Prevent Muscle Cramping and Pain

Prevent muscle cramp in warmer weather

A recent article published in Dance Magazine, “How to prevent muscle cramping and pain as the weather heats up” focuses on hydration and carbohydrates as methods of avoiding muscle cramps for dancers.

Hydration

It is important to drink fluids and eat high-water content foods (fruits, vegetables, soups, smoothies) to stay hydrated.

By the time a dancer realises she is thirty, she will already be experiencing fatigue and poor balance as a result of dehydration. Perhaps even headaches and light-headedness.

  • Biochemical and physiological functions throughout the body depend on being properly hydrated
  • Water aids in digestion and is important in eliminating waste products created from working muscles

The body needs sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium for neuro-muscular activity (such as when the muscles contract and release).  Adequate consumption is critical for:

  • preventing muscle cramping
  • maintaining fluid and acid-base balance
  • building new muscle tissue (potassium)

Sources of potassium: avocados, bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, most vegetables and beans.

Sources of calcium: almonds, almond milk, soy products, broccoli, leafy greens, beans, chia seeds, dairy.

Sources of magnesium: whole grains, soy, nuts, green vegetables, beans/legumes, meat and chocolate.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are a source of fuel and energy for muscles. Consumption immediately before exercise is  performance enhancing.

Sports beverages often provide a rapidly absorbable source of carbohydrates (such as sucrose) and dextrose for the working muscles and brain.

The article suggests

giving your muscles a small amount of simple carbs like sugar, honey or fruit juice in a strategic rehydration drink during exercise

 


Full article – How to prevent muscle cramping and pain as the weather heats up published in Dance Magazine.

Ideas for rehydration drinks for dancers

 


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