Advertising
Advertising

Simple Solutions: How To Prevent And Get Rid Of Cramps

Simple Solutions: How To Prevent And Get Rid Of Cramps

Cramps can be experienced regularly or at a given time. When they come they can be fleeting but extremely painful. and if it comes on a daily or monthly basis, it can even lower a person’s well-being and quality of everyday life.

Night cramps can be particularly painful and can disrupt our sleeping patterns if experienced on a regular basis. And for many women, menstrual cramps can be a huge burden on a monthly basis.

If you want to get rid of cramps then find out what exactly causes cramps and how you can effectively relieve them and prevent them from occurring.

Advertising

What Are Cramps and What Causes Them?

Most commonly, cramps can be a result of electrolyte imbalance due to the lack of fluid in your system. They most commonly come about if you’ve overexerted your muscles or suffer from general dehydration. When dehydration occurs, the electrolytes suffer and the minerals that make up the electrolytes, sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, diminish rapidly and an imbalance occurs. Since electrolytes are essential for healthy cell function, these also help with the optimum function of our muscles.

We can also get cramps from long periods of inactivity like sitting down without moving for a long time. Certain medications can make us prone to experiencing cramps so check with your doctor if you are on long-term medication and get cramps on a regular basis.

Cramps can potentially occur in every muscle in the body but they most commonly happen in the calves, feet and thighs.

Advertising

What Are The Different Types of Cramp?

  • True Cramps – these are the most common types of cramps which we have all probably suffered from one time or another. These usually involve part or all of a single muscle or a group of muscles that generally act together and are thought to be affected by the nerves that stimulate the muscles.
  • Dysmenorrhea  – these are also known as menstrual cramps. They are a result of the uterus (a muscle itself) contracting and if this happens too strongly the oxygen supply is cut off to the muscle tissue and pain ensues.
  • Injury Cramps – if the body has experienced an injury then the muscle tries to protect it by spasming in an attempt to stabilise the injured area.
  • Rest Cramps – these happen with a long period of inactivity and can sometimes happen at night known as night cramps.
  • Dystonic Cramps – these types of cramps occur when there is repetitive movement in one area such as in the hands when we write for too long.

How To Get Rid of Cramps

pexels-photo-68468

    There are various ways you can help get rid of cramps. When experiencing a cramp it can be quite debilitating and you usually have to stop what you’re doing suddenly.

    Stretching is the number one way to help relieve the pain and longevity of a true cramp. This can simply involve walking around if it occurs in the leg or foot area. For calf cramps you can gently stretch the leg by facing a wall and hold both hands out bending the unaffected leg with the affected leg stretched out behind.

    Advertising

    If you do regular exercise such as running, it’s a great practice to make sure you stretch out before and after to prevent cramps caused by the vigorous exercise.

    If you suffer from night cramps then doing evening stretches in your legs before going to bed will help prevent painful night cramps from occurring.

    Massaging is another great and effective way to relieve the symptoms of cramp. Relaxing the muscle through gentle massage will help the pain cease quite quickly.

    Advertising

    Applying heat in the form of a heated pad or hot water bottle will further relax the muscle and calm down the spasming. This is particularly helpful in menstrual cramping. A hot shower will also be effective making sure the cramping area is focused on.

    How To Prevent Cramps

    drinking-water-filter-singapore-1235578_640
      • Leg exercises can help when you find yourself sitting for long periods of time. Doing ankle flexes will allow the oxygen to flow up the legs and to the muscle tissues. If possible make sure you take breaks and walk around.
      • Hydration is really important if you suffer from cramps regularly. It could be a case of keeping yourself hydrated to keep the cramps away especially if you exercise. Some sports drinks contain added electrolytes that could help replenish the lost electrolytes through sweating.
      • Vitamin supplements may be beneficial if you suffer from cramps due to pregnancy. Adequate intakes of calcium and magnesium can help to relieve cramping when pregnant but make sure you consult your doctor before taking anything. Calcium and magnesium intake can also help with night cramps.
      • Footwear is another factor to think about if you suffer from cramps regularly. Make sure you wear comfortable cushioned shoes with a good arch support. This will help support the rest of the muscles in your leg and prevent injuries to the foot.
      • Pillows are great if you place them under your knees while in bed. This will help prevent night cramps by elevating the blood flow to the muscles.

