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A 37-year-old member asked:

how to prevent cramps during sporting activities?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Frank Holmes
Sports Medicine 23 years experience
Hydrate, add salt: Cramps are often due to dehydration, muscle fatigue or excess loss of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magesium. Hydrating well before and during the activity, particularly with a electrolyte-containing beverage, can prevent cramps. Eating salty foods and fruits may also be a of benefit. Pretzels, nuts, oranges and bananas are good choices the several hours prior to an event.
Dr. David Laha
Podiatry 38 years experience
Plenty of fluids: Usually cramping is due to dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your activity(depends on sports activity). If you feel you have been well hydrated, see your doctor for evaluation. Dr l.
Dr. Thomas Namey
Rheumatology 48 years experience
Stretch: Make sure are well hydrated (not with energy/electrolyte drinks ....Water is fine. Do exercise specific warm ups, ie riding a bike slowly before starting all-out, or jooging more slowly than if you ran full bore.
Dr. Michael Adams
Orthopedic Surgery 23 years experience
Hydration: As mentioned by my other healthtap colleagues, drinks like gatorade are not necessary during sporting activity. Water is critical and the electrolyte sports drinks should be used after the activity to help replenish what is lost. If an athlete takes supplements such as creatinine, they are more prone to cramps and renal injury and should pay even closer attention to water intake.

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