Scientists and doctors have not yet fully proven the causes of muscle cramps because they are involuntary muscle pain. Though there is no proven cause of it, there are theories that have been in use for many years to explain the causes, diagnosis and treatment of muscle cramps. One of the common theories on the causes of muscle cramps is significantly based on poor nourishment, inadequate muscle conditioning and dehydration.

In addition, scientists believe muscle cramps also may be caused by overstretching and sudden relaxation of muscles among athletes or racers. Muscle cramps are not only common among athletes but among many people all over the globe. Therefore, it is very important to address the issue of muscle cramps and determine the appropriate remedy because they are a great source of discomfort and pain. Among some people, muscle cramps may be caused by salt and mineral deficiencies.

Drink More Water

Your body becomes dehydrated when your body loses more fluid than you take in. Severity of dehydration depends on how much of your body weight is lost through fluids. It is recommended to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water a day to stay hydrated.
You become dehydrated when your body loses more fluid than you take in. Severity of dehydration depends on how much of your body weight is lost through fluids. It is recommended to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water a day to stay hydrated. 

According to scientists and doctors, dehydration is a major cause of many body-related complications especially in a hot or sunny weather. A normal human being is expected to take at least eight glasses of water on a daily basis. But if you are engaged in any activity especially hard exercise you are supposed to drink more water to meet the deficiency created through sweating and other causes of fluid loss in the body.

Since dehydration is a major cause of muscle cramps, you are supposed to drink plenty of water rich in electrolytes and avoid sugary beverages and alcohol because they serve to dehydrate your body. Table salt, sugar and lemon juice serve as good sources of electrolytes.

Load Up On Calcium And Magnesium

Spices, nuts, cereals, cocoa and green leafy vegetable such as spinach are rich sources of magnesium.
Spices, nuts, cereals, cocoa and green leafy vegetable such as spinach are rich sources of magnesium.

Calcium and magnesium are some of the most important minerals in the body. They are crucial for various roles in the human body. Among most athletes and racers, muscle cramps are caused by overstretching and sudden contraction of the muscles. You should maintain a balanced level of calcium and magnesium in your blood because these minerals are responsible for muscle contraction.

Lack of high or sufficient calcium and magnesium blood levels leads to increased levels of muscle and nerve excitability. Muscle and nerve excitability is a major cause of muscle cramps among many people and athletes globally. Therefore, you should ensure you take up foods rich in calcium and magnesium such as leafy vegetables, curds, whole grain, milk, paneer and pulses.

Eat More Potassium-Rich Food

The cramps developed after you workout can be treated effectively by intake of foods rich in potassium. Potassium is another mineral that plays some of the major roles in the body and its deficiency causes significant imbalance in the body. In addition, potassium is a blood component. Potassium serves as an electrolyte in the body and its deficiency is responsible for weak muscles in the body. According to doctors, weak muscles are a major cause of muscle cramps among many people. Therefore, it is very important to take foods rich in potassium such as leafy vegetables, potatoes, oranges, tomatoes, coconut water, raisins, bananas and lemon to effectively deal with muscle cramps.

Don’t Cut Out The Salt

Although most people restrict themselves for salt intake to prevent high blood pressure, salt is a very important blood component because it serves as a blood solvent preventing dehydration of blood and other body fluids. Sodium deficiency significantly contributed by excessive sweating is a major cause of muscle cramps. Salt is one of the major sources of sodium in the body hence you should not create a self-induced sodium deficiency in the body by not taking the required levels of salt in the body. In addition, salt deficiency may also contribute to muscle fatigue.

Get A Cold Or Hot Massage

During or after exercise, you are at a higher risk of experiencing muscle cramps. Therefore, ensure you have a cold or hot massage after a hard exercise to help relax the muscles that were overstretched. In addition, you may use ice as a massager around the area with cramped muscles because ice serves both as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. On the other hand, massaging the cramped muscles with heat or taking a warm shower improves blood circulation around that region hence making the muscles more flexible.

Do Enough Stretching

Stretching increases flexibility. Thus it helps beat muscle cramps.
Stretching increases flexibility. Thus, it helps beat muscle cramps. [Shutterstock]
Stretching is not only important for cramped muscles but also for your overall health and well-being. Stretching during cool-down or warm-up is very important to help relax your muscles and prevent muscle cramps. You should begin with light stretching to prevent sudden muscle overstretching that may lead to muscle cramps. In addition, stretching helps improve circulation thus making the muscles even more flexible.

Muscle cramps are a major source of pain and discomfort among many people. You should ensure you take foods rich in minerals and drink a lot of water to prevent muscle cramps.

[Featured Image via Shutterstock]

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