Beat the Heat: Muscle Cramps During Exercise
Whatever your sport, exercise-associated muscle cramps are likely to be one of your biggest challenges during training. These challenges increase significantly when you are training in the heat. As temperatures rise, be prepared for every workout to prevent muscle cramping from hindering your training.
What Are Heat Cramps?
Heat cramps are likely caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, often a sodium deficiency from sweating during exercise. While scientists don’t fully understand the exact causes, replenishing water and sodium during and after exercise is important.
Heat cramps are most common when you first start conditioning for the season and usually affect fatigued muscles. However, heat cramps can be more generalized and occur in the legs, core or arms.
Heat cramps usually occur during or immediately after training and they can be mild or incredibly painful and, in severe cases, may last for hours. Heat cramps will often go away on their own with rest, but you can take steps to prevent and treat them more quickly.
Watch out for symptoms of more serious conditions. Muscle cramps, along with weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache and excessive sweating, are all symptoms of heat exhaustion. If you suspect heat exhaustion or stroke, seek medical attention immediately.
Preventing Heat Cramps
Preparation is key to preventing heat cramps. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and be sure to replace electrolytes as well by drinking sports drinks or another rehydration product. Cramp Medic contains the electrolytes you need, including sodium, calcium and magnesium, along with other ingredients to support your muscles.
Wear proper clothing for the heat. Opt for light colors and make sure the fabric is breathable so that sweat can evaporate and effectively cool your body.
Take steps to ramp up training slowly in the heat. Don’t try to keep up the pace you set in a climate-controlled gym right away. Start at a lower intensity or shorten your workout until you acclimate to the heat. Take the time to cool down after your workout and stretch your fatigued muscles.
How to Treat Heat Cramps
Even when you take steps to prepare for the heat, you may still experience heat cramps, especially when your muscles get fatigued. When you feel the muscle spasms starting, don’t wait and try to push through the pain. Stop and care for your muscles right away.
Move to a shady or air-conditioned location to cool your body temperature. Drink water and electrolytes to make sure you are fully hydrated.
Whether the muscle cramps are mild or so severe you need to stop training completely, consider drinking a serving of Cramp Medic. The proprietary blend is designed to stop muscle cramps in as little as 15 seconds and can prevent further cramps for up to two weeks. Cramp Medic comes in powder form so it is easy to add to your pack or gym bag to have on hand.
Take the time to recover fully by resting before returning to training. This may take several hours before you are ready to return to full intensity training. Stretch and massage the affected muscles to release any remaining tension and spasms.
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