Hydration and Other Leg Cramp Causes
A leg cramp, or a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, is a very common injury that most people experience at some time in their life. Proper hydration is a big part of combatting leg cramps, and our water filter systems at Kinetico can help ensure you’re properly hydrated.
What are some of the reasons you might be experiencing leg cramps?
Dehydration is perhaps the classic cause of leg cramps, and athletes or people who exercise often deal with them regularly. They’re especially common during dry months in the summer, as we lose more fluids while exercising.
When we sweat, we lose more than just water. We also lose electrolytes, another potential cause of cramping. Imbalances in sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium can all lead to leg cramping. Sports drinks can help with sodium, as can a proper diet balanced with muscle-friendly minerals.
Pregnancy raises the risk of leg cramps for expecting mothers, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Pregnant women should stay hydrated and consider magnesium supplements with a doctor’s approval.
Even if you’re properly hydrated, overuse can still lead to cramping. This is usually caused by the nervous system becoming overexcited during exercise creating an involuntary cramp. Resting and stretching are important steps to avoid this.
Exercise and Fatigue
If you exercise regularly, be sure to make gradual increases if you’re looking to up your intensity level. Your body needs time to get used to the new intensity and movements, and cramps can take place if you over-extend them.
In addition, you’re more prone to leg cramps if you’re already tired. Consider when your leg muscles are already tired, and look to get them some relief.
Sitting or Standing
If you have to sit or stand for long periods of time, you may experience some leg cramping. Muscles need to move around, so make sure you take a break from repetitive activities.
Medications and Conditions
If none of the other items we’ve mentioned appear to be the cause of leg cramps, they could be due to medications you take. Speak to your doctor if you’ve just started a new medication and are experiencing leg cramps.
In addition, spontaneous leg cramps can sometimes be due to underlying conditions like peripheral artery disease or osteoarthritis. Again, check with your doctor if this is the case.
For more information on how our water filtration systems can help with hydration, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.