If you’ve had the misfortune of getting a cramp mid-exercise, you know it can be agonising, completely debilitating, and often brings your exercise to an unwelcome end! A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that doesn’t relax – they’re uncontrollable, often very painful and commonly occur in athletes due to their intense training and exercise regimens. If you suffer from cramps, Endura can help!
WHY DO I GET CRAMPS?
Most cramps are preventable, especially during exercise. Are you doing all you can to stop them from affecting your performance? If you understand why cramps happen in the first place, you’re far better equipped to help prevent them. Major factors that can contribute to muscle cramping include:
- Dehydration - particularly if you’re exercising in hot, humid conditions. This is why some athletes get cramps more frequently in the warmer months of the year. Check out this simple test to see if you could be dehydrated here.
- Electrolyte deficiencies - due to excessive sweating and/or insufficient dietary intake – especially potassium and magnesium.
- Vomiting or diarrhoea - which causes dehydration and/or electrolyte loss.
- Inadequate muscle oxygenation - due to insufficient circulation.
- Physical over-exertion - cramping can be common during or soon after exercise, but is more likely to occur when you have cold, tight, injured or fatigued muscles.
4 SIGNS YOU’RE MISSING MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is an essential nutrient in your body, required for more than 300 biochemical reactions! Most importantly for athletes, magnesium assists with maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, as well as being vital to cellular energy production. Early signs of magnesium deficiency can include:
- Muscle cramps and spasms.
- Muscle weakness.
- Feelings of stress, nervousness or anxiety.
- Fatigue and low energy.
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH MAGNESIUM?
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium in Australia is currently 420 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women, and although Magnesium is plentiful in nature (dietary sources include dark green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, legumes, cocoa, fruits, meat and fish), modern Australian diets may not provide enough magnesium, especially in the case of diets high in processed foods, as processing and cooking can further deplete the magnesium content of foods.
Other factors can also increase your daily magnesium needs e.g. exercise increases your magnesium requirements, whilst stress, alcohol and an increased consumption of tea and coffee may deplete magnesium levels. If you’re experiencing cramps, perhaps you’re not getting enough magnesium.
WHAT'S THE BEST FORM OF MAGNESIUM?
Some forms of magnesium (such as magnesium salts – oxide, sulphate etc.), can be poorly absorbed, potentially causing digestive problems and potentially diarrhoea – not something you want mid exercise. At Endura we use an exclusive, patented form of magnesium – Meta Mag® - that’s absorbed more than 8 times faster than other forms, significantly reducing the chance of gastric upsets.
Being highly absorbable, Meta Mag® is better utilised by your cells to create energy, keep you healthy and prevent/relieve cramps, making it one of the best choices for magnesium supplementation.
ENDURA FORMULAS WITH THERAPEUTIC LEVELS OF MAGNESIUM
Endura has a number of key formulas that contain therapeutic levels of Meta Mag® magnesium diglycinate, including:
6 TIPS TO MANAGE CRAMPS AND SPASMS
As well as the Endura range of rehydration and magnesium supplements, additional ways you can manage cramps and spasms include:
- Lengthen the cramping muscle using a gentle, sustained stretch then lightly massage the area until the cramp subsides. If you’re unsure how to stretch leg muscles, see your physio for advice
- In cases of severe cramping, applying a heat-pack for a few minutes can help the muscle to relax
- Hydrate properly before, during and after exercise – especially in hot and humid conditions (there’s a couple of tips and tests to help manage your hydration here)
- Make sure your diet is nutritionally adequate and includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Incorporate regular stretching and massage into your fitness routine to help reduce muscle tension;
- Warm up and cool down thoroughly whenever you exercise;
- If you suffer from frequent cramps and spasms, don’t let it stop you from achieving your best - let Endura help!
* References available on request