The muscle cramp or, as doctors say, involuntary muscle contraction is an extremely unpleasant thing. It can occur during the weight training or even some time later. The causes of these contractions are still interesting for physicians. And if the problem was solved, the mankind would not suffer so hard from many serious diseases where cramps are having place. However in this article we will observe only sport experience.
The cramps often begin right during the training. Usually, but not necessarily, contractions occur exactly in the muscle group which was loaded in some single exercise or even worked full workout.
If it takes place, it is probably result of overload the muscle which exhausted, and this has already led to a disorder in regulation of muscle contractile function. To avoid this in the future, you should clearly understand your upper limit of the load which shouldn’t be exceeded. But the problem is that to find this border you have to cross it.
Another cause of the cramps can be not physical exhausting of muscle but chronic lack of nutrients which affect directly on the muscle work. Involuntary muscle contractions can be both light and very painful. Not only is it unpleasant and does inflict pain, but it also can be dangerous if spasm occurs right during exercise.
When we talk about such things, first of all we mean nutrients that make basis for the water and electrolyte balance in the body - potassium and sodium. Fluctuation of the level of these minerals is quite normal thing, provided that body has a constant supply of them from the outside. If early replacement of spent electrolytes didn’t happen, biochemical changes occur in muscle fibers activity. Their contractile ability is regulated exactly by the interaction of sodium and potassium in the body.
I think it is no-brainer that lack of one of these two minerals leads to improper muscle contractions. There are two variants of this. Either muscles will be contract very hard or, conversely, will be like boiled sausages. Both of these conditions are quite normal for well-trained muscles. Knowing this fact, it is not difficult to care about yourself and provide your body with food and drinks with adequate amount of potassium and sodium. Not only need they be provided but also they should be in the balanced proportion. It is important Too and it is dangerous to ignore this. Most of the sports drinks, by the way, have just proportion of them.
There is an opinion that lack of calcium in the body causes cramps too. It is possible because of lowering threshold of neuromuscular irritability.
To avoid this, you need constantly eating food enriched with calcium easily assimilated by the body. These are our favorite curd, dairy and milk products. And, of course, you shouldn’t forget about the B vitamins too.
If it happened that the spasm grabbed you, the fastest way to counter it would be stretching the muscles (by yourself or with outside assistance), massage or self-massage and warming.
If the cramps are systematic and constant, and, in addition, swelling, heaviness and fatigue occur in the muscles, especially, in the legs, and all the above-indicated measures do not help, it's a clear sign to see the doctor and ask him about full examination to determine all causes.