What is a cramp?

Sometimes if the cramp persists, it can become a muscular contraction. Therefore, it is important to deal with it promptly.

Cramps can occur after an intense workout due to a lack of hydration or sometimes to a lack of warm-up but they can also occur at night while resting.

Cramps are characterized by an intense contraction of the muscle and its inability to relax. They are caused by the imbalance of metabolites, namely, calcium, potassium and magnesium. But there are also other causes of cramps: for example, diuretics, lack of vitamin B, excessive in-take of lactic acid, pregnancy, birth control pills, having a cold, drinking too much coffee, smoking, and drinking alcohol.

The mechanics of the muscle is well established but can be fragile if put to the test. Muscular effort and, especially, perspiration cause the body to lose water and, at the same time, metabolites which can provoke the occurrence of cramps. In addition, the lactic acid resulting from muscular contraction can also increase the acidity of the cellular environment and, therefore, brings on the occurrence of cramps. The consumption of acidic substances can also provoke cramping. The lack of minerals in the diet, especially magnesium and calcium, can also cause imbalance and cramps.

So what should be done when cramps appear?

The first thing to do is to stretch the affected muscle and massage it. Stretching will cause the muscle's mitotic reflex to become more voracious and cause relaxation.

You can also prevent cramping. First of all, by hydrating yourself properly. For an athlete, we often recommend 3 litres of water per day, and most importantly, drinking during exercising. Warming up well also helps to delay the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles which prevents cramping.

A balanced diet is also an important element in the prevention of cramps. Taking supplements with magnesium, calcium and potassium can help restore balance to the body. On the other hand, consuming acidic elements such as meat and soft drinks before training can increase the chances of having muscular cramps.

Keep in mind that cramps can result from the onset of a disease or from the use of medication and they will only disappear after the disease has been treated or the in-take of the medication has stopped. It is important to report regular cramping to your doctor.

To conclude, since the body needs to be in a constant equilibrium, cramping is a symptom of an imbalance that needs to be corrected. If this happens to you from time to time, there's nothing to worry about. All you need to do is to change some bad habits which can remedy your occasional problems of cramping. However, if you have regular cramps, speak to your doctor for advice.

Posted in: Health

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