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I woke up yesterday morning with a sudden pain in my ankle, and it caused me to shriek and flail around the bed for a couple of minutes.  It was a muscle cramp that mysteriously hit me early in the morning.  Ouch.

I can recall the recent times I’ve suffered from muscle cramps – and it isn’t a very big list. 

I had cramps in both legs after a very intense muay thai training session that my body clearly wasn’t ready for.  I also suffered a cramp during my first 13-mile run (prior to the Oakland Running Festival in late March).  I also suffered a nasty cramp during the Tilden Tough Ten race — a race that I expected to be a fun, easy event, especially after a difficult Wildcat half.

My most recent cramp, which suddenly hit me in the morning, is more likely due to a lack of water and electrolytes.  My soda and caffeine consumption has significantly increased the past couple of weeks, while my water and electrolyte intake dropped. posted five ways to end muscle cramps and it’s an article worth reading over.

Here is a tidbit from the article:

How would dehydration cause muscle cramps? Fluids in the body are either inside the cell or outside of the cell. When we become dehydrated, the fluid outside of the cells decreases. Reductions in fluids cause nerve endings to be squished together, overexcited, and spontaneously discharge. That spontaneous discharge is a muscle twitch, which can lead to a muscle cramp. By maintaining proper hydration, you can prevent dramatic shifts in fluids that contribute to abnormal muscle contractions.

As the article also says, prevention and treating cramps may not be directly related to fluids — but since proper hydration will help increase performance anyway, it’s a good idea to make sure your fuel tank is properly topped off.

1 Comment so far »

  1. by Ted Hoffman, on June 23 2010 @ 10:18 am


    Heh, I wonder who is not training properly and drinking enough water?

    That is the bad thing about cramps, they hurt a lot and people laugh at you because they know you did it to yourself.

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