How to Prevent Muscle Cramps in Hot Weather

By Glenda Taylor

When summer arrives, you want to spend every waking minute outside, running, playing sports or just enjoying the long hot days. Unfortunately, as the temperature rises so does the risk of dehydration and vitamin depletion, resulting in muscle cramps. A few preventative techniques will allow you to enjoy the weather and your favorite sport. Read on to learn how to prevent muscle cramps in hot weather.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after summertime sports and activities. You can sweat a large amount of fluid without realizing it. Constant replenishment prevents dehydration, a leading cause of muscle cramps in hot weather.

Stretch before taking part in sports or activities. Flexible muscles retain water better than tight ones, reducing the incidence of muscle cramping. If you do get a cramp, use gentle stretching to relax the muscle, unless the cramp is the result of an injury.

Replace electrolytes lost during intense exercise sessions by drinking sports drinks that include sodium and potassium. However, choose a drink with fewer than 10 percent carbohydrates to keep your glucose levels from spiking, leaving you feeling drained.

Have an occasional gin and tonic—without the gin. Leave out the alcohol but drink a small glass of tonic water, found in the beverage department of the grocery store. Tonic water contains quinine, which studies have shown reduces the risk of muscle dehydration.

Consider magnesium supplements if you’re experiencing cramps often. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to severe cramping in hot weather. Follow the recommended daily allowance carefully, since an abundance of magnesium in your body is just as harmful as too little.

Visit your family doctor if you’re staying hydrated, stretching, monitoring your electrolytes and still experiencing cramping. Your doctor can prescribe medication to retain moisture in the muscle and prevent sudden, involuntary contractions.

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