      More by this author

      Jenny Marchal

      Freelance Writer

      Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset How to Save a Bunch of Money Easily With This Simple Challenge 11 Killer Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches Without Harming You If You Understand These 5 Rules In Psychology, You Can Live A Much Easier Life How To Get Over Someone You Deeply Love

      Trending in Exercise

      1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on April 12, 2019

      7 Best Weight Loss Supplements That Are Healthy and Effective

      7 Best Weight Loss Supplements That Are Healthy and Effective

      The proceeding article has been written from my own personal experience with weight loss, along with research I’ve personally conducted, and from conversations I’ve held with individuals in the health and wellness space. The below suggestions for supplements are being given under the pretence that you will in fact investigate these substances further to conclude if they make sense for you personally or not.

      I’m a huge proponent of research and information, and also suggest you consider a DNA analysis test such as ones available through companies like Ansestory and 23andme. You can download your raw DNA data, and then upload it to FoundMyFitness Genetics – Genome Analysis Tool by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, or Promethease.

      The purpose of uploading your raw DNA data is in order to gather information pertaining to supplementation, dietary habits, and albeit lifestyle decisions that will be optimal/in accordance with your genealogy. You can then apply this information in your day to day life in order to become the best version of you!

      Before we dive into the list of supplements, ask the following question first:

      Do You Need Supplements?

      The short answer is not really, however as mentioned above, you may want to consider certain supplements by the mere fact that they are suggestible for your gene type.

      An example of this for me personally is a genetic predisposition to Vitamin D deficiency, which came up in my comprehensive DNA report. With this information in mind, I make an active effort to supplement Vitamin D, and get my butt into some sunlight as often as possible!

      So in certain cases supplements may not be totally required, but highly advisable.

      When I began losing weight several years back, many thoughts ran through my mind, from bogus weight loss supplements, to even considering the quick and easy liposuction of 40-50lbs.

      However when I took a moment to listen to my own instinct and intuition, the truth about these ideologies is that they do not solve the root of the problem – lifestyle choices.

      My general opinion on supplementation for weight loss is that one need not focus on substances or external things in order to achieve weight loss.

      Advertising

      When I was losing weight, after having gained it through silly lifestyle choices (to keep things short), my focus was not on supplements but on the consistent effort towards maximal weight loss and fat loss.

      In order to maximize weight/fat loss — I’ve discussed many times over the importance of incorporating Intermittent Fasting (Time-Restricted Eating), in conjunction with high activity levels throughout the week.

      Simply put, you need to consider how you structure your eating, as well as the amount of exercise, effort, and overall exertion – leading to daily caloric expenditure.

      Get yourself in a healthy caloric deficit, not by starving yourself, but by exercising, eating healthy and within a Time-Restricted “eating window”.

      7 Supplements To Consider for Weight Loss

      1. Caffeine or Green Tea/Extract (Matcha)

      This is one of the quickest and most easily accessible supplements for weight loss.

      Caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning. However, people become tolerant to the effects, and as such its impact will slowly diminish.

      Matcha is derived from the same plant as Green Tea – Camellia sinensis. Matcha tea is low in calories, and high in antioxidants such as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Scientists at the University of Colorado found that the EGCG content in matcha is 137 times more than Chinese green tea. These antioxidants can help flush out toxins, boost immunity, and reduce the body’s inflammation, which helps prevent weight gain and accelerates weight loss.

      Matcha can boost metabolism and aid in fat burning while also balancing blood glucose levels.

      2. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

      Your body naturally produces alpha-lipoic acid, but it’s also found in a variety of foods and as a dietary supplement typically in pill form.

      ALA is an organic compound found in all human cells, made inside the mitochondria – where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. Some research suggests that it may play a roll in weight loss, diabetes and more. There have also been antioxidant properties associated with ALA such as the ability to lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, reduce skin ageing, and improve nerve function.

      Advertising

      You can obtain ALA without supplementation from animal products such as red meat and organ meats, along with plant foods like broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and Brussels sprouts.

      Animal studies have indicated that ALA can reduce the activity of the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), located in your brain’s hypothalamus. Meanwhile, human studies conducted showed that alpha-lipoic acid has only a slight impact on weight loss. An analysis of 12 studies discovered that people who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lost an average of 1.52 pounds (0.69 kg) more than those taking a placebo over an average of 14 weeks.

