Pain caused by cramps is one of the worst things that can happen. It hurts, it slows us down and it hinders our progress. Cramps often come out of nowhere, and people who are trying to get in shape know just how often this particular type of pain can show up.
Below you can read how to get rid of and avoid one of the worst kinds of pains – leg cramps.
What Causes Leg Cramps?
Unlike cuts and bruises, leg cramps are not caused by an outside force. A leg cramp (or any cramp for that matter) can be caused by a variety of internal issues.
In some cases, leg cramps could just mean that you are not getting enough water or specific nutrients, but in other cases, leg cramps could be an indicator of much more serious problems, like a kidney infection.
People which are simply dehydrated while engaged in moderate or intense activities for long periods of time can sometimes easily get rid of their cramps by simply drinking some warm water.
Warm water is recommended because its temperature closely resembles that of our blood, and can be absorbed into dehydrated muscles much quicker the cold water.
Individuals which are experiencing frequent leg cramps are recommended to increase the amount of electrolytes they consume. Electrolytes are like mini masseuses in the body that work with warm water to loosen up tight muscles and stop cramping almost immediately. Electrolyte packets can be found in a local grocery store or health supplement store.
How to Prevent Leg Cramps
Although hydration is a great start, sometimes our bodies need more than just water. The body requires specific nutrients and minerals that cannot be provided by water and electrolytes. One of the best minerals for preventing leg cramps is Magnesium. If electrolytes are the masseuse then magnesium is the massage oil.
The body uses magnesium rapidly, so, to avoid cramping you should consume about 250-300 milligrams of magnesium a day. Foods that are high in magnesium are: nuts, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, dark chocolate, spinach, molasses, prepared potatoes, and fish.
Another mineral that is great for preventing cramps is potassium. Potassium interacts with sodium in the body to direct and control liquids. Leg cramps that are caused by dehydration are usually a result of low potassium or high sodium.
Besides being able to protect you from cramps, potassium can also act as a cramp relieving agent.
When potassium enters the digestive system it will help you by directing the fluids to the affected area. If you consume foods that are high in potassium while your leg (or any part of your body) is cramping, you will be able to provide yourself with quick relief.
Remember, although cramping happens to everyone, all of our bodies are different. If you experience frequent cramping consider speaking to your doctor.