We have all had cramps at some point in our lives. You are feeling blissful one moment, and in the very next, you are immobilized due to a shooting pain. Stomach cramps, leg cramps, muscle cramps or heck, even that sudden crick in your shoulder or neck – all of these can manifest most unexpectedly and catch you off guard. Some people can get cramps in their toes or the end of their feet. Sounds familiar? The good news is that while cramps may be involuntary, they are also always temporary. However, they can be paralyzing, painfully so, each time they happen and as long as they last. Furthermore, if they occur too often, they can put an annoying wrench in your otherwise cheerful life.
Let us explore eight valid conditions that trigger a “Charlie Horse”, also known to us as leg (or muscle) cramps. Leg cramps are among the most common of all muscle cramps. Fortunately, medical experts have been able to weed out these potential triggers and recommend some straightforward and decisive solutions.
Excess Loss of Water
Most of us are sure to be familiar with this. We are enthusiastically working out on the treadmill, or running non-stop at the beach, and that sudden leg cramp hits us, bad! We are not saying that dehydration is the primary cause of leg cramps. But all we are saying that it is far too common of a trigger.
This is the reason why we often see athletes suffering from muscle cramps, especially when they exercise in hot weather. Fortunately, this trigger is remarkably easy to fix. Simply drink up your daily dose of H2O (at least 3 to 4 glasses), and carry an extra bottle when you plan to work out. In the case of agonizing muscle cramps, prevention is indeed better than cure.
Drink that water. Do not be like Ray Donovan and drink alcohol all day long. Does that people professional ever drink any water or eat any food?
Loss of Minerals
Let us dig a little deeper into why dehydration hurts our body. It’s just water, right? Wrong! During dehydration, we also lose vital minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are crucial to maintaining the balance within our body.
In fact and moreover, athletes are waking up to the significance of these minerals, as these are now substituted in expensive energy drinks and mineral water.
Conversely, it is not just dehydration that causes us to lose minerals and suffer from leg cramps. A poor diet that is low in nutrition (including minerals) can do that to us too. If you struggle with leg cramps often, it is worth increasing the salt in your diet. Yes, salt is packed with sodium, a good mineral, as are potatoes, nuts, yogurt, and bananas. It is also good to run your new diet by your GP, so you don’t inadvertently jeopardize your health.