Muscle cramps have multiple causes: muscles overused, dehydration, nutrition deficiency like mineral depletion or nerve compression are the most common causes.
It is a sudden and involuntary contraction of the muscle. Long periods of exercise or physical labor can lead to this condition.
Most cramps develop in leg muscles, and can generate sharp pain.
When we talk about nutrition deficiency, it is directly related with dehydration or overhydration, mineral or electrolyte depletion.
PREVENTIVE NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES
In order to decrease the tendency to muscle cramps, especially in endurance training, we should consider what we eat and drink before and during the activity.
Depending on the sweat rate, temperature and humidity, the recommendations will be more demanding.
We should achieve water balance: both dehydration and overhydration could be factors to cramps. Daily food should be nutritionally complete and good choices of carbohydrate strategies of carbohydrates both before and during the activity.
Electrolytes play a very important role. They can be supplemented through salts, isotonic drinks or salt water.