A muscle cramp is an involuntary contraction of any muscle. You feel pain and lump at the site where the muscle has contracted. And most of the time it hits your hamstring and calves, especially after a workout session or at night. Although leg cramps are common, it can happen to any of your muscles and sometimes it happens when you least expect it. You may experience cramps in your abs, arms and quads. Muscle cramps happen because your body lacks sufficient amount electrolyte or you are dehydrated. You may experience muscle cramps when your body doesn’t get enough magnesium and potassium, which are important for smooth functioning of the muscles. When your body is dehydrated, these minerals are not processed properly. It can also happen due to poor circulation of blood in the body or if you have not done the stretching exercises before your workout. Here are some tips to stop muscle cramps.
You need to drink water to keep your body hydrated and stop muscle contraction. It will help the muscles to function normally. Often our brains confuse thirst with hunger when we are not properly hydrated.
Stretch your cramped muscles
Perform stretching exercise to relax your muscles and stop the cramp. Stretch your muscles and hold the stretch for sometime before you relax. You can also try massaging the cramped muscles.
Eat a banana
You can eat a banana to replenish the electrolyte in your body. Your body looses water and electrolyte when you sweat, so it is essential to put back the electrolyte as they play an important part in the normal functioning of the muscles. If you experience side stitch, which is also a muscle cramp, eat a banana or drink some water. Banana is a good source of potassium.
Soak in hot water
You can apply hot pads or a wet cloth on the cramped muscles to get relief from the cramp. You can also take a hot shower. According to many professional, adding some Epsom salt to the hot water will give you relief from the cramp.
Try dietary supplements
According to studies, consuming vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin E, zinc and magnesium can lower the risk of cramps. Taking each of these alone can be difficult, but a good multivitamin should provide your daily requirements for each of these important vitamins.