Did you know that 80% of muscle cramps are in the calf area?
Muscle cramps are painful and uncomfortable, be it the cramp itself or the person sporting the massive knot of tensed and twitching muscle. Muscle cramps are inconvenient; at worst, they can mean the end of working out altogether.
It can be easy to avoid muscle cramps during intense workouts, especially when you are in the mindset of pushing yourself further. While cramping can happen, it can be avoided if you prepare ahead of time.
If you want to know how to prevent muscle cramps before and after exercise, this is your guide. Read and learn more below.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
The best fluids to drink are water and electrolyte-rich beverages like sports drinks. Drink these fluids throughout the day, especially in the hours leading up to your workout. During your workout, drink small sips of water or sports drink every 15 minutes.
When you feel a muscle cramp, stop what you’re doing and stretch the muscle. You can also massage the muscle and apply heat or cold to it. After your workout, drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate.
Eat Potassium-Rich Foods
Eating potassium-rich foods before and after exercises can help prevent muscle cramps. Potassium helps maintain fluid balance and is essential for muscle function.
Good sources of potassium include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and potatoes. To get the most benefit, eat these foods at least four hours before exercising and within two hours after exercising.
Warmup Before Working Out
It is essential to warm up before working out to prevent muscle cramps. You can do it by doing light aerobic exercises, such as jogging, cycling, or dynamic stretching.
A good warmup will increase muscle blood flow and loosen the joints. Doing a full-body warmup, including the neck, shoulders, and back, is essential.
If you have a weekly workout routine, it is essential to know about muscle cramp solutions. It would help if you also considered some of these causes.
Stretch After Your Workout
Stretching all the major muscle groups you worked on during your exercise routine is vital. It will help to improve your range of motion and flexibility, which can help to prevent muscle cramps.
For example, if you run, you want to extend your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Static stretches, where you hold a stretch for 30 seconds or more, are the most effective type of stretch for preventing muscle cramps.
Don’t Overdo It
Warm-up and gradually increase the intensity of your activity. Cool down properly after your workout. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.
Avoid excessive amounts of saturated fat, which can increase the risk of cramping. Consider taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement if your diet is lacking in these nutrients.
Effective Ways to Prevent Muscle Cramps
You can do a few things to help prevent muscle cramps. During exercise, stay hydrated, and take breaks if you need to. After practice, cool down with some light stretching.
If you feel a muscle cramp coming on, stop what you are doing and gently stretch the muscle. You can also massage the muscle and apply heat or cold.
For other insightful articles, check out the rest of our articles page.