Friday, October 26, 2012

Feeling Crampy?




There are three main causes of muscle cramps:
  1. Lack of Magnesium: Improper Calcium to Magnesium ratios do not allow an active muscle to relax.
  2. Dehydration: Dehydration can cause a decrease in blood volume, resulting in inadequate flow to the muscle.
  3. Electrolytes, such as Calcium, Chloride, Sodium and Potassium imbalances: Nerve stimulation and muscle contraction rely on exchanges of electrolytes across nerve and muscle cell membranes.  Electrolyte imbalances decrease electrical activity in the muscle and therefore the muscle may not return to rest after activity, as it should.


Some great ways to avoid cramping is through prevention. Stay hydrated and consume adequate amount of minerals on a daily basis. 

Potassium
Avocados, lima beans, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, fish, apricots, spinach, almonds, apple cider vinegar
Sodium
Celery, unrefined sea salt, sea veggies, many other foods
Calcium
Green leafy veggies, turnip, broccoli, almonds, brazil nits, figs, dairy, seeds, kelp
Magnesium
Whole grains, dark green veggies, molasses, nuts, seafood, legumes

Keeping hydrated for anyone is important and especially important for those who are very active. Nearly seventy percent of the human body is water, and almost all bodily functions, from transportation of nutrients to the elimination of toxins, happens in a liquid medium.

When being active, adequate amounts of water are critical for optimum performance. Those who drink water while they are active, approximately 1 cup ever every 15-20 minutes, will be able to last longer than those who do not consume any water. Although they may be able to continue activity without consuming water, their performance will likely be compromised and their recovery slower.

Even slight dehydration can affect mental ability and muscular strength. When you lose around 2% of your body weight in sweat you will feel weak, breathing will become harder and muscle fatigue may set in. Losing 5% may result in rapid breathing, abnormally fast heartbeats and loss of concentration. More than 6-8% may result in death.

To stay hydrated and avoid getting cramps you should avoid soft drinks, artificial sweeteners and consume beer and wine in moderation. Coffee and tea remain controversial, but they do have a diuretic property.





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