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Bad Diet and Aching Muscles

author image Michelle Zehr
Michelle Zehr started writing professionally in 2009. She has written on health, fitness, fashion, interior design, home decorating,sports and finance for several websites. Zehr possesses a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University and a graduate certificate in health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.
Bad Diet and Aching Muscles
A plate of grilled chicken salad on a wooden table. Photo Credit: Elena_Danileiko/iStock/Getty Images

You can experience aching muscles anywhere in your body. Potentially achy muscles include soft tissues, fascia, tendons and ligaments, according to the National Institutes of Health. While injury, overuse and medical conditions can lead to aching muscles, a poor diet can also lead to muscle pain. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and an out-of-balance diet also can cause your muscles to hurt.

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Well-Balanced Diet

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a well-balanced diet is important for your muscles, tendons and ligaments. A balanced diet provides vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients that keep your muscles working properly, prevent injury and can reduce aches and pains. Try to eat five to six small, healthy meals per day. Also try to consume five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The remainder of your diet should be composed of whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.


Electrolytes are minerals your body uses to transmit and receive nerve impulses. Nerve impulses allow for proper functioning and movement of your muscles. Electrolytes are lost when you sweat. Excessive sweating, poor diet and exercise can all lead to aching muscles. One common electrolyte imbalance that can cause muscle pain is a potassium deficiency. Potassium is important for the proper functioning of your cells, tissues and organs and muscular contractions. Sources of potassium include bananas, legumes, fruits, fish, meat and vegetables.


Protein is important for the health of your muscles. Protein is especially important if you do any strenuous lifting, exercise or manual labor. Protein helps repair injured muscle, rebuilds muscle fibers and promotes healing. A lack of protein can lead to aching muscles. Sources of protein include eggs, milk, cheese and lean meats.


Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day for muscle health. The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. Dehydration can leave your muscles feeling sore. Fluid helps your muscles contract, according to Fluids also help your muscles stay hydrated, making them less painful following exercise or other physical labor. Staying hydrated is especially important on warm days.

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