Muscle Weakness & Nutrition

Muscle weakness can occur in levels of intensity and duration, from temporary weakness to severe loss of strength that is measurable by doctors. Though such weakness can be brought on by illness or injury, it can also be caused by a nutritional imbalance. A diet that has a wide range of vitamins and minerals is one way to boost muscle strength. Always consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of symptoms.


Iron is essential to creating myoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, including the muscles. Iron-deficiency anemia, caused by low levels of iron in the body, can be a reason for muscle weakness. Eating foods rich in iron can attenuate the problem. Such foods include lean red meats, dark green vegetables, soybeans and iron-fortified cereal.

B Vitamins

Muscle Weakness & Nutrition

Learn More

B vitamins are a family of eight vitamins that are essential to muscle health. A deficiency in thiamine (B1) reduces the body's ability to create energy from carbohydrates, leading to muscle weakness. If the body has low levels of B6 and B12, a form of anemia can occur, decreasing the blood's ability to transport oxygen. B vitamins are found in many foods such as fish, eggs, dairy products, fortified cereal and leafy green vegetables like spinach.

Potassium and Magnesium

Potassium and magnesium are minerals that boost muscle function. They are both electrolytes, minerals that help cells and muscles absorb fluid, making them especially important after a rigorous workout. Potassium is essential to nerve and muscle communication. It is found in foods such as fruits from vines like grapes, citrus fruits and leafy greens. Magnesium helps muscles contract and relax, and it is found in fruits such as bananas and avocados, and in nuts and whole grains.

Recommended Intake

Supplements for Muscle Cramps

Learn More

Most people can consume an adequate amount of these nutrients from a balanced diet. Supplements can also be used, but since over-consumption of certain vitamins and minerals can be dangerous, always consult a doctor before starting a supplement regime.

The U.S. government has set specific guidelines for the recommended intake of each essential nutrient. These recommendations depend on your age and gender.