6 Ways of Beating Muscle Cramps

6 Ways of Beating Muscle CrampsMuscle cramps are often unpredictable and cause great fear and pain. While cramps are often caused by overexertion, other factors such as nutrient deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, fluid loss, inadequate muscle conditioning, etc. all play a role as well. Relief from muscle cramps can be found by stretching and massage. To avoid getting cramps every time you exert your body, here are a number of tips you could follow.

Eat foods rich in potassium

Electrolyte imbalance in the body plays a major role in muscle weakness and cramps. The imbalance can be resolved by eating foods which are rich in potassium – mainly fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in potassium includes bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, raisins, oranges, coconut water, lemon and leafy vegetables.

Drink lots of water

Lack of proper hydration is one of the biggest causes of muscle cramps. If you have not had enough fluids or lost a lot of water from the body due to hot and humid weather, you could develop cramps. The solution is to drink as much water as possible before, after and during exercise. Drink enough fluids every day to make sure that your urine is copious and clear – an indication that your body has proper water balance. During strenuous exercise routines, drink fluids with added electrolytes – a liter of water, a couple of teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt, and some lemon juice is an excellent homemade option. Avoid dehydrating options like alcohol, soft drinks and sweetened beverages.

Load up on magnesium and calcium

Both calcium and magnesium are important minerals which play a major role in muscle contractions. Low levels of either of these minerals in the blood have a direct impact on the excitability of nerve endings and the muscles they act on. Spontaneous cramps experienced by athletes and older individuals are often due to the low levels of these nutrients in the body. Foods like curd, milk, leafy vegetables, etc. are good sources of calcium while magnesium can be found in pulses, whole grains, sea food, etc.

Stretch properly

Stretching major muscles of the body for 5-10 minutes before and after a workout routine could help prevent cramps. Also consider undergoing a biochemical evaluation of your exercise routine to figure out changes which could lower instances of cramping. Minimize running up hills and stairs to reduce muscle cramps.

Don’t cut out salt

Many people reduce their salt intake to avoid high blood pressure. However, the body loses significant amount of sodium when sweating, and if you don’t consume enough salt, you put yourself at a risk of sodium imbalance, which could lead to cramps. Avoid having a sodium restricted diet. In addition to cramps, if you are experiencing fatigue and lethargy as well, it could be because of low sodium levels.

Get a massage

Both hot and cold massages are extremely effective in relieving muscle cramps. Ice is anti-inflammatory and relieves pain. If using ice is too uncomfortable, try using a heating pad or have a warm shower instead. Remember to lightly massage your muscles following the application of either heat or ice.

Conquer the Cramps today:

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