Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why does my foot cramp all the time?"


My left foot and the toes on my left foot cramp up a lot all of the sudden. Why is this happening? I'm 43 year old male, drink plenty of water every day.


Muscle cramps can be a very painful and frustrating experience, particularly when they seem to come out of the blue. There are several things that can cause muscle cramps, and you should always feel free to discuss this or any other health concern with your primary care provider. He or she can do a more detailed history and physical exam to determine if these cramps are something incidental or part of a change in your overall health.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

In addition, it may be helpful to check a few basic laboratory values to make sure that your electrolytes are all at the appropriate level. As you indicate, dehydration can sometimes contribute to muscle cramps. However, the reason for this is not so much because of dehydration itself but rather because of electrolyte imbalances that often accompany decreased fluid intake or increased fluid losses. If you have been drinking only water, it is possible that your potassium or magnesium levels may be part of the problem. It may be helpful for you to augment your regular water intake (always a good idea!) with sports drinks designed to replenish your electrolytes. However, since many of these drinks also contain a high amount of sugar, you want to be careful that you don't add too many excess calories by switching all of your fluid intake to sports drinks. Again, please discuss with your doctor for more information.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.