Tired legs, often accompanied by cramps and pain, are uncomfortable. If your leg muscles tire easily, you may want to consider the foods and beverages you're consuming. A diet rich in essential nutrients, along with keeping your electrolytes balanced, can help prevent tired legs.
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Managing Tired Legs After Exercise
If your leg muscles tire easily, the first thing you should investigate is why your legs are so easily fatigued. And keep in mind that experiencing tired legs after a very strenuous workout can be normal.
But if your legs muscles tire easily after moderate exercise, you may want to focus on keeping your electrolyte levels balanced. As explained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, electrolytes are electrically charged minerals found throughout your body's tissues and fluids.
Electrolytes include essential minerals like sodium, calcium chloride, phosphate, potassium and magnesium. According to the American Council on Exercise, it's particularly important to make sure you're getting enough sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Deficiencies in these nutrients can be the reason behind your tired legs, causing issues like muscle cramps, weakness and spasms.
You can obtain electrolytes from a variety of foods and beverages. Tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, leafy greens and seafood are often rich in sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
If your legs muscles tire easily after long periods of exertion, like long-distance running or cycling, you may also want to consume more specific products. For example, you could try electrolyte-rich supplements for tired legs — these include products marketed as sports gels, sports drinks and sports gummies.
Read more: How to Ease Muscle Soreness After a Workout
Nutritional Supplements for Tired Legs
Even your day-to-day routine might increase your likelihood of experiencing tired legs. For example, people who sit or stand at work all day often find that their leg muscles tire easily.
In addition to the important minerals that can affect your leg muscles, there are vitamins for tired legs. According to the National Institutes of Health, too little vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin B1 (thiamin) can cause muscle weakness. Insufficient vitamin D can also cause other symptoms that may contribute to your tired legs, like bone pain.
Inadequate consumption of other vitamins can also cause muscle weakness and related issues. According to Harvard Health Publishing, insufficient vitamin B12 can cause problems like numbness, tingling and weakness in your limbs. Similar symptoms can also occur when vitamin B1 deficiency is severe.
While it may be tempting to start taking multivitamins or other supplements for tired legs, consult your dietitian or medical practitioner before you add any dietary supplements to your routine. They can help you determine which nutrient you might be deficient in and the exact type of supplements you should take.
Alternatively, a qualified medical practitioner can help suggest dietary changes if you aren't keen on taking vitamins for tired legs. For instance, you might want to increase your consumption of protein-rich foods like legumes, nuts, seeds and meat products if you want to increase your vitamin B1. And seafood products, beef liver and eggs are suitable for people who need more vitamin D.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Fluid and Electrolyte Balance"
- American Council on Exercise: "Electrolytes: Understanding Replacement Options"
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin D - Fact Sheet for Health Professionals"
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin E - Fact Sheet for Consumers"
- National Institutes of Health: "Thiamin - Fact Sheet for Consumers"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Be Sneaky, Harmful"
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Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.