Want to know how to prevent muscle cramps before and after exercise? Just read on to get the best tips and home remedies for this issue.
Muscle cramps may result in excruciating and debilitating pain associated with your muscle. Performing heavy exercises may increase the risk of developing muscle cramps, even though you are following a workout plan developed by experienced coaches.
During the exercise, water and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and chloride are eliminated through sweat. The more sweat your body releases, the more water and electrolytes you may lose. As a result, your body may get depleted.
Electrolytes play an important role in conducting nerve impulses and allowing muscles to contract. Excessive loss of water and electrolytes may lead to derangement in the process of sending the nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles, resulting in muscle cramps.
Athletes who are trained under intense and overwhelming exercises have more chances of developing muscle cramps than other people. But still, you should be prepared too.
7 Tips To Prevent Muscle Cramps
Therefore, even if you’re a pro athlete or a beginner, it is really important for you to know these 7 effective ways to prevent muscle cramps before and after exercise.
1. Drink Enough Water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of muscle cramps during exercise. Physical activities need to be performed in the aqueous environment. When you exercise, the water in your body may be lost. The organs, tissues and muscles in your body need water to function well.
Loss of water and dehydration may increase the risk of muscle cramps. Therefore, if you want to prevent muscle cramps before and after exercise, you should drink about 8 glasses of water daily.
Moreover, before and during exercise, it is necessary to supply the water to your body, to replace the water lost through sweating.
2. Increase Electrolyte Minerals Intake Through Daily Diet
Electrolytes in minerals such as sodium and potassium are responsible for allowing the muscles to relax and contract. Electrolyte imbalance or mineral deficiency may result in muscle cramps.
In addition to potassium and sodium, two other important minerals for the muscle are magnesium and calcium.
You can drink electrolyte sport drinks before and after exercise in order to keep the electrolyte balance in your body. Moreover, it is a good idea to include foods that are rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium in your daily diet.
Magnesium-rich foods are yogurt, dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, fish, soybeans, avocado, bananas, and dark chocolate.
You can increase the potassium intake by eating white bean, potatoes, apricots, acorn squash, mushrooms, and bananas.
Calcium can be found in low-fat cheese, low fat milk, broccoli, almonds and fortified soy products.
Too much sodium may be harmful, which can lead to some health problems. However, athletes and others who do intense physical activities need to consume enough sodium to prevent muscle cramps. List of high sodium foods includes table salt, sauces, fish, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, and snacks.
3. Increase Carbohydrate Intake
When you exercise, you need to consume enough foods that are rich in carbohydrate. Many people mistakenly believe that they have to cut down carbohydrate to lose weight.
In fact, they do not know that carbohydrate is considered as body’s fuel that can provide energy for daily activities and exercise. The low levels of carbohydrate may increase the risk of fatigue and muscle cramps.
Athletes and people who exercise a lot need to increase carbohydrate intake by eating foods such as cereals, bread, potatoes, oats, bananas, buckwheat, and chickpeas.
It is important to consume healthy high-carb foods rather than eating fast foods, processed products like snack, pizza, refined flour and candies that pose risks for your health.
4. Do Stretching And Relaxing Exercises
Looking for the effective ways on how to prevent muscle cramps during exercises? Well, you should not ignore the need of stretching and relaxing your muscles before and after exercises.
A study divided 72 marathon runners into 2 groups. One group was instructed to do stretching and relaxing exercises before and after the workout while another group was asked not to do so.
After that, researchers compared the results of the two groups and found out that stretching and relaxing programs can have the ability to lower the risk of muscle cramps significantly.
Experienced trainers and coaches always recommend passive stretching for about 10 – 15 minutes for their athletes. People who exercise regularly to stay fit or lose weight should also follow a regular stretching and relaxing program.
Passive stretching exercises can help to lengthen your muscles and improve your neural reflex activities. After exercising, it is a great idea to massaging your body with carrier oils for the relaxing effects.
5. Use Sport Drinks Before Exercises
Sport drinks aim to keep your body hydrated and moisturized. Moreover, it also helps to maintain the balance of electrolyte and glycogen levels in the muscles.
Due to the long duration and intensity of exercises, the athletes may sweat a lot. In humid and hot weather, athlete may lose water and electrolytes. It is recommended to consume sport drinks before exercise and immediately when you get tired, stressed or overwhelmed.
6. Eat A Healthy Nutritional Diet
A healthy nutritional diet is necessary if you want to protect your health from damages, diseases, and ailments.
Moreover, a healthy nutritional diet can give you a plenty of nutrients, essential minerals and vital vitamins that help you prevent muscle cramps as well as a variety of damages during exercises.
7. Intake Vitamin E
We all know that vitamin E is good for your health, skin and hair. Regular vitamin E consumption is effective in preventing and treating a variety of diseases including chest pain, high blood pressure, arteries, leg pain, heart disease and cancer.
Furthermore, vitamin E intake can help to reduce the risk of muscle cramps. You can increase vitamin E intake by eating spinach, tofu, sunflower seeds, nuts, plant oils, shellfish, pumpkin, broccoli, and squash regularly.
Alternatively, you can take vitamin E supplements. However, it is important to consult your doctor first.
In conclusion, to prevent muscle cramps, you should drink a lot of water, do stretching and relaxing exercises and eat a healthy diet.
These are 7 natural effective ways on how to prevent muscle cramps before and after exercise. I hope that you can find it effective and helpful.