What are cramps?
Ever felt your calf suddenly tense up or have you woken up in the middle of the night with severe leg pain? Sounds like you’re suffering from muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps are a common problem characterized by a sudden, involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles, and it hurts. Some people often experience cramps after vigorous, high intensity exercise. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes and can affect some people more than others.
What causes cramps?
We don’t actually know, but there are several theories. They usually occur for a reason, and most cases do not indicate a worrisome underlying condition.
We know cramps are rarely seen at the start of a sporting contest, but regularly seen at the end. Which could show that fatigue could be the determining factor. However, many studies illustrated that dehydration and electrolyte imbalance exacerbated exercise-induced muscular cramps.
Electrolytes govern not only how smoothly your muscles work but also your fluid balance within your body.
Why do some people get them more than others?
Some people seem to experience cramps more often than others, which could be due to several factors. Those who start physical activity with low sodium levels, or an electrolyte imbalance will be more susceptible to suffering cramps when fatigue settles in in the later stages of play. This is because exercise will exacerbate electrolyte deficiency and electrolyte imbalance, which causes muscle function to be impaired, resulting in more frequent cramps.
How to treat cramps?
Although most cramps go away on their own within a few seconds, people often look for a solution to prevent them, not just to treat them.
Stretching can relax the cramping muscle. You’ll need to stop any activity that may have induced the cramp and lightly stretch the muscle. Even massaging the muscle whilst you stretch can ease the pain and stop it in its tracks. However, this is just a temporary fix.
A lot of advice given to athletes whose muscles cramp up is to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Oh, how wrong this is. This is actually terrible advice. Yes, dehydration causes cramp. But what if you drank lots of fluids when you’re already in a dehydrated state with low sodium levels? Let me explain:
During exercise, your body produces sweat as a mechanism to cool the body down. A hot environment or prolonged intense exercise can exacerbate sweating. Since sweat is made up of water and the full spectrum of 78 electrolytes (78) then intense exercise is just going to create a deficit in both body water and electrolyte content. If you were to drink a vast amount of water then this will dilute the remaining electrolytes in your blood.
Diluted low sodium blood levels lead to swelling of the cells – called hyponatremia – which can be life threatening.
If you really want to effectively prevent cramps, then focus on your electrolyte balance within your body to ensure your body is maximally hydrated at a cellular level before, during, and after your session.
Totum Sport is a world-first in hydration. It is the only unique solution to contain all 78 electrolytes that work at a cellular level to ensure the body remains hydrated through intense physical exertions. Don’t worry about having to take different supplements in the correct dosage. This is the only solution containing electrolytes in the exact proportions required by our cells. Simple as that.
The body requires the correct delivery of all the essential 78 electrolytes in perfect proportions, since each individual electrolyte relies on around 20 other electrolytes to be efficiently absorbed and utilised around the body.
So, the next time you get that sudden painful contraction in your calf, think Totum Sport.