Muscles are the components that give shape to the body. The elastic fiber that makes the muscles allows them to contract and relax. The contraction abilities, in turn, help in the movement of various parts of the body.
Muscles are held to muscles, bones and organs by soft tissues or specialized cells called ligaments, tendons and fascia.
Muscle spasms are mysterious and cause a lot of pain. They occur most commonly among athletes who work their muscles to the point of exhaustion, overexertion, fluid loss, inadequate conditioning and electrolyte imbalance. Massage, stretching or a hard pinch can provide instant relief. In most other time, nutrition may be the reason for muscle spasms.
Lack of water in the body resulting in dehydration can cause cramps. The solution is to drink a lot of water and fluids before, during and after exercising. During tough exercises, one should drink as much as eight ounces of water every 15-20 minutes.
Lack of Calcium. Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction. Athletes who eliminate calcium rich dairy products may be plagued by muscle cramps. Products include low-fat milk on cereal and yogurt for a snack.
Electrolyte imbalance like the lack of potassium may also result in muscle cramps. Such cramps can be ruled out by eating potassium rich foods, focusing of fruits and vegetables.
Many health-conscious athletes ignore their salt intake, believing sodium causes high blood pressure. However, if they lose significant amount of sodium present in the body through sweat, it can cause a sodium imbalance that would contribute to cramps.
Potassium is another salt lost in extreme sweating. This gives rise to extreme fatigue.
Adding extra fluids, low fat dairy products, potassium rich fruits and vegetables and sufficient amount of sodium can resolve the probability of such cramps.
Following a regular exercise regime and eating a balanced nutritious diet supplying essential vitamins and minerals can prevent chances of ‘self-caused’ muscle pain.
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