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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Drink Electrolytes Instead of Water for Muscle Cramps

Bottle of green electrolyte sports drink


Painful, involuntary muscle cramps have hit 39 percent of marathon runners, 52 percent of rugby players and 60 percent of cyclists, studies show, but gulping down too much water has also been linked to the condition. The solution might be to drink an oral rehydration solution rather than spring water, suggests an Australian study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Ten men were repeatedly tested with each liquid while running downhill in 96-degree heat for 40 to 60 minutes. When their calves were stimulated electrically to induce cramps, those drinking the oral rehydration liquid were less susceptible to the condition. “It is possible that drinking a large amount of plain water dilutes sodium and other electrolytes in the blood and extracellular fluid, increasing [muscle cramp] susceptibility,” conclude the authors.

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