Muscle cramps?

For years, I have run the risk of ‘cramping up’ at the end of a hot and long tennis match. Like Patrick Rafter, I sweat 50-100% more than the average player; and thus lose a huge amount of fluid … and minerals.

I have searched the Internet and asked anyone with a professional opinion what they thought caused muscle cramps. No one seems to know for sure and the answers range from:

· Drink more water before and during a match

· Take potassium pills before the match

· Taking a combination of minerals

· Drink a sports drink

· Stretch more before matches

Lately, I have seemed to avoid these painful happenings with a combination of cures:

1) Fully hydrating before the match (so that urine runs almost clear) + drinking on every changeover

2) Taking a pill called Medi-Lyte (which contains Potassium Chloride, Calcium, and Magnesium)

3) And a powdered drink called Amino Vital (with a combination of amino acids)

It seems to be working; but do you know of anything that has worked for you??

3 thoughts on “Muscle cramps?

  1. George – comments re cramps — I also fully hydrate before, during and after important matches for the hot months and bring my own water supply to the court. Often there is no water conveniently available near the court or it is too warm (not to mention heavily chlorinated). The other thing that works for me to avoid cramps is eating a banana (sometimes 2) for potassium between sets.

  2. My comments (from someone who has ended up in the hospital w/ IV tubes on 3 occasions because of dehydration:

    – While it is important to hydrate before the match(s), a doctor told me that just drinking water alone dilutes the electrolytes & will not be enough to prevent dehydration.

    – Another doctor told me to forget about potassium. In his view it is more important to replace the loss of sodium. I remember taking salt pills when participating in scholastic sports years ago, but they fell out of favor in recent years. I always bring salty potatoe chips to matches on hot, humid days.

    – For liquids I drink Smart Water. Tastes like plain water, but has electrolytes added. Also, a fitness expert told me to drink fluids at room temperature during matches, since they are absorbed into the body more quickly than if they were chilled.

  3. There is only one automatic cure for cramps. 20 minutes before you play drink 1/4 cup of dill pickle juice. There is sodium in it, but also it causes a chemical reaction which makes muscle relax and stay that way for a few hours. If you cramp during a match and take it then, it will relieve the cramp within 10 minutes or so. Just try to hang on! I read this first in Runners World. It has become popular with marathon runners…

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