What Causes Leg Cramps While Running?

What Causes Leg Cramps While Running?
Leg cramps often strike when you least expect them and at the worse times, for instance in the middle of a race. There are methods of prevention, but if you still get leg cramps, there are ways to cure them.

Types

Leg cramps while running most commonly occur in the calf muscles. They can also develop in the large thigh muscles and buttocks.

Causes

It is thought that leg cramps while running are most often caused by dehydration. Depleted reserves of potassium, magnesium and calcium also may play a role.

Prevention

Be sure to drink sports drinks before and during your running event or training session. Consider supplementing your diet with calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Solutions

If you experience a debilitating cramp during a run or race, don't try to run through it. Stop and stretch the cramped muscle gently. Walk a bit if you can and start sipping a sports drink. You may be able to stop the cramp enough to finish your run.

Effects

A leg cramp could ruin your run or end your race and may leave you sore for hours afterward. Sports massage, re-hydration and rest will help and maybe prevent a future leg cramp.

Article Written By Tanya Wyr

Tanya Wyr has 12 years experience as a professional writer and editor both in print and online. She has written for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Mervyns. Wyr has also edited college-level textbooks. Wyr earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1991.

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