A muscle cramp is an involuntary contraction that leaves the affected tissue immobile and the individual in pain. For many people, leg cramps come at night while they sleep and are intense enough to jerk them awake. Ingesting yellow mustard may be one way to fight off muscle cramps in the legs and eliminate the pain involved with this phenomenon. Studies have yet to prove the benefits of using mustard to ward off leg cramping, but deficiencies of potassium, calcium or magnesium may be what causes the contraction. It is possible that eating yellow mustard replenishes the lacking minerals, thus eliminating the cramping.
Eat 1 tsp. of yellow mustard at the onset of the cramp. The mustard can be from a jar kept in the refrigerator or a packet saved from a restaurant.
Walk around the room after eating the mustard. Movement will help stretch the affected tissue and improve circulation to further reduce the contraction.
Scoop out 1 tsp. of yellow mustard and eat it before going to bed if you have chronic, or reoccurring, night cramps. There have been no clinical studies done to prove the theory that eating yellow mustard before bed will eliminate leg cramps. However, it cannot hurt and may help to avoid the cramps that plague some during sleep.
Carry packets of yellow mustard with you at all times. Leg cramps do not always occur at night. Dehydration and fatigue may also lead to cramping. If you find that the consumption of yellow mustard helps your cramps, be prepared in case a painful cramp hits while you are out of the house. Keep a packet of mustard in your purse or car to use on the road.
Drink plenty of water after eating the mustard. The two do not have any relationship to each other, but dehydration is one cause of cramps. If you eat mustard and drink water, you can cross off two possible causes and work toward reducing the contraction.
Chronic leg cramps should be evaluated by a doctor. Nerve compression can produce pain similar to a leg cramp. Arteriosclerosis and blood clots may also be a source of the pain and require medical treatment. A doctor can help you determine why you experience cramps frequently and how to deal with them.