Muscle cramps: their relationship with dehydration and how to avoid them

The appearance of muscle cramps during sports practice is closely linked to dehydration . These contractions turn out to be quite unpleasant, and can even cause us to be forced to immediately stop the activity we are doing: running , cycling, jogging , etc. The greater the intensity and time of our workouts, the greater the loss of water will be , so it is essential that we do not neglect water intake. Next, we will reveal all the keys so that you can avoid this alteration.

What are muscle cramps

It is highly likely that you have ever suffered from these symptoms, since muscle cramps are very common in athletes. They consist of a series of involuntary contractions that are generated in one or several muscles. In addition, they cause intense pain in the area that can prevent normal mobility. Some people admit that they suffer from these spasms frequently. The most affected parts of the body are: arms, feet, hands, legs and abdomen. Its relationship with dehydration As we have anticipated, maintaining insufficient hydration is one of the main reasons why muscle cramps occur. In winter we usually lower our guard regarding water intake. Since the temperatures are not high, we do not feel the same need to cool off, but be careful! The organism dehydrates in the same way. Our body also loses a series of minerals through sweat, so it is extremely important that we take care of replenishing these substances during sports. Dehydration can cause more serious symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, nausea, chills and tachycardia. In short, we can say that the first cause of muscle cramps is an incorrect water intake. However, they can also appear due to a lack of sodium and other minerals such as phosphorus, calcium or potassium.

What to do if you suffer from muscle cramps

When you are practicing sports and you begin to feel these spasms slightly in some of your muscles, perform the following actions:
  • Stop the activity immediately .
  • Walk slowly whenever the pain allows you.
  • Take small sips of water or an isotonic drink .
  • Gently stretches the affected muscle, without generating more pain.
  • Once you get home, apply cold water and some ice.
  • The use of creams with menthol is also recommended . Apply it through a gentle massage.
It is very important that if you detect these contractions do not continue forcing. Otherwise, you could suffer more serious consequences. If this problem appears regularly, the ideal is that you put yourself in the hands of a professional . Now that you know why muscle cramps appear and what is their relationship with dehydration, don't neglect your water intake before, during and after practicing sports.