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Reducing muscle cramp

We have had a few customers in recently who have been getting leg cramps at night. It's also a common problem for runners, especially as they increase their training. As marathon season is now upon us thought might be useful to post some tips as cramp can often be managed successfully at home.

There is still some debate about what actually causes cramp but is thought to be a mineral imbalance, and it normally happens when the muscle has been over used. Historically it was thought a lack of salt was the cause but now a lack of certain minerals is suggested as a contributing factor.

  • Firstly try taking magnesium (magnesium glycinate is easier on the stomach) 250mg in morning and again before bed time. If this doesn't work you can also add in calcium, potassium and vitamin E. Bananas are a great source of natural potassium which are easy to eat while training.
  • After doing exercise and before bed time remember to stretch out your legs and massage the calf muscle to remove lactic acid and reduce inflammation. Applying a relaxing massage blend of oils such as lavender/frankincense will also further soften the muscle.
  • Keep hydrated, so drink lots of fluids. Sports drinks will also provide carbohydrates, electrolytes and sodium for muscles.
  • Try and get some rest. Cramp is often a sign of muscle fatigue so resting will help recovery.

For a more in depth discussion on cramp go to http://highfive.co.uk/high5-faster-and-further/cramp

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