Muscle cramps are common, and they affect between 40 and 95% of athletes at some point during or after exercises. Therefore, a lot of people launch studies on what causes them, and mostly how to avoid them.
What Is Muscle Cramping?
All the muscles in your body relax and contract because of the electrical impulses they receive from your nervous system. Those signals come in interchangeably, and they are guided via sodium and potassium.
Muscle cramping happens when your muscle does not receive the signal to relax. That happens mostly if you do not have enough sodium, potassium, or both, which are the electrolytes through which the message reaches the muscle.
Why Do I Get Muscle Cramping During Exercise?
One of the main reasons you might run out of these electrolytes is working out in the heat. That increases your level of sweating, and in turn, causes an imbalance in your sodium and potassium levels. Experts refer to this as the dehydration of electrolyte theory.
It might also happen because you have not fueled your body properly before an exercise. That causes your body and muscles to get tired faster, and pushing them further could cause muscle cramping.
Muscle fatigue is another main reason for muscle cramping, and people commonly refer to it as the neuromuscular theory.
Over-exercising causes muscle cramping because if your muscles are damaged and beat up, they cannot absorb the nutrients they need and eliminate waste. That could happen in the course of a long workout, so you must take breaks and refuel.
Another reason you might experience muscle cramping as you exercise is because of restricted blood flow. That means that the muscles are not receiving the right amount of oxygen to keep them energized.
That mainly happened because of wearing very tight clothes. While it is important to wear compression gear, ensure it is not too tight to the point where it cuts off circulation to your muscles.
Poor blood flow could also happen as a sign of claudication. That could be a symptom of heart disease or vascular issue, especially if it happens in the lower limbs.
How Do I Avoid Muscle Cramping During Exercise?
While there is no scientific method to kill muscle cramping during exercise, there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe from the pain.
• Fuel your body before a workout
One of the reasons you experience cramping is a lack of energy during the workout. Before working out, drink or eat something rich in sodium or calcium, especially if you are working out under the sun.
Before buying a pre-workout sodium boost, ensure that it is strong enough to give you results. Take your drink before and during your workout, and you can change your dosage depending on the results you get the first time.
Experts from Legion Athletics also recommend taking stim free pre workout drinks. They contain no stimulants, and they increase your power output and increase stamina and endurance.
• Reduce fatigue
The best way to reduce fatigue is to remain within your limits. You should also do a warm-up before exercising to reduce injuries.
If muscle cramping exceeds or becomes worse, you should consult your doctor because it could be a sign of an underlying issue. You should also consult a trainer on the best types of exercises and how to avoid injuries that cause cramping.