      Personally I use ALA on and off when I’m looking to cut weight.

      3. Glutamine

      Generally speaking, Glutamine is beneficial because it improves the maintenance of muscle mass, which in turn helps burn more fat.

      By introducing Glutamine to your diet it will also yield anti-inflammatory benefits and help reduce cravings for high-glycemic carbohydrates.

      Foods that are high in glutamine include meat, seafood, milk, nuts, eggs, cabbage and beans.[1]

      4. Krill Oil

      High in omega-3 fatty acids, which yields various health benefits, including improved heart and brain health, a reduced risk of depression and even healthier skin.

      Researchers have suggested that fish oil omega-3s may help people lose weight more easily.

      Studies have concluded that while both fish-sourced and krill-sourced omega-3 fats are effective in reducing fat levels, krill is more effective. The mechanisms of how this is so had not been made clear in the study, but suggested long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) can reduce activity in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of neuromodulatory lipids and receptors that influence appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.

      Researchers found that, when parameters associated with obesity were considered, krill oil reduced heart fat levels in rats by 42 percent, compared to 2 percent for fish oils.

      Advertising

      I personally shifted from Alaskan Wild Salmon fish oils to Krill Oil due to the fact that it’s more potent and overall more effective, though the cost of the supplement is slightly more.

      5. Apple Cider Vinegar

      Many would note that apple cider vinegar is a low calorie drink; however, my focus on noting this supplement is relating to suppressing fat accumulation which was found in animal studies.

      A team of researchers also investigated the effects on obese Japanese in a double-blind trial. Daily intake of apple cider vinegar may be practical in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.

      Additionally, some studies suggest that apple cider vinegar helps stabilise blood sugar levels, and primarily after consuming a high carbohydrate meal.

      There’s many other benefits of apple cider vinegar to note, however they don’t directly correlate with weight loss, so for now I’ll leave them unmentioned, but encourage you look further into this powerful supplement.

      6. L-Carnitine

      This supplement is a bit speculative, and I haven’t had too much personal experience with it, thus it’s towards the bottom of the list.

      L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in the production of energy by transporting fatty acids into your cells’ mitochondria – which acts as engines within your cells, burning fats to create usable energy. This helps move more fatty acids into your cells to be burned for energy, so it’s suggested this would increase the ability to burn fat and thus lose weight. However, results of both human and animal studies are mixed in this case.

      This is one of those supplements that may work for one person, but not another, and it’s highly discussed and debated in the bodybuilding and fat loss community.

      I suggest you look further into L-Carnitine, and perhaps experiment on a trial to see if you notice any improvements in weight loss and fat reduction.

      7. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) [Bonus]

      CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. This supplement is gaining popularity and has become widely regarded as a contender for the weight-loss miracle pill.

      Advertising

      Though I personally do not think such a magic pill exists, it’s certainly fun to throw around the term ‘miracle’ and generates a lot of buzz in doing so.

      During a trial, one group of overweight women lost 9% body fat in one year’s time without any adjustments in lifestyle or eating habits.

      Now, don’t take this as a suggestion to not improve lifestyle, as I introduced this article with the pretence that it’s the most important aspect of losing weight.

      In a few small animal studies, CLA has been shown to prevent heart disease and several types of cancer, while appearing to enhance the immune system. Human studies are not as conclusive as they used body fat scales (such as DEXA – Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) to measure improvements, which are inherently not that accurate.

      This is another one of those supplements I suggest researching further, and trialling in conjunction with lifestyle adjustments to see if it works for you.

      The Bottom Line

      Once again I can’t stress enough that merely supplementing for weight loss will not yield exponential results – you must exercise, move your body, and I highly advise introducing Intermittent Fasting/Time-Restricted Eating if you haven’t already done so.

      Please research more into these supplements to determine if they make sense for you. And I don’t suggest using all at once as you won’t be able to accurately gauge which are most effective – cycle through them by taking one, two, upwards of 3 supplements at any given time. If you want to experiment, then switch after a couple months of use.

      I wish you the best of luck with your weight loss journey and if would like to learn more about the above supplements, take a look at my video here:

      Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next