Water, Cramping and Muscular Health!

Did you know that your muscles are made up of 70 to 75% water?

The water in your muscles is essential to the metabolic reactions involved in every movement your body makes!  Muscles that are well hydrated are stronger, healthier, and recover more quickly from activity.  And good hydration is really good for your joints, too.

One sign that you may not be getting enough water is if you are experiencing muscle cramps.  Although there can be many causes for a muscle to suddenly spasm into a cramp,  dehydration is a common culprit.

Hydration Self-Care

If you are noticing muscle cramps impacting your life, try increasing your water intake… and also be sure to decrease beverages that are actually dehydrating,  like coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol. 

In addition to dehydration, another factor that can cause muscle cramping are overuse OR even underuse of your muscles.

  • Overuse and repetitive movements can cause a strain in the muscle that causes it to painfully contract and tighten.  This can be from something as active as preparing for a marathon, or as small as typing for hours on end on your computer or phone!
  • Underuse of muscles can cause cramping too!  Healthy, active muscles are constantly moving and pumping blood through the body.  This is how they eliminate toxins and bring in fresh nutrients and oxygen from the blood.  Stagnant muscles can mean a significant decrease in blood flow and nutrients through the muscle.  This can cause cramping, burning and decreased muscular health.

Movement and Massage Self-Care

In addition to drinking more water, be sure to getting adequate exercise to keep your muscles moving. But also be careful not to overdo it. Getting outside for a daily walk, being sure to move and stretch after periods of sitting at your desk, and taking fitness and/or yoga classes are all great ways to keep your muscles healthy.   Massage is also an excellent way to encourage circulation through your muscles, and release the chronically tight areas that are prone to cramp with they get overused.

Beyond Self-Care:

And remember, self-care is your first step, but if you suffer from muscle cramps that are not alleviated through increased hydration, movement/stretching or massage, then it is wise to consult your doctor.   You might be low on some nutrients your muscles need to function properly (like magnesium),or have some other issue that may require more attention than the self care suggestions above.  Listen to your body, and seek professional help when needed!

Happy Spring!

And be well,

Donna

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.