Currently, no evidence supports mustard’s ability to reduce or prevent leg cramps.
Still, there are several theories as to why some individuals report experiencing relief after ingesting it.
Some have theorized that the electrolytes in mustard, specifically sodium and potassium, can prevent leg cramps after exercise.
However, a study in nine healthy adults found that consuming mustard after a 2-hour bout of exercise did not fully replenish electrolyte losses due to sweating and dehydration.
Another theory is that the turmeric in mustard may help relax muscles and relieve leg cramps due to the spice’s anti-inflammatory properties. However, no research currently exists to support this theory.
Recently, researchers have suggested that mustard may help with leg cramps by activating sensors in the back of your throat. Specifically, molecules called isothiocyanates in mustard are thought to cause this activation.
As a result, a signal is sent out in your body that prevents the nerves in your muscles from becoming overly excited and causing muscles to cramp.
Still, more research is needed to prove that mustard is effective for this purpose and that it works by this mechanism.