Help with Running Cramps

Running cramps, particularly running calf cramps, afflict everyone from the person going out for a morning jog, to elite athletes. And it's not just runners that get cramps they can be a factor in any sport - tennis, swimming, golf, cycling and triathlon. This site is dedicated to sharing ideas and information between sports people, athletes, health practitioners, anyone who enjoys training - for the best ways to prevent, avoid and treat muscle cramp.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What Grandma Used to Say About Leg Cramps and Running Cramps

Grandma's Cures for running cramps and leg cramps . . . Grandma believed that placing a bar of soap between the bed sheets at night would rid a person of leg cramps. How or why this works remains a mystery today, but many people say it does.

While I'm not so sure about this - I do know that a common sense approach works - here's a few of the tips and tactics from The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide:
* Prevent fatigue - modify your training habits and maximize you energy intake.
* Improve Your Hydration - if you drink only when you're thirsty, it's too late - especially in hot climates.
* Improve your nutrition in terms of electrolyte minerals and natural sugars and eliminating processed and fast food.
* Improve your stretching and flexibility training
* Alternative treatment techniques - especially accupuncture and pressure points and massage have produced remarkable results.

For more detailed information, click here for The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide - permnanent relief from the pain of running cramps and leg cramps is just a click away.

Copyright - Paul Newland &

How to prevent, ease leg cramps & running cramps

How to prevent, ease running cramps and leg cramps

Muscle cramps occur when the muscle forcefully and involuntarily contracts very quickly. Also referred to as a "Charley Horse," cramps are more common in muscles that span two joints with the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves being the most likely to cramp suddenly.

Leg cramps and running cramps from exercise can be caused by a number of things:

1. Poor hydration - many people simply don't drink enough water and if you drink only when you're thirsty, it's too late!

2. Poor stretching and flexibility habits.

3. Pushing too hard to quickly may lead to cramping - especially at the beginning of a new training program and at the end of a long season of competition and physical activity.

4. Mineral deficiencies - major minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium could easily be causing a problem. Recommended daily allowances should be followed for correct intake.

5. Poor eating habits - fast food contains little in the way of minerals and natural sugars needed for energy and contains artificial compounds that may be associated with an increased risk of muscle fatigue and failure.

6. Heat - training in hot climates can lead to increased muscle fatigue and loss of fluid - take precautions including increasing hydration and energy intake

When a muscle cramps try the following: massage and then stretch the affected muscle. You could even apply heat to help promote blood flow.

The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide has detailed strategies for training, stretching, flexibility, nutrition and healthy eating, massage & pressure points that will help you prevent and eliminate running cramps and muscle cramps completely and forever.

Copyright - Paul Newland &

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bananas and Gatorade Won't Prevent Running Cramps - but this will . . .

If you think that a few bananas and a bottle of Gatorade is enough to prevent running cramps - think again.

Bananas are commonly thought of as a rich source of potassium - however it's not a deficiency of potassium that's most likely to lead to running cramps.

In fact it's the other major minerals such as calcium and magnesium that will provide more help.

Secondly, while bananas are a source of potassium, they are not the best or the only source. In fact many vegetables, kiwi fruit, melon, oranges and apricots are just as good or even better.

The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide has a detailed information on the food sources of the major minerals and recommendations on the correct amounts to help you prevent those running cramps.

Likewise, when it comes to energy and hydration, you can do much better than a bottle of Gatorade. While certain popular sports drinks contain sugar for energy, they lack the necessary electrolyte minerals for long term and professional physical performance.

Natural sugars such as polysaccharides, monosaccharides and oligosaccharides - as found in fruit - are what's needed to get energy to the muscle cells and reduce your risk of muscle cramps and running cramps caused by fatigue.

The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide is a great information resource on hydration techniques and ways to prevent fatigue.

Copywrite - Paul Newland and

Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't Take Quinine for Leg Cramps and Running Cramps

There are better solutions for running cramps and leg cramps than Quinine.

According to the National Institutes of Health, The Mayo Clinic, The MedLine Medical Journal, numerous articles in JAMA, Quinine side effects include: cardiovascular complications, birth defects, low blood sugar, allergies, ringing in the ears, decreased hearing, vertigo, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flushing or itching of the skin, headache, and fever.

For a range of natural and effective solutions click here

Preventing Running Cramps - Carbohydrates Not Necessarily the Answer

Relying on carbohydrate loading as part of a pre-race plan isn't the magic bullet for preventing running cramps.

Carbo-loading and how it works is discussed in great detail in the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide however for good and consistent results, you can't go past a normal nutrition plan involving regular meals and eating patterns and proper hydration planning - as this article shows.

In the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide we provide you with nutrition and eating plans to help you prevent running cramps and leg cramps and for maintaining your sporting health. We also discuss typical energy and hydation requirements during an event, how you can calculate your requirements and how you can get the most out of the food you eat.

