What Causes Soreness and Cramping?
There are many benefits to exercising, health and physical benefits. But one of the negative after effects of exercising can be cramping, soreness, and the worst can be injury.
Who’s the culprit?
There is no exact cause for muscle cramps that can be pin pointed but common causes can include: Muscle fatigue, dehydration, electrolyte deficiency, neuromuscular control or performing a new activity. Muscle cramps usually happen during exercise because of the loss of sweat and most athletes do not consume enough sodium to replace what’s lost through sweating. Sodium regulates your blood pressure and balance in fluids and electrolytes.
Down to a Science
Most vegetarian athletes get muscle cramps due to their low sodium intake through their diet and continuing high intensity workouts losing significant amount of salt through sweating. Like sodium balance, potassium, calcium, magnesium balance are just as important. Potassium activates the sweating and urination by allowing your kidneys to filter correctly. Lots of soda, caffeine or alcohol can diminish calcium storage. Calcium and magnesium are necessary for the contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers.
Soreness is Okay
Muscle soreness is based on cellular damage. It’s important to eat high protein meals post workouts to not only build muscle but to reduce muscle soreness. When you are sore, your muscles are tight and achy from damage to the muscle fibers from an intense workout or activity, and that can last 24-72 hours. In most cases, muscle soreness is a good thing because it shows you are working hard in the gym. Massages, foam rolling and stretching are all recommended for muscle recovery.
If you have or feel that your pain and its not getting better after a few days, seeing a medical professional is highly recommended.