Prevent & Ease Leg Cramps With These Secret Tips

      Nov 26

You’re reading this post for one of two reasons – either you’ve already experienced what 39% of marathon runners, 79% of triathletes and 60% cyclists are bound to experience at some point, or you are trying to avoid experiencing this painful phenomenon – Leg cramps. Leg cramps are basically muscle cramps, which, in essence, are involuntary muscle contractions. And, they are downright painful. Sometimes, they kick in six hours after an intense workout. However, sometimes they occur in the middle of a marathon {causing runners to drop to the ground in excruciating pain}, or in the middle of a cycling event {causing a cyclist to fall off their bike}, or even in the middle of a swimming pool {inducing fear of drowning}. Although there is no miracle cure to prevent them from ever happening, here are 7 tips to prevent and ease post-workout leg cramps.

Self-Massage, Jump & Stretch

Ease muscle cramping with massages, that relax sore muscles. Stretch properly, stick to cooling down exercises and also engage in jumping drills to help prevent nerves from tiring out to prevent muscle spasms.

Heat It Up, Or Get Icy Cool

Depending on what suits your particular body, either apply a heating pad to reduce muscle tightness, or jump into an ice bath.

Stay Hydrated

There is much debate regarding whether dehydration has a direct correlation with leg cramps. But, the majority seems to be of the belief that low intake of water can lend itself to a recipe for disaster. Why? Well, dehydration results in muscles twitching, which then could lead to muscle cramps.

Replenish Electrolytes

Working out results in sweating out sodium, and when sodium concentration in one’s bloodstream decreases beyond a point it results in hyponatremia. Always keep a few sports drinks within reach, and make sure you pick one with enough sodium per litre {1000 mg to 1,500 mg}. Surprisingly, pickle juice is another alternative – the salty taste tricks your brain into making your muscles relax.

Don’t Ditch Carbs

Yes, we know you think carbs are bad for you. But, your muscles need energy in the form of carbs to contract and relax, which means if you run out of carb fuels, cramps can kick in. As a rule of thumb, anywhere between 45 minutes to 90 minutes of exercise can deplete the necessary carb fuels your muscles require. So, eat a proper meal, or snack, before working out. If you're working out for a much longer duration, you might need to eat in between, as well.

Reduce Muscle Fatigue

Do not over-exert yourself because over-worked muscle are likely to cramp, especially during extreme heat. Let your muscles rest between sets. Most importantly, make sure your training is as rigorous any major event you are preparing for -- if you push yourself too hard during an actual event, like a marathon, compared to your raining sessions, your muscles won't be able to cope with the sudden overload.

Consult A Doctor

Sometimes, muscle cramping can actually be a result of insufficient magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B, Vitamin D or Vitamin E. Other times, it can be associated with diabetes, hypoglycaemia, anaemia, hormonal issues, thyroid problems and kidney disorders. Consider getting a proper check-up done to rule out these possibilities.

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