How to Stop Cramps with Proper Hydration

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Hydration to Stop Cramps
Question: I and several of my teammates had to deal with cramps while we played Friday night. I drank water all through the week and used Gatorade game night but finally still had to pull out of the game. How can I avoid repeating this?

Answer: Proper hydration during the week and “super hydration” Wednesday and Thursday are the keys to preventing cramps. It appears that you were on the right track by trying to stay hydrated during the week but you have to take into account your practices during the week. You will loose almost as much water in practice as you will in a game. So if your daily water requirement is a gallon you should increase that to one and a half gallons.

While Gatorade was developed as an electrolyte replacement drink, it now provides little more than water in it’s present form. In the company’s efforts to become mainstream it would appear it’s diluted the electrolyte density to have a better taste. It has recently begun marketing Gatorlytes Endurance which appears to be closer to the original formula and is for athletes losing large amounts of water while competing. A more potent blend found on the internet is “The Right Stuff” that is an electrolyte formula developed by NASA.

For you to prevent a cramping recurrence, increase your water intake each day to close to two gallons. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday use some higher potency electrolyte blended in prior to the game. During the game hydrate as frequently as possible alternating water and electrolytes. Immediately after the game drink an electrolyte drink and more water as well. If you do get cramps you would benefit from foam rolling to try to get the muscles to release and relax. A sports massage could benefit you as well.

God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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