How To Treat & Prevent Cramp | Stop Muscle Pain In Your Next Triathlon

How To Treat & Prevent Cramp | Stop Muscle Pain In Your Next Triathlon


(relaxing beat music) – If you’ve never
experienced the debilitating and often rather painful
feeling of a muscle cramp, then I’d count yourself very lucky indeed. But if you have, then don’t worry because there are some simple steps that you can incorporate
into your daily lives or your training routine to help prevent having them in the future. So today, I’m going to talk
about what a muscle cramp is and how you can prevent experiencing them. (technological noise) So first things first. What exactly is a muscle cramp? Well, a cramp occurs
when a muscle suddenly becomes shortened uncontrollably and then locks into a painful spasm. And these spasms occur when a muscle or even just a few fibers of a
muscle contract involuntarily or without you consciously doing anything. Cramps themselves, are
often common in muscles or muscle groups that span two joints. However, we can feel them almost anywhere. And likely places are our hands, our tummy or our abdominal muscles, the muscles in and around the ribcage, and our feet and toes too. So what exactly causes cramps? Well, there are a few key
things that we can chat about. For example, poor hydration or not including enough
electrolytes or minerals in your diet, or something
like an over use of a muscle because it’s not
accustomed to the training you’re trying to put it through, or even unaccustomed
fatigue from simply holding a particular position for too long, are all things that can
contribute to cramping. But if I’m honest, there’s
no right or wrong reason for talking about a cause of a cramp. It all remains a little bit of a mystery. But all that being said,
let’s go and talk about how to try and prevent
cramps as best as we can. (relaxing beat music) Now it’s a tricky business
trying to research cramping, mostly because it’s hard to predict when cramps are going to happen, largely due to the sheer unpredictability of cramping in general. And that makes it quite
hard to work backwards to try and work out ways
to prevent cramps happening in the future. However, that being said, there
are a few key fundamentals that we can think about to help prevent any unwanted cramps happening. And the first thing is nailing
a good nutritional strategy and working on your dietary requirements. Now, although vital is having
lots of good fluid intake before, during and after any training, and also, just throughout the day, I will talk about that in a little bit. But coming back to diet, you really must try and look
into having a really good high carb, unprocessed diet, that’s got lots of high
carbohydrate rich foods like cereals, breads, pasta,
rice, beans and lentils, starchy fruits and vegetables as well. Because what they do is all
include quite a lot of potassium and many of those foods like
cereals and even breads, some canned foods that you
might be having as well, have got added salt too, which takes care of sodium intake as well. Now another two key
minerals to think about because of their function in the muscles are calcium and magnesium. Now the obvious places to
think about for calcium is dairy products like
milk, and cheese, yogurt, nuts and seeds too. And in terms of magnesium,
what you can look to whole grain, brown breads
and rices, and cereals. Now, sometimes magnesium gets a little bit overlooked in our diets. So it might be worth thinking
about supplementing it with magnesium as well. (relaxing beat music) Now as essential as
good dietary basics are, we really can’t neglect our hydration and our electrolyte balance. And this is where things like
carbohydrate sports drinks or electrolyte tabs can
really come into play. Now, let’s say we’re in a
hot and humid environment. Well, sweat losses are
going to be considerable, so we really have to take
on top of our hydration and electrolyte intake even
if the intensity and duration of the activity isn’t really that much. But whatever the conditions are there’s actually no sure far way that you can guarantee that you’re
going to stave off cramping. However, researchers have proven in longer duration activities, that something like a 6% standard
carbohydrate sports drink can go a long way to help
preventing having cramps but unfortunately, we can’t say for sure that they won’t happen. Now one thing lots of people agree upon is that a well targeted stretching program can not only go a long way
to reducing the instances of exercise induced cramping, but also it helps stop cramps occurring whilst they’re happening. Now I’m not talking about
anything fancy here. Just some static passive
15 to 30 second holds. And also, the mechanism
here is kind of unclear. What we know is that by doing
this stretching program, we’re just lengthening
out the muscle fibers and that really helps
with avoiding cramps. Another thing that’s really
good to think about doing, is try including massage therapy especially after hard or tough workouts. But of course that’s quite expensive. So another really good
alternative is things like massage rollers or even
things like golf balls or lacrosse balls which are
really useful for things like Myofascial Release
and Trigger Pointing. So what’s the best plan of
attack for avoiding cramps? Well, I’m afraid there’s no easy answer to that question I’m afraid. However, if you gradually
build your training up so that you don’t shock
your body with fatigue, that’s going to be a great start. And of course, you need to just
pay attention to good diet, proper hydration, and include things like electrolytes and minerals. And that’s can go a long
way to helping avoid those painful and unwanted
cramps in the future. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video, so please hit that thumb up Like button, find the globe somewhere on screen to make sure you get all
the rest of the videos on our channel. And if you want to see a
video that we did about how to find your run heart rate zones, well that’s going to be here. And if you want to see
another video about how to run without getting tired, well
you can find that here.

7 comments on “How To Treat & Prevent Cramp | Stop Muscle Pain In Your Next Triathlon

  1. Savage Poet Post author

    Mr Fraser, I've used a tested method. It's when a cramp attacks, you counter-attack with the opposite muscles. For example, if your hamstrings are cramping, you stretch your quadriceps etc. I've tried it and it works. The cramping muscle is yielding to the greater force of the stronger opposing muscles. It is stronger muscle group that should be relaxed. Stretching the very muscle that is cramping only worsens it.

    Reply
  2. Jonathan Zappala Post author

    Run a marathon too fast , that’s one way the researchers can induce cramps guaranteed haha.

    Reply
  3. emonte Post author

    Cramping tends to be more possible for me when swimming. I chalk it up to fatigue I guess. Always the right foot. Thanks for the video

    Reply
  4. Dean Bisseker Post author

    "Cramps are not predictable", they are for me, 1,800-2,000M into the swim, one or both calves 🙁

    Reply
  5. Anna Seyfert Post author

    I once managed to get a cramp in my tongue! I tried to pick at something in my back tooth with it and bam the muscle went dead! The pain…was surreal

    Reply

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