What are cramps and how you can prevent and cure them.

How to fix cramping with electrolytes.

In this blog you will learn

What is a cramp?

Why is dehydration and overhydration a problem.

How to cure a cramp.

It's a fact... Cramps are no fun. So what are they, why do they happen, and how do we avoid + cure them!

Everyone at some stage will experience a cramp that makes them wonder... "What on earth is a cramp anyway",  and  "How do I stop this from ever happening again?". 

A cramp is a painful, sudden muscle contraction that can last for several seconds to many minutes. The lasting after effects of a cramp can last for days! Whilst researches have narrowed in on several risk factors that make one more susceptible to cramps, it’s clear nutrition and exercise are two big pieces of the puzzle.

A study on 82 marathon runners found ALL cramps occurred after about 24kms of running, none occurred before, highlighting fatigue as a major contributor, as well as sweat loss, where athletes can lose up to 7 GRAMS of sodium per day in sweating in the right conditions. Not to mention all of the other ways we can lose electrolytes during the day.

There are two major theories on what causes cramps;

  1. Impaired Neuromuscular Control and
  2. Improper Hydration
Improper Hydration can be broken down into two pieces. Dehydration (net water loss) and Electrolyte Imbalances. Contrary to popular belief, there is more evidence to support OVER hydration causing cramps, where people drink water beyond what their body requires, diluting sodium levels that brings on cramps.¹

Electrolytes are essential for muscle contraction and relaxation, as minerals that conduct electricity in our nervous systems, and keep body fluids balanced. When it comes to reducing cramps, adequate consumption of Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium are a huge factor. Simply adding salt to your water can make a huge difference in overall hydration, electrolyte status and the prevention of cramps. We speak all about the importance of salt here.

We formulated our Everyday Hydration Salts to be the perfect hydration companion with 1000mg of Sodium, 240mg of Potassium and 70mg of Magnesium in every sachet, keeping your electrolyte levels topped throughout the day, workout, hike, surf, you name it. 

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References

¹ Maughan RJ, Shirreffs SM. Muscle Cramping During Exercise: Causes, Solutions, and Questions Remaining. Sports Med. 2019;49(Suppl 2):115-124. doi:10.1007/s40279-019-01162-1