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Did you know how to stop muscle cramps?
How to Stop Muscle Cramps
Cramps can strike without warning, putting a serious damper on your race. But what´s to blame and is there a way to stop them in their tracks?
What are Cramps?
It seems no one’s completely safe from muscle cramps, which commonly attack the calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, arms, and abs. But what’s going on behind the pain? In a perfect world, muscle fibers shorten and lengthen back up when they contract. A cramp occurs when the muscle fibers stay shortened, causing tension along with that irritable, squeezing sensation.
Muscle spasms can also happen up to six hours after exercise so we may not be safe even after hitting the showers.
Scientists have looked at ways that may help prevent or stop a muscle cramp from occurring. So try out these suggestions for combating cramps:
- Hydrate. When in doubt, drink water with minerals in. Many experts suggest dehydration is a leading cause of muscle cramps (though other research doesn’t blame a lack of water as the sole reason).
- Fill up on electrolytes. A lack of sodium and potassium may be the reason for cramping. Take electrolytes in liquid or pill form from brands such as Hammer Nutrition. Or try bananas — they’re packed with potassium.
- Vitamins. Some studies suggest getting enough vitamins and minerals — including vitamin B, D, E, magnesium, and zinc — may help ward off the attack of a muscle cramps.
- Plyometrics. When small nerves in our muscles get fatigued, cramping can occur. Luckily, jumping drills called plyometrics may help keep these nerves in our muscles from tiring. Perform after working out to help prevent cramping.
- Warm-up & cool down. A proper warm-up and cool down may help keep cramps at bay.
- Keep things flexible. Staying limber may help prevent cramps from creeping in. Don’t forget to stretch before and after exercise. Try hitting the yoga mat, too.
- Stretch the spot. Once the cramping occurs, stop, drop, and stretch. Or treat yourself self with a massage to work on the knot.
- Relax & Rest. Once the pain begins, pull over. Overexertion or high-intensity training can cause cramps.
- Medication. Anti-inflammatory medications may help combat the soreness from muscle spasms. Or try an alternative route with herbal supplements .
Here’s what two experts had to say:
Andrew Kalley: "Cramping at the end of the day is a muscular response to fatigue and over exertion. It rarely has to do with hydration. This can happen to elite and beginner athletes. When the muscular demand is higher than what the muscle has been trained for, there is a greater risk for cramping. The best solution is training properly. I know that's pretty broad, but training must be progressive and relevant to what you are training for."
AC Del Re: "Based on my experience and others’… staying hydrated and replenishing electrolytes may help. Also, keep on top of important day-to-day health behaviors: exercise, stretching, warming up, and dietary means."
This article is for information purposes only and Escapade Group cannot be held responsible for any liability arising from reliance upon the whole or any part of its contents. Seek advice from a professional if in doubt.