There’s nothing quite like waking up in the middle of the night with a sharp shooting pain shooting through your leg. You fall out of bed and begin to stretch and stretch until finally the cramp subsides and you can get back in bed and attempt to fall back asleep, although that is difficult because you were just screaming in pain. Most people find it pretty difficult to scream in pain then immediately drift back off, usually when you have a leg cramp in the middle of the night the rest of your night is ruined.
But having a leg cramp in the middle of the night is better than getting one, say, on the treadmill. That could lead to an embarrassing accident and even injury.
In this article, we will teach you what causes leg cramps and what actions you can take to get them under control so you’re not falling at the gym or waking up screaming in pain.
The most common cause of a leg cramp is dehydration. Athletes or people who love to exercise deal with these cramps all the time, but in the summer it doesn’t take much activity to get dehydrated. We don’t know what exactly about dehydration causes cramps but we do know that it leads to some serious pain. So make sure you stay nice and hydrated because it’s better to wake up having to pee rather than waking up screaming in pain.
Water isn’t the only important thing your body needs to stay cramp free. Electrolytes are just as important to water and if you’re low on them you will still cramp up regardless of how much water you may drink. There are other minerals too that can be depleted by exercise that will also lead to cramping such as potassium or sodium.
The best way to avoid a mineral deficiency is to focus on eating healthy and keep a sports drink near by. Sports drinks are great resources for electrolytes and sodium so your body will stay nice and loose, which means zero cramping.
Women often experience leg cramps during pregnancy, as if carrying another human being inside of your body wasn’t already hard enough. During the second and third trimesters are when it’s more common for women to experience leg cramps but it can happen in the first trimester as well. If you are pregnant and cramping up a lot then it is probably because you have some sort of mineral deficiency and a magnesium supplement might help, but of course, consult your physician before taking anything.
You can hydrate all you want and make sure you keep your minerals in check and know you’re not pregnant, yet you still might just cramp up from over use of your legs. If you run cross-country like Forrest Gump you might just end up getting leg cramps anyway. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you give your body plenty of rest and make sure to stretch as often as possible.