What's with muscle cramps?

Posted by Charlotte Miller on

Do you suffer frequent muscle cramps associated with exercise? Annoying hey!?

Theories abound regarding what causes these frustrating symptoms. But like us, you may be surprised to learn that there is actually no research to support commonly touted causes like deficient potassium, magnesium and sodium in the blood. Even dehydration isn’t shown in clinical studies to be associated with more frequent cramping! In fact, the most likely cause of Exercised Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC) is fatigue in the exercising muscle!

So how do you reduce your risk of muscle cramps? Here’s some advice from the gurus at Sports Dietitians Australia:

- Train like a champ! Cramps are less common in athletes who are well conditioned for the event they are training for or competing in.

- Fuel up. Adequate carbohydrates before and during exercise may prevent premature muscle fatigue (which increases the risk of cramping).

- Hydrate. Although dehydration alone is not associated with a cramp, it can contribute to premature muscle fatigue, increasing the risk of cramping.

And - of course – if you have issues like cramping, or need individualised dietary advice for other sporty reasons, contact Sports Dietitians Australia and find yourself an experienced sports dietitian to help sort that out.

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