What helps against muscle cramps?
The most important points in brief
- We have all had muscle cramps at least once - and we know exactly how painful it can be.
- Muscle cramps usually only last a few seconds, but they can feel like an eternity.
- Contrary to all myths, today you can pretty much say what triggers a cramp.
- But the crucial question is: What really helps against muscle cramps?
We usually experience muscle cramps during exercise. In almost all cases we attribute this to excessive stress, which in principle is not wrong. Often it is really overwork that deprives the body of minerals and water - and that ultimately leads to muscle cramps. They really hurt, especially when you are in a crucial (game) situation in competitive sports.
Muscle cramps - these are the causes
Imagine the 90th minute of a football match is running and the striker, who previously completed several sprints for free, walks towards the goalie with the ball at his foot and only has to push in to decide the match . And then that: muscle cramps. What is seldom the case in professional sport is not so rare among amateurs and hobbyists. And that doesn't even include the other sports.
Almost always the reasons for the muscle cramps are due to an overload that took place during the competition. As a result of this exposure, deficiencies occur, for example a lack of water or an unbalanced household in terms of minerals. A muscle cramp is sometimes not only a factor that decides on victory or defeat, sometimes it can even be life-threatening - just think of long-distance or open water swimmers.
This helps against muscle cramps
It is not entirely true that muscle cramps can be avoided if you have consumed enough magnesium before exercising. Of course, if you sweat, you lose valuable minerals with the liquid, the so-called electrolytes. But this loss alone (primarily calcium and magnesium) is usually not enough to cause muscle cramps.
In addition, the undersupply of fluid is responsible for the fact that the lactic acid, which is produced when the muscles are working, can no longer be transported out of the muscle tissue and instead accumulates there. A muscle over-acidifies much faster. So it is important to drink enough fluids when doing sport to prevent cramps.
Water and the right snacks
Mineral water with little carbon dioxide (e.g. medium) is very valuable as it contains important nutrients. Isotonic and electrolyte drinks are also ideal. In addition to hydration, you should also have small snacks that contain magnesium. These include nuts and bananas. These foods do not burden the digestive tract and thus the organism either.
If an acute muscle cramp occurs as a calf cramp during exercise, it always helps to pull your toes up while you push your heel in the opposite direction. Teammates help out in team sports - you know it from television.
By the way: We can suffer from muscle cramps not only during physical exertion. Even at night in deep sleep, we are not immune to (calf) cramps - but this actually only happens when we have maneuvered ourselves into a really uncomfortable sleeping position. Often, intense dreams are to blame.
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