Muscles cramps

Skeletal muscle cramps = painful muscle spasms, often in the calves and arches of the feet. Nobody knows the exact cause of cramping.


It is commonly accepted that the following can provoke cramping

Electrolyte depletion and dehydration
Muscle fatigue
Some medicines
Some medical conditions such as thyroid imbalances, kidneys infection…
Excess alcohol (dehydration)


To avoid cramping while working out

Drink (water or fluids high in electrolytes but low in sugar),
Don’t overload your muscles.
Massage the muscle
If cramping is bad, take your minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium).


Preventing leg cramps at night

Stretch your muscles before going to bed, hold at least one minute.
If you have been drinking alcohol, drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
Keep sheet, duvet or blanket loose to avoid pressure on feet.
Place a pillow underneath the feet or have your feet hanging over the end of the bed when you sleep on your front.
Use a pillow to prop the feet up in bed when sleeping on your back.


Quinine: It can help with cramps but only as a last resort, because quinine is toxic when taken in high doses. Its absorption should be supervised by your GP. Tonic water does contain quinine (and doesn’t require Gin in it) and is safe but often contains more sugar than quinine so is not very efficient at relieving cramps. You are better off taking magnesium which is a natural muscle relaxant.