Cramps & Electrolytes

EDEL 250 Tina Rollins

Reasons for Muscle Cramps

1. Lack of fitness. The cramps happen when you push yourself to your limits. The way to limit cramping is by getting fit.

2. Lack of salt or electrolytes due to dehydration in athletes. Water alone sometimes will not solve the cramping. One must intake salt or electrolytes. A normal active person gets enough sugar and salt in their daily intake that if they get muscle cramps it is due to dehydration and they should drink plenty of water.

3. Improper stretching . It is important to stretch your muscles especially if you sit for a long period of time. Your hip flexors get tight and stay at a shortened positon and this can cause cramping of the muscle. To prevent cramping, stretch your muscles for 20 seconds for every hour you sit.

Does Pickle Juice help against cramps?

A study at Brigham Young University showed that just after a few seconds of drinking salty fluids in this case pickle juice stopped the cramps.

How to Prevent Cramping

  1. Get into shape
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. If you exercise a lot and sweat a lot, use electrolytes and eat salty foods
  4. Keep muscles flexible by stretching
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What is it?

They are minerals that get dissolved by the body's fluid to create electrical charged ions. The most important electrolytes in nutrition are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.
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What do they do for us?

Electrolytes help our body to maintain the proper PH level, which keeps our blood from becoming to acidic or too alkaline. The minerals in electrolytes stimulate contractions in the heart and other muscles.
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How much do we need?

To determine exactly how much electrolytes a person needs depends on how much your body uses. We receive electrolytes from eating a balanced and healthy diet. We consume enough electrolytes from our foods for our normal daily activities. But if you have a active lifestyle, exercise a lot, and depending of how much fluid you body uses for example how much you sweat the electrolytes need to be replaced.

How much do we lose?

You can lose anywhere from 1/2 to 4 liters depending on how much you sweat and if you sweat a lot, it is important to replace the lost electrolytes aka sodium. Water alone will not help the lose of electrolytes, it will make it worse. Even drinking sports drinks do not include enough sodium for one hour of good sweating (exercise). Eating salty food like pretzels will provide you with enough electrolytes to replace the sodium you lost during your exercise.

In The Classroom

It is important to make sure that all of your students stay hydrated and that they get plenty of chances to stretch their muscles during the school day. It is easy to incorporate "brain breaks" or some kind of stretching exercises during the school day. Keeping the students hydrated is also important. Make sure that you give your students breaks to get a drink from the fountain or encourage them to bring their bottled water from home.

Connections

Both Podcasts mention that it is important to replace electrolytes if you work out or sweat a lot. You can replace them by eating sodium balanced (salty) foods.