Do you often suffer from muscle cramps and you don’t know what to do? Have you tried everything: bananas, your friend’s new supplement, or even a Biosteel and nothing helped? This article is for you!
To begin with, what are these famous cramps due to which come on slyly and which usually end up going away on their own in a few minutes, but which are oh so painful? In fact, the truth is that science is not yet certain. Indeed, it was believed that it was rather due to dehydration and a drop in electrolyte, but they can unfortunately occur even in well hydrated athletes. The most likely cause is that they would be triggered by our nerves and amplified by a mix of fatigue, dehydration and heat. So, by being well hydrated, rested and making sure to avoid overheating, we put the odds on our side to reduce the intensity of cramps if they end up happening anyway.
If cramps occur, what to do? You can always twiddle your thumbs, the cramp will eventually go away on its own. On the other hand, if you wanted to get out of your agony as quickly as possible, here are some tips:
You may have heard a distant acquaintance tell you to eat more bananas to avoid cramps. It’s wrong. Apart from slightly increasing your potassium level, and this, about 60 minutes after consuming it, nothing miraculous has been seen scientifically to solve the problems of cramps.
Studies of cramp treatments are still in their early stages, but show great promise. So, if like me, you love the taste of pickles, you won’t be too disappointed to take some of their juice in exchange for reducing your pain: a win-win solution! Otherwise, you can also put the odds on your side by having a balanced diet, resting well, hydrating yourself well, or even consulting a nutritionist to put the odds on your side so as not to suffer his pain. too long and/or too often!
By: Joanie Séguin, Dt. P.
Nutritionist, AXiO Sports Medicine Clinic
Hooper Marosek, S. E., Antharam, V., & Dowlatshani, K. (2020, June). Quantitative Analysis of the Acetic Acid Content in Substances Used by Athletes for the Possible Prevention and Alleviation of Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps. Journal of strength and conditioning research. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32459412
Manuel de nutrition clinique. Athlètes. [Consulté le 5 octobre 2021]. www.opdq.org
Miller, K. C. (2014). Electrolyte and Plasma Responses After Pickle Juice, Mustard, and Deionized Water Ingestion in Dehydrated Humans. Journal of athletic training. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080605
Miller, K. C., Mack, G. W., Knight, K. L., Hopkins, J. T., Draper, D. O., Fields, P. J., & Hunter, I. (2010, May). Reflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19997012
Miller, K. C., McDermott, B. P., Yeargin, S. W., Fiol, A., & Schwellnus, M. P. (2022, January). An Evidence-Based Review of the Pathophysiology, Treatment, and Prevention of Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps. Journal of athletic training. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8775277/#i1938-162X-57-1-5-b44