Ever wake up in the middle of the night clutching your calf in pain? Often called a "Charlie Horse," this is just one type of cramp that could be prevented by being more hydrated. (Talk about leading a horse to water....)
Cramps are the involuntary tightening of a muscle that won't relax, occurring most often in the calf and thighs. The cause of muscle cramps is not exactly known, but is thought to be caused by many things such as overuse, injury, staying in one place to long, strain and of course from being dehydrated. Those in hotter climates or in just plain in warmer weather are more likely to get cramps during activity, as there is more fluid loss. Fluid comes into play here because fluid helps muscles contract and relax and also keep muscle cells hydrated. If there is an inadequate water supply, muscles will not work as good as they should, causing strain-- and then the cramps.
Also, those with muscle cramps may want to take a banana with their water. Potassium loss, often due to taking diuretics, can also cause muscle cramps. Potassium is also important for muscle contraction. A small amount of potassium is lost through your sweat, and a larger portion is lost through muscle activity. The diuretics, which also can cause dehydration, rob the body of this much-needed element. Calcium and magnesium also play a role in keep muscles in good shape. It is recommended that during work-outs, people drink water or sports drinks (to replace those electrolytes) at set intervals and also to not gauge the need for water by the thirst mechanism. Children especially are known to be less hydrated when doing something physical, and therefore may cramp easier. Encourage you child, even if they just are active in school gym class, to drink water during the activity.
How can leg cramps be prevented?
How can I make cramps go away?
While drinking water during a cramp spasm will not help the cramp instantly fade away, staying hydrated regularly and especially during and after a work-out will keep those "Charlie Horses" and other cramps riding off into the sunset!
Call us at
Proudly serving NY, NJ, PA, CT and FL.
Copyright © fresh H2O