CRAMPS —are sudden involuntary muscle spasms that seem to affect an athlete at their peak performance towards the end of important events or games.
Don’t panic! Cramps affect up to 95% of athletes at some point of their lives. Research hasn’t been able to pin down the cause of these cramps to not one factor, but many.
The Neuromuscular Theory- suggests that when muscles are overworked and tired, they tend to cramp.
The Dehydration/Electrolyte Theory– states that common cramping is due to the combination of a significant shift in fluid or electrolyte balance that causes the contraction of the fluid compartment around the muscles and a misfiring of nerve impulses.
In simpler terms, when your body loses a significant amount of sodium and it is not replaced, it can cause fluid shifts in the body that causes cramps.
Here are 3 Ways to help prevent Muscle Cramping:
Prevention of Cramps through Proper Training Regimen:
Sports are usually taxing on an athletes body especially during competition and coming down to the wire, most athletes find themselves pushing their body past limits their body is not typically used too. When an athlete’s body is put through extreme physical exertion, fatigue starts to set in and the overuse of the muscle fibers is one of many reasons for an athlete to cramp. To avoid this situation athletes must train at the level or past the level, which they will be competing at. This intense training helps condition the muscles that allow them to perform to the max and helps prevents the cramps. An athletes In-season training program should include Flexibility, Mobility, Strength, and Plyometric training that simulates game time intensity levels.
Prevention of Cramps through Proper Stretching and Recovery
A proper warm-up and cool-down, including plenty of stretching can help keep cramps away!
Dynamic Stretching: is a series of motions that are executed repeatedly so that the stretch is felt further with each motion. These stretches involve a lot of motions that aren’t necessarily deep stretches, so they can be done safely prior to warming up the muscles or even as a warm- up exercise.
Static Stretching: is a deep, slow stretch, which involves a singular motion, held in place for ten seconds or more. These stretches are directed more for extreme flexibility and relaxation of the muscle.
Dynamic Stretching is ideal PRIOR to your event to prepare the joints for movement and muscles for optimal activation.
Static Stretching is done AFTER the training or event to relax the muscle and increase flexibility. Studies have shown that static stretching prior to an event may actually inhibit the muscles ability to FIRE!!
After a physical event our bodies need to repair torn muscle tissues and recover strength levels, eliminate inflammation and reduce the effects of onset muscle soreness. Ice, Heat, Compression, Electrical Stimulation and Foam Rolling have been shown to be beneficial for improving muscle damage!
Preventing Cramps by Properly Fueling Your Body
Key Nutrients the Body Needs: Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, and Magnesium
Key Foods: Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Avocados, Beans and Lentils, Melons, Pickle Juice, Leafy Greens, and etc.
At U48 here is a product we know works:
Advocare’s Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix
- Helps the body stay hydrated during physical activity
- Fuels your body with sequential carbohydrates for energy production and sustained muscle endurance
- Helps prevent cramping during and after exercise
AdvoCare Rehydrate® provides the nutrients to help maintain proper metabolism, delay the onset of fatigue, and hydrate your body by re-establishing your electrolyte balance. Rehydrate has a 1:1 ratio of sodium and potassium, two of the most vital electrolytes lost when we sweat. Overall, Rehydrate includes antioxidants (vitamins A and C), carbohydrates, electrolytes, Sustamine® and other nutrients that effectively promote optimal hydration and recovery.
At Ultimate 48 Fitness, we want to help you be #ULTIMATE in every way! Please ask one of our trainers about Rehydrate today!