Cramps are a well-known discomfort, especially for people who exercise regularly, also for pregnant women and people with certain health problems such as diabetes, vascular or neurological disorders.
What causes cramps ?
The causes of cramps can vary, can occur with the body at rest or in physical activity due to muscle fatigue or poor circulation. It is also very common, especially for athletes or people who exercise a lot, lose a lot of fluids and sodium, which predisposes the muscles to become sensitive and suffer cramps.
The lack of minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium , was one of the beliefs of the appearance of cramps for a long time, but now doctors question that theory, saying that these minerals can be acquired with daily food.
Even, according to doctors, muscles have greater reserves of these elements than the amount lost in perspiration, unlike what happens with chloride and sodium. Also the excessive consumption of phosphorus contributes to the malabsorption of calcium, another factor that causes cramps.
Many times, the fact that the daily activities of certain people require a lot of some muscles, can cause fatigue and cramps arise with the body at rest. It is common in swimmers, dancers, athletes in general, people who stay too long in the same position, as seamstresses, writers, typists, etc.
Cramps are painful muscle contractions that destabilize the muscles and, if it occurs at a time when the person is standing, practicing some exercise or, swimming or doing other activity that requires muscle strength, such as an extreme sport, for example, it can fall or drown.
Therefore, in addition to pain, cramps can become a danger, it is essential to avoid them and know what to do if you get one.
How to avoid muscle cramps
- Stretch the muscles well – Before exercising, stretch the muscles and after a workout or continued exercise, relax and stretch the muscles again.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Drinking plenty of water every day is a must for all people, but athletes or people who exercise regularly, lose too much liquid sweating, so you should always reinforce this need by drinking water before, during and after training.
- Drink isotonic drinks – Recovers minerals lost in sweat and prevents cramps.
In addition to all these precautions, some other recipes and natural remedies can prevent the onset of cramps.
What to with muscle cramps
The first rule is not to force the contracted muscle. Save rest, relax, breathe deeply and, at the same time, energetically massage the place. If possible, apply warm compresses.
If the calf cramp occurs, get up and stand on tiptoe. If the cramps occur in the bed, point the toes towards the ceiling. A bath with hot water or taking a hot shower can help a lot.
- In the exercise, do not force. It is essential to acquire the form gradually. Start with stretching. Do not force one muscle on another. Learn to evenly distribute the effort with the widest possible group of muscles.
- In the case of stress and activities that cause wear, stop at regular intervals to rest and relax the muscles. For example, a computer specialist should leave at least once every hour and do stretching and relaxation exercises with the hands and fingers so as not to fatigue the muscles.
- Eat foods rich in minerals.
- Bee honey is rich in potassium and contains a wide range of nutrients, it is one of the best natural “antidotes” for cramps. Diabetics, however, should not use honey.
Natural remedies for cramps
Bananas and oats
- 2 tablespoons of aven;
- 2 bananas;
- 1/2 liter of water;
- Honey to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a blender and drink two 200 ml glasses per day.
* Eating a banana daily helps avoid muscle cramps.
Strawberries and bananas
- 2 cups of strawberries;
- 300 ml of water;
- 1 peeled banana;
- 1 tablespoon of nuts or dried fruits.
Beat all the ingredients in a blender and sweeten to taste with sweetener, honey, brown sugar, etc.
Mix a spoon of honey, a spoon of apple cider vinegar and a spoon (tureen) of calcium lactate in half a glass of water and drink once a day.
Recommendations to prevent cramps
- Make sure you have a healthy diet . The likelihood of developing muscle cramps can be reduced when the foods in the diet contain vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin E, niacin, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Drink large amounts of fluid before, during and after prolonged physical activity, especially in summer. We recommend mineralized drinks, water and juices made with bananas and apricots.
- Wear comfortable clothes . If you feel a cramp is about to happen, it is recommended to loosen tight clothing to give some space to the muscles.
- Exercise through an adequate stretching program . Stretching before exercise is important so that the muscles are less tense and less likely to be injured or cramp.
- Avoid exercising in extreme temperatures , either hot or cold.
- Taking a bath with hot water before going to bed can promote circulation in the legs and reduce the incidence of nighttime cramps.
- Practicing relaxation and meditation techniques help reduce the pain associated with muscle spasms and pains.