness enthusiasts hydrated, thus minimising the risk of leg cramps. One of the product’s key features is its easy-to-use format — simply dissolve a tablet in water. It’s also available in a range of flavours, offering something for everyone’s taste. Plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and contains just 1 g of sugar, making it a great choice for those with specific dietary requirements.
Recharge your body and reduce leg cramp risk with the optimal blend of electrolytes in the LMNT Recharge Variety Pack!
- Provides an optimal blend of electrolytes.
- Contains no sugar, gluten, fillers, or artificial ingredients.
- Convenient individual packets for on-the-go hydration.
- Available in a variety of flavours — Citrus, Raspberry, Orange, and Watermelon.
The LMNT Recharge Variety Pack is a standout hydration formula for minimising the likelihood of leg cramps. It offers an optimal blend of electrolytes for athletes, those on low-carb diets, or anyone seeking better hydration. The product also stands out for its clean formula, containing no sugar, gluten, fillers, or artificial ingredients, making it a healthier choice.
Experience rapid hydration and great taste, all in one, with DripDrop!
- Tastes great to tantalise your taste buds while helping to reduce leg cramp risk.
- Offers a variety of enjoyable flavours.
- Works quickly to rehydrate.
DripDrop Hydration is an effective solution for those seeking rapid and palatable hydration to minimise the likelihood of leg cramps. Apart from its zinc content for immune support, it features a variety of enjoyable flavours, ensuring there’s something for everyone. In addition, with its 3x electrolyte content, DripDrop works quickly to rehydrate, making it a valuable tool for recovery from intense workouts, illness, or simply maintaining hydration to help with leg cramps.
Experience optimal hydration and a powerful antioxidant boost with Kaged Hydra Charge!
- An everyday hydration supplement, perfect for keeping you hydrated throughout the day.
- Packed with 5 essential electrolytes, taurine, and an antioxidant blend for enhanced health benefits.
- The drink is naturally flavoured and low in sugar, providing a healthy alternative to other sugary sports drinks.
Kaged Hydra Charge provides 500 mg of coconut water, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable everyday hydration supplement for leg cramps. It’s formulated with 351 mg of 5 essential electrolytes, 1 g of taurine, and a unique antioxidant blend of 29 fruits and vegetables, providing a multifaceted approach to maintaining hydration and overall health. Similarly to the HIGH5 Zero, it’s naturally flavoured and contains less than 1 g of sugar, making it a healthier alternative to other sugary sports drinks.
How to Not Get Cramps in the Future: 7 Tips & Strategies
Having the best electrolyte drinks for leg cramps in your workout stash isn’t enough; you want to ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to help stop cramps from reoccurring during exercise sessions.
Here are 7 effective approaches to keeping those pesky cramps at bay:
- Proper Warm-Up: A thorough warm-up before any physical activity is essential. It prepares your body for the task ahead and increases your muscle temperature, making them more pliable and less likely to cramp.
- Regular Stretching: Incorporating a regular stretching routine into your fitness regimen can help maintain muscle flexibility. Remember, flexible muscles are less likely to cramp than tight ones.
- Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet will ensure your body gets the necessary nutrients it needs to function correctly. Minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium play a key role in muscle function. Including foods and dietary supplements rich in these minerals in your diet can help minimise the risk of cramps. If you’re a runner, we recommend checking out our guides on what to eat before a run and what to eat after running.
- Stay Hydrated: Although electrolyte drinks are great for leg cramps, it’s worth noting the importance of fluid balance. Drinking plenty of plain water throughout the day helps keep your muscle cells hydrated and less irritable, especially when running in hot weather.
- Gradual Cool Down: Warming up before workouts is important, but a gradual cool-down after exercise sessions is equally vital. It allows your body, particularly your muscles, to transition from a state of strenuous activity to rest, reducing the chances of cramping.
- Regular Exercise: Regular, moderate exercise can help condition your muscles and make them less likely to cramp. For the best performance, start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
- Adequate Rest: Lack of rest can lead to muscle fatigue, making them more susceptible to cramping. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep and giving your muscles time to recover between workouts.
By incorporating these strategies into your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing muscle cramps in the future. Remember, consistency is key — it’s about integrating these practices into your daily routine to help support long-term, cramp-free living.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best drink to stop leg cramps?
The best drink to help alleviate leg cramps is one that keeps you hydrated and replenishes your electrolyte imbalances. Water is essential and should be your go-to choice for staying hydrated throughout the day.
However, if you’re involved in intense physical activity or work that causes excessive sweating, your body loses vital electrolytes, which are crucial for muscle function. In such scenarios, an electrolyte drink, like HIGH5 Zero, can be a lifesaver. This drink contains electrolytes like magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride, which not only aid in hydration but also provide an overall health boost.
Does drinking electrolytes help with leg cramps?
Drinking electrolytes can indeed help with leg cramps in sports enthusiasts. Electrolytes, specifically magnesium, potassium, and calcium, play a crucial role in muscle function. During strenuous exercise, especially in hot conditions, your body loses these vital electrolytes through sweat. This loss may lead to muscle cramps or exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC).
Research has shown that fluid intake from plain drinking water might not be enough to reduce susceptibility to muscle cramps. On the other hand, consuming an electrolyte beverage replenishes these lost electrolytes, reducing the likelihood of cramping. Therefore, drinking a balanced electrolyte drink can be an effective strategy for minimising the risk of EAMC and maintaining optimal muscle function.
What is your body lacking when you have leg cramps?
When you experience leg cramps, it may be a sign your body might be lacking essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, or magnesium. These minerals are vital for proper muscle function and nerve communication. A deficiency may lead to muscle cramps as your muscles may contract uncontrollably.
What can I drink before bed to prevent leg cramps?
To reduce the risk of nighttime leg cramps, consider consuming 60 to 90 mL of tonic water before sleeping. Tonic water contains quinine, a compound that has been used historically to treat muscle cramps. It’s important to note that while this is a common suggestion, everyone’s body responds differently, and it may not work for everyone.
Additionally, too much quinine can lead to some undesired side effects, so moderation is key. But overall, maintaining hydration and a balanced diet rich in essential minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium can also help minimise the likelihood of leg cramps at night. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.
What takes away leg cramps immediately?
To stop leg cramps immediately, you can try several methods. One effective way is to stretch the affected muscle gently and rub it to improve blood flow and ease muscle tension. For a calf cramp, you can straighten your leg and pull the top of your foot towards your face. This can help relax the muscles and alleviate the cramps.
Alternatively, standing with your weight on the cramped leg and pressing down firmly can also help. This method is particularly useful for cramps in the back of the thigh.
Remember, these are temporary solutions. If you frequently experience leg cramps, it may indicate a deficiency in certain minerals. So, consider seeking medical advice to address the underlying cause.
Do bananas help leg cramps?
Absolutely! Bananas are a top choice for leg cramp relief.
They’re a rich source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps muscles function properly. Additionally, bananas also provide magnesium and calcium, both of which are crucial for muscle health. These three nutrients are key players in reducing the risk of muscle cramps, making bananas a popular and quick choice for cramp relief.
So, if you’re experiencing leg cramps, incorporating bananas into your diet could help. However, remember that a single food alone can’t resolve recurrent cramps, and a balanced diet alongside adequate hydration is necessary for overall muscle health.
We hope our reviews provide enough information to help you make an informed choice on the best electrolyte drink for leg cramps. It’s important to opt for a quality hydration formula to avoid settling for generic sports drinks that may lack the right balance of electrolytes and minerals you need. Choose a drink from our top recommendations to ensure optimal hydration levels at all times and help keep leg cramps at bay!