A muscle cramp, technically, occurs when your muscle tightens and shortens causing a sudden severe pain.
Muscle spasm may occur when you are exercising or even when you are sleeping. This may happen anytime also it can really be painful and may bring discomfort. The sudden contraction is harmless however the pain can be too much that could actually affect your movement. If you may not really know when you will feel muscle cramps, it is often observed during hot weather. To prevent the pain, you have to follow some tips how to prevent muscle cramps.
Cramps might also occur after inactivity, for example sitting too long in one place without moving a muscle. Sometimes you may also get a cramp when you’re just lying during sex, though researchers cannot define an absolute cause.
5 Scientific Ways to Prevent Muscle Cramps:
Drink Enough Water
Sufficient quantities of water are required for the upkeep of healthy circulation within your tissues. Body is capable of conserving water in hot humid weather however in order to maintain body temperature, the insensible loss from skin increases significantly that’s dependent on a number of factors like total body weight, environmental temperature and humidity. The water loss out of your body increases significantly if you’re exercising or working out. Moderate to severe exercise in warm weather can lead to significant dehydration (because of loss of as much as 0.5 to 1.5 liters of fluid). Dehydration can also be supplemented with changes in electrolyte concentration and aberrations within the serum levels of calcium (that’s the leading cause of muscle twitching and cramps in hot weather). Increase your water intake to a minimum of 2 to 2.5 Liters per days and take frequent water breaks if you’re exercising in hot humid weather.
Increase Vitamin Intake
Muscle cramps are also caused by moderate deficiency of certain essential minerals and vitamins that play an important role within the maintenance of muscular physiology. Boost the intake of diets rich in quality nutrients like Vitamin A, B- complex, C and vitamin D. You are able to synthesize vitamin D from your skin cells in case your exposure to sun is significant. Likewise, fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, thin cuts of meat and dairy also improve overall nutritional status and strengthen bones and muscles. You can also consider taking supplemental types of vitamins and minerals (especially magnesium and zinc to optimize muscle contraction without cramping pain).
Stretch Before Exercise
If you are in habit of exercising without correct warm up, you are very likely to develop muscle cramps. Healthcare providers advice moderate stretches to warm up your quiescent muscle, particularly in muscles that are more prone to cramping. You can use passive stretching to decrease the incidence of crams and severity, duration and concentration of episodes. Regular passive stretching may lengthen the overall dimensions of muscle fibers by affecting the reflex activity of neural elements, additionally, regular massage therapy also promotes relaxation of tense and tender muscle tissue and also aids in restoring blood circulation to affected tissue to be able to washout lactic acid. Lastly, massage also promotes flow of fresh blood that gives oxygen to tense tissues and promotes excretion of metabolites.
Eat Foods Full of Potassium
Alterations in the overall intake or serum concentration of sodium and potassium (which are two primary and most important electrolytes) significantly affect the overall functioning of muscles. You are able to increase your intake of potassium naturally to eat foods that supply potassium like; vegetables (avocados, soybeans, broccoli, potatoes and fruits (bananas, apricots, orange juice and raisins). Obviously it is a great idea to have these nutrients factories along with you whenever you are exercising your muscles vigorously. Individuals who are prone to develop cramping muscle pain may also get benefitted by periodic consumption of fresh nutrients and potassium containing foods to reduce the overall episodes and to boost the exercise endurance. Additionally, you could get benefitted from sports drinks which contain reasonable quantities of sodium, potassium along with other electrolytes (for best results, be sure to add a little fluid to enhance the total absorption of nutrients).
Learn Breathing Techniques
The most important cause of muscle cramping is lactic acid buildup within the muscles as discussed in the last section. Exercising muscles require oxygen for that metabolism of glucose to create energy that supply contraction of muscles. However, if oxygen concentration within the blood decreases, our muscles metabolize energy under conditions of low oxygen (also referred to as anerobic environment) that leads to formation of lactic acid. To be able to maintain high oxygen levels inside your blood, deep breathing exercises are exceptionally helpful. The strategy is simple, put your hands on your stomach and take deep breath (so that you can actually feel tension or contraction inside your stomach muscles). With optimal blood oxygen concentration, the instances of hypoxia induced muscle cramps reduce significantly.