Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Cramps

Every Athletes bane = Cramps

But the great news is that Cramps are Easily preventable, but first, lets understand 

Why do we get them? 

The main reason of getting cramps is bad circulation, especially of water and nutrients, through the muscles that causes involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. You can get cramps all over you body, but usually the limbs (mostly the Legs) and the Abdomen are what really jab us when we're down. 

How to prevent them

1: Water - If you cramp often, its a sign you are not drinking enough water. Rule of Thumb 2 liters of water daily, and consume about 20 oz of water/hr of activity. (I'll have a future post of how to better gauge how much water you really need during activity)

2: Salt - If you're heavily training / sweating, you lose a lot of sodium through sweat. If you only drink water to replenish, your body is lacking in sodium. This is not the exact chemical definition, but in a nutshell, salt influences how our muscles swell, keeping them from over swelling. Solution = sports drinks. They contain sodium for this purpose. Sip some Gatorade, you'll be in good shape. I carry Gatorade powder, because it last longer and you can store it anywhere. Just add water. 

3: Bananas - A lack of Potassium. In a Nutshell, Potassium helps control the flow of water through the muscles allowing them to function smoothly. 

4: Warm up - A proper warm up and stretching relax the muscles and promotes circulation. Warm-ups gets the nutrients flowing to all right places and prepares the body for the workout. 

Ab Cramps are best prevented by
1- Warm up - really stretch the the abs.
2- Timing of food consuming - if your stomach is fuller, its pressing against other parts of your body causing unnecessary muscle constriction. 
3- What you eat - Some people can cramp eating peanuts, other can cramp with spinach, really no rhyme or reason. Get to know your body and what it likes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment