There’s nothing worse than preparing for a high energy activity just to find yourself doubled over with cramps and unable to keep competing at the level you would normal compete at. Most muscle cramps can be relieved with the correct amount of stretching and massaging, and it can be avoided altogether with the correct amount of stretching before your activity.
But what about those pesky abdominal cramps?
Finding the right foods and liquids, and finding the right amount of them before activities, can be a daunting task. You want enough food to feed your body energy while active, but not enough to slow you down, make you sick or cramp you up. Now, you probably know how much food and liquid to drink to avoid being sick or so filled you can’t perform at a top level. But deciding what nutrients, vitamins, supplements and so on to stay away from or to load up on safely to avoid cramps can be confusing.
I played basketball for many years than turned into an abbot running. Through the years, I took a lot of advice on what to eat and drink the night before and on the day of my high energy activity. Although, it was all good advice, not all of it worked for me, in fact, I found through trial and error what the best routine for me was.
Since everybody’s body is different, it’s crucial to know that one person’s routine that helps them perform at max level won’t necessary work for another person.
I know it’s tough to want to mess around with trial and error when you are about to get into some type of activity that you want to perform your best at without cramps, but you can always try new diet routines when you’re in training or at practice and stick to what you know best when it’s time to perform.
You may ask why would someone need to change a routine that already works for them?
The answer to that question is easy, it doesn’t work no more and the routine they you used to have is starting to cause them cramps. This can happen due to a change of activity, such as switching from basketball to swimming, or as you get older your body and stomach simply may not accept the same types of foods and drinks it used to, and or it may not accept them in the same amounts as it used to.
Whatever the reason is that you need to change your diet routine, here is a guideline of somethings you can do to avoid those cramps.
Hydration is huge when your muscles are cramping up. Small dosages of liquid at room temperature or just a little chilled, not cold, taken in often throughout your activity is one of the most important things you need to do. But you most be careful, for to much liquid, electrolytes and vitamins can actually start to cause cramping.
It’s not recommended to eat foods with high potassium right before a high energy workout, but keeping potassium in your diet is one thing that can definitely help avoid cramping. Dietary products such as milk and yogurt are much the same. If not completely digested before workout, chances are they won’t digest and you will cramp up very quickly. This is not to say that dietary products aren’t good for you, but like with potassium you should avoid them right before activity.
Another thing you should stay away from if you’re experiencing cramps is Red Bull, Monster energy drinks and any of the many other hundreds of supposed energy supplements that boast a quick fix for optimal performance. The caffeine, vitamins and the abundance of other supplements that claim to do great things for your body could be the very thing that can cramp you up.
This should be something everyone should know, but I will mention it anyway. Any food that could cause you gas or heartburn when you’re not working out will probably cause you even more discomfort when you’re at a high activity level. Things like high levels of sugar, sorbitol, fructose and or too much fiber can cause cramps and should be avoided if possible before engaging in any high energy activities, for they may digest properly when resting but when excreting yourself they can cause you problems.
Using the trial and error method is what I recommend when adjusting your high activity diet routine. But it will only work if you pay attention to what you eat before your exercises, workouts or training to determine what gave you a good source of energy with no repercussions and what leaves you cramped up and unable to perform.