Muscle cramps are painful, involuntary contractions of muscular tissue. The muscles in the calves are especially likely to seize up from physical activity, making leg cramps one of the leading problems for athletes.
You can experience muscle cramps for a number of reasons, and they may last for several seconds or a few excruciating minutes. Some people experience ongoing muscle cramps that even wake them up at night.
Before you can find the right muscle cramps treatment, you must first understand how cramps occur and what might be causing them in your body.
There are several types of muscle cramps you may experience:
- True cramps — Cramps that involve a single muscle group brought on by hyperexcitability of the nerves
- Rest cramps — Cramps that only occur when your body is in a resting position, and possibly brought on by muscle shortening and dehydration
- Tetany — Cramps that arise from overstimulated peripheral nerves, often due to low calcium levels
Symptoms of Muscle Cramps:
- Sharp, shooting pain in the leg or affected area
- Sudden onset of pain that makes it hard to flex the muscle
- Feeling or noticing a hard lump of contracted muscle tissue during the cramp
While the symptoms are straightforward, the causes can be less obvious. For non-athletes, the most common causes include poor physical conditioning and muscle tone. Their bodies are more prone to cramps during any exertion because they are not used to being used so much.
For athletes, causes of muscle cramps include:
- Lack of calcium and vitamin D
- Not warming up adequately before a workout
- Muscle fatigue
- Excessive perspiration
- Poor circulation
There are also medical risks that increase your likelihood of experiencing muscle cramps. For example, reduced blood supply (ischemia) or heart disease.
What is the treatment for muscle cramps?
The best muscle cramps-in-leg treatment is a combination of stretching, massaging, and proper cramp prevention. The best way to prevent cramps from a physiological level is to make sure you always consume enough electrolytes and minerals, like calcium and sodium. These are fundamental compounds that allow your muscles to contract smoothly without spasming.
Without adequate electrolytes, which are lost through sweat and dehydration, you’re more likely to experience cramps during or after physical activity. Preventative measures like drinking the electrolytes included in Fuel X can also assist in stopping cramps by helping to control muscle contractions and assisting in fluid balance which can assist with improving athletic performance.
FixxNutrition’s CrampFix® is an all-natural, electrolyte-boosting blend that offers rapid cramp pain relief in 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Drinking CrampFix® before, during, and after exercise can ward off cramps and soothe muscle tightness during recovery.