Goos are mentioned in the article and while these deliver alot of carbohydrate energy, they also require a lot of water to digest and are most suited to ultra-events.

A Young Iron Man's Experience with Running Cramps

Despite powerful running cramps, 17 year old Nathan Muldoon became the youngest iron man to have ever cometed in the CaliforniaMan.

You can read about his experience here.

In his editorial he mentions being offered ASPIRIN for his running cramps.

This is pretty disturbing - taking a blood thinning drug that has serious side-effects on the gut is a long-term recipe for disaster and totally at odds with healthy exercise and long term health.

One of the reasons it can work is that when you are chronically dehydrated the blood tends to thicken and the flow is restricted - making you more susceptible to cramps and running cramps in particular.

As a long term strategy this will most certainly lead to gastrointestinal problems leading to reduced nutrient intake, reduced immune system function and an increase in the liklihood of vascular bleeding.

Far better to have a hydration plan, have a nutrition plan that includes appropriate use of sports drinks and a long-term approach to training.

For more information on these subjects you can click here

Potassium has Nothing to do with Running Cramps and Leg Cramps

In this article on running cramp and swimming crmap advice for triathletes, Dr Jay Kerner (a veteran triathlete, certified USA Triathlon Level 1 coach, the director of podiatric surgery at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York) - gives some great advice, but gets it wrong when he says that Potassium deficiency is responsible for cramping.

Click here for the article in Triathalon Magazine

In fact potassium is one of the most common minerals we absorb, it's in abundant supply in most of the food we eat and is easily absorbed.

It's the other minerals such as magnesium and calcium that should be the focus from a nutritional point of view and these are discussed in great detail in The Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide.

Running Cramps Aren't the Main Problem for This Idiot

Check out this article on Oklahoma University's running back Adrian Peterson - leg cramps and running cramps are the least of this guy's problems

He may be regarded as one of the greatest running backs for OU, but one look at his training program is enough to convince me that this guy is on a 'career-shortening' collision course with physical disaster.

Imagine running in extreme heat and ignoring leg cramps and the advice of your conditioning coach or holding onto 80 pound dumbells while leaping from a 36 inch platform.

At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds this football athlete is destined to join many of his peers in either an early retirement or an early death from stroke or heart attack.

He may be regarded as one of the greatest, but his training methods are prehistoric when compared with the 'medical training' approach adopted by some of the most progressive and wealthy playing teams in the world . . . and for that you will have to look outside the borders of the U.S.A.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Running Cramps and heat exhaustion

Sometimes leg cramps and running cramps can be a sign that you've been doing a little too much, haven't taken in enough fluid, run out of energy or a combination of a number of these factors.

The important thing to know is that while the leg cramps may be painful, if you've been overdoing it in the elements, then they may help you.

Put simply, when you get running cramps, the body is telling you to slow down, rehydrate and get more energy to the muscle cells.

One common problem with exercising in hot weather is heat exhaustion.Symptoms include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, a weak but rapid pulse and headaches.

And if heat exhaustion is not treated quickly heat stroke can follow, causing extremely high body temperature, red and dry skin, rapid pulse, confusion, brain damage, loss of consciousness and death.

A Misleading article on beach cramps

Here's a misleading article . . .

As this article would have you believe, beach running is likely to cause leg cramps - however that's a little misleading . . .

It's actually a lack of training on sand and lack of conditioning of the lower leg muscles that causes the problem.

As with everything, the more training you do on a new surface, the more likely it is you'll be able to avoid those leg cramps and running cramps.

Personally, I've been running on sandy beaches - both soft and hard sand, for over twenty years and the only time I've ever suffered cramps is when I've been out of condition.

A word of advice about beach running - if your focus is speed, it will slow you down - so vary the training on a number of surfaces - hard sand, soft sand, road, grass, track etc.

Runner's Web and Triathlete's Web Article on Dehydration

Your body is over 60% water and that means that if you exercise while dehydrated you reduce your performance and increase the risk of injury - including running cramp.

Some tips on hydration:
* Start your exercise well hydrated
* Have a hydration plan for before, during and after an event.
* Drink before you feel thirsty - when you're thirst it's generally too late.

Water loss from sweating depends on how much heat you need to get rid of, and can surpass 5 pints an hour at marathon running pace.

Hyperhydrate pre training until your urine is almost clear. Your kidneys are quite talented; they will keep most of your electrolytes in your system. When you start training, consume some sodium and potassium in your liquid to help maintain your blood volume.

If you lose more than two percent of your body water, your blood gets thicker and your heart will have to work harder on each stroke. Your blood volume will be lower, so less blood will be pumped out of the heart with each beat. Fewer nutrients will get to your muscles, and you’ll be forced to slow down.

According to a study in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, dehydration also lowers your lactate threshold, which makes you feel exhausted earlier in a run.

For a great article and more information on hydration, click here.