Answered by on Monday, June 1, 2009
All it takes is a stitch in your side or a twang in your calf, and your run ends at the nearest lamppost you can lean against. "Some muscles cramp more than others," says Daniel Vigil, M.D., team physician for the US track and field team, "but cramping is also related to dehydration and loss of salt." He advises drinking water or an electrolyte (salt) solution an hour prior to any endurance exercise and a cup every 15 minutes during. Most important, says Dr. Vigil, "you need to replenish lost salt and minerals after working out." Nutrients like sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium that are lost in sweat can be replaced with a post-run sports drink or a glass of fruit or vegetable juice. And if you do cramp during exercise, stop, drink more fluids, and gently massage the area. Then fish out the quarter from your shoe and call for a ride home.